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, 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.