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

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).


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).