Tuesday, September 29

Blessing of the Animals

Join us this Sunday October 4th on the side lawn (Crawford Rd.) at 9:30 AM.  Family and friends (especially the furry kind) are encouraged to attend.  (This is part of the commemoration of St. Francis of Assisi in churches around the world)  "Well mannered" pets should be on leashes or in cages.  There is plenty of room on the lawn to spread out for a short service of thanksgiving followed by individual blessings of pets.  If you can;t bring your animal, feel free to bring a picture.  Small children can bring their stuffed animals too.

This is a great opportunity to meet newer people to our faith community or perhaps meet up with long time St. Andrew's folk with some very special members of the family.

People are encouraged to bring donations of pet food for the Animal House Pet Project which provides food assistance to rescue shelters and low income residents with pets.  

Friday, September 25

Who Is Jesus for Me?

"Is he simply a name?  An idea?  A person from history?  Or is he really someone who loves me?  Who gave his life for me and walks with me?  All that we have in this world will not satisfy our hunger for the infinite. 
We need Jesus; we need to remain with him, to nourish ourselves at his table, on his words of eternal life.  When we are attached to Jesus, in a true relationship of faith and love, we are not bound, but rather are profoundly free as we journey with him and through life." - Pope Francis

Monday, September 14

Life Long Learners - Faith Formation

Thank you, everyone who worked so hard up front and behind the scenes to make our Kick Off Sunday a great day.  Janice, Cindy, singers, Soulful Strings, members of the Hospitality team, Sunday School teachers and helpers, and other willing volunteers - well done good and faithful servants!

As we begin a new year of learning for our children and youth, we also want to invite adults to new opportunities to learn as well.  Throughout the year, on Sundays at 9:30, there will be at least two groups engaging in faith formation.

 During September and October, "Animate - Faith" will be meeting downstairs in Jerusalem Room  (to the right of stairwell leading down from narthex / lobby past lower lot entrance).
  Through video, discussion and group activities, we will be exploring challenging questions together.  Is faith something you just have or a quest?  What is the difference between being spiritual and being religious?  What is salvation?  How is the Bible different from other books? 

Upstairs in Daniel's Den (in office wing off narthex / lobby), we will be gathering for  "Messy Church: Paul's Letter to the Corinthians."
 This gathering could also be entitled: "Church: The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same."  Whether you have read this letter before or are fairly new to the Bible itself, this gathering will be a source of blessing and growth.

These gatherings are designed so that you can drop in any week and not feel like you are "in the middle of the movie."  So grab a cup of coffee and join us as together we are enriched in faith.

Tuesday, September 8

Fall Season Underway

Dear Friends,
 As many of of us adjust our schedules with the beginning of a new school year, so St. Andrew's adjusts to the routine of our program year.  This Saturday we return to our regular weekly service of Holy Communion at 5 PM.  This service is more intimate and little less formal with more spoken liturgy and monthly appearances by our acoustic group.   Begin to think about family members, friends, and neighbors who could benefit from Saturday worship.  We also return to our regular worship schedule on Sunday mornings as well.

8:15 AM - Worship in Outdoor Chapel (weather permitting) - Feel free to dress casually for this brief celebration around word, prayer, and song led by Soulful Strings.  You are welcome to use our benches or bring a lawn chair of your choice.  If weather does not cooperate, we will move inside.  (8:15 Worship returns to sanctuary on September 20). 

11:00 AM - Kick Off Sunday:  A simple but celebrative worship gathering, with guided liturgy for children of all ages, as we give thanks to God for his amazing grace and love in our lives. This service, about 45 minutes in length will lead us directly to our luncheon, provided by our Hospitality team.  We hope that many of you will be able to join us after worship downstairs in St. Andrew's Hall.  This is a great opportunity to enjoy a meal, reconnect with folks we haven't seen for much of the summer, and get to know some new faces as well.

As we begin a new program year, please keep in your prayers:
- The people and mission of St. Andrew's Church as we face many challenges and transitions in our life together. 
-  those who mourn the loss of loved ones
- the sick and home bound of St. Andrew's and our surrounding community 
- the unemployed and underemployed of our communities
- families experiencing broken relationships and in need of healing
- young adults away from home at school or in military service
- those whose lives have been devastated by terrorism and senseless violence
- Astrid Montes, our nursery school director and our entire staff as we begin a new school year
- our Sunday School teachers and students as they begin a new program year
- the churches of this community and our common mission to be the hands of God in the world. 

See you in church!


Pastor Mueller

Monday, August 3

Sources of Encouragement

Dear Friends,

One of the things that I love about summer worship at St. Andrew's is not being in such a hurry and having a little extra time to hang out in the narthex with folks from our faith community.  Repeatedly, I have been inspired and blessed by those members who seem to be a constant source of welcome, affirmation, and encouragement for others.  Even from a distance I can sense it in their words and posture and actions. Just from observations over these past few weeks, I pass along to you ways that we could all be powerful sources of hospitality, encouragement and grace for one another:

1.  Smile at people when you greet them.  Be at ease and let them feel your welcome.
2. Be generous with praise and cautious with criticism.
3. Be considerate of the feelings and opinions of others.  We can respectfully disagree yet carry out our mission together.
4. Be alert to give your time and talents away in service.  What we do with others and for others can be the means by which we are Christ to others and see Christ in others.
5. Write a note or send an e-mail of encouragement and support to someone who is hurting.
6. Believe in others.  Look for the good in people.  Accept and encourage their unique personalities and traits.
7.  Lift up those who are struggling in body, mind, and spirit through the power and promise of prayer.
8. Give God's love away in your words and actions.  See others as created in the image of God and look for ways that God is working in with and through them.  Point that out even if it is hard for them to see or believe.  This is powerful affirmation and Jesus has written hope in all of our hearts.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, as you practice embodying Christ's love more and more in church or in your home, challenge yourself to go and do likewise in your school or workplace or community that, together, we would make Christ known.  See you in church!


Pastor Mueller