From Pastor Dave Dockweiler

To the Family of Faith at St Andrews,

Peace! I hope this finds you well. Now that Elizabeth is home our family is discovering our “new normal.” Thank you for your grace shown towards my wife Sarah, our children and myself during this challenging time. In our month and a half being parents of a NICU baby, we lived through the most difficult time of our lives. We are really glad it is over, thank you again for walking with us through this hard time!

          This time of year is naturally a time of introspection and reflection as annual reports are being turned in. I think we had a great year, even with the crazy of my baby coming 9 weeks early. Sarah and I are feeling more and more plugged into New York and continuing to learn about this new town. Above all, we have felt so supported by you! Looking forward I have excitement about the coming year.

          Our youth will prepare for and travel to Huston Texas to take part in the ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America) Youth Gathering. This will be a huge event, the last several gatherings have seen over 30,000 participants. The church youth, take over a city for a week of worship, service and connection. I am thrilled for those going and you are already in my prayers! In developing the theme “This Changes Everything” the planning team deeply reflected on the  book “Woo: Awakening Teenagers’ Desire to Follow in the Way of Jesus,” in which Morgan Schmidt identifies the three central desires of teens.

All youth desire:

Someone to become

Somewhere to belong

Something to do [that changes the world]

I believe these three points to be true not only for teens, but for people all along the age spectrum. In the coming year I hope to develop these thoughts through sermon series and teaching examples. In scripture we find Jesus always connecting with people as they are-yet inviting them to become someone more. We find Jesus reaching out to those on the fringes of society and showing (not just telling them) that they are included. Lastly, Jesus always brings his disciples on the journey with him, having them doing some of the heavy lifting. Jesus invites others into his miracles and into his work-he still is.

          I pray that in this place you have found a welcoming community that accepts you. I pray that in this place, you have found a place of belonging. I pray that in this place, we welcome you into the work that God is doing through this community of believers. We will open these themes up throughout the year, we will challenge each other to increase our welcome, our connection and our sharing of God’s work, for we are able to be the hands and feet of God in Yorktown Heights today!

See you on Sunday,

Pastor Dave Dockweiler