Monday, September 8

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, John, Cindy and 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 what 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 - The Bible" will be meeting downstairs in Jerusalem (to the right of stairwell leading down from narthex / lobby past lower lot entrance.
 Through video, discussion and group activities, we will be exploring such topics as how the Bible came to be, different kinds of literature in the Bible, differences between Old and New Testaments, differences between Gospels, and how to deal with difficult passages.

Upstairs in Daniel's Den (in office wing off narthex / lobby), we will be gathering for  "Lutheranism 101", including history of Luther and the Lutheran Church, key points of our theology and beliefs, our relationships with other Christians, and what difference it can make in our daily life.

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 2

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 5PM.  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 - Traditional Worship: On this "Kickoff Sunday", this will certainly be the more reflective service of the two as we use a traditional liturgy to praise the living God.  The Gospel text for this service is from our assigned lectionary readings: Matthew 18:15-20, a  challenging text for our life together.

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, our rock and refuge, for His constant presence and power 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 year in mission, please keep in your prayers:

-  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 new 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!

Peace,






Thursday, August 7

A Picture of Bear Creek Camp

Dear Friends,

In between parish visits this week, I am preparing to serve as chaplain at Bear Creek, our Lutheran Camp in the Poconos.  Many of our children and youth at St. Andrew's have already experienced an incredible week up there this summer.  A larger number from St. A's will be journeying there this Sunday after church (returning the following Saturday).
 Please keep us, as well as the staff of Bear Creek who have been serving there since early June, in your prayers.  Also, know that your donations, whether through Benevolence in your offering envelopes, direct financial donations to Bear Creek, or material donations (to be posted in a future newsletter) go a long way toward making a week at camp possible for one of our young people or a youth with financial challenges from another congregation.  Also, you are helping the broader church as well since so many church leaders identify camp as a formative experience that called them into church leadership (certainly the case for your pastor).  Below is a link to a youtube video from Bear Creek Camp that will give you a better picture of the adventure that awaits.  

If you are traveling in the days ahead, may God give you safe journeys.  For those of you who are in the area, I hope to see you on Sunday.

Peace,

Pastor Mueller

Bear Creek Video (click here) - http://youtu.be/Geuj4vwQRug



Monday, July 28

Give the Gift of Life (This Friday)

Dear Friends,
 
Just a reminder that American Red Cross will be having a blood drive st St. Andrew's this Friday August 1 from 2 - 7 PM downstairs in St. Andrew's Hall.  While we will accept walk ins, to avoid long delays, try to make an appointment by calling 1-800-RED-CROSS or by signing up online at redcrossblood.org.  Our sponsor code is standrews.  The blood supply tends to be particularly challenging during the summer months.  As you are able, please take some time out of your schedule on Friday to give this precious gift.



Monday, July 14

A Prayer for the Messiness of Life

Dear Friends,

I thought that I would pass along to you the following prayer from a former seminary classmate, colleague, and soon to be President of the Lutheran Seminary in Philadelphia. Dr. David Lose.  Recently, there has been a common thread found in many of my conversations with people in this faith community as well as family and friends.  Life is not always black and white and all too often filled with ambiguity.  And yet God continues to reign over that which He creates and renews and loves.

Dear Lord,

We don't always know the right or best thing to do.  When we face hard choices, give us eyes to see the best path forward and the courage to follow it.  When we make mistakes, forgive us.  When we are hurt by our choices , comfort us.  When we hurt others, help us to reach out to them in love.  Remind us that you still love us and call us back to this place that we may be forgiven, renewed, called, and sent forth once more as your beloved children.  In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.

See you in church!

Peace,

Pastor Mueller