Thursday, April 9

Dear church,

Please take a look at the attached picture, taken last night in North Wales after the pre-recording of our Good Friday music for the service tomorrow night (7:00 p.m.) Gretchen F. captured God’s finger in the form of a beautiful rainbow over our church, a sign of hope and everlasting beauty. Could there be a more beautiful symbol of hope? – Last night, our Jewish friends began the observation of Passover, which is the backdrop to everything that happens in Holy Week. If we came to church today, on Maundy Thursday, we would hear the story of the Passover from Exodus and the story of the Last Supper (aka Passover meal) from the gospels and the story of Jesus washing the feet of his disciples from the gospel of John. I really love that Holy Week and Easter usually fall in line with the Jewish Passover Feast, a reminder that we have so much in common, including a character who spoke fluently Hebrew (Aramaic). But there is more.   

As we go through our own Passover as a society, experiencing a loss of control even as we try to get this pandemic “under control,” we may be closer to Jesus than we ever have been during Holy Week. Of course, we all hope and pray that this mad spread of the disease may abate soon, we pray that we can go and visit our families again, that we can worship again, receive the sacrament, see each other…  It is not meant to be – yet – and it is not in our control. During Holy Week Jesus taught us that it’s best not to resist things you can’t possibly control. Allow God to be with you in that moment, even if it is a moment of confinement, loss or sadness. In the end, it will enrich you and prepare you to experience joy again. Today, I am also reminded of another servant of God. The German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer died 75 years ago today. Well, he was executed. By the brown shirts, (Nazis) in the very last days of the war. It was just after Easter that year. Bonhoeffer was a brilliant mind and he was able to write many letters from prison that have become fertile soil for discussion, reflection, and growth in the church. If you ever have a chance to read his letters from prison you will find a calm man who is amazingly at peace with himself, liberated even. Another example of a person who knew that he was not in control, but knew at the same time that God IS in control, no matter what would happen to him. It’s heavy stuff, I admit, but once you feel the “lightness of being” that results from letting go, you know that the cross and the Passover and all the heavy religious artillery is worth our utmost attention. It’s ultimately liberating!           

Today, we will have our noon Bible Study via Zoom.  Our topic for the upcoming weeks is Paul’s letter to the Philippians. Paul is a model for how to communicate long-distance because that’s what he did all the time. This letter to the church on Philippi, for instance, was written from prison. He knew a thing or two about social distancing. The material for the study was attached to yesterday’s email.  Here is the invitation link for the Bible Study via Zoom, today at noon:h

I would also like to remind you to send us pictures with Easter and spring images for our picture show at the beginning of the Easter virtual service on Sunday at 10:00 a.m. Please send your pics to Brian B. No later than tonight! Thank you!  

Tomorrow we will offer a Good Friday Service via Facebook Live at 7:00 p.m. As part of this service you will enjoy wonderful music recorded in our own Sanctuary, including a rendition of “Saw ye my Savior” with Liz A. on the organ, Kirsten O. playing flute and Gretchen F. singing.  Come join us!

Tomorrow we will also give you another opportunity to donate non-perishable food items to Manna on Main Street. Just like last week, simply put them on Lisa’s pick-up truck in the Parking Lot. They will be quarantined at Manna for two weeks and then be given to people who are struggling, and I imagine that’s an increasing number of people, due to unemployment, etc. You may bring your food bags between 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. tomorrow.

Yesterday, I received this very nice message from Kathy Anglim, one of our newest members:

“Thank you Pastor Andreas for your daily messages of Hope. They always lift my spirit and nourish my soul every time I read them.  We all need to be reminded that God is with us and He is just a prayer away.  The communication line is better than any cellphone service I know of. This is the most unusual Holy Week. Last year when Pastor Ed died so suddenly, I thought Holy Week would never be the same. It was one of those times when you remember where you were when you got the news.  He was an amazing man. Now this year the Coronavirus has caught our attention and that of the whole world. For me, it had been a time of looking beyond today and focusing on forever.  A time walk alongside Jesus on Via Della Rosa. A time to read God‘s Word and meditate on his journey to the Cross where He suffered and died for all of us. Yes, God does have the world’s attention. Thank you, Pastor and I look forward to more messages of hope, concern for others and God‘s Amazing Grace.” 

Love and blessings, 

Kathy Anglim

From our friend Christine Eberle, a Christian writer and presenter, is this link to a chat she had with Lynn Rosen of the Open Book Bookstore in Elkins Park.  The topic was:  “Observing Easter 2020 from Home.”  Here is a link to the 11-minute chat.  

For today I would like to ask you to pray for Stephanie D.’s brother Michael L. She jokes that she married Tom for his nice, short name. Her older brother Michael is hospitalized. He has been dealing with pancreatic and liver cancer and has been through a whole ordeal of surgeries, kidney dialysis, etc., just a very, very tough journey, you can imagine. He is married but has no children. Please say extra prayers for him today!

Birthday congratulations today go to…

Linda B., Stuart M., and Joyce C. Happy birthday to you all!

Be blessed and be safe, Pastor Andreas Wagner

Wednesday, April 8

Good morning, church!

In my devotion this morning I contemplated a Bible verse that we’re familiar with; it’s been set in music and liturgy many times. The verse comes from King David’s Psalm of repentance, which is also a familiar text during Lent: Psalm 51. There, David prays the following prayer: “Restore to me the joy of your salvation and sustain in me a willing spirit.”  According to the stories of the Old Testament, David composed this psalm after he had made a huge mistake in his life (putting it mildly), committing a particularly disgusting form of adultery. From a position of power, he ordered the beautiful wife of one of his commanders to his chamber (while he was at war) and she became pregnant. He then had his commander killed to cover up his deeds. The Bible, as you know, is pretty realistic and straightforward about humanity’s foibles and abuses. In the aftermath, David becomes an example of what it means to repent, to be remorseful and sincerely change your ways. This psalm is just one example.

Well, why am I leading you deep into scripture’s dark secrets this morning? It’s because I believe this is a time for repentance and renewal for all of us – and since we are in Holy Week, we of all people ought to take this to heart. Let me also explain this some more, because I feel that this could be easily misunderstood. You might say, “Why do innocent people suffer and die from this virus? What have they done?”  And before you get all worked up, let me make clear that I don’t believe in a God who sits up in the clouds and decides to teach humanity a lesson, collateral damage and all. That’s old-time religion, as far as I’m concerned. No, but I believe that the God who created this world and who is mysteriously present in all of creation, will and always has allowed bad things to happen to us. Very often those bad things will give us an opportunity to learn, to become better people, to gain deeper insight into life, to have salvation restored among us. I believe this is such a time! The keyword for repentance in the New Testament is the Greek word metanoia, one of my all-time favorites. It literally means “a change of thinking”. I pray that this painful crisis will change minds for the better. Will we re-evaluate our relationships with one another? Will we see the importance of a spiritual anchor in our lives? Will the human race renew its relationship with the earth and repent from egregious abuses of “Mother Nature”?  (Because it hurts all of us in the end!) It is Holy Week:  let us pray for our collective ability to have our minds renewed (metanioa)!!!

“Restore in US (no pun  intended) the joy of your salvation and sustain in US a willing spirit!”

I promised you some instructions and ideas for this year’s Easter celebration, four days from now. We would like you to participate in making this a special time during the longhouse quarantine days of this month.  For one, we ask you to send us a few pictures of your family or your home with Easter and spring images. It could be a single person in front of some spring flowers or a family with Easter eggs or whatever. Get creative. Please email them to Brian Brenfleck. Brian, who has been working hard on the technology end these past weeks (I spoke to him last night. He is still happy to do it!), will use the images for an Easter picture show that we will stream at the beginning of the 10:00 a.m. FaceBook Live Service on Sunday, with Bob and Carol providing the background music. Please send your pictures to Brian by Thursday night (that’s tomorrow!), so he has time to process it. Wouldn’t it be nice to see some familiar faces on Easter? Speaking of familiar faces: we will also host three different Easter Morning Zoom Café’s after the service, from 11:00 until 11:30 a.m. The hosts will be Bernie Heinze, Jenn Bodolus and Brian Brenfleck. You will receive the invitation links tomorrow or on Friday and they will again appear in my email on Sunday. We’d love to see you!!!

Our youth had a wonderful Zoom Meeting last night with 19 participants. They played games from afar and had a nice old silly time. Tomorrow, I will host again a Bible Study. This one will also be via Zoom. All you need is a computer, laptop or I-pad to participate. Everyone is welcome. We will have a Bible Study every Thursday at noon. Our topic for the upcoming weeks is Paul’s letter to the Philippians.  Join our Bible Study via Zoom on April 9, 12:00 noon. Contact Pastor for details.

Today, April 8, is the birthday of Elizabeth D. and Benjamin C.  Happy birthday to both of you!

Today is also the Baptism day of Sarah Wagner (2001) and Nathan Heilman (2018). Happy Baptism Day!    

Speaking of Baptisms:  We had four Baptisms scheduled in April and early May. These Baptisms will be postponed and will hopefully take place this summer. Once we are able to make plans again (we are not there yet), we will.

For today, I would like to ask your prayers for all people who deal with anxiety. In many cases, especially when it relates to children, anxieties are exacerbated during this time because children feel that something is big going on (no kidding!) that the adults can only partly explain to them. And even the adults who deal with anxieties are having a hard time. This quarantine, not being able to see and touch other people, relatives, family friends, etc. only makes it worse. Especially if you know some people who deal with anxiety (I know several in our congregation), please pray for them today, pray for peace and pray for God’s soothing presence to find them where they are. May God bless them in body, mind, and soul!   

I have so far six willing volunteers for our St. Peter’s Devotional Book project. Surely, there will be more!

  Be blessed and be safe,

Pastor Andreas Wagner

Tuesday, April 7

Good morning, dear church,

You know that you are going through a crisis when your almost 90-year-old mother-in-law calls, worried that she hasn’t heard for days from her family in that Pennsylvania “hotbed” of the virus, Montgomery County.  Of course, it’s not that bad here, compared to New York, New Jersey, and other places, but “grandma” lives in Lycoming County where there are more deer than people, and she has been contently living by herself in her old Victorian for decades now. She sees the news and numbers from Montgomery County and gets worried. Two of her four daughters live here. I assured her that we are fine. Mothers never stop worrying, do they?

But you also know it’s serious when you start to know people who are infected with the virus. Yesterday, Ethan Geehr called me and let me know that his mother Lois had contracted it. Lois Geehr is a wonderful lady.  She lives in the Nursing section of Springhouse Estates. Married to the late Pastor Frederic Geehr (who died last year), she always brought something special to the church community. I still have one of her art pieces depicting Baptism in my office. She and Fred loved art and music and were passionate singers. When we had Adult Forums in my early years, Lois always contributed some amazing insights. No wonder, for years she had worked for a Christian Publishing House and proof-read the works of famous or not so famous theologians, including Walter Bruggeman, which may not mean anything to most of you, but trust me, he is one of the greats. I told my visitation deacons the following story, which really touched me. Back in January, when I saw her in person for the last time I was somehow going through a “down” time. I didn’t think I was wearing it on my sleeve, but who knows? In any case, in the course of our short visit, she suddenly turned to me with the Sixth Sense of a pastor’s wife and said to me, “Are you taking care of yourself? You know, pastors need to take care of themselves too.”  She had never said anything like that to me in my many visits over the course of years, but this one was timed perfectly! Somehow the Holy Spirit had guided her! Now, before you get all worried, I will let you know that she has had the virus for a number of days and has shown only mild symptoms. Let us pray that Lois pulls through this! As you know, Nursing homes are especially vulnerable right now, not just because they house the most vulnerable population, but also because of the proximity of residents, patients and the medical staff in closed quarters.  Let us pray that Lois pulls through this!

Like many of you, I continue to wonder how this crisis may shape or change our society. The short and true answer to that is of course: we shall see! Might we experience a major shift in our value system? Yesterday, I read one of those letters to the editor in the Inquirer. In ordinary times, I would read his letter and forget about it, thinking that these things will NEVER change. In these times, maybe he does touch on something bigger and maybe we are more ready for it??? Here are his remarks:

“Dr. Anthony Fauci makes $ 335,000 a year for managing the coronavirus pandemic, while Joe Girardi will earn 10 times that amount to manage the Phillies. The average salary of an ER doctor is $ 275,000. Patrick Dempsey was paid $ 400,000 per episode to play a pretend doctor on TV. Le Bron James is paid $434,000 per game.  Whom would you rather have at your hospital bedside at this moment?…

Will we have a parade down Broad Street with a million people to honor the health care workers, civil servants, grocery workers and many others who are the true heroes in our society right now? What we really miss is each other. It’s people that matter, and maybe when this is over, we should reassess the people that really matter in our society.” (Ray Graboski, Harleysville)                         

This week we are busy preparing for a wonderful virtual service for Easter. We will have some conversations today and after that, I will let you know how you perhaps can play a part in it.  By tomorrow I will have suggestions and instructions. 

I also have another request for those of you who like to write and reflect. Our Adult Faith Formation Team discussed this in our last meeting (3 months BC – Before Corona Virus), and I think this is as good a time as any to initiate this long term project. We are looking for any number of people (my goal is 30!) who would be interested in writing a reflection about a Scripture verse. The larger goal is the creation of a St. Peter’s Devotional Book with a devotion for every day of the year (365). My thinking is that we will accomplish this over the course of three years and the participants will write four or five devotional pieces per year (more if you like). I will create a list of about 250 different scripture verses broken down into various themes. The rest will be scripture verses that people choose themselves. In any case, I don’t need to get into detail here. At this point, I would simply like to know: who is interested in this? Who would write for us? And if you are interested but you aren’t sure you can do it, please try! If it isn’t for you, you can back out. (I promise!) I am interested in as many different voices and styles as possible. So, please let me know… and by late April all those who have responded will receive instructions. Remember: we are the little church that does big things!     

Finally, here is something for our church facemask brigade. One of the most difficult things to find is elastic. Below, Karen Sayuk shares how you can make elastic yourself.

Be blessed and be well! May God’s peace be with you!

Pastor Andreas Wagner

Hope you and the family are doing well. I have come up with a homemade elastic since regular elastic is unavailable. Perhaps the St. Peter’s Sewing Brigade might find it useful.

1. Cut a strip of stretchy cotton knit fabric to a width of 1.25 inches (JoAnns Fabrics has plenty)

2. Fold the two sides into the center and press

3. Fold the strip in half and press

4. Insert in sewing machine and sew with a stretchy form of zigzag stitch

5. See zigzag stitch on my machine

6. Use homemade elastic exactly like regular elastic to make masks

7. Finished masks with homemade elastic / does go through the washer fine

Monday, April 6

Good morning, dear friends and church members,

This Holy Week is unlike any other we have experienced. We have been told to brace for the worst this week in terms of the toll of this pandemic. And so we do. We stick to our homes as much as possible. We try not to watch TV or follow the developments all the time because it only makes you crazy. We try to stay calm, go about our lives, and take to heart the old adage, “This too shall pass.” We pray for loved ones far away and those that are nearby, but weirdly far away during these times. We make phone calls. We face time. Some of us are busy making home-made masks and passing them on to those who need them most. Some of us are hard at work with our normal jobs, just in not so normal ways. As we enter this week, I would like to once again put this in perspective and remind us all that the human family has been through much, much worse with considerably less knowledge about how to fight a danger like this.

Some 12 years ago I read John Barry’s book, “The Great Influenza,” an account of the Influenza outbreak of 1918/1919. It’s a great book, I recommend it. Our experience has often been compared to that historic pandemic, and rightly so. It was a monster and by conservative accounts took the lives of 50 million people worldwide (at a time when the population globally was one-third or one-fourth of today’s). This came in the aftermath of a war (WW I) that took many, many lives, yet not nearly as many as this disease!!! We still don’t know where exactly it originated. Barry seems to favor the Kansas theory, which he explains in detail. But does it really matter? People still called it the “Spanish” flu and other names, attached to other countries, just as people have called this the “Chinese” virus. (They also suspected biowarfare and things like that.) It doesn’t matter, right? We have to deal with it, and we do, as best we can under our circumstances. Fortunately, we know a lot more about the enemy we are facing right now and how it spreads and how we can keep our communities safe. Please follow the rules for public safety! Barry wrote in his Afterword 16 years ago (the book was published in 2004) the following assessment, which is pretty close to what experts are telling us now: “So, even with all the medical advances since 1918, the CDC estimates that if a new pandemic virus strikes, then the US death toll will most likely fall between 89,000 and 300,000. It also estimates a best-case scenario of 75,000 deaths and a worst-case scenario in which 422,000 Americans would die.” Barry also wrote that experts were expecting a major pandemic to strike again at some point. We were due for one. Almost precisely 100 years after the Influenza pandemic, here we are, better prepared than our forebears who gathered in funeral processions and prayed together in churches, unknowingly and cruelly spreading the disease, but still (we are) woefully under-prepared.

One hundred years seems like a long time, but the way our collective memory is passed on still gives us some access apart from mere history books. Last week I spoke to Mary Ann Landmesser. She is one of our deacons. Mary Ann shared with me a precious childhood memory from her days growing up in Brooklyn. Also, don’t let her fool you – she is not that old, she just retired a year or two ago. In other words, she’s a spring chicken! I asked her to write her memory down for me because it intrigues me, and she did. I hope you enjoy this little tidbit of a story from one of our own members.  

   “In 1958 my parents purchased a small apartment house in Brooklyn. The house came with a lovely tenant who lived above us named Mr. Ridgeway. I was 12, I don’t know how old Mr. Ridgeway was, but to a 12-year-old, he was “old.”  Mr. Ridgeway was a perfect gentleman.  He dressed well and always wore a fedora.  He knew about “social distancing” back then!  He always tipped his hat (even to me) whenever he greeted us.  We knew he went to work and to church every Sunday.  He did not have a lot of visitors besides his sisters (who were as polite as he was).  When he passed away (I was probably 14 or 15), his sisters cleaned out his apartment and put all his diaries in a box and put them in the basement next to the trash cans (that everyone in the house used).  Well, I thought that as long as they tossed them out, they were free for me to read.  I honestly did not expect to uncover any secrets about Mr. Ridgeway’s life.  His diaries were exactly as we had known him.  He had entries about what he did every day and most of his entries were about church, church events, birthdays, people who invited him to dinner, etc.  But there were many entries about friends and acquaintances who were now “in the hands of the Lord” because of influenza.  I really did not even know what influenza was!  I knew about measles, mumps, whooping cough, German measles, and chickenpox – but not influenza.  Later in life, I realized that he was writing about the great influenza of 1917-18.  Had I not read his diaries, I probably would not even remember his name today.  But over the years I thought about him and all the people who succumbed to that disease.  (I was right about his age – he WAS old!)”

As you noticed, we had some technical difficulties with our Live-Stream service yesterday. For some reason, Facebook blocked us several times, viewing us as SPAM. We were finally able to get in and started the service 20 minutes late. We had several pre-recorded music pieces in our service. A number of churches pre-record the entire service, which cuts down on the possibility of technical issues creeping up in real-time. We prefer to do a live stream and will only go the pre-recording route if the problems persist, which I don’t expect.  You can still view the service on our St. Peter’s Facebook page or just listen to some of the beautiful musical pieces separately. For this Holy Week, we are going to stream one other service at 7:00 p.m. on Good Friday. We will also continue our Thursday noon Bible Study, either via teleconference or Zoom. More about that tomorrow.

For today, I would like you to join me in prayer for a person you don’t know, who is a dear family member of Gail Turner. Gail and her husband and son run several small family businesses (mostly automotive) in Ambler. Like most everyone who runs a small family business, they work very hard. I am glad that Gail and her daughter-in law and granddaughter still make it to church pretty often. She shared with me that her daughter’s mother-law, Eileen J., is gravely ill.   

“Good Afternoon Pastor Wagner,

I would love to add Eileen J. to the prayer chain. She is my son-in-law’s mother. A little history about Eileen. She adopted and raised four children, all grown now. Three were from South Korea and one from Russia, how very special does that make her. She was diagnosed with stage three cancer. At the beginning of February, before she could even get a treatment, she had to be admitted into the hospital… A few days later she has fluids between her lungs and chest cavity. They drain the fluid but have to do a procedure that burns her tissue in order to produce scar tissue so the fluid can’t build up. Phew, I can’t even imagine going through this. And now she has the corona virus. That is a lot for anyone to go through and she has to go it alone. She has never gone home since being admitted to the hospital…”

So please, St. Peter’s family, pray for Eileen J. today.

May the Lord help her to get better!

Today we congratulate Amy M., whose birthday is on April 6. Happy birthday, Amy!

All of you, be blessed and be safe! Pastor Andreas Wagner

Sunday, April 5

Good  morning, church!

Today we observe the Sixth Sunday of Lent, also known as the Fourth Sunday of the Quarantine. (Good Lord, I hope we don’t have to get into double digits here…)

It is Palm Sunday, also called the Sunday of the Passion. In ordinary times we have full church services today as we prepare for Holy Week. These are not ordinary times, I don’t need to remind you of that. You will find worship resources here in this email and attached. The PDF includes lyrics of the songs. Please join us for the Facebook Live service at 10:00 a.m.  You don’t need to be a Facebook user in order to get access. Just go on our website, click the icon for Facebook (F) and join us. It is as simple as that.

A few important things for today:

  1. In conjunction with stricter social distancing rules and in order to keep everyone healthy, we are no longer gathering in small groups in the Sanctuary for the Facebook Live services. Instead, we are using technology to bring in people from various locations. For this Sunday we pre-recorded several music pieces. You will hear Paul Baloche’s rendition of the Hosanna, sung by Mia Woods.; the traditional Palm Sunday hymn “All glory, laud and honor,” sung by Roy Schmidt and Mia Woods; and “the Palms,” sung by Roy Schmidt.  These pre-recorded pieces will be broadcast at various times in the Facebook Live stream.
  • Expect a few delays and glitches.  We have worked on this all week long and feel pretty comfortable with it now. We want to thank Brian Brenfleck and his family for guiding us through the technology and solving (keep your fingers crossed!) the various challenges that come with the territory whenever you try new technology. Our Worship Team for this week consists of Kirsten Olson and Roy Schmidt, Brian Brenfleck, Jennifer Bodolus, Martha Heinze, Mia Woods, and the Wagner family. All but Martha and Jenn will be zoomed in from their homes.
  • After the service (10 a.m.), you may drive to church and pick up palms, distributed safely by Martha Heinze in the church parking lot. (From 11:00 until 11:45 a.m.) Please enter from Church Street (the upper parking lot) and exit via Montgomery Ave (lower parking lot). There will also be a place where you can drop your offering, the famous miniature church, set up for drive-through donations!            
  • As we continue church through these unprecedented times, with our staff working no less than before, please remember to send in your offerings. Many people are using their envelopes to mail-in donations, which is wonderful. The mail gets checked every day. You can also use the on-line donation link on our home page. And remember: we will get through this, no doubt.
  • We will have one extra service this coming week, on Good Friday, April 10 at 7:00 p.m., again via Facebook Live and with emailed worship resources. More about this tomorrow.     

Many blessings to you today. Virtual hugs from your pastor!

Andreas Wagner

Palm Sunday Virtual Service

Greeting: Mia

Opening Prayer:  

Martha:  Dear heavenly father, This year is unlike other years, But like every year we bring palm branches to your church. We remember Jesus’ walk to Jerusalem, His entrance to the Holy City, His week of suffering and dying,  And the fickle responses of the people, Unsteady and brittle, like leaves in the wind.

Roy: Dear Jesus, This year is unlike other years, And so we come to you with our worries and concerns: For friends and family, for neighbors and those on the frontlines, For people in urban centers like New York, New Orleans,  Chicago, Los Angeles and Philadelphia, For the poor in the slums of the world’s mega cities, For the elderly and vulnerable: Have mercy on us, all of us!

Mia: Dear Spirit of God, This is not an ordinary year, So please give us wisdom and give us strength, Give us compassion and give us your healing power, Give us the heart and humility to learn From our mistakes and shortfalls. Help us grow from this disaster As a human family. Come, Holy Spirit, and bless us with your healing power! Amen

Music:  Hosanna by Paul Baloche, sung by Mia

Reading:  Philippians 2: 5-11, read by Roy

5In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: 6Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; 7rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross! 9Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. 

The Gospel:  Matthew 21: 1-11, read by Mia

1As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, 2saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me. 3If anyone says anything to you, say that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away.” 4This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet:  5“Say to Daughter Zion, ‘See, your king comes to you, gentle and riding on a donkey, and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’ ” 6The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. 7They brought the donkey and the colt and placed their cloaks on them for Jesus to sit on. 8A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” ”Hosanna in the highest heaven!” 10When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, “Who is this?” 11The crowds answered, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.” 

Hymn:   ELW 344  All Glory, Laud, and Honor

Message: Pastor Wagner

Music: The Palms by Faure, led by Roy Schmidt  

Blessing of the Palms        The palms are set in a vase on a table in the front of the church. 

Jenn and Martha: These palm branches remind us of Jesus’ entrance into Jerusalem. We bless these palms for all who are going to struggle in the coming weeks. We bless these branches for all who are going to offer help to others. We bless these branches for all who are getting bored and for all who are overwhelmed.  May these branches be a sign of hope in times of uncertainty, May these branches be a sign of Christ in times when the church is scattered. May these branches remind us of the opportunities And blessings that we also experience Now and in days to come. Amen.     (invitation to pick up palm branches between 11 and 11:30 a.m.)


Martha:     Dear Lord, in this time of crisis and quarantine, we pray especially for those in our community who live isolated in Nursing Homes, apart from their family and loved ones and separated even from their neighbors in the dining room. Bless them during these trying times!  

Jenn:     Dear Lord, in this time that is unlike other times we have experienced, help us to be patient and careful. Bless especially those who serve the sick, who administer medication, who work in hospitals and Emergency Rooms. Keep them safe and help them to keep us safe. Bless them during these trying times!

Martha:    Dear Lord, we pray for the poor of the world who are much more vulnerable to this disease, who often share small living spaces, drink unclean water and have little access to healthcare. We are saddened that we haven’t found ways to make the world more just for all. Be with them and bless them during these trying times!

Jenn:    Dear Lord, we pray for our leaders on the national and local level. Help them make the right decisions for public health. We pray for all educators who are trying very hard to provide a good education for children and for people in college. Be with them and bless them during these trying times!

Closing from the Wagner residence

Person One: God says:  Be still and know that I am God.

Person Two:  Be still and know that I am.

Person Three: Be still and know.

Person Four: Be still.

Person Five: Be.   

Lord’s Prayer

Our Father,  Who art in heaven,  Hallowed be thy Name.  Thy Kingdom come.  Thy will be done on earth,  As it is in heaven.  Give us this day our daily bread.  And forgive us our trespasses,  As we forgive them that trespass against us.  And lead us not into temptation,  But deliver us from evil.  For thine is the kingdom,  The power, and the glory,  For ever and ever.  Amen.

Benediction May the road rise up to meet you. May the wind always be at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face, and rains fall soft upon your fields. And until we meet again, May God hold you in the palm of His hand. Amen

Saturday, April 4

Good morning, church!

As we get closer to the eye of the storm here in our area – just yesterday the governor issued a recommendation for all Pennsylvanians to wear masks in public – let us begin this day (and yes, it’s a Saturday!) with a prayer:

“God, we ask that all who are affected by this virus be held in your loving care. In this time of uncertainty, help us to know what is ours to do. We know you did not cause this suffering but that you are with us in it and through it. Help us to recognize your presence in acts of kindness, in moments of silence, and in the beauty of the created world. Grant peace and protection to all of humanity for their well-being and for the benefit of the earth.”  (From the Center of Action and Contemplation)

Before I forget, I’d like to send birthday wishes and congratulations to the following people who celebrate today in the intimacy of their homes and with only their closest family members around: Vincent A., Jimmy B., Shelby M., and Bryn P. April 4 is a popular one in our congregation. Be blessed, y’all!

Our council convened on Wednesday night via Zoom, mainly to review safety precautions for few staff members and core volunteers who still perform important tasks in the church building, at least from time to time. The mail gets picked up and processed, bills are being paid, donations are counted, abbreviated programs and sermons are sent to our home-bound members, things like that. Usually there is no more than one person in the building. We are also further reducing the number of people present in the sanctuary for our Live Stream worship services on Sunday morning. Tomorrow, for the Palm Sunday celebration, we will include pre-recorded music. It just makes sense to have as few people as possible in any closed room – even at “safe” distances – at this time. I will send my message from home tomorrow morning. I would like to thank Brian B., Ted R. and others for working with us on solving all the technical problems that come with the territory. Whenever you try something new and technology is involved, kinks have to be worked out. As you know I am a technological wizard (NOT), and all I can do is pray that it will work tomorrow morning. Please join us for the Live Stream, once again on Facebook Live at 10:00 a.m.  We will also distribute palm branches drive-through style between 11:00 and 11:45 a.m.  Please enter via 2nd Street and exit on to Montgomery. A person with safety gloves and a socially distanced dinosaur (don’t ask) will hand you your palm or palms. I can ensure you that the palms have been sitting untouched at church for weeks now. The palm distribution is just one of those little things we feel we can do to make the day special.  There will also be a donation area (the miniature church) that you can drop offerings into, drive-through style.

At a time when we witness a lot of suffering, when many of us experience anxieties and get overwhelmed with somber news, let us keep in mind that suffering is and always will be part of the human condition. Thinking otherwise is wishful thinking and simply not true. Suffering is also, unsurprisingly, a universal theme in the world’s religions. We Christians emphasize it during Lent and Holy Week, which begins tomorrow. Keep in mind that this time of Lent and Holy Week is never a simple commemoration of Jesus’ death and dying. By reading the Passion texts we are all drawn into Christ’s experience that new life and resurrection come via experiences of dying and loss. It may seem very counter-intuitive, but I believe it is true and is a big reason why the cross is such an important symbol for us. I also believe we will see the truth of this principle realized as we get through this current crisis and learn from it. I wanted to share with you (again via Richard Rohr – credit to whom credit is due!) a Buddhist legend that explores suffering. “

“According to [a Buddhist] legend, there once was a woman who sought out the Buddha after losing her baby to illness. Crazy with grief, she asked him for medicine to bring her son back from the dead. He replied that he would give her this medicine if she brought him back a white mustard seed from the house of a family that had never experienced death. The woman went door to door, searching for a family untouched by the loss of a loved one. Of course, she could never find such a family. She realized that death touches everyone. And in realizing the universality of grief and death, her suffering lessened.” 

Finally, please join me in prayers today for Donna L. She is one of the people on our prayer list and is currently in a Rehab Center in Quakertown. She has been battling an aggressive brain tumor. Just recently she had the tumor (mostly) removed from above her brain stem in a procedure at St. Luke’s in Bethlehem. Donna grew up in North wales (on 6th Street). As a young parent, she was very involved in our church, raising three children here. She was the Sunday school teacher for some people who still are members of our church. Donna has been through a very painful and isolating journey of sickness and rehabilitation, often spending long periods of time alone. I sent her a pizza from a Quakertown pizza place two weeks ago and she really enjoyed that. The food in the facility is not, well, let’s not get into that…  But please, do keep her in your prayers, especially if you know her.

Last but not least, below are some more instructions for making face masks at home, which came to me via Anita B. The recommendations are from a Baptist Church in West Chester. I know too little about it to endorse these recommendations but I’d like all of you who are making masks to see and review it…

Be blessed and be safe! Pastor Andreas Wagner

Friday, April 3

Good morning, church!

Sunlight is streaming through my window and onto the plants I have been grooming. Some of them are already sitting in the little greenhouse outside that my family gave me as a Christmas gift a few years ago and will be transferred to the garden within the next two weeks. The ones sitting on my window sill right now are mostly Basil and Zucchini plants.  It’s a good time to grow some stuff at home if you can. There is nothing like fresh garden vegetables! When we moved here about 15 years ago and for the first time in my life I had a pretty substantial plot of land to work with, I started almost immediately to dig out a garden. I must admit, initially, I felt like an outsider. Our suburban neighborhood was full of well-groomed lawns, shrubs, and trees, mostly taken care of by professional landscapers and mostly designed to be low-maintenance for the owners. Most neighbors are either too busy to work a garden or they don’t see a point – you can buy all that stuff in a store, right? And it’s a lot of work! For me personally, the garden has always been a therapeutic place. There is something about working with the earth itself, the soil, the joy of seeing things grow. And the two English words “soil” and “soul” are etymologically related for a reason.    

Right now, my little plants remind me of the wonderful properties of sunlight. It’s what makes them grow so fast. In the Bible, as you know, light has special symbolic significance. This morning I was contemplating a verse from Ephesians 5: “Live as children of light – for the fruit of the light is found in all that is good and right and true.” I find it helpful to begin the day with prayer and contemplation and not right away with the news of the newest Corona Virus caseload. It keeps me spiritually grounded and calm. But I was also thinking that sunlight, this wonderful gift from God and power of the universe, is an even bigger gift right now. Most of you will no doubt know that sunlight on our skin produces “vitally” important Vitamin D, which is one of the most effective immune boosters. You can buy it in the store, but as daylight time increases, your body will produce it quite comfortably as long as your skin is exposed to some sunlight. Sunlight is also a natural disinfectant that will kill most germs if they are exposed long enough to the cleansing power of the light.  Why am I writing about this? Well, let us appreciate the natural gifts around us and let us keep calm as we face together something that is bigger and scarier than what most of us have experienced in our lifetimes. Still, every day the sun rises and sets (from our point of view) and the planets spin around the sun as they have done for ages. There is something bigger out there.  

Over the last couple of days, I have found out about more people (all women!) who are making facemasks at home.  By now the public health advisories are actually tilting toward using masks, but most importantly we are well aware of the shortages on the frontlines, in hospitals and healthcare. Can you imagine being a dentist right now? They are re-scheduling most appointments, but some emergency procedures can’t be postponed. So, masks are needed in so many places. And we were not prepared for it. Most countries are facing a shortage of basic medical equipment. I spoke to Sharon B. a few days ago. She serves on our council and has raised her four (now adult) children at church. Sharon retired a few weeks ago. I said to her, “Didn’t you retire just in time?”  Well, she is using her retirement time to make face masks now. She gets supplies from Joann’s Fabric and makes 5-8 masks a day, passing them on to local hospitals and medical facilities. I spoke to Inge C. yesterday. She has been living at Brittany Pointe Senior Living Community for many years. If you know Inge, you know a person who radiates positive energy and vitality. She is involved in many activities in her community and right now her quilting group is singularly focused on making as many face masks as they possibly can. I know that Lynda C. is busy at home making masks, as is Karen S. It all feels like an old-fashioned wartime effort, making gear for the boys and girls on the frontlines, in this case, medical workers. Thank you all for doing this!!! I am including again some places that I’m aware of that accept and need facemasks. For the information, scroll all the way down to the end of this email.

Today (it is Friday, may I remind you!), we are collecting food for Manna on Main Street again. We decided to keep on going with our weekly food drive on Fridays between 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.  We will not bother counting the food items, we just want to help out our local food bank in Lansdale as much as we can. When you come to church with your food bags, please put them directly onto Lisa’s brown pick-up truck. She will deliver them to Manna (thank you, Lisa!) and the bags will be in quarantine at the facility for two weeks and then help re-stock their supplies and keep food on the table for needy families and individuals in our area. With the unemployment rising and government checks probably not coming for a few weeks, that’s another good thing you CAN do.

We also decided to keep our Thursday noon Bible studies going. Every Thursday at noon you can join us for one hour for study and conversation about biblical texts. We will tackle one of Paul’s smaller letters and study one chapter at a time.  I will give you more info about that, including whether we will do it via teleconference of Zoom. Stay tuned!

For today, I’d like to encourage you again to pray for our healthcare workers and everyone on the frontlines of caring for the sick and dying in the nation’s epicenters like New York and many other places. They are so much more exposed than the rest of us and they are often making incredible sacrifices. Please also pray for the wonderful Doctor Anthony Fauci, who has worked marathon hours to give expert advice to our President and government and also the general public. He is exhausted, I read, and is finally getting more than five hours of sleep. He needs it. He served under so many presidents, going all the way back to Jimmy Carter. May the Lord bless him and sustain him! He is in my prayers today.

Palm Sunday is around the corner. It will feel eerily different. But we will once again do our best to feed your souls during this time with home-worship resources emailed to you at 8:30 a.m., a Live streamed service at 10:00 a.m. and a safe drive-by distribution of palms between 11 and 11:30 a.m. on Sunday morning.

Be blessed and be safe!

Pastor Andreas Wagner


For instructions on how to sew a face mask, check out these
YouTube videos:$iA (pattern with a slot to insert filter)
Drop off masks between 8 am and 4 pm or mail to one of these
Liberty at Home 7002 Butler Pike, Ambler, PA 19002
Artman 250 N. Bethlehem Pike, Ambler, PA 19002
Paul’s Run 9896 Bustleton Ave., Philadelphia, Pa 19115
The Hearth at Drexel 238 Belmont Ave., Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004
The Village at Penn State 260 Lions Hill Rd., State College, PA 1680
The Manor at York Town 2010 York Rd., Jamison, PA 18929

Thursday, April 2

Good morning, church!

Did you see my perfectly timed April Fool’s Day joke to myself yesterday? I guess the good Lord instigated that one! Only after talking to folks at a conference meeting last night did I realize that nobody had received my daily email, and when I checked, I saw that I had sent it to my own address in the morning. Sweet! The joke is on me!

One theme kept coming back in my conversations and interactions with people yesterday: we are not in control of this. That theme is also one that Richard Rohr ponders in his daily meditation for today, and since he says is better than I could possibly say it, let me share two short paragraphs with you:

“To be in control of one’s destiny, job, or finances is nearly an unquestionable moral value in Western society. The popular phrase “take control of your life” even sounds mature and spiritual. It is the fundamental message of nearly every self-help book. On a practical level, it is true, but not on the big level. Our bodies, our souls, and especially our failures teach us this as we get older. We are clearly not in control, as this pandemic is now teaching the whole planet. It is amazing that we need to assert the obvious.”  …  

“For many of us, this may be the first time in our lives that we have felt so little control over our own destiny and the destiny of those we love.  This lack of control initially feels like a loss, a humiliation, a stepping backward, an undesired vulnerability. However, recognizing our lack of control is a universal starting point for a serious spiritual walk towards wisdom and truth.”  

Indeed, not being in control, not being able “to do something,” can be very frustrating and a number of people mentioned that yesterday, especially in the context of family members they are worried about. I imagine that is happening to a lot of people right now. I am now aware of a few people who have been exposed to THE infection, who have been tested or have family members who have been tested positive for the Coronavirus. Tom B. is a looong time member of St. Peter’s. I believe he is one of the few people in our current congregation who was baptized in church as a baby and has more or less lived in this town his entire life. He is a member of our choir and a wonderful individual. He lives in his grandfather’s old house in the borough and if you live there too, you may see him walking the dogs from time to time. Tom wrote this:    

“You called while I was away and when I didn’t recognize the number in the caller ID, I didn’t answer my cell phone. I was in Riegelsville with my friend Len P. In the last two weeks, he has lost a sister to a heart attack and a brother to Covid19. The sister lived in Florida and the brother lived in rural NY on the Canadian border. Apparently Covid19 is EVERYWHERE. Len is understandably upset and I was helping him out.”

Tom and I talked afterward and apparently Len’s brother and sister were both in their upper 80’s. Thankfully, they lived a long life. But as I mentioned in my sermon last Sunday, grieving is one of the most difficult, awkward and unreal experiences to go through right now. So many funerals are postponed. And virtual services can never even be close to “the real thing.” We are after all social animals and there is nothing like love expressed through physical presence when you are upset and need comfort from loved ones. It is a very sad time for people losing a friend or family member during these weeks. We all should reach out to them however we can, whenever we are aware of something like that.

Our friend Steve M. is another person who was born and raised in our town and has been an active member of the community for a looong time. Steve identifies as a Quaker. He was raised in the Gwynedd Friends community across from the William Penn Inn. His father was a pharmacist in North Wales.  Steve is most knowledgeable about the history of our town. Last fall he led a walkthrough North Wales with almost 40 people. It was a fascinating 90-minute walk and throughout the entire time, Steve was telling stories, some that he actually remembered from his childhood (that place over there, that used to be…), some that he knew from book knowledge. I believe he could have easily led us on a four-hour tour with material to spare. How did Steve, a Quaker, become part of our church family? It happened like it always happens, you know. Through connections and relationships, in this case, his friend Jean P. They had attended school together in North Wales. And once Steve got the feel of St. Peter’s, he kept coming back on Sunday mornings. He too is a wonderful person. Yesterday, he wrote this to me:

“Yesterday my brother apparently had another stoke. He has stage 4 cancer he has been battling for a long time. He is in no pain and immediate family is with him in-home hospice. You feel so helpless. I can’t go to Lancaster County to be with him. I would be pleased if you pray for Dave and his family. Dave’s wife Judy was a member of St. Peter’s many years ago and I think sometimes played the organ. Thank you for always being a wonderful good Shepard of your flock. Steve”

So for today, I encourage you to focus your prayers on the following… If you are worried about people in your family or circle of friends and perhaps have good reason to worry, please try to remind yourself, as difficult as that may be, that you are NOT in control and try to bring your worries to God and leave them in God’s hands. (“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7).  If you are doing relatively fine, please focus your prayers on those in our community (like Len and Steve) who are worried or grieving or anxious, anyone you can think of. This notion that we are not in control is a much bigger lesson that we are being taught right now, but it still comes down to individual situations and how we handle them. God is here with you, in every situation, in every emotion.

The theme that we are NOT in control was echoed again last night when I talked to our St. Peter’s Global Outreach Team (SPOT). We had great and ambitious plans for this year, all good stuff, but much of that is on halt, like so many other things. We just had to say: we are not in charge here. We have to wait and see. It will all happen in God’s time.  

A few other things:

Number One:  We look forward to the Palm Sunday Service, virtually of course, and live-streamed via Facebook. After worship, there will be a safe handing out of palm branches drive-through style. The branches will only be touched by one person wearing gloves and handed to you. You should enter the parking lot via 2nd Street in the upper parking lot and exit on West Montgomery, on the lower end of the parking lot. A dinosaur will also be at hand to oversee the procedure. This will be from 11:00 – 11:30 a.m.

Number Two:  Our Bible Study today is again at 12:00 noon. And once again we will do this via teleconference. Contact pastor for the call in number.

Number Three: For the month of March our income was down by about $ 3,500. We, of course, expected a financial impact resulting from no public worship services at church for most of the month. It could have been worse, frankly, but it could also have been better. We encourage all of you to do your part of financial stewardship by sending your donations via envelope/mail or online giving (easy to find on our website). In the greater scheme, I have absolutely no doubt that we will pull through this together.   

May the Lord bless you and keep you;

May the Lord shine his light upon you

And be gracious to you;

May the Lord look upon you with favor

And grant you peace!

Pastor Andreas Wagner

Wednesday, April 1

I am starting to go crazy!!! I sent this in the morning – to myself!!!

Joke is on me.

Good morning church!

It is April Fool’s Day, and to tell you the truth, I am in no mood for jokes today.  I know, I know, some comic relief has helped all of us in the last few weeks to ease the increasingly somber news we have been receiving. But underneath it all, it is concerning. More than concerning. I read somewhere that the “sunniest” projections of the death toll in the United States caused by the coronavirus will exceed the casualties from the Korean and Vietnam wars combined (not counting the wounded, disabled and traumatized from those wars of course). It is disturbing, to say the least. Somewhat guiltily, since I am cooped up at home, I follow the challenges that healthcare workers, doctors, and nurses are facing in the urban epicenters of the disease where social distancing is hard to practice and where supplies for protective equipment run low. As a society we have often used the word “hero” for soldiers and war veterans; I think these doctors, nurses, and aides are very much heroes and heroines. But as one nurse in an urban hospital in Berlin said, “I don’t care about your hero talk.” She was angry. The conditions were such that she felt extremely vulnerable, even in a country that hasn’t suffered as much as many others. From my conversations with Vietnam vets over the years, I know that they know the feeling. Many of them felt that they were not sufficiently protected, that they were not made aware of certain known dangers, that they took a hit for the decisions of higher-ups. This could easily lead to a bitter blame game, which I am not interested in. But, as I have said so many times: we have an opportunity to learn from this as a society and I hope by God we will.       

In my thoughts and meditation this morning I was led back some 25 years ago when I interviewed for the pecking order of calls in my church in Germany. Funny, how your thoughts wander sometimes, isn’t it? The situation in 1996 was that we had more candidates than calls in my church. The interview would help establish who got a full call, a call with two years delay or a part-time call. Nervous times! We were interviewed by a small group of people consisting of church hierarchy and lay leaders. They looked at my answers and responses critically and gave me a not so great review, which dropped me down into the second group and eventually led me to this different land called USA where they needed pastors at the time. I wasn’t interested in a two-year delay. I wondered afterward about the reasons for the poor review and there were probably many. One of the things I thought was a factor was an innocent little question. (Hint: there are no innocent little questions in interviews!) “What book have you read recently?” The question, I believe, was intended to check whether the candidate also had a more leisurely side, would know how to relax, be human and not all serious. I promptly ran into the trap. I said, “I just read Neil Postman’s book, ‘Amusing ourselves to death.’” … “It’s a really good book, which puts up a mirror to our society.” The panel was not impressed. They probably would have preferred if I had told them about a Steven King novel or some nice gem from the latest literature.  However, and this is why all of this came back into my memory lanes, that book by Neil Postman is still exceedingly relevant. If you are interested in lessons for our society to learn from this outbreak, Postman’s book and his 35-year-old appeal to society is not a bad place to start. In those days (I’m a child of the ’80s) many people were talking about George Orwell’s book 1984, which he had written in the 1930s (I believe) as a science-fiction vision of a totalitarian world. People were talking about it. School teachers were discussing it with their classes. It was in all the literature sections of the newspapers. So, Postman was referring to it.  If you are not bored by now, please read this small excerpt from his foreword and think about its relevance for us. (If you ARE bored, you can skip…)   

“We were keeping our eye on 1984.  When the year came and the prophecy didn’t, thoughtful Americans sang softly in praise of themselves. The roots of liberal democracy had held.  Wherever else the terror had happened, we, at least, had not been visited by Orwellian nightmares.

But we had forgotten that alongside Orwell’s dark vision, there was another–slightly older, slightly less well known, equally chilling: Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World.  Contrary to common belief even among the educated, Huxley and Orwell did not prophesy the same thing.  Orwell warns that we will be overcome by an externally imposed oppression.  But in Huxley’s vision, no Big Brother is required to deprive people of their autonomy, maturity and history.  As he saw it, people will come to love their oppression, to adore the technologies that undo their capacities to think.

What Orwell feared were those who would ban books.  What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one.  Orwell feared those who would deprive us of information.  Huxley feared those who would give us so much that we would be reduced to passivity and egoism.  Orwell feared that the truth would be concealed from us.  Huxley feared the truth would be drowned in a sea of irrelevance”.

I am truly, truly interested in what you think, but frankly, I think we as a society have too long drowned in a sea of irrelevance, focusing so much of our energies on distractions and not paying enough attention to what truly matters. Sorry, church panel from 25 years ago!   (I had to get that out!)

What do you think?

Our church council will convene tonight via Zoom conference call and I will keep you abreast of any decisions that may be of relevance for all of us.  We decided to meet more frequently via teleconference to keep up with all the latest developments and how it impacts the church.  

For today I ask you to join me in prayer for the poorest of the world who will be affected like no other group. While it is true that this disease is the great equalizer, since it affects people across social strata, race, gender, and age, it is also not quite true.  As always, people who can’t afford social distancing will suffer more. The poor in the world’s urban slums will suffer more. They barely have a wall between them. May God have mercy! And may we who have more in terms of knowledge and resources not cease to care for those who have so little. Maybe not the most popular thing to say right now when we are in the midst of a crisis ourselves, but I believe in the importance of global ministry in good times and in bad times.

Be blessed, be surrounded by God’s grace and strength, and follow the serenity prayer’s eternal wisdom:

Ask God to help you do what you CAN do,

Not worry so much about things you CAN’T control,

And give you the wisdom to know the difference.

Pastor Andreas Wagner