Thursday, May 28

Good morning, church!

I have been watching a few ghost games in the last two weeks. That’s what they call soccer games without anyone in attendance. The German league was the first international league to allow such games, resuming play that had been suspended since March, bringing the season to an end and saving some clubs from financial ruin. This Tuesday was the clash of the two biggest clubs with the best players, “Der Klassiker,” played in front of 80,000 empty seats in Dortmund. It was a very good game, probably the best of the few that I have seen since they resumed play. Overall though, it’s the WEIRDEST experience, trust me! It makes you realize that the fans make up more than 50% of the entertainment value of games like that, maybe more than 75%. Usually those stadiums are full of atmosphere, cheering, singing, people waves, orchestrations by dedicated fan clubs, banners and the like. Usually, the fans influence the game and they influence the referee as well. If a player is slightly touched and the fans jeer, there is pressure on the referee to blow the whistle for a foul. If the home team is behind in the last quarter of the game, there is a huge swell of support from the ranks.  Now you watch a ghost game and there is this eerie silence, interrupted only by screams from the coaching team that echo through the abandoned skeleton of a dome. What a downer! I hope that this sad experience will help players appreciate their fans some more. Some of these players make a sinful amount of money. The salaries and transfer fees have gone up, up, up for decades and reached levels beyond reasonable measure, just because they could. You know what I am talking about because it’s the same in American Football, Basketball, Hockey, Baseball, is it not?  As these clubs feel the pinch of the current Sports Depression, I hope they find ways to operate in more reasonable ways and valuing the enthusiastic crowds that support them some more. What are they without their fans? I am sure you will all see some ghost games this summer. Don’t get too excited!

I have been promising Mrs. B. to remind all of our graduates to please send in some nice pictures for our June 14 service with the honoring of graduates. Last time I talked to her she had only received seven pictures. Please, if your child is finishing Elementary School, Middle School, High School, College, Vocational School this year, send her a picture. We would like to participate in your joy. You can email her at

We are getting ready for a big weekend at St. Peter’s. For this Sunday’s Pentecost service we are teaming up with our dear friends from Puerto Rico. They had plans and hopes to visit us this summer with about a dozen people, collaborating with us in charitable work in Philadelphia. Late last year I spoke to Celiannette Tirado who was to be the leader of that group, together with our friend Jose M.  Unfortunately, that trip has been canceled.  But Celiannette will join Pastor Sharon Rios Concepcion and their youth council president Manuel in our recording for this Pentecost Sunday. The music will also include contributions from the island. One of Bernie H.’s favorite stories connected to our Puerto Rico Mission trips is the discovery of the handless Jesus, a statue displayed on top of one of the dorm buildings.  As we learned, the absence of hands is intentional. We are to be Christ’s hands and feet is the message.  Well, we are for sure this coming weekend! Please remind your neighbors of our community-wide food drive. All weekend long you can “dump” food donations at church by placing them in one of the bins in front of our Fellowship Hall. We have shifts of volunteers bringing them in every few hours and transporting them to our local food banks early next week. Join the good work!

Today I would ask you to pray again for people who are caring for loved ones in the last stages of their lives, surely one of the most difficult experiences these days. I know that Mr. Bill K. Sr. was transferred to the hospital with congestive hard failure while his wife is still trying to recover from Corona; both are up in age. I also know that Dave G. who was featured a few weeks ago is about to enter the Hospice phase. He has been afflicted with Parkinson’s for years.  None of these situations are easy for the people affected or their immediate families (also affected), especially under the still pretty strict visitation restrictions.  Please keep them dearly in your prayers!         

Attached is the material for today’s noon Bible Study.  We will read and discuss the 4th chapter of Paul’s letter to the Galatians. Here is the Zoom Invitation:

Mrs. B’s Children’s Hour will take place every Wednesday night at 7:00 p.m., starting on June 7. We encourage our families with young children to take advantage of this interactive program and to tell your neighbors with children about it.    

Also, please don’t forget the Red Cross Blood Drive on June 8. Specific precautions are being taken and have been described in recent emails. Drive Details: Date: June 8th, Times:  2 – 7 PM;


Today is the birthday of Gail P. Happy birthday, Gail!!!

As always, be blessed and be safe!

Pastor Andreas Wagner