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A Blessed New Year

Dear Friends,
 As we begin a new decade together, I want to thank so many of you for being such a blessing to our congregation and communities in 2019.
This year concluded in wondrous ways for our faith community.  Over three services on Christmas Eve, we had about 600 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 during the month of December 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 Sunday, January 12, we will have our annual congregational meeting following 11:00 AM Worship. The agenda for this important meeting includes the appointment of new council leadership for 2020,and consideration of  our 2020 spending plan.

This Sunday we begin two new exciting adult education gatherings at 9:30 AM:

Why? Making Sense of God's Will (meets downstairs in Jerusalem Room)
This gathering will not back down from wrestling with difficult Bible passages and difficult questions of faith and daily life like these questions:When disaster strikes and millions are hurting, or when innocent are victims, where is God?  If God is all powerful, and if each one of us is a beloved child of God, then how can God allow tragedy and suffering to infest his creation? Come join us to be challenged and to grow in faith.

Accidental Saints (meets upstairs in Daniel's Den)
Based on the book "Accidental Saints" by  traditional but very unconventional  Pastor Nadia Bolz Weber, this study / discussion looks at the ways that God has a way of showing up and working in, with, and through the least likely of people, including you and me.  

In addition to these learning opportunities, if you or someone you know are interested in knowing more about St. Andrew's, Lutheranism, or the Christian faith, joinus in the narthex (lobby on January 5 & 12 @ 9:30 AM.  (Also, new members will be welcomed on Sunday January 19)

Our first Men's Breakfast of the New Year is this Saturday January 4th @ 7:30 PM at Keystone Grill on Ridge Pike and our Lunch Bunch Bible Study (who gathers on Thursdays at noon in St. Andrew's Hall to hear and discuss the Bible texts read in worship the upcoming weekend) resumes on January 9. 

Finally, I make a sad face as I inform you that Christmas decorations will start coming down on Monday 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.
   
 The month of December was quite a ride for us.  Now it's time to follow Jesus through the joys and challenges of 2020.  May you, your family, and friends know God's grace in this new year. See you in church!
Peace,
Pastor Mueller
standrewslutheran.com
pray-as-you-go.org

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