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February’s Newsletter

Dear Friends,

As we enter the second month of the new year, we need to be aware that we have lived through a historic year. As we continue into this year with the concerns and difficulties of the past year, let us be clear that we will continue to prevail, that we will continue to overcome, only with the grace of the Almighty God. As such, I will be teaching a Thursday night Bible Study on the nature and practice of prayer.

Henri Nouwen had a great quote about prayer and our responsibility to others. It goes like this, “When we say to people, “I will pray for you,” we are making a very important commitment. The sad thing is that this remark often remains nothing but a well meant expres- sion of concern. But when we learn to descend with our mind into our heart, then all those who have become part of our lives are led into the healing presence of God and touched by Him in the center of our being.

We are speaking here about a mystery for which words are inadequate. It is the mystery that the heart, which is the center of our being, is transformed by God into His own heart, a heart large enough to embrace the entire universe. Through prayer we can carry in our heart all human pain and sorrow, all conflicts and agonies, all torture and war, all hunger, loneli- ness, and misery, not because of some great psychological or emotional capacity, but because God’s heart has become one with ours.
During our time together on Thursdays, we will discover how to pray and do so more effectively. We will explore techniques of prayer as well. The Bible Study will occur on Thursdays which began on January 21 at 7:00 pm. As always, we will meet in person and also on Facebook Live. If you are unable to attend either in person or on Facebook, the Study will be recorded so that you can watch it at any time. The study will be emailed out and available on our website.

In addition to this, beginning this month during my Wednesday talks, we will be dis- cussing how Christian disciplines can help you to grow spiritually and how to effectively live in the times that we face.
And as we review, may we realize that we are to share these moments together as the Church. We do so with prayer and calls and cards and with deep affection. When we do this, we demonstrate that we are grounded in grace, living in love and growing for God here at St. Andrew.

Your faithful servant,
Pastor Mark

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