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Showing posts from December, 2014

Getting Ready for 2015

Dear Friends,
As I begin to work through my lengthy to do list to get ready for a very busy January at St. Andrew's,  I need to pause to  give thanks for so many of the blessings of 2014 and look forward to the exciting opportunities that await us in 2015.  You, the people of St. Andrew's, have so much to do with our blessings -  past, present, and future.  We are truly blessed!
2014 concluded in wondrous ways for our faith community.  We had a beautiful Christmas Eve with hundreds of people worshiping our new born king, including many new faces and returning ones who we hope to see more of in 2015.  A big thanks to 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 during the month of December where we experienced overwhelming generosity from several of our members.  The way you have opened your hands, your hearts, and y…

A Blessed Christmas

Christmas Eve 4:00  PM - Family Worship A more informal worship experience with familiar Christmas carols, a fun retelling of the Christmas story using puppets, and some of St. Andrew's children participating in the leadership of worship.  This experience, designed to be less than an hour, is perfect for families with younger children, 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 ble…

A Voice Crying in the Wilderness

Dear Friends,

In the season of Advent, we hear voices crying in the wilderness.  The wilderness isn't supposed to have voices.  That's what makes it wilderness.  There's the howling of wild animals, the songs of a few birds, and the moaning of the wind, but not voices. Our English word wilderness means place of wild things.  The Bible's Greek word for wilderness can be more accurately translated as "place of abandonment."  The still more ancient Hebrew word for wilderness means literally "somewhere beyond words."
Most of us know that place beyond words, that place beyond what feels like home.  Words like layoff, downsizing, inoperable, terminal, divorce, accident, suicide can banish us to the wilderness, those places beyond words.  We then walk a road we we can't name in a place that is beyond description.  Perhaps this is what Jesus was experiencing as he used words of scripture, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" as even He…

A Love that Never Fails

Dear Friends,

Our lessons from the Hebrew Scriptures during the season of Advent remind us that, in many ways, God called  Israel as his chosen people.  However, we are also reminded that, sadly, Israel didn't always choose God.  At times, the relationship seemed woefully one sided.  More often than not, especially in times of trouble, distractions, temptations, and despair led people away.  Perhaps there have been times in your life when you felt like your relationship with God was that way too.
Yet for them and us, God's love endures.  Why?  Well, there are many parents who will tell you that when a child is disappointing and even sometimes disobedient, the underlying commitment remains.  And whether you are a parent or not, a broken heart is the price we sometimes pay for unconditional love.
In this holy season, we see God's love poured out as he sends prophets and then sends his Son in human flesh to dwell among us.  We see God's love from the manger to the cross t…