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Showing posts from December, 2015

A Blessed New Year

Dear Friends,
 As we get ready to turn the calendar page and look forward to the promises of 2016, I want to thank so many of you for being such a blessing to our congregation and communities in 2015.

This year concluded in wondrous ways for our faith community.  Over three services on Christmas Eve, we had about 650 people praising our newborn king. 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 on Christmas Eve where we experienced overwhelming 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 we will celebrate the Epiphany 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.  Next…

A Blessed Christmas

Christmas Eve 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, 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 blessing to many guests, some who are coming through our door…

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…