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Happy fall St. Andrew's!

I hope that everyone had safe and enjoyable travels. I am very pleased to announce that we have already donated over 50 pounds of fresh produce from our garden. I want to give a special call of thanks to Jeff Herrera for all his efforts to get the community garden up and running this season. Looking ahead, we will continue to harvest until the fall cleanup day when we will close the garden for the season.

Our backpack drive was also a great success – we donated over 20 backpacks as well as extra bags of new school supplies to the drive in Coatesville. A huge call of thanks to Christine and Kristy for their help, as well as their time and efforts with our VBS program last month. I often forget how blessed our lives are; to see our congregation share Christ’s love and invest in our children was the highlight of my summer.

As is tradition, we provided our hot meal for the Atkinson men’s shelter this month. I am always grateful to have such a dedicated team of cooks and volunteers – thank you to all who feed our neighbors in need.

In the coming weeks we will continue to collect for the family in Chester county that suffered a barn fire. We will also collect for the flood relief efforts in Kentucky, and make a gift to the Red Cross. Outreach has voted to match all gifts to either fund, up to $250. As I reflect on the current and past drives that outreach has supported, I am bluntly reminded that while we may live differently from day to day, we are all one people on God’s earth, and we are all equally susceptible to finding ourselves in need. It is easy to ignore a need when it is miles away or happening to someone else. When we are facing loss, hunger, or suffering, suddenly we can empathize with our neighbor’s suffering. Remember that any one of us might be the next collection, should we face a challenge and need the collective support of our community. In the words of our Lord, “Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble…” —Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

I pray we all enjoy a delightful fall kick-off on St. Andrew’s Day. Until then may your gardens and hearts overflow!

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