Thursday, March 22

Holy Week Is Coming

Looking ahead - We begin our journey from despair to hope, from darkness to light, from death to life.  Here is our worship schedule for Holy Week:

Palm Saturday / Sunday

Saturday Worship - 5 PM
We celebrate Christ's entry into Jerusalem, reflect on what he and the crowds experienced, and what those experiences may say to us in today's world. 

Palm Sunday - 8:15 and 11 AM
A triumphant processional, shouted hosannas, trumpets, bells,  and festive music from our choirs acknowledge Christ as king.  However, the procession will lead eventually not to a throne but to a cross where Jesus places our life ahead of His.
Maundy Thursday – 7:30 PM   
Tonight we are reminded that our life of discipleship is a life of forgiveness and servanthood.  In this brief worship experience, we are commanded by Jesus to love one another and we are united with Christ, with the saints, and with one another at the Lord's Supper.  This brings us great strength in our own life of discipleship.

Good Friday Service of Tenebrae (Darkness and Light) at 7:30 PM
 This deeply moving worship begins in light and ends in darkness. We gather around the word, prayer, and the cross,  the central sign of our salvation.

 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

Tuesday, February 13

Lent 2018

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 - February 14  - 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 have Valentine's Day plans!)
- 7:30 PM – Worship with Imposition of Ashes and Holy Communion

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.

Midweek Lenten Series 2018 (Wednesdays at 7:30 PM.)
The Lord's Prayer ~ A Guide to Daily Living

February 14 -  Hallowed Be Thy Name: Matthew 6:5-13 (Ash Wednesday)
February 21 -  Thy Kingdom Come: Luke 4:16-21
February 28  - Thy Will Be Done: Matthew 26:36-46 (Pastor Stickley)
March 7 - cancelled (snow)
March 14 -  Forgiveness Matthew 18:21-35 (Pastor Kochenderfer)
March 21 -  Daily Bread: Matthew 6:25-34 (Pastor Willauer)
March 29 Temptation (Maundy Thursday)
March 30  - Evil (Good Friday)
April 1 -  Kingdom, Power & Glory (Easter Sunday)

"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

Tuesday, February 6


Dear Friends,

The Eagles should not have won the Super Bowl.  Not a chance.  At the beginning of the season, no one predicted it and no one expected it.  Last year's record was mediocre at best.  They had a rookie quarterback and a rookie head coach who, while incredibly talented, still had a lot to learn.  No, they should not have won the Super Bowl.  And yet here we are.  This hard working, selfless, faith filled team has done the seemingly impossible and brought Philadelphia their first Lombardi Trophy.  How?  There are any number of reasons but I would like to highlight a few here:

1. Each player matters.  The injuries of their top players certainly mounted up.  Sproles, Hicks, Peters. Maragos, Sturgis, and then Wentz.  Yikes!  Everyone had to up their game.  Everyone on the team had a critical role to play.  Even injured players (with Carson Wentz leading by example) had a role to play on the sidelines to make victory possible.  Including QB Nick Foles, this confident "next man up" philosophy was trusted by the team.  The confidence and trust that they demonstrated in  God, in Doug Pederson and their coaching staff, and each other made the seemingly impossible possible.  

2. Selfless play - There is no "i" in "team"  (but there are two "i" s in "idiot")  and humility and self sacrifice was essential to the success of this season.  The Eagles set egos aside and wholeheartedly committed to the team.  Individual stats were not important.  Number of carries or catches or yards were not important - the score of the game was.  You simply play your best when called upon to play.  Sometimes you'll get to make great plays.  Often you will have to share the spotlight with others.  But you're clearly in it together.  When each person trusts and plays for the rest of the team, greatness is far more possible.

3. One game at a time - Coach Pederson instilled a culture that never looked beyond the game at hand, never underestimated opponents, and focused upon the immediate challenges that each position on the field had to prepare for and face.  Each game is it's own challenge.  No need to talk about or worry about the post season until you are there.  Now granted the Eagles enjoyed low expectations at the beginning of the season so at least for a little while were flying (pun intended) under the radar.  But once the Super Bowl predictions started, the key remained to focus on the challenge in front of you, live and work in the present, and let the future take care of itself.  How important this would be when injuries caused many around the Birds (media, fans) to start losing hope for the future.

Beyond football, perhaps there are some personal life lessons that we could take home from this amazing season.  Maybe there are things that we could strive to apply to our own lives at home, at work, at school, on the field or court in other sports, at church, and in the community.  Put others first.  Surround yourself with teammates you can trust and earn their trust too.  Keep your head in the present.  Let go of sorrow and regret from the past and anxiety and worry about the future.  Don't let the moment get too big for you.  In the words of Jesus, "Let the day's worries be sufficient for the day."    

Not every season will be special like this one.  We all journey through dark and difficult seasons of life as well.  May your faith sustain you through the victories and losses, the celebrations and laments, the laughter and the tears, and all that the years will bring.  Remain steadfast for the Lord is faithful and the crown of victory is prepared for us.

"Those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint." - Isaiah 40:31

See you in church!


Pastor Mueller


Wednesday, December 27

A Blessed New Year

Dear Friends,
 As we get ready to turn the calendar page and look forward to the promises of 2018, I want to thank so many of you for being such a blessing to our congregation and communities in 2017.

This year concluded in wondrous ways for our faith community.  Over four services on Christmas Eve, we had over 700 people praising our newborn king.   I have received many positive comments about the energy in the room at worship and especially the power, grace, and beauty  expressed in the music. A big thanks to Janice Stickley and our children and youth,  Marcella Curtiss and our choirs, Lynette Becattini for all of her work behind the scenes, and  all of you who volunteered so much of your time during the Advent and Christmas season.  Also, a huge word of thanks is extended for your financial support throughout the year and especially on Christmas Eve where we experienced tremendous 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, New Year's Eve, we will have one Worship Service at 10 AM (No Saturday worship)
Next  Sunday, January 7, we will celebrate the Baptism of our Lord as we return to our regular worship schedule with worship at 5 PM on Saturday, Sunday Worship at 8:15 & 11 AM, and Christian Education on Sunday at 9:30 AM.  

Also on  Sunday, January 7 we begin two new exciting adult education gatherings at 9:30 AM:

Forgotten God (meeting downstairs in Jerusalem Room)
The Holy Spirit is the least understood (and often forgotten) member of the Trinity and yet is that part of God that is closest to us and impacts us most directly.  Join us as we continue this fascinating study and exploration of our faith.

Psalms (meeting upstairs in Daniel's Den)
An overview of well known songs of praise, prayer, thanksgiving, lament, trust, and deliverance.  Our time together will include introductions to the structure of the Psalms, when and how many of these Psalms were used in ancient times, and how they inform our worship together today.

 Finally, I make a sad face as I inform you that Christmas decorations will start coming down on Thursday January 4 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.
 The month of December was quite a ride for us.  Now it's time to follow Jesus through the joys and challenges of 2018.  A blessed New Year to all.  See you in church!
Pastor Mueller


Monday, December 11

A Blessed Christmas

Christmas Eve

 10:00 AM -  Morning Worship 

Come join us for  familiar Christmas readings, beloved Christmas carols, and a special message from Pastor K who returns to St. Andrew's to preach this holy day.  Please invite family, friends, and long time St. Andrew's members for this special hour together.

4:00  PM - Family Worship
A more informal worship experience with familiar Christmas carols and many St. Andrew's children participating in the leadership of worship.  This experience is great for families with younger children (including a glow stick "candlelighting"), those of you who need to get home to prepare dinner, parties, and family gatherings, and those of you who are young at heart who will have your hearts stirred as we bring the innocent and wise together to praise the new born king.

7:00 and 10:00 PM - Candlelight Communion
Traditional Christmas Eve worship with familiar carols, special music from our choirs, soloists, and instrumentalists, the proclamation of the birth of our Lord, the celebration of Communion, and gathering with lit candles for the singing of Silent Night.  This is a night of reunion for many St. Andrew's families and an opportunity to bring welcome and blessing to many guests, some who are coming through our doors for the very first time.  Be sure to invite family members, friends, co-workers, or neighbors to join you for worship.  Come join us as we give thanks to God for the greatest gift of all, the life of his Son among us.
 Please keep in mind that there will be Christmas music before each of these services.  Come a little early to secure the seating of your choice and enjoy music of the season.  

New Year's Eve - Christmas Lessons & Carols - 10 AM
Celebrate Christ's birth in a simpler celebration around familiar readings and carols.  If we missed one of your favorites on Christmas Eve, there is a good chance that we will sing it on this day.
Our regular weekend schedule resumes on Saturday January 6 @ 5 PM and Sunday January 7  (Baptism of Our Lord) with worship at 8:15 and 11 AM, Christian Education at 9:30 AM.  
On behalf of our staff and Church Council, I wish all of you a truly blessed Christmas and a hope filled New Year.

Pastor Mueller