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

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christ is Born - Alleluia!

God has come to dwell with us, bringing gifts too great to number and without price.
May the blessings of Christmas be with you.
Rejoicing in God's gift of life, and eternal life, we celebrate the life and mourn the death of our beloved sister in Christ, Emma Behrens, a member of St. Matthew's for nearly 90 years.

Wednesday, December 26 3-8pm, there will be a viewing at McLaughlin Funeral Home, 625 Pavonia Avenue, Jersey City, NJ 07306.

Thursday, December 27 11am, there will be a funeral service at St. Matthew's Lutheran Church, 85 Wayne Street, Jersey City, NJ 07302.

May God be with you always.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Christmas

Christmas Eve concert 7pm, service 7:30pm. All are welcome.

In the region near Bethlehem, there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid; for see — I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people.   Luke 2:8-10a

Good news... of great joy... for all the people...

As the calendar year draws to a close, the church year is just beginning. Every year has its challenges, yet this year has also been one of blessing for our congregation. We've seen a pastor and new members come; and beloved friends depart. Even as our neighborhood has been challenged by superstorm Sandy, we saw the goodness of people shine forth, neighbor helping neighbor.

We celebrate Christmas eve with a concert beginning at 7pm, and a service of Holy Communion filled with Christmas carols beginning at approximately 7:30pm, and concluding in candlelight. Pastor Hans Arnesen will preach and preside. The concert will feature music by members of St. Matthew's, including the Kevin Morali Trio.

The grace of God has appeared!
Titus 2:11

St. Matthew's Lutheran Church
85 Wayne Street (btwn Barrow & Jersey Aves)
Downtown Jersey City
201.432.9319

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Sunday 12/9 11am worship

Friday 12/7 2pm-8pm JC Fridays at St. Matthew's: Stained glass treasure hunts, tours of the church and historic Barrow Mansion, Family game night starting at 6pm.

Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be made low, and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways made smooth; and all flesh shall see the salvation of God. Luke 3:5-6

A voice crying in the wilderness, John the Baptist preaches repentance, and quotes the prophet Isaiah's hope for a world which is easier, which works better, where God's people are ruled not by political machinations, not by economic oppressors, not by violence, but by righteousness. A world we still hope for.

Like the Advent calendar pictured above, as a people we are counting down the days until God's reign of justice and peace fills the world. On Sunday we share God's hope, God's Word, God's food, with Pastor Hans Arnesen leading a service of Holy communion starting at 11am.

I thank my God every time I remember you.
Philippians 1:3

St. Matthew's Lutheran Church
85 Wayne Street (btwn Barrow & Jersey Aves)
Downtown Jersey City
201.432.9319

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Sunday 12/2 - Advent

Saturday 12/1 2pm-3:30pm Eating for Energy: Health Coach Kirsi Paalanen offers a workshop to help gain an abundance of energy and vitality through better eating - especially important in the holiday season. Donation to benefit St. Matthew's.

To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul (Psalm 25:1).

Entering the season of Advent, we await the coming of God into the world at Christmas. It's a season of preparation, not for the coming winter, not for holiday shopping and decorating and cooking, but to receive and share God's love.

At St. Matthew's, we will light the first Advent candle, and share God's love in bread and wine. Pastor Hans Arnesen will preach and preside at a service of Holy Communion. Coffee hour and Bible study following the service,

God's compassion is everlasting.

St. Matthew's Lutheran Church
85 Wayne Street (btwn Barrow & Jersey Aves)
Downtown Jersey City
201.432.9319

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Sunday 11/25 - Christ the King

This Sunday we celebrate Christ the King, But Jesus is a king unlike any other. A king whose glory comes in living for others. A king whose love is not for fine clothes, luxurious banquets, grand palaces, or mighty armies. Instead his love is simply for God's people.

This Sunday Paul Ellis will preach and lead a Service of the Word, starting at 11am. After the service, we'll share fellowship and pack food bags for clients of the Hyacinth AIDS Foundation.

Come, know God's grace!

St. Matthew's Lutheran Church
85 Wayne Street (btwn Barrow & Jersey Aves)
Downtown Jersey City
201.432.9319

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Thanksgiving for Sandy Recovery

In thanksgiving for the tremendous community response at St. Matthew's and our parish house, the Barrow Mansion, St. Matthew's is holding a special service of thanksgiving this Sunday 11/18, beginning at 11am.

All JCNJ Recovery volunteers are invited to be thanked and recognized for their great and continuing work helping neighbors in need. St. Matthew's Pastor Hans Arnesen will presdie at a service of Holy Communion; he will be joined by JCNJ Recovery volunteer Rabbi Debra Hachen of Temple Beth-El for a blessing of the community.

As always at St. Matthew's, all are welcome. A reception will follow at approx 12:30pm.

I give you thanks, for you answered me.
Psalm 118:21

St. Matthew's Lutheran Church
85 Wayne Street (btwn Barrow & Jersey Aves)
Downtown Jersey City
201.432.9319

Thursday, November 8, 2012

This week at St. Matthew's

This Sunday, November 11, commemorates Saint Martin of Tours, who died in the year 397. As a soldier in the Roman army, Martin was approached by a beggar. Moved, Martin cut his cloak in half and gave part to the man. That night in a dream he had a vision of Christ as that beggar.

This week St. Matthew's has been approached by hundreds of people asking for help. We have opened the doors of the church and are welcoming people into Bavendam Hall to receive storm relief supplies. WE NEED YOUR HELP to offer the hospitality of Christ to our neighbors in need. If you can come by the church for an hour or more to welcome, serve coffee and cookies, or help distribute supplies, please call Kim Aycox (mornings only 201.920.8615), Paul Ellis (732.397.2629) or Paul Bellan-Boyer (201.238.5987) or just come. Today and Friday 8am-8pm, and any time during the day on Saturday especially.

Our friend and sister Emily Narine departed this earth Wednesday morning, in the company of her family. Funeral arrangements will be forthcoming.

This Sunday we drink deep of the mystery of Christ. Pastor Hans Arnesen will preach and preside at a service of Holy communion.

O God, you show forth your almighty power
chiefly by reaching out to us in mercy.
Grant us the fullness of your grace,
strengthen our trust in your promises,
and bring all the world to share in the treasures
that come through your Son,
Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.

St. Matthew's Lutheran Church
85 Wayne Street (btwn Barrow & Jersey Aves)
Downtown Jersey City
201.432.9319

Monday, November 5, 2012

Storm relief at the Barrow Mansion

St. Matthew's and the Barrow Mansion Development Corporation have opened the doors of the Barrow Mansion to serve as a coordination point for relief supplies and distribution. Volunteers are needed and appreciated to: receive and organize supplies, and drive them to distribution points throughout the city.

Donations needed: 1) warm clothing and blankets, 2) lighting (flashlights & batteries), 3) non-perishable food (but not water). Significant parts of the City are still without power and heat as of this moment, and we are concentrating on those neighborhoods.

Please come to the Barrow Mansion at 83 Wayne Street betweeen 8am and 8pm today (Monday). For specific information, please refer to jcnjrecovery.org.

Serving Christ by serving our neighbor.


Friday, November 2, 2012

Sunday 11/4 - All Saints

God is our refuge and strength,
    a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear,
    though the earth should change,
    though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea;
though its waters roar and foam,
    though the mountains tremble with its tumult.
There is a river whose streams
    make glad the city of God,
the holy habitation of the Most High.
God is in the midst of the city;
    it shall not be moved;
God will help it when the morning dawns.

Psalm 46:1-6

We read this Psalm in church last Sunday looks back to this week of storm and trials. yet it also looks forward to God's promise of help, security, and presence in the midst of adversity, in the midst of the city.

PSE&G expects electrical service to be restored to most of Jersey City by Monday 11/5 - many areas came back on Friday night and Saturday morning. If you have needs following the storm, please reach out to us and we will help if we can. Contact Paul at 201.238.5987 for immediate needs.

This Sunday, as we give thanks for the ways in which God is seeing us through our current trials, we also remember those who have gone before us. On All Saints Sunday we recall the faithful departed, especially those who have died this past year. We write their names in the congregation's book of life, we say their names aloud in worship, and we place candles on the altar commemorating their witness to God's light on this earth.

St. Matthew's church building survived the storm without damage, and electrical power was restored to it on Thursday. This Sunday we will proclaim God's saving word, and share God's saving meal, Pastor Hans Arnesen presiding at a service of Holy Communion.

Daylight Savings Time ends: TURN BACK YOUR CLOCK 1 hour on Saturday night.

Rejoice in the Lord! God's mercies endure forever.

St. Matthew's Lutheran Church
85 Wayne Street (btwn Barrow & Jersey Aves)
Downtown Jersey City
201.432.9319

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Hurricane Sandy

cityofjerseycity.com contains current info. This is an aggregate of best information as of Monday 8pm.

PUBLIC SAFETY

You should be inside unless you are evacuating to safety or an emergency responder.

As winds pick up we will get downed power lines. Please call them in to the Hudson County Office of Emergency Management (OEM), 201-319-3871. PSE&G is staffing that office 24 x 7 and they will get it into the system. For trees on county roads (such as: Grand, Summit, MLK/Monticello, Bergen, Kennedy, Westside, Mallory, Communipaw, Sip) or parks, report to Hudson County OEM.

Due to high winds, heavy rain and low visibility, residents are prohibited from operating motor vehicles on all Jersey City streets and highways beginning at 2:00pm on Monday 10/29 and continuing until further notice. All public transit is suspended including PATH, light rail, and buses.
Curfew from 6pm Monday 10/29, through 1pm, Tue 10/30 in the following areas:
1) Washington Blvd. east to Hudson River
2) Areas of State Highway 440 West to Hackensack River & Bayonne City Line
3) All pedestrian traffic prohibited in Port Liberte as well as Country Village.

Mandatory Evacuations Effective at 7am on Monday 10/29, in the following locations in Jersey City:
• Residents residing in ground floor/1st floor buildings for all streets EAST of Green Street from Essex Street North to Columbus Drive.
• Residents residing in ground floor/ 1st floor buildings for all streets EAST of Washington Boulevard from Columbus Drive North to 18th Street.
• Residents residing in ground floor/ 1st floor buildings in Port Liberte.
• Residents residing in ground floor/ 1st floor buildings in Society Hill and Country Village.
Follow evacuation orders. LEAVE NOW; do not wait.

SHELTERS
• All evacuees with existing medical problems should go to MS#4 on 107 Bright Street downtown due to its proximity to the Jersey City Medical Center.
• Other shelters are PS #7 on 222 Laidlaw Avenue, Dickinson High School on Palisades Avenue, PS #17 at 600 Bergen Avenue, and PS#41 at Wilkinson and Ocean Avenues.
• Those with pets must go to Pershing Field. All cats must be crated. All dogs must be crated or on a leash. Residents need to provide food for them.

EMERGENCY PARKING & TRANSPORTATION

Parking enforcement for all meters and street sweeping is suspended through Wednesday 10/31. Greenville residents who need to move their cars to higher ground should park in the lots at Public Schools 30 & 40 in Greenville. List of municipal parking lots available for parking below.

Transportation to city evacuation shelters will be provided by vehicles from the Department of Recreation & Dept. of Health & Human Services/Senior Affairs. Hourly Pick-ups will commence on 8am on Monday, October 29th, through the duration of the storm at the following locations:
• Society Hill
• OLM/Country Village
• Pavonia PATH Station
• Port Liberte/ Strip Mall on Chapel Ave
• CLOSED (Under water): Newport Center/McDonalds

MUNICIPAL PARKING LOTS:
404 2nd St
Boland Street off Bergen
277 Central Ave
340 Central Ave
352 Central Ave
388 Central Ave
477-79 Central Ave
Fairview Ave & Bergen Ave
Hoboken Ave [Reserved parking along street]
Mongomery St & Orchard St
174 Newark Ave
693 Newark Ave
Sherman Place
522 West Side Ave
754 West Side Ave

For emergencies, call 911. For information or for non-emergency aid, call Paul Bellan-Boyer 201.238.5987.

Please be safe and help your neighbors !!!


This is the storm surge probability map. Click on storm surge of 6 feet and look at your area. Right now we are looking at 6-11 feet).

God of heaven and earth, the eyes of all wait upon thee. We seek to be far from the tempest and storm. Yet turbulence and danger swirl around us. Our preparations can only carry us so far. Surely the rising of the mighty waters will not reach the faithful, O Lord, our rock and refuge. See us to a place of shelter. Strengthen and sustain us, that even in the midst of the storm, we may stand secure in faith, surrounded by your love, in Jesus Christ. Amen.

Storm Line, by Joel Torres
Used by permission.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Sunday 10/28 - Reformation Sunday

Friday 10/26 6:30pm Family Game Night - Board games, jigsaw puzzles, and other non-electronic entertainments for children and adults, refreshments provided
Sunday 10/28 11am Reformation Sunday worship - wear red!

The most important concepts of the Lutheran Reformation are not easy to illustrate. Luther's understanding that God's love was boundless, God's grace was all-important, that there was nothing he could do to earn his way into heaven - By grace you have been saved through faith - don't translate readily into a picture.

But these portraits of Martin Luther and his wife Katharina von Bora help show one thing. As monk and nun, both were bound by vows to never marry. Yet in the ferment of Reformation and revolution, the church re-examined its understanding of how the church worked. Luther came to know a God of love and mercy, who was not seeking to damn him, but to free him.

They saw that the rules the church had made went beyond the rules God had given, which themselves were impossible to fully keep. "Love the Lord your God, and love your neighbor as yourself" defines a lifetime of practice. When Martin and Katies celibate vocations ended, God led them to practice love in marriage, a relationship to which many are called.

This Sunday we will listen to God's word and practice living in its light, Pr. Hans Arnesen preaching and presiding at a service of Holy Communion.

Grace & peace to you.

St. Matthew's Lutheran Church
85 Wayne Street (btwn Barrow & Jersey Aves)
Downtown Jersey City
201.432.9319

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Sunday 10/21 - worship at 11am

The early Christians turned to their scriptures, the Hebrew Bible, to understand what had happened in the ministry of Jesus. In this week's New Testament reading we see a little-mentioned character, King Melchizedek. They see him as a forerunner of Jesus, who is "designated by God a high priest according to the order of Melchizedek" (Letter to the Hebrews 5:10)

Melchizedek only gets a brief mention in the book of Genesis, but in a way that made him a symbol for those early Jesus followers. He was king of Salem (peace), and after a battle, brings an offering of bread and wine to the returning Abram and his men. This is the setting for a peace treaty between Abram and the local kings. Also, in seeing Jesus as a high priest "according to the order of Melchizedek," the early Christians are claiming high priestly status for Jesus, but outside the hereditary priesthood of the Temple.

So it is with us. Jesus' offering brings peace between divided humanity. And Jesus' ministry brings all people into the holy place, declaring us worthy to make a new kind of sacrifice. Instead of blood, we offer our time, our treasure, our pride, that God might make us into servants.

This Sunday as God ministers to us, we minister to one another, Rev. Lisa Bellan-Boyer preaching. Special music from our Campers' Choir.

God bless and keep you always.

St. Matthew's Lutheran Church
85 Wayne Street (btwn Barrow & Jersey Aves)
Downtown Jersey City
201.432.9319

NEXT SUNDAY: Reformation Sunday. Wear red! International potluck lunch!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Sunday 10/14 - worship at 11am

A man ran up and knelt before Jesus, and asked him, "Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?" Mark 10:17

The answer the man eventually received confused him, because it required him to change, to do something he was unwilling to do, something that seemed impossibly hard.

Perhaps it is so with us. We may see or know the way that is best, yet are unwilling to do what we need to. Let's face it. It's easier to watch TV than to exercise or attend a meeting. It's easier to cling to what we have than to open our hands and heart and life to others. The really big things might seem as impossible as fitting a camel through the eye of a needle, so we attempt so much less.

This Sunday, like every day, God reaches out to open a new world of possibility. Pr. Hans Arnesen will preach and preside at a service of Holy Communion.

Come, know what is possible with God.

St. Matthew's Lutheran Church
85 Wayne Street (btwn Barrow & Jersey Aves)
Downtown Jersey City
201.432.9319

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Sunday 9/30 - worship begins 11am

Friday 9/28 6:30pm Family Game Night - Board games, jigsaw puzzles, and other non-electronic entertainments for children and adults, refreshments provided

Are any among you suffering? They should pray. Are any cheerful? They should sing songs of praise. Are any among you sick? They should call for the elders of the church and have them pray over them, anointing them with oil in the name of the Lord. James 5:13-14

Prayer may seem an insufficient response to suffering or illness. And it is. The Apostle James, having earlier in this letter counseled believers to act on their faith, to care for others, is not suggesting prayer as the only response. But we usually do not need reminders to seek the relief of suffering in direct, pragmatic ways.

We pray, not because that's all we can do, but because God knows prayer is good for us. Our lives are better when we are spiritually honest, when we bring the reality of our lives (the sufferings and the joys) to God. We benefit when we invite God to dwell with us in the reality of where we are, and when we invite the community of faith to participate in our healing.

This Sunday, like every Sunday, we lift up our cares to God and sing our thanks. God dwells in the midst of us. Pr. Hans Arnesen will preach and preside at a service of Holy Communion.

Come, know God's healing power.

St. Matthew's Lutheran Church
85 Wayne Street (btwn Barrow & Jersey Aves)
Downtown Jersey City
201.432.9319

Visit the ELCA Prayer Center for some suggestions about prayer.

Image: Holy Hands, Michael Bathust.

Friday, September 21, 2012

This weekend at St. Matthew's

Saturday 9/22:
6-9am Preparing & serving free breakfast to the community, contact Myrna Perez
5pm New member class, 85 Wayne St, contact Pastor Arnesen

"Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all." Then Jesus took a little child and put it among the disciples; and taking it in his arms, he said to them, "Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me." Mark 9:35-37

When Jesus said these words, and lifted up a little child, children were invisible. They had no legal rights, they had no economic value, and many did not survive to adulthood. As he so often did, Jesus noticed and lifted up people that others ignored and disregarded.

This Sunday 9/23, we pay attention to Jesus' regard for all God's children, his call to notice and serve others, and his willingness to serve us at the heavenly banquet table. Pastor Hans Arnesen will preach and preside at a service of Holy Communion beginning at 11am.

Come, know God's welcome.

St. Matthew's Lutheran Church
85 Wayne Street (btwn Barrow & Jersey Aves)
Downtown Jersey City
201.432.9319

Friday, September 14, 2012

Sunday 9/16 - Welcome Pastor Arnesen!

Each Sunday we celebrate the Mystery that God has come to dwell among us, to share our sufferings and our joys, our hurts and our healings. In Jesus, we see the human face of God, a face which looks upon us with love, who sees us both as we are and as we can be, who desires our wholeness and our salvation.

This Sunday we also celebrate the start of Hans Arnesen's ministry as our pastor. At 11am Pastor Arnesen will lead worship and preside at God's welcome table, serving the bread and wine of God's grace.

And, we will have a blessing of the books, to celebrate our students and teachers. If you are involved in education, please bring a schoolbook, or some other symbol of your education ministry, that it and you might be blessed.

Come, know the wisdom of God, the peace of God, the Son of God!

St. Matthew's Lutheran Church
85 Wayne Street (btwn Barrow & Jersey Aves)
Downtown Jersey City
201.432.9319

Friday, September 7, 2012

Sunday 9/9 11am

This Sunday we return to our 11am worship time. We also read an uncomfortable gospel story. A non-Jewish woman begs Jesus to cast the demon out of her daughter. And Jesus seems to dismiss her with a racial-sexual slur, calling her a dog: "Let the children be fed first, for it is not fair to take the children's food and throw it to the dogs." Her surprising, uppity response confronts Jesus and provokes her daughter's healing.

Perhaps most remarkable, is that Jesus seems to repent, to change his mind, to embrace a more expansive view of God and his mission than he had when she first approached him. Her canny, gutsy, won't-give-up reply is good news to Jesus, and an example of a mother's faith. Are we, like Jesus, able hear the voice of God when it speaks in a surprising voice?

This Sunday, God reaches out for us, with Rev. Gordon Huff leading a service of holy communion.

All are welcome at God's table.

St. Matthew's Lutheran Church
85 Wayne Street (btwn Barrow & Jersey Aves)
Downtown Jersey City
201.432.9319

Image: Jesus and the Syrophoenician woman, artist unknown.
 

Friday, August 31, 2012

Sunday 9/2 - last 10am service

The voice of my beloved!
Look, he comes,
leaping upon the mountains,
bounding over the hills.
My beloved is like a gazelle...

     - Song of Songs 2:8-9a

The Biblical book Song of Songs (also known as the Song of Solomon) stands out as unvarnished, suggestive, sensuous love poetry. Religiously, it has often been interpreted as an allegory, a poetic metaphor of the love between the Lord and Israel, or between Christ and his church, or between God and individuals. Sometimes God's love comes to us not as parental, with God as Father, but as intimate, personal, even erotic with God as lover.

Imagine a God who loves us in every way. Who, like a human lover, will court us, will seek our "Yes" in a partnership that is loving, lifelong, and faithful, and meant to fulfill us and bless the world.

This Sunday, our last Sunday at 10am, we will hear God courting us, singing love songs to us, and feeding us the bread and wine of salvation. Rev. Sue Jones will preach and preside at a service of Holy Communion.

Come - hear the voice of the beloved.

St. Matthew's Lutheran Church
85 Wayne Street (btwn Barrow & Jersey Aves)
Downtown Jersey City
201.432.9319

Image: Cylinder seal from ancient Israel, probably inspired by the Song of Songs.
 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Sunday 8/26 - worship at 10am

How dear to me is your dwelling,
     O Lord of hosts!
My soul has a desire and longing
     for the courts of the LORD...
Psalm 84

It may seem strange that we attach so much importance to a place. God, after all, is bigger than any building, and is present in every place. But the places where we gather to encounter God, where we meet one another to work on God's project... these are special to us because we know God in and through this place.

This Sunday we will gather to hear God's Word, to sing hymns of praise, and offer prayers of thanksgiving, hope, and plea. Simply because we desire to know God's presence, and be shaped by God's will. Paul Ellis will lead worship and Paul Bellan-Boyer will preach.

Come - know the goodness of God.

St. Matthew's Lutheran Church
85 Wayne Street (btwn Barrow & Jersey Aves)
Downtown Jersey City
201.432.9319

Image: 1908 postcard of St. Matthew's, Jersey City.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Sunday 8/19 - worship at 10am

After King David died, one of his sons is elevated to the throne. "The Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night; and God said, 'Ask what I should give you.' And Solomon said, '...Give your servant an understanding mind to govern your people, able to discern between good and evil.'" 1 Kings 3:5-6a,9

Solomon chooses to ask not for wealth or a long life, but for what he will need to serve in his role as king. God will listen to any prayer - but how much better when our prayer happens to match what we need, and what God most wishes to bless us with?

This Sunday, we will pray for young Diego just beginning his Christian journey through baptism. We will pray for our dear friend Iris, going home this week to China. And we will pray for all the needs of the world and our immediate community, trusting in God to help provide all that we truly need.

We'll share the good news of God's promise in a service of Holy Communion, Rev. Lou Dunkle preaching and Rev. Hans Arnesen presiding.

Let us give thanks to the LORD with my whole heart!

St. Matthew's Lutheran Church
85 Wayne Street (btwn Barrow & Jersey Aves)
Downtown Jersey City
201.432.9319
Image:
"Solomon, King of Israel," by Bill Osborne, Giclee print by Gustave Dore.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Sunday 8/12 10am in Ramos Park

Worship outdoors! Across the street in Ramos Park, starting at 10am. Please arrive early to help setup.

After feeding more than five thousand people in the wilderness, Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty." John 6:35

It's an incredible claim. In a world filled with people who are hungry, who ache with thirst, and where some are seemingly never filled, Jesus promises... enough.

Imagine that. Not pie in the sky, nor just a good try. In God's good creation, there is plenty. In Jesus' prayer (give us our daily bread), there is enough. In Jesus' kingdom, there is enough. Can we follow Jesus' example, and feed one another?

This Sunday, we take Jesus at his word, as we take his bread in a service of Holy Communion. Rev. John Melin will preach and preside, and Rev. Roger Anthony Yolanda Mapes will be our guest musician.

Taste and see that the Lord is good.

St. Matthew's Lutheran Church
85 Wayne Street (btwn Barrow & Jersey Aves)
Downtown Jersey City
201.432.9319

Image:
Jesus Christ "The Bread of Life," icon written by Sister Glykeria, Dormition Convent, Parnes, Greece.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Sunday 8/5 10am worship

God commanded the clouds above and opened the doors of heaven, raining down manna upon them to eat and giving them grain from heaven. Psalm 78:23-24

If you live close to the land or know someone who does, you ache during a drought. Yesterday I walked through a field of corn. Green leaves had turned dry, and only a few plants had produced tiny, stunted ears. Drought currently affects more than half the counties in the United States, and this scene is repeated in field after field. The plants, the animals, it seems the earth itself, are crying out for rain.

In the desert between slavery and the promised land, when the people complain at the lack of food, God provided manna, food for the people and an answer to their plea.

We know so well what we lack. When God rains down answers to prayer, will we notice it? Will we give thanks? Will we remember it and tell others?

This Sunday 8/5, even as we pray for rain and all else we need, we will remember God opening the door of heaven, especially in Jesus. Paul Ellis will preach.

God's steadfast love endures forever.

St. Matthew's Lutheran Church
85 Wayne Street (btwn Barrow & Jersey Aves)
Downtown Jersey City
201.432.9319

Photo:
Dying corn, Columbia Bottom, Missouri, 8/1/12, by Paul Bellan-Boyer.
 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Sunday 7/29 - 10am communion

Biblical stories often give us only the briefest of sketches. As the people who walked with Jesus became characters in the gospels, we may struggle to imagine them as real, living human beings.

This Sunday we commemorate Mary, Martha, and Lazarus of Bethany, sisters and brothers who were friends of Jesus. They offered him and other disciples hospitality in their home outside Jerusalem. Jesus grieved at Lazarus' death, and opened his tomb that he might rejoin the living, and as a sign of the resurrection to come. This picture imagines them reunited after Lazarus has been restored to life.

Their story cannot be that strange to us. All too often, those who are close leave us. They (or we) move away or fall apart. Eventually death takes everyone away. Jesus knows this, and invites us to something more than this ordinary reality. In his fellowship, he challenges us to make the most of our time together, to radically share our lives with one another. And then to trust that God will knit together all the unraveled threads in our life, even beyond the end of time.

This Sunday, we gather together to share the Lord's blessings, including each other, with Rev. Lou Dunkle preaching and presiding at the communion table.

May God bless you always.

St. Matthew's Lutheran Church
85 Wayne Street (btwn Barrow & Jersey Aves)
Downtown Jersey City
201.432.9319

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Sunday 7/22 - 10am worship

This Saturday 7/21 we'll gather together to do some cleanup behind the church. See the famous back wall! Starting at 10am.

On Sunday we'll hear from the letter to the Ephesians, telling what Jesus has done to bring together Jews and Gentiles, once foreigners to each other: "Christ Jesus is our peace; in his flesh he has made both groups into one and has broken down the dividing wall, that is, the hostility between us... So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are citizens with the saints and also members of the household of God" Ephesians 2:14,19

The early Christians saw in Jesus the power of reconciliation, the power of bringing together those who lesser powers try to keep separated. On our better days, we reach for what he has promised: forgiveness, reconciliation, peace, and all through the power of love. This Sunday we share God's presence among us, with Rev. Arnd Braun-Stork presiding at a service of Holy Communion.

In Christ Jesus the whole structure is joined together.

St. Matthew's Lutheran Church
85 Wayne Street (btwn Barrow & Jersey Aves)
Downtown Jersey City
201.432.9319

stmatthewsjc.org
Photo:
Bayonne Bridge under construction, approximately 1930.
 

Thursday, July 12, 2012

This Sunday 7/15 - 10am communion

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, just as he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless before him in love. He destined us for adoption as his children through Jesus Christ... Ephesians 1:1-3

One of the most prevalent images of God in scripture is of God as Father, a parent who conceives and provides for, who watches and worries over his children. In the New Testament, this fatherhood is creatively reimagined as an adoptive relationship. New members are continually being added to the family, not by birth but by rebirth through faith and in the waters of baptism.

We saw this happen last week with Iris, and will see it a few weeks hence with Diego. All because God’s parental vision for us is founded in love. You have seen the way new parents look at their children, beloved and perfect. How much more is this the case with a parent whose love is beyond measure.

All God’s children share in that love as we share in God’s welcome table. This Sunday at St. Matthew’s, Rev. Fred Schott will preside at a service of Holy Communion beginning at 10am. It’s a big family, a big table, and all are welcome.

Blessed in Christ.

St. Matthew's Lutheran Church
85 Wayne Street (btwn Barrow & Jersey Aves)
Downtown Jersey City
201.432.9319
stmatthewsjc.org

Photo:
NFL player Demarcus Ware holds his daughter Marley, named after Demarcus’ favorite reggae artist. In 2008 Mr. Ware and his wife Taniqua adopted Marley after three failed pregnancies. Photo by Images of Grace Photography, published in the New York Times, June 15, 2008.
 

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Sunday 7/8 - 10am worship

"When the Lord spoke to me, a spirit entered into me and set me on my feet..." Ezekiel 2:2

In the Genesis story, God created human beings by breathing life into a mud figure, causing it to stand up and enter into the dance of life. God is always calling us to stand up, to reach out to one another, and be responsible for God's gifts.

This Sunday at St. Matthew's, we celebrate God's amazing grace, with the baptism of our sister Iris. We take God's word into our lives, with Pr. Judith Spindt preaching and presiding at a service of Holy Communion, beginning at 10am.

Fill your heart with joy;
drink deep of God's goodness.


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

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Sunday 6/10 - Pastoral call meeting

This week:
Sat 6/9 7pm Meet and greet with pastoral candidate
Sun 6/10 10am Worship led by pastoral candidate
Sun 6/10 11:30am Congregation Meeting

This Sunday, we continue into the season of Pentecost, as we continue to give ourselves over to life in God's Spirit. We will hear great stories of trial and redemption, from Adam and Eve cast out of the garden, to Jesus' casting out a demon. And we are fed by God, in a service of Holy Communion. Our pastoral candidate will lead worship, to be followed by a Congregation Meeting to consider extending a pastoral call.

You will make good your purpose for me; O Lord,
your steadfast love endures forever.


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

Friday, June 1, 2012

Sunday 6/3 - 10am worship & picnic

Beginning this Sunday, worship begins at 10am!

Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!
All thy works shall praise thy name
     in earth and sky and sea.
Holy, holy, holy, merciful and mighty!
God in three persons, blessed Trinity!

This Sunday, Trinity Sunday, we lift high the Christian confession of God who is both Three and One, three persons, yet undivided. This mystery of faith relates to the experience of people having known God in different ways: as a heavenly Father, in human flesh as Jesus, and through the on-going giofts of the Holy Spirit.

This Sunday we will seek to know God in our lives, with Rev. Paul Brndjar preaching and presiding at a service of Holy Communion. To be followed by a picnic at Liberty State Park - departing from the church at 11:30.

Come - enter into the Mystery of God.

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

"Holy, holy, holy" text by Reginald Heber, 1783-1826.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Sunday 5/27 - Pentecost

PENTECOST! This Jewish festival of thanksgiving became the occasion for a gift from God. "When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit..." Acts 2:1-4

On Pentecost we WEAR RED as a way of recalling the tongues "as of fire," the gift of the Holy Spirit. God promises that we will have the power to accomplish God's purposes. And the Holy Spirit, which sweeps in unpredictably, is the on-going way in which we know God's presence among us.

This Sunday the church will be decorated to celebrate the Holy Spirit's gifts. Paul Bellan-Boyer will preach, and we will have special Pentecost music by Kevin Morali.

Rejoice! God is alive!

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

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Sunday 5/20

Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. As you have sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. John 17:17-18

As the season of Easter draws to an end, the church recalls these word of Jesus to his disciples, part of his farewell on the night before his crucifixion. He prays that his friends might be like him, but in particular ways. That they be made holy, especially in truth ("I am the way, the truth, and the life" Jesus said earlier that night). And he testifies that like himself, they are sent into the world.

Sounds like marching orders. Go into the world, armed only with the truth that God is the author of blessing, of grace, of healing, of salvation.

And Jesus said all this around the table he shared with his friends. Like us today - we hope. When "church" is done, Jesus sends us into the world with the truth he shares with us. God loves, God heals, God saves, as we taste in bread and wine.

Walk in truth, walk with God.

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

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Sunday 5/13 - Worship at 11am

I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father. John 15:15

Jesus is not very good at Lording. His kingdom works not by divide-and-conquer, but by sharing love and bread, including the outcast, bringing all his disciples into the "inner circle." He is not a secret-keeper, but freely shares the righteousness, love, truth and mercy that is his Father's gift to all who seek God.

This Sunday, as we honor those who have welcomed us into the world, who have mothered us, Jesus again invites us into the greatest fellowship imaginable: with God and with those whom God loves. (Yes, that's everyone!) Rev. Judith Spindt will preach and preside at a service of Holy Communion.

May God bless and keep you always.

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

Upcoming events:
Sat 5/12 10am-4pm & Sun 5/25 12:30-3pm, Rummage sale
Fri 5/18 7pm, Meet and greet with pastoral candidate
Sun 5/20 11am, Worship led by pastoral candidate, followed by Congregation Meeting to consider a pastoral call

Artwork:
Jesus and friends, mural at the comedor in Nogales, Sonora, Mexico.
 

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Sunday 5/6

I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinegrower. He removes every branch in me that bears no fruit. Every branch that bears fruit he prunes to make it bear more fruit. John 15:1-2


Vines are amazing plants. They are prolific, productive. They do not stay put, but grow in every direction if given the opportunity. But Jesus highlights the vine's trainability, and how his heavenly Father tends the vine so that it may grow in ways which produce fruit.

So it is with Jesus' disciples. If we "go wild," we will grow willy-nilly, and are unlikely to put our energy into producing the fruits of his kingdom. But following Jesus means being trained, directed, led to grow in righteousness. We pray that the energy which might be wasted in quarreling, in anxiety, might be used instead to grow charity, kindness, forgiveness, justice, peace.

This Sunday we will drink the fruits of Jesus' vine, nourishing us for life. Pastor John Melin will lead worship and preside at Holy Communion.

Taste and see that the Lord is good.

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

Congregation news:
Tue 5/1 7:15pm, Congregation Council meeting
Sat 5/5 10am-3pm, Rummage sale
Sun 5/6 12:30-3pm, Rummage sale

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Sunday 4/29 - Good Shepherd

Upcoming events:
Fri 4/27 6:30-9pm, Family Game Night!
Sat 4/29 10am-1pm, Rummage sale prep

"I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep." John 10:13

Jesus uses and transforms a familiar image to say something about his ministry. People recognized the benevolent, protective image of the Lord as shepherd. Also familiar were Greek images of the god Hermes carrying a ram or lamb upon his shoulders, prior to its sacrifice. However Jesus does not sacrifice the lambs in his charge, but gives his own life.

This Sunday at 11am we will gather together and read the 23rd Psalm, which speaks of God's goodness and mercy shepherding us through even the darkest places in life. We share Jesus' life and look to the Good Shepherd, with Paul Ellis preaching.

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not be in want.

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


Friday, April 20, 2012

Sunday 4/22

Upcoming events:
Sat 4/21 10am-2pm, Work Day - please come lend a hand to beautify our church building.
Sun 4/22 12:30pm, Special congregation meeting: proposal to authorize spending of up to $10,000 for emergency repair of roofing elements

See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called 
children of God; and that is what we are. 1 John 3:1


This Sunday we hear about God's surprising appearances, intervening to bring us back into right relationship with God and with each other. Jesus is made known in the breaking of bread, and Rev. Richard Kiesling will preach and preside at a service of Holy Communion.

Watch for Jesus; he is risen!

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

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Sunday 4/15 - Jesus appears

Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you...." But Thomas (who was called the Twin), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, "We have seen the Lord." But he said to them, "Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe." John 20:19, 24-25

Traditionally called "Doubting Thomas," this apostle expresses something very real to us. Can we trust in God's amazing power? Jesus does not dismiss his question, but comes again to meet Thomas exactly where he is.

Watch for Jesus; he is risen!

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

Congregation news:

Thu 4/12 7pm, Supper and Bible study. This is the final evening in this series, and we will be reading the end of Mark, with the women at the empty tomb.

Sun 4/22 12:30pm, Special congregation meeting. The one item on the agenda will be a proposal from the Congregation Council to authorize spending of up to $10,000 for emergency repair of roofing elements. There will be a short presentation regarding the work, and a vote as required by the Constitution for all non-budgeted spending over $5,000.

Pastoral call process. As reported in church last Sunday, the call committee has recommended a candidate to the Congregation Council, who is proceeding to meet with the candidate and consider a recommendation to the Congregation. Please continue to pray for our congregation's discernment and future.

Gracious God, you call us into new life in your Holy Spirit. Guide this congregation in our call process. Encourage us in living out your call to love, welcome, nurture, and serve all people by following the example of Jesus Christ, and send to us a pastor who will strengthen us in this mission. Amen.
 

Monday, April 2, 2012

Holy Week


Maundy Thursday
4/5, Supper and Service beginning at 6pm


We remember the events of the night before his state-sponsored murder. Jesus shares a meal with his disciples. He shows them his vision of leadership, by washing their feet. And he goes to the garden of Gethsemane to spend the night in prayer, while his friends fall asleep. At St. Matthew's we will share a meal with one another and remember Jesus among us with reflections by Diane Kaese.

Good Friday
4/6, Service beginning at 7pm


On this ironically named day, we look to the Cross, where Jesus was tortured and executed, and we look to the uncounted other crosses that human cruelty erects. In this service, the "Seven Last Words" of Christ from the cross, taken from all four gospels, are used to focus our attention. Mark Muntzel, Kim Aycox, Lisa Bellan-Boyer, Pastor Paul Nordeen, Andy Rhode, Clarence Ponnapalli, and Paul Bellan-Boyer will offer reflections on each of Jesus' words.




Easter Sunday - Resurrection Day!
4/8 9:30am Community breakfast
11am Holy Communion


In Mark's gospel, three of the women who followed Jesus went to the tomb early in the morning to anoint his body with burial spices. Instead of finding the dead Jesus, the tomb was open, and young man dressed in white told them that Jesus had been raised from the dead. And they fled in fear.

We celebrate the Mystery of Christ's Resurrection by sharing a meal with one another at 9:30 and then sharing his meal of holy communion, Pastor Judith Spint preaching and presiding.

Enter into the mystery of faith,
journey with Jesus through this Holy Week.


St. Matthew's Lutheran Church
85 Wayne Street (btwn Barrow & Jersey Aves)
Downtown Jersey City
201.432.9319
stmatthewsjc.org

Artwork:
Armenian miniature of the Last Supper, artist unknown.
White Crucifixion, Marc Chagall, 1938.
The Empty Tomb, Jesus Mafa, illustrations of the Gospel from North Cameroun, circa 1977.
 

Thursday, March 29, 2012

This week at St. Matthew's

Upcoming events:
3/30 Friday 6:30pm Family Game night with Lily's Girl Scouts
4/1 Palm Sunday 10:30am Procession, 11am service
4/5 Maundy Thursday 6pm Dinner followed by worship service
4/6 Good Friday 7pm Seven Last Words of Christ
4/8 Easter Sunday 11am Resurrection!

This Sunday we shout Hosanna and process in the neighborhood, recalling Jesus' entry into Jerusalem. In the coming week we will journey with him through the Last Supper on Thursday night, to the cross on Good Friday, and beyond.

Rev. Judith Spindt will lead us in a service of Holy Communion this Sunday, to nourish us for the coming week and for life eternal.

Hosanna! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.

St. Matthew's Lutheran Church
85 Wayne Street (btwn Barrow & Jersey Aves)
Downtown Jersey City
201.432.9319
stmatthewsjc.org

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Sun 3/25 Andy Rhode celebration

It is a busy weekend at Saint Matthews.

Thursday 3/22 7pm: Bible study with soup, Mark chapter 10. Jesus is on the verge of entering Jerusalem and the week of his Passion.

Saturday 3/24 10am-2pm: Clean and Polish and Sort Day. A Rummage Sale strategy meeting will be held from 12 to 12:30. Bring your hands and minds ready to work!

Sunday 3/25 11am worship, 1:30pm Dedication of the Andrew C. Rhode Theater at the Barrow Mansion. Please come to celebrate Andy and share refreshments and stories with our neighbors.
You delight in truth deep within me, and
would have me know wisdom deep within.
Psalm 51:6

St. Matthew's Lutheran Church
85 Wayne Street (btwn Barrow & Jersey Aves)
Downtown Jersey City
201.432.9319
stmatthewsjc.org

Prayer updates:
+ Emma Behrens remains at Jersey City Medical Center.
+ Carol Andersen's cancer surgery was successful; she and Harvey appreciate your prayers and good wishes.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Sunday 3/18 - Worship at 11am

This Sunday we hear an ancient story from the book of Numbers. After their escape from slavery in Egypt, the people are afflicted by serpents. The Lord tells Moses to raise up a bronze serpent that people can look to for healing. More than a thousand years later, John's gospel sees Jesus in this story, that he was lifted up on the cross, and that those who look to him are delivered.

This Sunday we will look to Jesus in the words of scripture, in our lives together, and in the bread and wine of Holy Communion, Rev. Will Henkel preaching and presiding.

Look to Jesus for healing; turn to Jesus for life.

St. Matthew's Lutheran Church
85 Wayne Street (btwn Barrow & Jersey Aves)
Downtown Jersey City
201.432.9319
stmatthewsjc.org

Bible study in Lent:
- Thursdays at 7pm we'll share a light meal and read through the Gospel of Mark. Volunteers for providing soup are appreciated and can contact mark_sandstrom@yahoo.com.
- Sundays at 1pm we'll read through a number of shorter books in the Old Testament (targeting one book per session), Paul Ellis hosting.

Andy Rhode Celebration:
Sunday, March 25, 1:30pm
St. Matthew's and the Barrow Mansion Development Corporation will dedicate the Andrew C. Rhode Theater in honor of Andy Rhode and his father's decades of service to our community. Please join us to celebrate Andy and share refreshments. 83 Wayne St.

Artwork: "Serpent Spiral," at the Musée Guimet, by Giant Ginkgo.
 

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Lent Bible study and Sunday worship

Daylight savings time begins this Sunday. Set your clock ahead one hour.

Bible study in Lent:
- Thursdays at 7pm we'll share a light meal and read through the Gospel of Mark. Volunteers for providing soup are appreciated and can contact mark_sandstrom@yahoo.com.
- Sundays at 1pm we'll read through a number of shorter books in the Old Testament (targeting one book per session), Paul Ellis hosting.

This Sunday, Jesus gets angry. "In the temple he found people selling cattle, sheep, and doves, and the money changers seated at their tables. Making a whip of cords, he drove all of them out of the temple, both the sheep and the cattle. He also poured out the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables" (John 2:14-15).

A life lived in faith is not without turmoil. Responding to God may lead us into conflict, when we see injustice. The Jesus who overturned table, also overturned the world order, simply by practicing healing, forgiveness, and the miraculous sharing of his life.

We celebrate life in Christ with a meal of his bread and wine, Rev. Gordon Huff preaching and presiding.

All have a home in God's house.

St. Matthew's Lutheran Church
85 Wayne Street (btwn Barrow & Jersey Aves)
Downtown Jersey City
201.432.9319
stmatthewsjc.org

Artwork: Jesus cleanses the temple, by the Benedictine Sisters of Turvey Abbey.
 

Friday, February 24, 2012

Sunday 2/26 11am - First Sunday in Lent

The season of Lent is an opportunity to re-focus our attention on our spiritual lives, to re-engage with others in faith, to re-turn to the Lord. On Ash Wednesday, we received ashes as a reminder of our mortality and God's saving grace. In Lent, the Sunday gospel readings turn towards the cross, as Jesus journeys towards Jerusalem and the events which lead up to his death.

This year at St. Matthew's, each Sunday in Lent will lift up one theme related to salvation. This Sunday we will focus on the symbol of water, so important to life and in the Bible. Noah and his kin were brought safely through the flood; God led the people of Israel out of slavery and through the sea; we enter Christian community through the water of baptism.

This Sunday we will "wade in the water" with an 11am service led by David Sitler and with Myrna Perez preaching.
God will see you through.

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

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Sunday 2/12 - 11am worship

A leper came to Jesus begging him, and kneeling he said to him, ‘If you choose, you can make me clean.’ Moved with pity, Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him... Mark 1:40-41

Of course Jesus chose healing. It is a reflection of God's love, and also God's wisdom. For God knows, we all need healing. If you see people being healed, God is near.

This Sunday the Rev. Paul Brndjar will preside at a service of Holy Communion at 11am.

The Lord is good; God's steadfast love endures forever.

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

Congregation news:
150th Anniversary Celebration dinner next Saturday 2/18 4-8pm. All are invited, $25 contribution, we need to hear from you to confirm our numbers. Please contact Stephanie Sheppard (201.320.1265, Stephanieas23@aol.com).
 

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Sunday 2/5 - 11am worship

At sundown, they brought to him all who were sick or possessed with demons. And the whole city was gathered around the door. And Jesus cured many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons... (Mark 1:32-34)

In his public ministry, Jesus seems to be known first not as Messiah, not as Savior, not as Son of God, but as a healer. This - probably more than his teaching - is what seems to have attracted crowds. And why not? Today health care is one of the things we will pay the most for. When you are ill or suffering, finding relief and especially a cure becomes supremely important.

Healing has always been Jesus' and the Church's mission. Theologically, in the sense that Jesus came to heal the wounds of sin. But more immediately in the care and cure of the sick, the wounded, the possessed.

This Sunday we seek healing in the balm of scripture, in the bread and wine, in the companionship of those gathered 'round the hope of Jesus. This Sunday, Pastor Pat Olausen will preach and preside at a service of Holy Communion, beginning at 11am.

Seek, and you shall be found.

St. Matthew's Lutheran Church
85 Wayne Street (btwn Barrow & Jersey Aves)
Downtown Jersey City
201-432-9319
stmatthewsjc.org
At sundown, they brought to him all who were sick or possessed with demons. And the whole city was gathered around the door. And Jesus cured many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons... (Mark 1:32-34)

In his public ministry, Jesus seems to be known first not as Messiah, not as Savior, not as Son of God, but as a healer. This - probably more than his teaching - is what seems to have attracted crowds. And why not? Today health care is one of the things we will pay the most for. When you are ill or suffering, finding relief and especially a cure becomes supremely important.



 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Sunday 1/22 - Annual Meeting

St. Matthew's 2012 Annual Meeting will take place Sunday January 22, after the worship service, beginning at approximately 12:30pm. Our Annual Report (PDF, 1.3MB) includes the meeting agenda, financial reports, and reports from many of the congregation's ministries. (Printed copies are available at the church building.) At the meeting we will elect members to the Council and several other offices, and adopt a budget for the coming year.

Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God, and saying, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news." As Jesus passed along the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the sea—for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, "Follow me and I will make you fish for people." Mark 1:14-17


This Sunday we will hear how God calls people into mission. As Jesus once called disciples on the shores of Galilee, so he calls us again into ministry together in and through this church. Rev. Paul Brndjar will preach and preside at a service of Holy Communion.

Believe in the good news!

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

Friday, January 13, 2012

Sunday 1/15 - Worship at 11am

This Sunday's lessons highlight the call of the Lord. The young prophet Samuel hears the Lord calling in the night but needs help to recognize God's voice. Psalm 139 speaks of a God who knows us intimately: "You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you are acquainted with all my ways" (v2-3). Then the gospel of John gives us a conversation between Jesus and the reluctant disciple Nathaniel.

God calls each of us uniquely into relationship and into the holy mission of transformation. This Sunday we will listen again for the voice of God, with a service of Holy Communion led by Rev. Jack DiMatteo.

Wonderful are your works, O God!

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

Congregation news:
Our Annual Meeting will take place NEXT Sunday 1/22 after worship. A bulletin of reports will be available at church this Sunday.

The painting "Calling Disciples," 2001, is by Dr. He Qi ,a professor at the Nanjing Union Theological Seminary in China.
 

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Sunday 1/8 11am worship - 3 Kings

This Sunday we celebrate the beginning of Epiphany, the season of Light.

We hear the story of the magi, seers from the East (traditionally known as the 3 Kings) who come to pay homage to Jesus, with gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

And we receive the gifts Jesus gives to us: salvation, the hand of fellowship, forgiveness tasted in bread and wine. Rev. Will Henkel will preach and preside.

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

Congregation news:
Our Ministry Site Profile for the call process is available on our website, click here to view or download. It will be finalized at Monday's Council meeting.