The mission of St. Matthew's Lutheran Church is to love, welcome, nurture, and serve all people
by following the example of Jesus Christ.

Friday, December 30, 2011

New Year's Day - Holy Communion 11am

The new calendar year begins with Sunday, and the celebration of God's promise in Jesus Christ. This Sunday we observe the naming of Jesus, how the infant was circumcised on the eighth day, and named as the angel had foretold.

Our worship service begins at 11am with Pr. Judith Spindt preaching and presiding at Holy Communion.

The promise of God is here.

St. Matthew's Lutheran Church
85 Wayne Street (btwn Barrow & Jersey Aves)
Downtown Jersey City
201-432-9319
stmatthewsjc.org

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmas Eve 7pm & Christmas Day 11am

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” Luke 2:15

Throughout the 4 weeks of Advent, we have been preparing, looking and listening for signs of God's coming into the world. This Saturday night and Sunday morning we celebrate the miracle of the incarnation - God in flesh. Born to a poor young girl in the most humble of circumstances, witnessed by shepherds and goats and angels - and by those of us who gather together in his name.

At St. Matthew's we will gather Christmas Eve for a service of Holy Communion filled with Christmas carols and special music and ending in candlelight. Rev. Paul Brndjar will preside and Paul Bellan-Boyer will preach. The service begins at 7pm. Then on Sunday we will have a small informal communion service at 11am, Rev. Judith Spindt preaching and presiding.

May God bless us, each and every one, this Christmas season.

Come! Let us adore him - Christ the Lord!

St. Matthew's Lutheran Church
85 Wayne Street (btwn Barrow & Jersey Aves)
Downtown Jersey City
201-432-9319
stmatthewsjc.org

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Advent - Sunday 12/11 worship 11am

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.
He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all
might believe through him. He himself was not the light,
but he came to testify to the light. John 1:6-8

The days get shorter. Sometimes the light seems fragile, scarce, hard to find. Sometimes we may need some prompting, a hint, a witness to show where the light is, or even to kindle the hope that the light is coming.

This Sunday we light the 3rd Advent candle as we wait for Messiah, the light coming into the world. Rev. Lisa Bellan-Boyer will be leading worship and preaching starting at 11am. Following the service, we will have a special congregation meeting to review our call process and elect a call committee.

The Light is Coming!

St. Matthew's Lutheran Church
85 Wayne Street (btwn Barrow & Jersey Aves)
Downtown Jersey City
201-432-9319
stmatthewsjc.org
 

Friday, November 18, 2011

Sunday 11/20 11am - Christ the King

This Sunday we celebrate the vision of Christ as King. But he is a king like no other. While depicted as a ruler, Christ's kingdom is built not upon the power of his military forces, or the gold in his treasury, or the labor of the poor and exploited, but upon God's righteousness, God's justice, God's love for creation, and God's promise of salvation. God seen in Jesus Christ did not rule from an earthly throne, but was found amidst the poor, the suffering, the oppressed.

Our worship service begins at 11am, with Paul Ellis preaching. Come and share in Christ's kingdom.

May God's glory be yours.

St. Matthew's Lutheran Church
85 Wayne Street (btwn Barrow & Jersey Aves)
Downtown Jersey City
201-432-9319
stmatthewsjc.org

Image:
The image of Jesus seen on the right is "Christ of Maryknoll," by Robert Lentz.
 

Friday, November 4, 2011

Sunday 11/6 - 11am worship

Reminder: Daylight Savings Time ends Saturday night - turn your clock BACK one hour.

This Sunday we will observe the feast of
All Saints, remembering our ancestors in faith,
especially those who have died this past year.
As we trust that God has written their names in the Book of Life,
we will write and read their names, and light candles
to remember the way they have lighted our way.

We will share in the communion of saints, in a service of
Holy Communion, Rev. John Melin preaching and presiding.

May God always hold you close.

St. Matthews Lutheran Church
85 Wayne Street (btwn Barrow & Jersey Aves)
Downtown Jersey City
201-432-9319
stmatthewsjc.org

Congregation news:
The Council will be appointing a call committee to work with the Synod and possible pastoral candidates. If you are interested in being part of that work, please contact Council President Paul Bellan-Boyer.
 

Friday, October 28, 2011

Sunday 10/30 - Wear red!

Five hundred ninety-four years ago this Monday, Martin Luther began what became known as the Reformation. A priest and a monk, Luther had been awakened to the surpassing grace of God and become disturbed at how little the Church seemed to reflect that Good News. He hoped to help people know the real presence of Jesus Christ in their everyday lives.

This seal, known as the Luther Rose, is here surrounded by three principles of the Reformation. In place of lesser authorities, Luther preached that we should rely on the Word alone (the living presence of Christ in the Bible and the sacraments). Also that we are saved by God's grace alone - not by how good we are, not by how hard we work, only by God's gracious gift. And finally, that this happens in our life by faith alone, only by trust in God's promises.

Come hear God's good Word of grace in Jesus Christ. Pastor Gordon Huff will preach and preside at a service of Holy Communion beginning at 11am. Please remember to wear red, the color of the saints and witnesses who have gone before us.

St. Matthews Lutheran Church
85 Wayne Street (btwn Barrow & Jersey Aves)
Downtown Jersey City
201-432-9319
stmatthewsjc.org

Congregation news:
After church this Sunday we will be gathering for fellowship and to help with two projects.
+ Setting up for next weekend's rummage sale
+ Filling bags of groceries for the Hyacinth AIDS Foundation

God bless you always!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Sunday 10/23 worship at 11am

The Lord spoke to Moses, saying: "Speak to all the congregation of the people of Israel and say to them: You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy." And then the Lord gave ten commandments for the people to follow. Leviticus 19:1-2

Over the years, the commandments might have picked up a bad reputation with some, fueled by those who would impose them on others, or who seem to delight in punishing lawbreakers. But the commandments were given not by these lesser authorities, but by God. And you might simply take them as guidelines for good behavior. We don't need a heavenly enforcer to know that killing, stealing, jealousy, failure to rest, and disrespect to others eventually leads to bad results.

But look back to the way God gives the commandments: not to keep people in line, but out of God's desire that we share in the holiness, the righteousness, the goodness that is God's very nature. "You shall be holy..."

This Sunday, we'll share in God's goodness at an 11am service of Holy Communion. Rev. Lee Schleicher, a friend of David & Caroline Sitler's, will lead us in worship. His sermon is titled "Why We're Here."

Taste and see that the Lord is good.

St. Matthews Lutheran Church
85 Wayne Street (btwn Barrow & Jersey Aves)
Downtown Jersey City
201-432-9319
stmatthewsjc.org

Congregation news:
On each of the next two Sundays we will be completing surveys to help us in strategic planning and the process to call a pastor. Please plan to join us on one of these Sundays and share your thoughts and hopes.
 

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Sunday 10/16 Worship at 11am

God, my Savior, the Mighty One, has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts. He has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly; he has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty. Luke 1:46-55, edited.

Mary, with Jesus in her womb, sings of God's goodness, of God's power, of her trust in God's action on behalf of those in need. At a time when Wall Street is occupied, and people question the powers of this world, Mary's song echoes through the centuries with radical hope.

This Sunday at our 11am worship service we will sing of God's goodness, God's mercy, God's surprising love of justice and action on behalf of the oppressed and marginalized. Our dear friend Sat Reddy, visiting from India, will be our preacher.

Come, hear God's good news!

St. Matthews Lutheran Church
85 Wayne Street (btwn Barrow & Jersey Aves)
Downtown Jersey City
201-432-9319
stmatthewsjc.org

Congregation news:

We had a fabulous time at the Jersey City PRIDE Festival last Sunday!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Sunday 10/9 Worship at 11am

Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. Philippians 4:6

This Sunday we continue our journey seeking revival, renewal, and reformation. We hear the Apostle Paul write from prison. No doubt he has much to worry about - yet his word is to put aside cares and bring all your concerns to the Lord. The apostle is confident that even as this new community in Christ is forming, God is re-forming the people in the image of Christ: as servants, as healers, as givers and forgivers, as citizens of a new kind of kingdom.

Rev. Judith Spindt will preach and preside at a service of Holy Communion, starting at 11am. Please join us in prayer, in thanksgiving, and in the love of Christ.

God hears you, and welcomes you.

St. Matthews Lutheran Church
85 Wayne Street (btwn Barrow & Jersey Aves)
Downtown Jersey City
201-432-9319
stmatthewsjc.org
Congregation news:
The Congregation Council will meet Monday 10/10, light meal at 6:30, meeting from 7-8:30pm.
 

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Sunday 10/2 Worship at 11am

This Sunday, Jesus tells a parable of a vineyard and tenants who refuse to pay their rent. 
And he says, "The kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people 
that produces the fruits of the kingdom." Matthew 21:43 

Then, regardless of how productive we are, he will feed us with the bread and wine of his forgiveness.
Pastor Paul Brndjar will preach and preside at an 11 o'clock service of Holy Communion. After the 
service, we will gather for refreshments, and there will be a Bible study on the letter to the Hebrews.

May God bless & nurture you.

St. Matthews Lutheran Church
85 Wayne Street (btwn Barrow & Jersey Aves)
Downtown Jersey City
201-432-9319
stmatthewsjc.org
Congregation news:

We are looking for congregation members to participate in hosting our table at the Hudson PRIDE festival next Sunday, 10/9, any times between noon and 6pm. We need to hear from people this week in order to finalize arrangements. Please contact Paul Bellan-Boyer or Stan Shih to signup or for further information.

We have opportunities to appoint new board members to the:
+ Barrow Manson Development Corporation (BMDC), which leases and manages the Barrow Mansion to serve the community; and
+ Puerto Rican Lutheran Housing Corporation, which operates the Villa Borinquen housing complex.
If you are interested in either of these organizations, please contact any member of the Congregation Council, or email the Council at StMatthewsJC-Council@yahoogroups.com.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Sunday 9/25 Worship at 11am

Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave. Philippians 2:5-7

This Sunday we'll hear these words from one of the earliest hymns to Jesus. Unlike other lords, he did not "lord it over" others, but chose the way of humility, of service, of loving the world's outcasts. He died for it, executed by the state as a criminal. And he rose from the dead, continuing this new kingdom eternally.

We celebrate and witness to this new kind of Lord in a service of Holy Communion beginning at 11 o'clock, Pastor Paul Brndjar preaching and presiding. After the service, we will gather for refreshments, and there will be a Bible study on the letter to the Hebrews.

Grace and peace to you.

St. Matthews Lutheran Church
85 Wayne Street (btwn Barrow & Jersey Aves)
Downtown Jersey City
201-432-9319
stmatthewsjc.org

Congregation news:
We have opportunities to appoint new board members to the:
+ Barrow Manson Development Corporation (BMDC), which leases and manages the Barrow Mansion to serve the community; and
+ Puerto Rican Lutheran Housing Corporation, which operates the Villa Borinquen housing complex.
If you are interested in either of these organizations, please contact any member of the Congregation Council, or email the Council at StMatthewsJC-Council@yahoogroups.com.

Artwork:, "Way of the Cross - Station I: Jesus is condemned to death," by Ted DeGrazia.
 

Friday, September 16, 2011

Sunday 9/18 11am worship

This Sunday our lessons focus on God's strange willingness to extend grace beyond the bounds of what we might think is appropriate. Jesus tells the story of day laborers who come late to work and still get paid.

"The Late Comers," Jesus Mafa, Cameroun

We remember and celebrate God's grace in a service of Holy Communion beginning at 11 o'clock, Pastor Judith Spindt preaching and presiding. After the service, we will gather for refreshments, and there will be a Bible study on the letter to the Hebrews.

All are welcome in God's house!

St. Matthews Lutheran Church
85 Wayne Street (btwn Barrow & Jersey Aves)
Downtown Jersey City
201-432-9319
stmatthewsjc.org

Congregation news:

+ Worship & Music meeting Tue 9/20 7:00pm in Bavendam Hall. All are welcome as we collaborate and plan for our upcoming church seasonal changes, event planning, and weekly worship and liturgical support. We need your input and participation for lively and inspiring worship that sustains and nourishes ourselves and our world!

+ Please thank Rod Aycox for his service as our Treasurer from February to now, and Paul Ellis for taking on this ministry, assisted by Katri Tuori.
 

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Sunday 9/11 - Worship at 11am


This Sunday we celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus,
and hear about God's response to evil.

Our service begins at 11am, with Paul Ellis leading worship.
Our preacher, Paul Bellan-Boyer, served as a chaplain in
the World Trade Center recovery.

After the service, we will gather for refreshments, and
there will be a Bible study on the letter to the Hebrews.

God be with you always.

St. Matthews Lutheran Church
85 Wayne Street (btwn Barrow & Jersey Aves)
Downtown Jersey City
201-432-9319
stmatthewsjc.org

The cross (above) was one of many burned from World Trade Center steel
by firefighters and recovery workers as a remembrance of the site.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Sunday 9/4 10am

Owe no one anything, except to love one another; for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.... Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore, love is the fulfilling of the law. Romans 13:8,10


This Sunday at 10am we will gather to hear, to practice, to know God's great love, Rev. Silvia Misinova preaching and presiding at a service of Holy Communion.

(Next Sunday we will move back to an 11am worship time.)

May God be with you always.

St. Matthews Lutheran Church
85 Wayne Street (btwn Barrow & Jersey Aves)
Downtown Jersey City
201-432-9319
stmatthewsjc.org
 

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Service cancelled Sunday 8/28

Jersey City mandatory evacuations and emergency shelter info (Sat 8/27 2:10pm).


Due to the expected severe weather, worship AT St. Matthew's is cancelled this Sunday. Please be safe during the storm, and check in on your neighbors, especially the elderly and disabled. We hope that, when the worst of the storm passes, we will be blessed if we can laugh at our preparations as over-cautious. Please pray for the safety of all in harm's way.

There will certainly be cleanup and repair work. We will keep you posted about St. Matthew's response and needs. Check the church website, stmatthewsjc.org, for church-related news.

An order for worship at home which you may use in place of our normal Sunday service is at the bottom of this message.

May God sustain you this day and always.

Paul Bellan-Boyer
201-238-5987
For the Congregation Council

--------------------

A home service for Sunday, August 28, 2011

From Psalm 51
Open my lips, O Lord,
and my mouth shall proclaim your praise.
Create in me a clean heart, O God,
and renew a right spirit within me.
Cast me not away from your presence
and take not your holy Spirit from me.
Give me the joy of your saving help again
and sustain me with your bountiful Spirit.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

READINGS FROM SCRIPTURE
Romans 12:9–21
Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor. Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers.

Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly; do not claim to be wiser than you are. Do not repay anyone evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all. If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave room for the wrath of God; for it is written, "Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord." No, "if your enemies are hungry, feed them; if they are thirsty, give them something to drink; for by doing this you will heap burning coals on their heads." Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

A period of silence may follow.

Matthew 16:21–28
From that time on, Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and undergo great suffering at the hands of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, "God forbid it, Lord! This must never happen to you." But he turned and said to Peter, "Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; for you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things."

Then Jesus told his disciples, "If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit them if they gain the whole world but forfeit their life? Or what will they give in return for their life?

For the Son of Man is to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay everyone for what has been done. Truly I tell you, there are some standing here who will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom."

A hymn or song of praise may be sung or said.
Suggested: Near the Cross

PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE
With the whole people of God in Christ Jesus, let us pray for the church, those in need, and all of God's creation.

O God: We pray for all who work today to share the good news of your Son, Jesus Christ. We especially remember those who gather under the threat of persecution, that they might be sustained. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

From the smallest ant to the tallest tree—your entire creation is a masterpiece and a gift. Help us treat your creation with respect and care. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

For all nations at war or facing disease or poverty, especially Somalia, Libya, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, the Bahamas, and the United States of America, we ask for your life-giving presence and peace, O God. We pray for clean water and an end to hunger. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Look with compassion on all who are suffering: the unemployed, abused and neglected children, people who are depressed and lonely, and those facing challenges to their health especially Dr. B. Jayaraj, Joseph Haverlock, the Donna, David, Louis, Lois Jones, Mildred Gosine, Jennifer Arrindeh, Rodney Aycox, Sr., Stella Molnar, Victor Cowan, Delores Sepulveda, Albert Narine, Emily Narine, Jeremy Brown, Christian Adam, Lisa Bishop, Miriam and Jason, Charlotte, Andy Rhode, Andrew, Windell, Michael, John, Malik & Iyanna, Nicholas & Tania, St. Matthew’s prayer group, Redemption Children’s Home in Ghana, Lutheran Children’s Home of NJ, and all those affected by Hurricane Irene that they may be sustained and know your mercy. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Look with kindness on this community, O God, the congregation of St. Matthew’s and our neighbors in this region. Weave us into a net that provides comfort and support, refuge and friendship. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Here other intercessions may be offered.

With thanksgiving, O God, we remember all who abide with you in heaven, especially Augustine, Bishop of Hippo, and Moses the Black, monk and martyr. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Into your hands, gracious God, we commend all for whom we pray, trusting in your mercy; through Jesus Christ, our Savior. Amen.

THE LORD’S PRAYER
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those
who sin against us.
Save us from the time of trial
and deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power,
and the glory are yours,
now and forever. Amen.

THE COLLECT
Lord God, almighty and everlasting Father, you have brought
us in safety to this day: Preserve us with your mighty power,
that we may not fall into sin, nor be overcome by
adversity; and in all we do, direct us to the fulfilling of your
purpose; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

BLESSING
God all mighty,
God most merciful
bless us, keep us, and + grant us peace.
Amen.

Service adapted from the Book of Common Prayer, p.137.
 

Friday, August 26, 2011

This Sunday 8/28

Scroll down for weather and service information.

Jesus told his disciples, "If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it." Matthew 16:24-35

We have planned, as always, to follow Jesus this Sunday in a 10am worship service, with Paul Ellis preaching. A Bible study on the letter to the Hebrews will follow the service.

Jesus carrying his cross, 5th century casket panel

The Congregation Council is monitoring the weather-related news and will make a decision by 2pm Saturday if a weather-related cancellation is needed. If so, we will post that notice here, as well as by email, phone calls, and by leaving a message on the church answering machine (201-432-9319). If you have any questions, please call the Congregation President, Paul Bellan-Boyer, 201-238-5987 or 201-936-3750.

This hurricane or tropical storm is potentially a serious threat to safety, and you should take precautions to prepare. Follow any emergency directions. If you are planning to leave town, do so early.

Transportation will be disrupted. There is the potential for power outages and a disruption of water supplies. During periods of heavy winds, blowing debris may pose a danger to those outside. There can be serious flooding in low-lying and coastal areas, including downtown Jersey City.

+ Have several day's supply of drinking water, food that does not require refrigeration, and cash (ATMs will not work during power outages)
+ Have an adequate supply of medication and personal care items
+ Batteries and flashlight
+ Keep cell phones charged
+ Bring indoors any trash cans, lawn furniture, outdoor equipment, bicycles, etc, so they do not become a danger when caught by the wind
+ In an emergency, text messages use less bandwidth and help the telephone network function

Christ is faithful as the Son over God’s house. And we are God's house, if indeed we hold firmly to our confidence and the hope in which we glory. Hebrews 3:6
 

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Easter - Resurrection Day 2011


Icon of the Resurrection
Pskov, Later Sixteenth century

In the wording of the Creeds, Jesus was “crucified, died, and was buried. On the third day, he rose again...” This icon illustrates some of the early traditions about what the Spirit of Jesus was doing in that interval, while his body laid in the tomb. Also called: “The Harrowing of Hell,” this icon of the Resurrection is part of the collection of the Andrei Rublev Museum in Moscow, dedicated to preserving early Russian art, and named after one of history’s greatest iconographers. It is located in a former monastery, where Saint Andrei Rublev once lived and worked.

The area around Pskov and Novgorod was known for a relatively egalitarian social system, in terms of gender relations. This is reflected in the center of the icon, where Jesus has the hands of both Adam and Eve, pictured as regular human beings, minus the haloes of saints. He pulls them up from Hades, along with many figures from the Hebrew Bible, who had died before the time of Jesus. The company includes Moses, King David, King Solomon, Rebecca, Rachel, Sarah, and Miriam, positioned to echo the positions of Mary and Martha in Russian icons of the raising of Lazarus. Also included, behind Eve, is John the Baptist, the Forerunner of Christ in birth as well as death.

Two angels subdue the forces of Evil at the bottom of the Pit of Hell, as the dead are raised to new life. Two other angels hover over the scene, bearing the instruments of the Passion. The Old Church Slavonic lettering reads: “The Resurrection of the Savior.”

Jesus stands with his feet on the crossed and broken doors to the tomb, symbolizing the gates of hell. Combined with his outstretched arms and the cross that appears in his halo, the composition becomes in itself an embodiment of an Orthodox Cross.

Early Russian icons of the Resurrection illustrate the words to the chant, sung over and over again during the Orthodox Great Liturgy of Pascha – the “Passion” – a word derived from Pesach, or “Passover” in Hebrew. In English translation, the words to the chant are:

Christ is risen from the dead!
Trampling down death by death,
and upon those in the tombs, bestowing Life.


Written by St. Matthew’s Parish Iconographer, Lisa Bellan-Boyer
One Spirit Interfaith Seminary Class of 2011
 

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Christ in the Wilderness

The work of sacred art being featured in our sanctuary during this Lent is “Christ in the Wilderness,” by the Russian artist Ivan Kramskoi (1837-1887).
Looking at the image, it is interesting to consider whether this is Jesus at sunrise after a long night of struggle to survive, out among the “wild beasts” as the Gospel of Mark says; or if it is Jesus at sunset, at the end of one of those hot, lonely, hungry and thirsty forty days. The tired humanity in Kramskoi’s portrait of Jesus is still startling. How much more so for Russians of a century and a half in the past, who were used to seeing icons of a magisterial Christ seated on a throne, and not a sun-bleached crag of rock?

In this Lenten season, it is worth considering the cost of Jesus’ ministry to himself; and the strength of endurance required of him to do what he did for us. May this encourage you and give you stamina during the dryness of your own days in the spiritual wilderness.

Lisa Bellan-Boyer, Parish Iconographer

St. Matthew's gospel account of Christ in the wilderness (Matthew 4:1-ll).

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Congregation Council 2011

The Congregation Council has general oversight of the spiritual life and activities of the congregation, is responsible for the financial and property matters of the congregation, and sees that the congregation's constitution, bylaws, and resolutions are carried out. It is the principle decision-making body of the congregation between Congregation Meetings.

The members of the Council are:

Council member: Service began: Term ends:
Pr. Laura Thelander, Interim Pastor 7/11 N/A
Paul Bellan-Boyer, President 2/09 1/13
Mark Muntzel, Vice President 2/09 1/12
Diane Kaese, Secretary 1/11 1/12
Andy Rhode 2/09 1/12
Sandra Howard-Festa 6/10 1/12
Lois Jones 6/10 1/13
Katri Tuori 6/10 1/13
Clarence Ponnapalli 1/11 1/14
Stanley Shih 1/11 1/14

Council meetings are normally held on the second Monday of the month, with a light supper at 6:30pm and the meeting beginning at 7pm. (2011 meeting dates: 2/14, 3/14, 4/11, 5/9, 6/13, 7/11, no Aug mtg, 9/12, 10/10, 11/14, 12/12, 1/9/12.)

You can reach all Council members by email (please remove the "NOSPAM-" before sending).

Intro

Jesus calls his disciples to step forward in faith. St. Matthew's Lutheran Church was founded by immigrants, mostly German, who had left their homes to come to a new land. Their new country had just begun a bloody civil war, when the people took another step on the journey of faith, coming together to worship God, to be nourished by God's Word, and to support one another.

They named their congregation after Saint Matthew, who told the story of Jesus, and his first "sermon," which began with surprising words of blessing:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for yours is the kingdom of heaven...Matthew 5:3-12a

Today the people of St. Matthew's have changed. We are diverse in our backgrounds, our ages, our education and experiences, in sexual orientation. But we come together to hear God's words of challenge and grace, to reflect God's love to one another and our neighborhood, and to experience joy in worship and community. May God bless you in your journey, and we hope to meet you soon.

St. Matthew's is a congregation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA).