The date was June 14, 1996, one of the hottest days of that summer!
The location was a very uncomfortable church (with no air conditioning) in
White Plains, New York. The occasion was my Ordination into the Office
of Word and Sacrament. I along, with five other recent seminary graduates
had hands laid upon our heads by Lutheran and Episcopal bishops with
hands of other clergy upon our shoulders. (The weight and the moment
were heavy.) God had won the wrestling match and my journey as a pastor
was underway.
So imagine my surprise when someone from St. Andrew’s Call
Committee remembered this important date 25 years later. Not to name
names (Cheryl Peiffer!), but this individual rallied our officers to surprise
me at the conclusion of our congregational committee. And what a joy it
was to remember and give thanks for this special day with a faith community
that has grown to be so special for me.
I want to thank our staff who has done far more than keep their heads
above water over the last fifteen months. They have been swimming strong
and, as I said at the meeting, make me look way better than I actually am. I
want to thank so many hard working and generous volunteers for making
more of a difference in the life of the community than they will ever know.
And I want to thank family and friends for surrounding me with their
support during some of our more challenging seasons of ministry.
So 25 years later I am standing in a very cool and comfortable,
renovated and expanded church with brand new air conditioning! I am
standing in the midst of people committed to lifting up Jesus in worship,
education, and service. And I am standing on Christ’s promises, that
whatever changes and challenges we face in the years to come, he promises
to be with us with power and grace, to give us what we need, and to bless us
to be a blessing to others. Thank you again for this wonderful celebration
and for being such a blessing in my life.

Grace and peace,
Pastor Mueller