Over 30 months ago, the sanctuary of St. Andrew, New Bern, and other portions of the property suffered major damage from the multi-day pounding by Hurricane Florence in mid-September, 2018. With great joy and much anticipation, the family of St. Andrew is pleased to announce that they, along with other leaders and congregations of New Bern, celebrated the rededication of their sanctuary on May 23, 2021.
Both the 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. worship services included rededication and sanctification of this beautiful space. Guest preacher, the Reverend Connie Sassanella, graced our pulpit and assisted with the blessing of altar, pulpit, and font. During both services, the music was augmented by the Senior Handbell Choir, the Praise Band, Senior Choir, and additional guitarists for a special rendition of the congregational hymn, “Shine, Jesus, Shine.”
Because so many other New Bern churches also suffered damages, letters were sent out from St. Andrew inviting them to join in our joy and celebration. First Presbyterian Church and others responded and graced our sanctuary with their presence and voices. Both morning services were live-streamed on the church’s YouTube channel.
In the afternoon, an Open House was held from 4:00 – 5:15 p.m., with parishioners acting as tour guides for visitors. Points of interest were the narthex, chapel with its newly gifted stained-glass windows, columbarium, sanctuary, and Weeks Fellowship Hall, where refreshments were served. Members and non-member guests who came for the tour also had the opportunity to pick up a pack or two of face masks “for the next flu season.”
At 5:30 p.m., JT Ellenberger, St. Andrew’s Minister of Music, hosted a Hymn Sing, beginning with a brief history of how church music has changed since the 1500s and Martin Luther’s day. Visitors from multiple congregations as well as St. Andrew comfortably sat in the CDC-advised sanctuary seating. This service was recorded for future broadcast to serve those that could not attend.
By the grace of God, the St. Andrew family is back in their sanctuary, ready to not only worship therein but also serve their community by making this space available in the promotion of peace and understanding.