Monday, September 17

Always Growing

Dear Friends,
 
   I am so grateful for another outstanding weekend here at St. A's with a beautiful Saturday for a wedding (Congratulations Jen and Chris!) and then three spirited services led by our Senior High Youth and members of Soulful Strings, our acoustic group who often leads worship on Saturday evenings but this weekend even joined us for Sunday worship. It is so exciting to watch our youth grow in leadership, our youngest members of Soulful Strings developing so much talent,  and our youngest children in worship with smiles on their faces (especially enjoyed "Get Down" during the Children's Message at 11 AM).  One of the things that struck me as I worshipped, learned and served among you this weekend is the way that our faith community continues to grow and change. Yes, children and youth get taller and all of our faces change with time, but even the dynamics of the congregation continue to change with the influx of new faces, ideas, and programs.  The challenge for us as a congregation is to continue to make room for what the Spirit is doing in our midst and not get too locked down in  two modes of thought:
 
1. "We've always done it that way before."
2. "As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be."
 
    We are a congregation of rich and wonderful tradition.  May we be inspired to both treasure and reshape those traditions as we grow and change in lives of mission.
 
    I also want to encourage you to continue to grow in faith.  Our Sunday School and Youth programs are getting underway.  However, I  hope to see more of you to take advantage of different opportunities for adult education in the months ahead as well.  Here are just a few opportunities:
 
- Men's Breakfast: meets at Keystone Grill on Ridge Pike on the first Saturday of each month @ 7:30 for a hot breakfast and a brief Bible Study / devotion
- Breakfast Bible Study: meets in St. Andrew's Hall on the first Thursday of the month @ 7:00 where we enjoy a hot breakfast and study the texts that will be proclaimed on the upcoming Sunday
- Noontime Bible Study - meets in St. Andrew's Hall on the first and third Tuesdays of the month, currently studying the book of Hebrews
- Shannondell Bible Study (Bradford) - meets in Card Room on the third Thursday of the month @ 4PM (prior to dinner gathering), currently studying the Gospel of Mark
 - Shannondell Discussion Group (Ashcroft) - meets in Card Room on th fourth Tuesday of the month @ 4PM (prior to dinner gathering), beginnning a series on "Luther and his Legacy"
 
I especially want to encourage you to take advantage of Adult Education opportunites here on Sunday mornings @ 9:30 (same time as Sunday School):
 
"Promises, Promises" - Do I really do enough to have God's approval?  Will I ever be enough for God or those around me.  Our current series, meeting in Jerusalem Room (at bottom of stairs from narthex / church lobby) looks at the many places where God gives us the promises we truly need and assures us that we are enough.  Included in this series are the promises of Scripture, Baptism, Holy Communion, Confession and Forgiveness, Prayer, and Abundant Life.  Even if (and perhaps especially) you are new to the Bible or Lutheran understandings, this class will bring greater clarity to our understanding of God's amazing grace.  Plenty of time will be alotted for your questions and no question is too basic to ask.
 
"Nooma" - This video / discussion series, meeting in Daniel's Den (in office hallway next to narthex / church lobby), features teacher Rob Bell, who asks very thought provoking questions about the intersection of faith and daily life.  Earlier volumes of this series were used last fall and were very well received.
 
    Join us as we grow in our mission to lift up Jesus to the community in worship, education, and service.  See you in church!
 
Peace,
 
Pastor Mueller

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