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Thankful and Blessed

Dear Friends,

I want to extend a word of thanks to those of you who were able to stick around for last Sunday's congregational meeting. We approved our spending plan for 2011, although not without some valid questions and concerns given the challenging economic times in which we live. We elected new church council members Bob Manley and Susie Conard. Ken Kissinger and Cheryl Peiffer were also approved for second terms. Other members of council are Diane Fels, Paul Hofgesang, Sandy Robinson, Andy Smith, and Cindy Vorauer. We extended a huge word of thanks to former council president Jim Kelsh for his leadership, particularly through the challenges of our recent pastoral transition. Our church officers for 2011 are Cheryl Peiffer - President, Jane Van Buskirk - Vice President, Karen Allen - Treasurer, and Colin McKeon - Treasurer. It is our goal in 2011 to train and empower new leadership for the future of St. Andrew's and our mission together.

In preparation for the meeting and our upcoming annual report, I attempted to prepare a summary of what I and the congregation have been up to over the last 11 months. This was a huge challenge because indeed there is so much happening and new initiatives still emerging. We are truly blessed as a congregation and I want to take a moment to give thanks for our staff who is a real treasure, the committed church council and committee members, leaders of new blossoming ministries, especially in music ministry and youth and family ministry, some very generous members, and some new faces who have really blessed us while having their own hearts touched by this faith community.
We are far from perfect (because we are human). We will continue to have financial challenges and from time to time there will be decisions made that are not favored by all or carried out in the way they hoped. However, like many congregations today, we are not embroiled in conflict, we are not being persecuted like churches in many nations, and we are not worried that our doors will have to close next year. We are truly blessed! I am excited about what God has prepared for us in 2011 as we strengthen discipleship, raise up new leadership, and welcome more people from the surrounding community as we lift up Jesus in worship, eduacation, and service. Pray for the mission of St. Andrew's that in the year ahead we would have the discernment to discover God's will for us and have the strength to do it.

Please pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ in other congregations who are going through many challenges. Pray for our members and families who are going through crisis or hardhip, preparing or recovering from surgery, or are suffering from illness. Those of you who are wrestling this nasty flu that is going around, stay home and rest. We will still be here when you are feeling better (Hopefully soon!) See you in church!

Peace,
Pastor Mueller

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