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An old African proverb says, “those who build the community are built by it…” Few tasks at Saint Andrew have been as time-consuming, challenging, or faith-forming as the task of designing and constructing a “sacred space” for our community of faith. Beginning in the fall of 1994, a team of architects from Berkeley, California joined with Saint Andrew’s building committee and congregation in a journey to create a space that would reflect the character and values of this new and growing congregation.
Designed to reflect Saint Andrew’s ongoing relationship with the mountain community of El Higueral in El Salvador, the sanctuary was dedicated in 1999. Soaring trusses, and a hearthroom built of straw bales, are indicative of the progressive architecture and ecological approach to Saint Andrew’s construction. A meandering path from the parking lot, up a sloping hill to the building’s courtyard, leads the visitor to transition from a secular to a spiritual frame of mind.
Soon after the sanctuary dedication, ground was broken on a ten-thousand square foot addition for education and administrative space. Completed and dedicated in 2003, the new wing provides ample space for children’s and adult education classrooms, a much-needed kitchen and “Friends Hall” for gatherings, a library, a nursery, and office space for our growing staff.
Many hours of planning by our building committee members, much “sweat equity” from the congregation, several building campaigns, and the gracious gifts of the Friends of Saint Andrew (totaling nearly half a million dollars) fortified the construction of our building. As we continue to enjoy and discover the delights of our church home, our hope and prayer is that it will provide quiet spaces for reflection and renewal; places of beauty where we can be inspired; places of study and learning where we are challenged; and places for fellowship where we can laugh and celebrate like Jesus did, and break bread in Jesus’ name.
How About Those Banners In the Sanctuary?
As you enter the sanctuary each Sunday, greet your friends, and find your seat, one of the first things you may notice about five times a year is that both the colors and the locations of the banners have changed. Our sanctuary dresses differently in accordance with the liturgical church year, using many colors and shades, including red, blue, green, orange, yellow, gold, white, burgundy, purple, and even black. The colors are purple and black for Lent, with the black covering the cross signifying an event that has not yet happened, which is then followed by white and gold for Easter. Then the sanctuary dressing goes to green for Pentecost, remaining generally through Thanksgiving. For Advent the color changes to blue, followed by white for Nativity, Christmas, and the start of Epiphany, then follows with green, and goes again to purple for Lent, black for Good Friday, and white for Easter. You also may have noticed that even the stoles worn by the ministers also match the colors in the sanctuary, all of which lends to a harmony in worship surroundings that we sometimes take for granted as "just happening."
Behind these color changes, however, lies a significant amount of artistic interpretation, manual labor, and caretaking involving an ingenious construct of ropes, pulleys, weights, and sometimes gloves, knee pads and old-fashioned ironing boards.
These efforts have always been contributed by members of Saint Andrew who have assisted Reverend Duncan in giving our sanctuary the worshipful setting, and Saint Andrew again needs your assistance and suggestions for future banner changes. There will be six banner changes around the following seasons for the remainder of this year:
Friday, March 29: Remove Lent Banners and Crown of Thorns and put up Easter Banners
Friday May 17: Remove Easter Banners and put up Pentecost Banners
Friday August 2: Remove Pentecost Banners and replace with Green Ordinary Banners
Friday October 4: Change to Autumn Ordinary Banners
Sunday Afternoon November 24: Remove Autumn Ordinary Banners
Friday November 29: Put up Advent Banners
December: Several Sanctuary decoration dates to be determined.
Dates are subject to change with the availability of workers.
Assisting with the banners can be an especially rewarding effort, with the effects of your work being evident to all who enter the sanctuary. Would you consider lending your strong arms and willing hands or your helpful suggestions to this effort? If so, please contact either Reverend Gary Duncan at Gary@sacchome.org, or Worship Chair Pat Boston at email@example.com, or any of the ministers.