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Happy summer, St. Andrew's! I think we can all agree the sun and the fun are here to stay, at least for the foreseeable future. As people venture out on vacations and swimming trips, Outreach at St. Andrew's also slows down a bit in observance of the summer months.

We are still collecting donations for the Coventry Food Pantry, our long-standing partner in feeding local communities. Our garden – another way we donate fresh food – is expanding nicely; what a joy to watch our crops grow!

Atkinson will also continue; our volunteer cooks and drivers never disappoint! Whether it is hot or cold, there are always neighbors and friends who depend on us, and I am proud of our congregation for the continual efforts and successes. As a special event, we have also planned meals of support for the St. Mary’s cause – a special call out to Sarah Schick for leading the charge!

Back to school seems far away right now, but August will be here before we know it. Many students and families rely on our support to send children off to a new year fully prepared. Our backpack drive has retuned once again to help fill this need. Collections are underway, with a large yellow bin in the narthex, and baskets ready in the Biddle room. Please see the announcements for details.

On a different note, June has been deemed safety month at my company; this has got me thinking a lot about the recent violence and fire-arms tragedies we have faced as a nation. St. Andrew's has always felt like a safe and secluded community to me – I often think of us as my church home. Neighbors in other states seem far away, yet I am often reminded we are all God’s children, and geography means very little when we are talking about loving our neighbors as ourselves. Whether far away or just down the road, we are stronger when we work together towards peace.

One way to support this cause is to give blood to the Red Cross – many victims have serious injuries; giving life to each other is a great way to support those who are working through traumas. Find your local Red Cross Drive here:

Another way to help is to simply say prayers for those who are suffering from recent violence. Whether we knew a person or not, we are all God’s children. We pray every Sunday for people we may not personally know. I truly believe one of the best ways to know God’s love is to show God’s love to each other. We are only strangers until we take the time to know each other, to lay down our weapons and love our neighbors as ourselves. I pray for a joyous and peaceful summer to you all!

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