St. Andrew's Episcopal Church

of Boca Grande, Florida

News & Notes

May 2, 2024


  • Rector's Reflection
  • Parishioner's Corner
  • Outreach - Red Bags
  • Friday Fun Facts
  • Bible Study and Fellowship
  • Sunday Worship Information
  • Prayer List
Angels unaware

Rector's Reflection

Soon after graduating from college I loaded my tiny hatchback with all the worldly belongings I cram into it and moved clear across country (literally, from sea to shining sea). My greatest possession was a long-distance calling card (yes, Martha, these were pre-cell phone days) enabling me to call home in an emergency. The trip from Tampa, FL to Glendale, CA took two and a half days. I traveled across the 18-mile Atchafalaya Basin Bridge in Louisiana and wondered at all the alligators swimming in the bayou below. I drove through Texas amazed at how road kill changed from possums and armadillos in the south to skunks and roadrunners in the west.

I barely knew one person in California, a college classmate with whom I shared a couple of classes three years prior. Other than that...not one soul. I was far from home and communication was not what it is today. No cell phones, no internet, no social media. Just me, enough money for two month's rent and a totally unfurnished apartment. To my horror, I discovered CA apartments do NOT come equipped with refrigerators. Renters have to buy their own and I had no money to spare.

As it happened, my first Sunday in California found me in the pew at St. Mark's Episcopal in Glendale. I knelt and prayed, "Oh Lord, what have I done? I am in over my head? Whatever am I to do?" Silence.

At the Exchange of the Peace, the elderly woman sitting in the pew in front of me turned to greet me. Though the greeting was but a moment, I was able to explained that I had just moved from FL and it was my first Sunday at St. Mark's. After the service this stranger took me to lunch. During the course of our conversation I shared my distress over my refrigerator situation. Without hesitation, she pulled $300 from her purse and handed it to me; instructing me to go and buy what I needed. No need to repay her. Just the hope that I would pay it forward. What?! This woman didn't even know me and here she was handing me what felt like a substantial amount of money. I did as she instructed.

Little did I know Exchanging of the Peace that morning, would be the start of a precious friendship. Madge was not a rich woman. $300 would have been an extravagant gift to offer a stranger, yet she did it without hesitation; without counting the cost. She did it because she trusted God and sought His will for her life.

The kindness of a stranger. An act of faith on her part...the humbleness of heart on mine. To give and to receive is the essence of community. Reflecting back some 35 years later, I wonder who was the richer? Madge for giving from her heart...or me, for receiving a gift I could not repay.

Who among us has been the beneficiary of the helping hand of a stranger? How did you repay the debt? Madge was not the first, nor has she been the last stranger to bless my life. But with each act of kindness I have been emboldened to reach out in my own love...never counting the cost. And each time, I consider myself the one who is blessed. God is indeed good.

The helping hand of a stranger, or a friend or family member...and suddenly...a closed door cracks open..the light of hope shines through...and a life is transformed. What more could we ask? What more could God ask of us?

As you rise to meet each new day, may your heart's eye be open to the need God places before you...and respond with love and compassion. Such generosity of heart not only blesses the receiver...but also blesses us in ways we could never ask or imagine.

Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have,

for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.

Hebrews 13:16

Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord,

and he will repay him for his deed.

Proverbs 19:17

With gratitude and love for each and every one of you!


Parishioner's Corner

Faithful Departed

Your prayers are asked for the repose of the soul of 

Rob Knapp

who returned home to God, April 30th.

May his soul and all the souls of the faithful departed rest in peace.

Please keep his wife, Marcia and their family in your prayers. A Celebration of Life service will be held at St. Andrew's in November.

O God, whose mercies cannot be numbered: Accept our prayers on behalf of your servant Rob, and grant him an entrance into the land of light and joy, in the fellowship

of your saints; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the

Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Outreach - Red Bag Ministry

THANK YOU! Your generous donations have made a significant impact at the Charlotte County Salvation Army Food pantry. The team there expressed profound gratitude for your thoughtfulness. In light of recent challenges, including a significant portion of their pantry being compromised due to a contaminated food donation, your contribution has truly made a difference. The rise in food prices has led to an increased demand for food assistance, making each donation even more crucial. Your attention to detail in ensuring that donated items are safe and within their best-by dates is invaluable in supporting their mission to help families in need.

As many of you prepare to head north, please consider donating non-perishable food items to St. Andrew’s for the Charlotte County Salvation Army Food Pantry. Be sure to check the expiration dates on all donated items before dropping your donations in the church narthex. We will do the rest for you. Thank you for your continued support. 

Friday Fun Facts

No mere "Welcome Home" or "Mission Accomplished" party, the feast of the Ascension of Our Lord Jesus Christ forty days after He rose from the dead is, in a certain sense, the greatest feast of the year. That, at least, is the opinion of Blessed Columba Marmion (1858 - 1923), who wrote that the "Ascension is the greatest [of the feasts of Our Lord] because it is the supreme glorification of Christ Jesus." It was on this day that Jesus Christ, not with the blood of goats but with His own Blood, entered into the heavenly Holy of Holies and completed the final stage of our redemption before taking His seat at the right hand of the Father, where He continues to intercede for us.

Several superstitions grew up around the holiday, such as the belief that anyone who worked in the field or garden today would meet great misfortune, and that any clothing that has been touched by a needle on the Ascension will attract lighting and kill the wearer. Bizarre though they may be, these superstitions point to the importance of keeping the Ascension holy.

And keeping holy often involves throwing a feast. It was once a custom in Europe to eat fowl on the Ascension because this was the day the Our Lord "flew" to Heaven. Pheasants, partridges, pigeons, and even crows found their way to the dinner table. So what does it mean to eat crow on Ascension Thursday? Perhaps this is what the other apostles served Saint Thomas to tease him about his earlier doubts concerning the resurrection.

Bakers in western Germany chose a more delectable path by making pastries for the occasion in the shape of various birds. Finally, there is a firstfruits tradition for Ascension Thursday. In some parts of France, apple fritters (beignets aux pommes) are a popular choice.

Our Roasted Asian Quail honors the old tradition of feasting on a bird that can fly, and the Asian flavoring is an affirmation that Jesus Christ will come again from the East.

~ Dining with the Saints

Food for Thought

Jesus ascending into Heaven defies gravity, and the Spirit of God raises our spirits even when we are burdened and depressed. Today, think of the people who suffer from depression, and pray that God will lift them up. And don't forget to look to the Heavens as well. The old Collect for this feast sums up this outlook nicely, asking that just as we believe that our Redeemer ascended today into Heaven, we may ourselves dwell in mind amidst heavenly things.

Bible Studies

Tuesdays @ 8:30 a.m.

Small group conversation


Click for Men's Bible Study Link

Fridays @ 10:00 a.m.

Small group conversation

via zoom and in person

at Mo. Michelle's House (370 Gilchrist)

Click here for Women's Bible Study Link


The Sixth Sunday of Easter

May 5, 2024 @ 9:30 a.m.

To watch the service LIVE, click on the image below.

Click on the bulletin for the order of worship. To watch past services, click on the tab.

Click on the images above for the Live-Stream Link and Sunday Bulletin.

Click Here to Watch Past Services

Pastoral Prayer List

  • John Berley
  • Dennis Berry
  • Bill and Sandy Bertsch
  • Shawn Peterson Cain
  • Emily Clegg
  • Bob Corl
  • Hadley Cox
  • Betsy Dalrymple
  • Sue Embres
  • Gene Findlay
  • Tom and Bette Floyd
  • Pam Hannah
  • Jenna Larson
  • Kathy Litzinger
  • Priscilla Masselink
  • Bobby Parker
  • Jeanne Phillips
  • Maurice Price
  • Frankie Rediker
  • Hal Russell
  • Pat Ryan
  • Gislene Schurmann
  • Amy Staples
  • Stephanie Vick

Military Prayer List

  • Blaise Bess
  • Ben Constantinides
  • John Life Ikenberry
  • Colin Jackson
  • Karl Jackson
  • Anthony Kopp
  • Alex Lovo
  • Michael Manetti
  • Renier van Breen
  • Arch Wilson

Click Here to Submit Your Prayer Request