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

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Tuesday, December 13

A Blessed 2017


New Year's Eve / New Year's Day
Services of Holy Communion at 5 PM on New Year's Eve and 10 AM on New Year's Day to accommodate holiday plans and celebrations.  Begin the New Year in praise and prayer!
Our regular Sunday worship schedule resumes on January 8  (Baptism of Our Lord) with worship at 8:15 and 11 AM, Christian Education at 9:30 AM.  








Thursday, December 8

Journey in the Wilderness

Dear Friends,

Each year in the Advent season, our assigned Sunday readings lead us to John the Baptist in the wilderness preparing the way of the Lord.  Wilderness journeys are significant in scripture including Elijah on the run,  the ministry of John the Baptist, Israel wandering for 40 years, and Jesus' temptation.  

The wilderness is a place of searching, the arena for answers about life, fulfillment, salvation, and prophecy.  The wilderness is a place that challenges us out of our comfort zones to learn more about who we are, who God is, what God's will is for us and the community around us, and what God has prepared for the next season of our lives.    If you are one of those people who feels like you are in the wilderness in this Advent / Christmas season, you are not alone.  Many have journeyed through this season in times of grief, doubt and confusion,  many have experienced tremendous growth through this difficult  pilgrimage, and many have gone on to be a rich blessing to others in their wilderness journeys.

Take time in this hurried and busy season to pray, to reflect, and to serve others in need.  Opportunities abound at St. Andrew's in the days ahead.  (Search for your December newsletter and ask how God may be calling you to worship, learn and serve).  Above all, know that the coming Christ is with us, for us, and going ahead of us to bring restoration, reunion, wholeness, and peace.  Come, Lord Jesus.

Grace and Peace,

Pastor Mueller