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Music -- A Ministry Minute

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A Ministry Minute by Cory Gasparich

Hi. My name is Cory Gasparich and I am the music director here at St Andrew’s. I cannot begin to describe the gracious outpouring that God has given to me from the very first moments I came through the doors of this church. With enthusiasm, this congregation of the body of Christ has welcomed me with open arms and warm hearts and rendered to me a sense of purpose that was sorely missing in my life. I have been richly rewarded by your generosity of spirit, your commitment to community, your mindfulness to Christian responsibility, and the comfort many of you have afforded to me personally in my times of need.

At the time, I was searching for the “next step” and, as it has been many times in my life it was the Lord who acted. I received a phone call asking if I was interested in the position. With zero hesitation, I said yes! I have not once regretted that decision. Not even once. The gifts that God has granted me fit perfectly into this position and I have grown tremendously, learning from the guidance and advice of many of you who have been kind enough to point out the easier paths to managing a fruitful ministry. With jovial spirits you have helped me work through the many bloopers and faux pas that come with gaining experience, for which I am so thankful.

Well, just when I felt I was getting the true knack of the thing, a couple of knocks hit the knack. The first was very manageable. Mother Jan has been a true blessing to work with and nothing but helpful with my positions and my needs. The Covid crisis has created challenges and causes me to up my creativity. It may not look like much from the other side of the screen, but quite a bit has been going on to maintain proper music on this end. Just so you know, I plan to continue to return the generosity you have shown me as we see this thing through.

I can only hope that my weekly charge has ministered to your hearts in this difficult time and I look for the day, soon, when the clouds will roll away and we can get back to the business of worshiping God in fulness, together as a congregation. It is my hope then to restore, with even greater fervor our dedication to quality and excellence, in worship and praise, in our choir, our band, and our bell choir.

Christian Formation--A Ministry Minute

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A Ministry Minute by Jeff Kramer
Hello. I’m Jeff Kramer and have been a member of St. Andrew’s since 1999. I am grateful for the opportunities I’ve had here for Christian formation and education. I’ve participated in various classes as well as giving back a little as a cook for the Wednesday program, an adult leader for vacation bible school, or as a Sunday school teacher.

For me, education of any sort is a journey that never stops. Studies at St. Andrew’s give depth and breadth to my understanding of Christianity, God, the Bible, and the teachings of Jesus. Over the years I’ve learned about the historical and political context for events in the Bible, geographical settings, Jewish culture and its influence on the development of Christianity, individual books of the Bible, and many other areas that have helped me understand the whys of whats of what we believe. Not difficult Ph.D.-level stuff but enough to provide context and insights that changed the way I think about my faith.

I’m also thankful that these classes allow me to get to know my fellow St Andrew’s parishioners a little better. Their abundant knowledge and experiences add richness to the journey as well.

Thank you.

Pastoral Care--A Ministry Minute

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A Ministry Minute by Deacon Anne
Good morning! My name is Deacon Anne and I have been serving at St. Andrew’s for the past eight years. I am so grateful to God for allowing me to be part of this incredible congregation. Even before becoming a deacon, Pastoral Care for me was a way of life, an opportunity to give back to God and to my community. But I discovered at St. Andrew’s that Pastoral Care was more than visiting hospitals and nursing homes. Here, Pastoral Care became a way of sharing burdens and joys and heartaches. I have found that Pastoral Care isn’t a vocation – it’s a way of life that involves not only our community of believers at St. Andrew’s but includes the homeless and those who bear the burden of broken lives. The love I have found at St. Andrew’s has truly transformed my life. I have received far more than I’ve given. I will always be thankful to God for leading me to the one place that will always be home for me. And to all those who continue to make this church a light in Las Cruces, I am truly grateful.