Tuesday, May 21

Memorial Day - 9:30 Worship Begins

Dear Friends,

For those of you who are getting through this week by looking forward to an extended weekend, rejoice that we have such a gift as we transition into beautiful weather and the summer months ahead.  However, I encourage you to remember to give thanks this weekend for the reason we have this holiday in the first place.  Let us give thanks to God for those members of our armed forces who paid the ultimate price for the freedoms that we enjoy.  Also, if you see someone in uniform in the days ahead, thank them for their service to our nation as well.

If you find yourself around a special meal with family and friends on Monday or if you find yourselves gathered around the barbecue, take time to say grace giving thanks for our many blessings.  Also, feel free to print out and read the following prayer as well:

Almighty God, you are our strength and our shield.  We give you thanks for the men and women of our armed forces, past and present, especially for those who have died while serving.  May their sacrifices serve the cause of peace, and may our nation be ever grateful for their service.  With your wisdom and strength guide our military's leaders, and give to your people a desire for justice and peace.  We pray in the name of Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.

We pray for safety in your travels and if you are in the area, we hope you will have the opportunity to join us for Sunday worship.  Remember that we begin our summer schedule this weekend with one service at 9:30 AM.  This Sunday, we will also have another installment of "Ask the Pastor"  as the message will be shaped by your anonymous questions about the Bible, Church History, Liturgy and Worship, St. Andrew's, or faith and daily life. Come with your questions or simply listen and learn from the questions of others.   

By the way, as we collect summer hymn requests for worship,  there were some that were requested repeatedly.  We will be singing one of them on Sunday (with percussion and trumpet) -  the Battle Hymn (Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory).  

A blessed week and weekend to you all.  See you in church!

Peace,

Pastor Mueller






Thursday, April 11

Christ is Risen! Alleluia!


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! 

    Participating in the upcoming services can only heighten your sense of joy when we celebrate the resurrection.  Think about family members, friends, co-workers, neighbors etc who could join you for one of these special services. 
   
As we approach the cross and the empty tomb in worship, consider the following questions: 
   
    - Christ humbled himself out of love.  Where might we need to be humbled for the sake of our brothers and sisters in Christ?
     - What needs resurrecting in our lives? 
    - What makes it hard to turn this over to God and trust that God will bring us, too, through darkness to light, through death to new life?

    Holy God, remind us of your presence with us when we stumble, suffer, or are afraid in any way.  Give us strength, courage, forgiveness, reconciliation, and peace.  Help us to be an encouragement and a sign of life to others.  Amen

    See you in church!

   Grace and  Peace,



    Pastor Mueller









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Monday, March 4

Lent Begins Wednesday

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 - March 6 - Come join us as we begin this season of renewal  seeking strength for our daily lives.

-  Noontime 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 (as well as those of you who work nearby and can take an extended lunch.

- 7:30 PM – Worship with Imposition of Ashes and Holy Communion (with music from Members of our Sanctuary Choir)

Lenten Dinners are held here at St. Andrew's at 6:30 PM. preceding our Lenten Services. We invite you to join us for fellowship and a hot meal before the service. There will be sign-up sheets on the bulletin board in the narthex each week with the menu posted. Please sign up so we know how many to plan for each Wednesday.

Midweek Lenten Series 2019 (Wednesdays at 7:30 PM)
  Parables of Grace
 Join us as we go deeper into the teachings of Jesus, parables with many possible meanings and parables that point us to love, forgiveness, generosity, gratitude, joy, and peace.

March 13        The Good Samaritan                             Luke 10:25-37 
  
 March 20         The Lost Sheep                                    Luke 15:1-7

March 27         The Pharisee and the Tax Collector       Luke 18:9-14

April 3              Sower and the Seeds                            Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23

April 10            The Mustard Seed                                Mark 4:26-34



"You awaken us to delight in your praise; for you have made us for yourself, and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in you" – St. Augustine





Wednesday, February 27

Transformed by 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!
Grace and peace,

Pastor Mueller 








Thursday, February 7

Keep On Fishing!

Luke 5:1-11  (This Sunday's Gospel  which I will not be preaching on - keep reading!)
1 Once while Jesus was standing beside the lake of Gennesaret, and the crowd was pressing in on him to hear the word of God, 2 he saw two boats there at the shore of the lake; the fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets. 3 He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little way from the shore. Then he sat down and taught the crowds from the boat. 4 When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, "Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch." 5 Simon answered, "Master, we have worked all night long but have caught nothing. Yet if you say so, I will let down the nets." 6 When they had done this, they caught so many fish that their nets were beginning to break. 7 So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both boats, so that they began to sink. 8 But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, "Go away from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man!" 9 For he and all who were with him were amazed at the catch of fish that they had taken; 10 and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. Then Jesus said to Simon, "Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching people." 11 When they had brought their boats to shore, they left everything and followed him.
There are some Sundays when we gather for worship and find some real treasures in our assigned readings (some Sundays not so much!)  This week I will be focusing much of my attention on the first reading but there are some lessons to be found in the assigned Gospel reading written above.
First of all, they had been fishing all night and came up empty.  I can only imagine the look on the face of Peter (a fisherman)  when Jesus (a carpenter) makes the "brilliant" suggestion of dropping the nets on the other side of the boat.  Have you ever had someone who knows absolutely nothing about your job try to tell you how  to do your job?  Don't you love that?  As silly (and unlikely)  as this all seems, I think that there is a point here.  Sometimes the tried and true, what we do over and over again doesn't work and we need to try something different.  This can be true of family life, work, the way we take care of body, mind, and spirit, our relationships, and the church.
Secondly, they are being asked to put out into deep water which is risky.  Sometimes playing it safe doesn't bring the changes we need in life.  Sometimes we do need to take risks and trust that God and people who love us will be there if we fail.
Next, there are those days when we just need to keep fishing.  We need to keep at it even in those seasons when it doesn't seem to be making a difference.  In good times and bad, we know our gifts and we know our calling and we remain faithful.
Finally, even though Peter  is fearful and sees himself as unworthy of the Lord's encounter and call, Jesus does not seem to be phased at all.  He tells Peter, "Do not be afraid" and then calls him to the new thing that God is doing in his life.  God knows our deepest needs better than we know them ourselves, God sees qualities and gifts in us that we don't always readily recognize.  God knows that there is so much more to our lives than anything we can see now.
How might God be calling you to love?  To forgive?  To strengthen? To trust?  To serve?  We gather as God's people to discern God's calling in our lives and to be reminded that we will have what we need to follow.  I am so grateful for the tremendous responsibility and wonderful privilege of being a servant leader among you and I look forward to what God is calling us to do and to be in the year ahead   See you in church!
Grace and peace,
Pastor Mueller