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Showing posts from March, 2020

Worship Cancellations & Easter Hope

After discussion with our Church Council (a Zoom meeting last evening), a decision was made for St. Andrew's to continue to suspend in-person worship and scheduled events through the month of April. Top health officials and civic leaders in the state of Pennsylvania have indicated that April is likely to see a continued increase in the numbers of those affected by COVID19 throughout the commonwealth.  The most important thing we can do to slow the spread of this disease and thereby give those affected the best chance of receiving excellent medical care is to avoid gathering in groups.  Clearly, this was not a decision that was made happily as there is no single week more important to the St. Andrew's community and Christians around the world than Holy Week and worship that leads to our Easter celebration.  Nevertheless, in making this decision, St. Andrew's continues to follow Jesus' command to love our neighbors as ourselves by doing what we can to isolate the spread…

Sunday Worship - March 29, 2020

"I am the Resurrection and the Life"
 Clink link for video of word, prayer and song  from St. Andrew's.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ptEfYnObOUE


Weekly Update of Our Life Together

Dear Friends,
The Spirit continues to move among us as we find new ways to be church in the midst of a pandemic.  In this time of anxiety and uncertainty, Christ is with us, we are not alone, and we continue to be reminded that we are still powerfully connected.  We are so blessed to have a staff who remains creative, flexible, and resilient in these times.  Our phones, e-mail, and Facebook have been incredible gifts to keep us connected.  As this appears to be the new normal for awhile, we will be exploring the use of the platform ZOOM as well as Facebook Live in the weeks to come  as a means to keep our groups connected.  We hope that  everyone had a chance to see and share last Sunday's message which was taped in our sanctuary and uploaded to YouTube (and posted on our Facebook page and website in addition to the e-mail you received)  Our staff is planning to share the Word again this weekend along with music and prayer.
Again,  While we will not be gathering for in-person wors…

Free Devotional Book On Line

Don't miss out on the daily devotional, Christ in Our Home. For March and April you can subscribe to the publication free. Click the link below to sign up now. www.augsburgfortress.org/CIOHemail

Sunday Sermon - March 22, 2020

(Click link to sermon below) https://youtu.be/RtwPodlow8U
Lord God, you have called your servants to ventures of which we cannot see the ending, by paths as yet untrodden, through perils unknown. Give us faith to go out with good courage, not knowing where we go, but only that your hand is leading us and your love supporting us; through Jesus Christ our Lord Amen.   (from ELW Evening Prayer)


This Sunday's Gospel in a Time of Fear

Dear Friends,
As we get deeper into this journey together, as a community of faith, we offer this caution - resist panic.  This is not to say that there are not many reasons to be concerned because there certainly are.  We should not ignore the sound advice of medical professionals and health experts.  But panic and fear are not helpful.  Yet we will see panic and fear used to politicize when we need to be united or to stoke television ratings when we really just need the media to help us us calmly coordinate resources to manage this health crisis.  It is possible to respond to a crisis seriously and deliberately while maintaining an inner sense of calm and hope.  We don't have to understand absolutely everything about our circumstances and we don't have to always feel like we are in control.  This is part of growing in trust, our trust in God and in one another.  
This Sunday's assigned Gospel (for the 4th Sunday in Lent)  is an example of what happens when people's vie…

Pastor's Update - Worship Cancellations and What We Are Up To...

Dear Friends,
This will not come as a surprise to many of you but, in accordance with the directives of Governor Wolf for Montgomery County and the state of Pennsylvania as well as Bishop Davenport and the leadership of the Southeastern PA Synod,  public worship at St. Andrew's and all scheduled group gatherings will be suspended for the rest of the month. 
Our leadership continues to struggle with the ramifications of this for our congregation and community.  As I look at the world around me right now, I see some people who are panicking too much and other people who are throwing caution to the wind as if they know more than public health experts.  To be clear, many years ago, Seminary did not offer me  courses in crisis management.  We are in uncharted waters here and are making collaborative decisions as best we can erring on the side of caution.  We do not want to make life any harder, lonelier, or riskier than it needs to be.  
Again,  While we will not be gathering for in-per…

Your Sunday Sermon

Dear Friends,
I sent this out to our members through e-mail over the weekend.  However, since many of you may have more time to read and reflect these days,  it was time to share this with a wider audience.  I have attached a copy of the assigned Gospel Lesson for the Third Sunday in Lent.  As for the sermon, sometimes it is better to hear a different voice and some of you are probably tired of hearing my voice by now.  (I know I am!)  So after a very long Gospel reading below (be patient and read on!),and a reflection I have prepared, there is  an attached  video of Pastor Will Willimon preaching on the Samaritan Woman at the well.  He is a former Methodist Bishop and the former Chaplain of Duke University.  We have used his messages in our Thursday lunch time Bible study and I have quoted him several times in my own sermons, most recently on Ash Wednesday.  It's worth hearing and a powerful reminder of the God who meets us where we are and will use whatever handle God can find,…

St. Andrew's Worship - Cancelled Through March 22

Dear Friends, Like many businesses, community organizations, and churches in Montgomery County, we have been carefully monitoring developments in the spreading of the Coronavirus.  We have taken seriously recommendations from Governor Wolf, the CDC, some neighbors in the medical profession, and our brothers and sisters in Christ in other area Lutheran Churches.  
It has become clear to us that the situation with the virus is going to get worse before it gets better.  We do not want to put anyone at risk, especially seniors, small children, and those with other medical conditions. One of the most effective ways of lowering the impact and spread of the virus is through social distancing.  Therefore, in consultation with the officers and staff of St. Andrew's, it has been decided that we will cancel Worship and Christian Education in our building for the next two weeks (through March 22), giving us time to better see how this situation develops and then reevaluate how we will gather …