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


Monday, November 28

Christmas Cantata this weekend

A word of thanks to everyone who worked behind the scenes on this year's Advent Family Night.  What a wonderful evening for God's children of all ages.  A special thank you to our Director of Christian Education, Mrs. Janice Stickley and members of our Christian Education for their many hours this event.

We hope to see many of you here, along with family and friends, at 5 PM this Saturday night for our Christmas Cantata.  Join us for a joy filled hour together featuring special music from the choirs of St. Andrew's, the Christmas story retold, and beloved Christmas carols sung together.  This is a great way to get into the spirit of the season and an opportunity for those of you who will be traveling or have other commitments on Christmas Eve this year to celebrate with your faith community.  Bring family members, friends, neighbors, or co-workers for this special night together.

Also, mark your calendars for our Christmas pageant on Sunday December 18 at 11 AM.  
Christmas Eve Worship will once again be at 4, 7, & 10 PM and there will be one simple but joyous service of Holy Communion on Christmas Day at 10 AM,

Blessings in this Advent season and in all of your Christmas preparations.
Peace,


Pastor Mueller









Tuesday, November 22

Thanksgiving Greetings

Dear Friends,

As many of us prepare for Thanksgiving Day and the weekend ahead, I want to wish you a truly blessed celebration.  Many of you will be gathering with loved ones and, while likely eating way too much food (Enjoy!),  offering thanks for God's abundant blessings.  May your joy be full and overflowing tomorrow and throughout the holiday season ahead.

However, let us also remember that there will be others for whom this festive season will not be experienced with the joy of abundance, nor surrounded by family and friends.  Many thanks to those of you who continue to reach out to bless the homeless and hungry of our communities at Thanksgiving and throughout the year to make a difference in lives that are hurting.

The weeks ahead can also be a time of great sorrow for those who are grieving the death of a loved one.  Take time to reach out to those experiencing loss, honoring boundaries and their desire to take a step back from festivities when needed, but reminding them that they are not alone.  

The Advent season in the life of the church is one of both contemplation and joy, sorrow and hope, darkness and light.  This weekend we celebrate the First Sunday in Advent (no Saturday worship this weekend) as we wait with tenacity and hope for the coming of Christ in history, mystery, and majesty.

For those of you who are traveling this weekend, may your travels be safe. Blessings in this time of watching, waiting, and giving thanks.

Peace,

Pastor Mueller