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Hello and blessings to all in our parish! I am both honored and humbled to be writing my very first Piper article for St. Andrew's. As I reflect on our season of Lent – a time traditionally reserved for decluttering and peaceful prayer - I am struck by the irony of how busy we tend to feel in the spring season. In just the first weeks of spring the outreach teams have begun preparing the Bridge of Hope Easter collections as well as draft plans for a spring plant sale. Bridge of Hope has been a long-standing branch of the outreach at St. Andrew's, and the families eagerly look forward to the holiday meals. Some spots for the Easter dinner are still available and need to be filled – the signup sheet to donate is in the weekly online announcements. Our goal is to provide a full course meal for ten families. A call out of thanks to Tiffany for her help leading the charge on our Easter dinner!

Our children have been hard at work developing two projects to serve the community. Collections for the Main Line Animal Shelter have begun – shelter’s wish list is in the weekly announcements – and the children made some fantastic home cooked cat and dog treats, which they sold at coffee hour after Sunday services. Those little snacks smelled so good I almost sampled one myself! Our parish youth have also been hard at work developing donation bags for Operation 143 in Pottstown. The program strives to carry out God’s call to do all things with love by feeding students in over 30 schools with weekend meals. Our children have answered this call by developing over 300 treat bags filled with Easter candy and loving words to inspire our friends and neighbors. Treat bags will be added to the backpacks, and donations are still being collected through early-April. I want to give a call out of thanks to Lisa, Christine, Grace, Kiley, and Cherie for all their hard work on the Lenten Service Projects. Way to go!

I also feel driven to mention our ongoing support of the Atkinson Men’s Shelter and The Clinic. These two branches of our outreach have remained strong and steady; every time I pass the donation baskets in church, I see they are overflowing with offerings. I am reminded of a verse in John (4:12), “No one has ever seen God, but if we love one another, God lives in us, and his love is made complete in us.” I cannot think of a better way to spread the joy of our community than to continue to reach out to each other. God Bless you all, and have a peaceful Easter celebration.

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