Monday, April 18

Spaghetti Dinner this Saturday

Mark your calendar for our annual spaghetti dinner presented by our youth this Saturday April 23 from 4 to 7 PM downstairs in St. Andrew's Hall.  Tickets will be available  at the door.  Invite family, friends, and neighbors for a wonderful meal together.  (Keep in mind that we have worship at 5 PM if you would like to combine church and a good meal).  Ticket prices are as follows:

3 and under - free
4-12 years - $5
13 - 64 years - $8
Seniors - $7
Proceeds will help our youth on their South Dakota Mission Trip this summer. Hope to see you Saturday!

Thursday, April 14

Out of the Dust

Dear Friends,

Last Sunday in worship, our first reading focused on the conversion of Saul, a feared persecutor of Christians, to Paul, the foremost of Christian missionaries.  You can read his "Road to Damascus" story in Acts 9:1-20.  On Sunday we read it and talked about it a little bit in a children's message at 11 AM but, beyond that, the Gospel reading got most of our attention.  However, reflecting on that text since that time, I thought about the following:

- How Paul must have felt like a failure as a religious leader and, at least initially, how so much of his training was in vain.
- How much guilt Paul must have wrestled with for everything he had done to the Christian community and how difficult it must have been to have his whole way of looking at faith and the world around him turned upside down.
- How terrifying it must have been to have lost his vision and to be completely dependent on people who saw him as threat and enemy
- How it is not only Paul who is changed by this experience but also Ananias, the rest of the Apostles, and eventually, by Paul's writings and the Holy Spirit, the whole Church.

There are times in our lives where much of what we once believed is turned upside down.  Times when we do not see the world around us very clearly.  Times when we must learn to trust even when it is really difficult.  Times when we feel like our work has been in vain.  Times when we feel like complete failures.

But like Paul, sometimes when we fail, we change.  And when we change, we grow.  And then others change too.  Sometimes when we fail, we actually become more resilient or more appreciative.  And sometimes out of the dust of failure comes new directions, new growth, new maturity, new life.  

We have a God who creates light out of darkness, order out of chaos, and life out of the dust.  In the seasons of life to come, may God raise you up out of those dusty places that you may come to trust that God is with you and for you and going ahead of you that you may know with confidence that you are not alone, that failure is not the ending, and that there are new chapters to be written by God's grace.  Continue the journey.  Trust the promise.

Grace and Peace,

Pastor Mueller

Thursday, March 31

Adult Education in the Season of Easter

Dear Friends,
Many thanks to all of you who volunteered so much of your time, resources, prayer, and love during Lent, Holy Week and a powerful Easter celebration.  Also, a huge word of thanks is extended for your financial support throughout the year and especially over these past couple of weeks where we experienced overwhelming generosity  The way you have opened your hands, your hearts,and  your voices has brought more blessings to people in this community and abroad than you will ever know. 
This Sunday the Easter season continues.Also this Sunday we begin new exciting adult education gatherings at 9:30 AM:

Romans - Paul's Masterpiece (meeting downstairs in Jerusalem Room)

Explore Paul's letter to the Romans, this incredible writing of Christian doctrine and practical instruction.  Whether you are familiar with this letter or are reading it for the very first time, this is a great opportunity to grow in faith.

Meeting upstairs in Daniel's Den, this small group will look at modern day issues pulled from recent headlines and then dig into Scripture for perspective and guidance
Inquirers Class (meeting April 10 and 17 in Narthex / Church lobby)
A small group for those looking for an introduction or refresher on Lutheran Christianity and also for those who have questions about the mission and ministries of St. Andrew's Church.  Come join us and also think about inviting others who are newer to our congregation or community.

Holy Week and Easter was quite an exciting journey for us as a congregation..  Now it's time to follow Jesus through this Easter season as we continue to celebrate the good news of Resurrection in our lives.  Christ is risen!  
Grace and Peace,
Pastor Mueller



Monday, March 28

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 yet again an increase in attendance at special services throughout Lent and Holy Week this year, especially among those who are newer to our faith community. Many 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 continue to grow in faith toward you and love toward others.  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!

Pastor Mueller

Thursday, March 17

Christ is Risen!

 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!