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

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.