From Pastor Dave Dockweiler

In a few days we will celebrate and participate in the baptisms of two young people in our congregation. In the waters of baptism we are renamed by God, I often fail to fully comprehend what an amazing thing this is. We remember the stories of creation in Genesis in which God allows the first people to name the animals, and juxtapose this with God renaming us in baptism. We are named and we get to name! God shares in the identification process.

          We are told by all the gospel writers that in Jesus’ baptism the Heavens were torn apart and the visible Spirit of God descended upon Jesus. I pray that all of us see (or re-see) God coming into our world. As a community of faith, every time we baptize, we promise to be a part of the faith life of the person being baptized. Baptism, is an active thing for all of us. This is not something we just watch take place, worship at       St Andrew’s is a participatory event.

          We promise to pray for the baptized, we promise to take part in their lives. This is just one more way that God invites us into the miracles that God is up to. We get to take part in what God is up to! We will hear this again throughout the Easter season when we retell the stories of Jesus’ triumph over death, how the disciples are empowered to bring this news out of the tomb to the furthest corners of the globe.

          I want to thank each of you for participating in the lives of my children and all the young people of our congregation. It truly takes a village to raise a disciple. I also want to take a moment to thank all the folks who pitched in to assist others within our community during the severe snow storms that have rolled through the area in the last month. I saw Jesus at work through you as we came together to make sure that everyone had a warm place to sleep, a place to charge up and a hand to help.

          Sarah and I continue to love this place and love this church. It is a good place to be. It is good because you are good! You have reached out to check in on us, you have always made us feel so welcome and loved. Therefore, I know that we can show others the same kindness that you have shown us. First time visitors continue to trickle into our church as they have heard interesting things about our community. A first time visitor decides if they are interested in returning to a church in the first 30 seconds of walking in the door. Your outstretched hand of welcome is crucial, your smile to the

new face is more important than my sermon. You are the image of St Andrew’s and you are called to keep the message of God’s love flowing out of the tomb. Blessings on all of us as we continue this amazing work!

See you on Sunday,

Pastor Dave