I spent last Sunday worshipping with the people of St. Andrew Presbyterian Church in Sausalito, CA. For those of who have read Anne Lamott’s “Traveling Mercies” (and if you haven ‘t…BUY IT NOW), you’re familiar with this church because Anne Lamott worships there. I got there early and was handed my bulletin by the little elderly black woman that Anne Lamott mentions in her book (she wears the cute little pill-box, crushed hats). The above shot is just a collage of some aspects of their beautiful new sanctuary.
St. Andrew is a More Light Presbyterian church, associated with the PC(USA). The congregation is about 50% black and 50% white. I was warmly welcomed by the congregation (Anne wasn’t there unfortunately) and loved reading through their materials. Their purpose is: “As a multi-cultural congregation, our purpose is to worship God, to serve one another, and to share with others the transforming love of Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit.” They value:
- the proclamation of the Word of God
- a celebrational style of worship which integrates African-American tradition and Reformed theology
- the spiritual disciplines of personal and community prayer and study
- unity in diversity reflected in the gifts and participation of all people
- the witness of peace and social justice.
Reading through their announcements and bulletin was fun (also fun to learn that Anne is the Elder of Christian Education). They reflect a more liberal theological perspective, at least is evident in their use of a gender inclusive Doxology and Gloria Patri: “Glory be to our Maker, to the Son and the Holy Ghost – as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.” “Praise God from whom all blessings flow! Praise God all creatures here below! Praise God above, Ye Heavenly host: Creator, Christ and Holy Ghost! Amen.” Yet in many of the traditional African-American hymns they sang, they don’t bother to change all the “He”s and “Him”s in the words. I like this balance.
I was invited to the fellowship meal afterwards, and actually got to meet Yohann Anderson (creator of that little green “Songs” songbook that many youth groups, Young Life groups, etc., use). He has been going there for about a month now, and we had a wonderful conversation.
I enjoyed worshipping with this diverse community; an open-community to any and all who would be interested in searching after God, a community preaches God’s love and grace through Christ, a community that strives after peace and justice and is actively involved in their community, meeting her needs.