Wednesday, April 19

An Easter Prayer

Holy and Living God,
You continue to confound  our expectations and surprise us with your redeeming power in our lives.  Come among us, risen Lord.  Reveal yourself to us that we may know with confidence that nothing in all creation, not even death, can separate us from your love.  In Jesus' name.  Amen.

A word of thanks to all of you who offered your hearts and hands and voices to a deeply moving Holy Week and a joy filled celebration of the Resurrection.  It was exciting to see an increase in attendance at special services throughout Lent and Holy Week this year, especially among those who are newer to our faith community.  Several people experienced the three days of Holy Week for the very first time and were so glad they did. 8:15 Worship  attendance on Easter Sunday was the largest we have seen in many years. Indeed hearts were touched and lives were lifted up through the celebrations of this past week. We are truly blessed. Continue to pray for those who were unable to be with us on Sunday, the sick, the struggling, the hospitalized, the homebound, and the dying.  Pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ around the world, especially those who are persecuted for the faith.  Pray for our faith community, that empowered by the risen Christ, we would be grounded in faith and growing to serve.  This Sunday in worship, we will be reminded of the ways that risen Christ meets us right where we are with his promises and his peace.  I am so grateful and incredibly blessed  to serve among you.  See you in church!
Peace,

Pastor Mueller







Monday, April 3

Easter Worship

Easter Vigil – Liturgy of Light, Word, Baptismal Remembrance, and Holy Communion at 5:00 PM
In this historic, deeply symbolic service, we are reminded of the great acts of God from Creation to Exodus to Resurrection.  God's saving grace is proclaimed, then light fills the church as that grace fills us.  Come and experience profound readings, wonderful music, and a first glimpse of the resurrection.

Easter Sunday – 8:15 and 11:00 AM:
With word and sacrament, prayer and song, choirs, bells, and brass, we rejoice at the empty tomb. Christ is risen!  He is risen indeed! 

   






Monday, February 27

Lent Begins

Dear Friends,
        At the heart of the Christian faith is the death and resurrection of Christ.  On one side of this event and it's remembrance are the 40 days of Lent (not including Sundays), a time of preparation for the celebration of our Lord's passage from death to life.  On the other side are the 50 days of Easter, a time of proclaiming and rejoicing in our redemption.  Right in the middle of it all is Holy Week including Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, the Easter Vigil, days in which our attention is riveted on Christ's death and resurrection.  The entire 90 days is best seen as a whole viewed from two sides, from the cross and the empty tomb, each incomplete without the other.  Listed below is a schedule of Lenten observances in the weeks ahead: 



Ash Wednesday Worship – This Wednesday March 1

Noon Time Devotion –
A brief service of scripture, reflection, confession, and imposition of ashes.  This is an opportunity for spiritual preparation and reflection in the middle of a work day.  This is also a good worship opportunity for seniors who do not venture out at night and pre-school parents and grandparents transporting children.

7:30 PM –
Worship with Imposition of Ashes and Holy Communion – including music from our choir and liturgy to prepare us for the 40 days ahead. 


Midweek Lenten Series 2017 (Wednesdays at 7:30 PM)

Lenten Midweek Themes 2017 (Reformation 500) – Luther's Small Catechism

2017 marks the observance of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation.  In honor of that anniversary, our Midweek Lenten Series this year is built around Luther's Small Catechism.  The Small Catechism was designed as a teaching tool of the faith, not just within the church but within the home. This booklet contains a simple explanation of the 10 Commandments, the Creed, the Lord's Prayer, and the Sacraments, as well as basic prayers for morning and evening at home.


March 8           Ten Commandments      Exodus 34:1-9,27-28

March 15         Apostles Creed               Ezekiel 36:22-32

March 22         Lord's Prayer                  Matthew 9:6-15

March 29         Holy Baptism                  Romans 6:1-14

April 5              Holy Communion           1 Corinthians 11:23-26


"Return to the Lord your God, for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love."  See you in church.

Peace,



Pastor Mueller


                  









Tuesday, February 21

Mountaintops and Valleys

Dear Friends,

 This upcoming Sunday, churches throughout the world who follow the assigned readings and festivals of the Church Year will be celebrating Transfiguration Sunday, the final Sunday before the Lenten season begins.  On this day, Jesus takes Peter, James, and John up  to a mountaintop to pray.   There they will experience an awesome vision they will never forget.  We need mountaintop experiences of our own, places to pray, and sources of strength for the valleys ahead.  We will also be following Jesus through the valleys during the season of Lent.  Our daily journey with Jesus will take us to:
    - quiet places of prayer
    - opportunities to feed the hungry
    - nights in lonely gardens and angry storms
    - the joy and peace of more mountaintop moments
    - instructions to care for ourselves and those around us
    - reminders that we are never alone but always in the power of the Spirit
    - assurance that Jesus meets us exactly where we are but never leaves us that way.
Join us this weekend as we gather around Word and Sacrament as our eyes are opened to the ways that Jesus transfigures and transforms lives.  See you in church!
Peace,

Pastor Mueller 









Tuesday, January 3

A New Year Together

Dear Friends,
 This Sunday we will celebrate the Baptism  of our Lord as we return to our regular schedule with worship at 5 PM on Saturday, Sunday Worship at 8:15 & 11 AM, and Christian Education on Sunday at 9:30 AM. We will also have our Annual Congregational Meeting following 11:00 AM Worship. The agenda for this important meeting includes the appointment of new council leadership for 2017,approval of our Endowment Fund Board Budget, a brief update on building plans, and consideration of  our 2017 Spending Plan.


 Also this Sunday we begin two new exciting adult education gatherings at 9:30 AM:


Animate: Faith Practices (meeting downstairs in Jerusalem Room)
An interactive introduction to central practices of our faith.  Topics include: Worship, Prayer, Food, Sacraments, Money, Service, and Community.

Gospel of John: Light and Life (meeting upstairs in Daniel's Den - office wing)
An overview of of the major themes of this profound Gospel, a guide for your own reading, and a source of personal growth (Many of our assigned readings in church  during Lent and Easter seasons  this year are from the Gospel of John.)

 Finally, I make a sad face as I inform you that Christmas decorations will start coming down this Thursday at 6:30 PM.  Time marches on and while admittedly it is not as much fun as putting the decorations up, the company is just as good.  If you would be willing to help, it would be greatly appreciated.

   
 A blessed New Year to all.  See you in church!
Peace,
Pastor Mueller
standrewslutheran.com
pray-as-you-go.org

____________________________________________________________