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 6, 2013

Sat 12/7 Gingerbread & Sun 12/8 Holy bread

This Saturday 10am @ St. Matthew’s:
    + Advent decorating
    + Gingerbread houses for the kids

And Sunday at 11am in worship we will hear the word of the Lord:
"A shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots.
The spirit of the LORD shall rest on him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding…"

Isaiah 11:1-2


While the church decorations are green and festive, anticipating the joy of Christmas and the coming of light, the bare stump should give us pause. Isaiah is speaking to his people who have had their hopes cut-off at the base. Their country has been invaded, their leaders killed and exiled, their Temple in ruins.

After devastation, you wonder if anything will ever really live again, if anything can grow out of

God says yes.

In the coming of Christ, God says yes. In the bread and the wine of reconciliation, God says yes. In the community gathered together, God says yes.

God is faithful, and God's promise is sure.

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

Thursday, September 5, 2013

11am Sunday Worship and Movie Screening




Join us for a Service of Holy Communion this Sunday, September 8 at 11:00am. (note the change back to our regular worship time.)  We gather to hear some of Jesus' more difficult sayings. Must we hate our father and mother to follow Jesus?  Must we rid ourselves of all of our possessions to follow Jesus?  Pastor Hans Arnesen preaching.
On Saturday, September 7 at 4pm in the Barrow Mansion (Andrew C. Rhode theater), we will screen the documentary For the Bible Tells Me So by Dan Karslake.  Mr. Karslake had originally agreed to join us for a Q&A, but the vagaries of Hollywood called.  We will still have discussion and refreshments, and Mr. Karslake will join us for Holy Worship later this Autumn.

In Peace,
Paul Ellis

Sunday, June 30, 2013

The Season after Pentecost

The season after Pentecost is sometimes called "the long green season." The church color is green, mirroring the summer colors of the northern hemisphere. It also evokes the "greening power" of the Holy Spirit, associated with vitality, growth, and the unstoppable power of God to bring forth life.

The readings in these months focus on the journey of God's people in the Old Testament, and on Jesus' teachings as he journeyed through what we now call the Holy Land, but which he simply knew as his homeland.

This summer at St. Matthew's we worship downstairs at 10am with the comfort of air conditioning. At the same time we are asking ourselves "What is God's vision for us in this place?"

Each Sunday we touch a piece of the answer. In scripture, in prayer, and in the bread of fellowship God reaches out to lead us into God's kingdom of peace, of justice, of overflowing joy and mercy and gratitude.

Walk with Christ, who walks with us.

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

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Season of Easter - Spring 2013

In the season of Easter, Jesus has returned. In the lessons we read, the church turns its attention to formation - who are we as a people living in the light of resurrection-power?

God has gathered us in to a new community, which has different rules (graceful and miraculous) than the "way of the world." At the same time, God is preparing us and leading us to share that great great good news with the world.

Each Sunday we gather at 11am to live in God's grace, and to share at God's banquet table.

Walk with Christ, who walks with us.

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

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Sunday 3/17 - Moving towards Holy Week

Approaching his death, Jesus continues his ministry by teaching with his life. When his friend Mary of Bethany anoints him with a prodigious amount of scented oil, Jesus answers those who would chastise her and him for waste.

The debate goes on today. Why use gold and silver for altar vessels, when the poor are hungry? Support of the institutional church is in tension with its mission of service. Part of the reception for Pope Francis has been seen in the hope for the humility and simplicity of a servant pope, who rides the bus and not the limo.

Yet Jesus is not easily pigeon-holed. He receives Mary's intrusive gift, choosing to see it and let others see it as a gift of her love. As he poured himself out for us. Jesus comes again to us this Sunday, in a service of Holy Communion, Pr. Hans Arnesen presiding and Paul Ellis preaching. All are welcome in Jesus' house.

Walk with Christ, who walks with us.

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

Friday, February 15, 2013

Sunday 3/17 - Lent begins

The gospel readings begin Lent in the desert, where there are dangers, and Jesus is tempted. This painting, by Stanley Spencer, shows Jesus in the desert contemplating a scorpion. In the desert, Jesus has the opportunity to confront his fears, to face his temptations, to know them and answer them.

In our every day life the dangers, the temptations are there. Perhaps they are not so obvious. But the gift of the desert is that many things are stripped away, the scene is stark, and the need to make choices obvious. As the Church walks through the 40 days of Lent, we try to focus on the essentials: prayer, listening for God's word, practicing mercy and humility.

This Sunday we also hear words of encouragement from the Apostle Paul, who knows how difficult the journey can be. "The word is near you, on your lips and in your heart" (Romans 10:8). It may seem that we are in a our own deserts, yet God is always near. We gather at 11am to share that Word, with Lisa Bellan-Boyer preaching and Pr. Hans Arnesen presiding at a service of Holy Communion. Come and share in the good news.

Please also join us each Wednesday in lent for a light supper at 7pm and evening prayer at 7:30.

Walk with Christ, who walks with us.

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

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Sunday 1/27 - Annual meeting

ANNUAL CONGREGATION MEETING
Sunday January 27 12:30pm


For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body — Jews or Greeks, slaves or free — and we were all made to drink of one Spirit. Indeed, the body does not consist of one member but of many.  1 Corinthians 12:12-14

This Sunday we will formally receive new members into our congregation: Daniel McLaughlin, Luis Bernard, Timothy Walls, Kirsi Paalanen, Peter Waldron, Jephanya Kasukurthi, and Edgar Rivera Colon. United in Christ, we rejoice in the chance to walk together, to work together, to share God's blessings in community.

At our annual meeting we commit ourselves to mission: in our budget, by electing members of the Congregation Council, and in discussing key areas of focus for the coming year.

We gather as a body having been nourished by the body of Jesus Christ, with Pr. Hans Arnesen leading a service of Holy Communion beginning at 11am. The Congregation Meeting will begin at about 12:30pm, following the service.

One in faith, one in Christ.

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

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Sunday 1/20

This Sunday's gospel reading has Jesus turning water into wine at the wedding celebration at Cana. It describes this as the first of Jesus' signs.

Yet it might seem an odd sign. Helping a party keep going? Wouldn't something more earth-shaking be more in order, a really dramatic healing or that walking on water trick? Yet God's creative power and joyful presence come into the world in many ways. Would we recognize a sign from God if it was near us?

This Sunday we'll look and listen for signs of God among us. Paul Bellan-Boyer will preach and lead a Service of the Word.

Receive the signs of God's grace.

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

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Sunday 1/13 - Baptism of Jesus

As the people were filled with expectation, and all were questioning in their hearts concerning John, whether he might be the Messiah, John answered all of them by saying, "I baptize you with water; but one who is more powerful than I is coming... Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heaven was opened, and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, "You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased." Luke 3:15-16,21-22

Despite taking place in the wilderness, this baptism is a pretty public event. There were crowds who came to see John, some to be baptized. And as this Egyptian icon illustrates, the church has imagined angels as witnesses. People have struggled with the apparent conflict between the historical truth that Jesus was baptized by John, and the question about why Jesus (later known by the church as the Son of God) would need such a baptism.

But one thing is clear: the voice from heaven which proclaims Jesus as beloved. The same voice that God speaks to each of us in claiming us for the heavenly kingdom. This Sunday we'll listen together for God's Word, and share the meal of Holy Communion, with Pr. Hans Arnesen preaching and presiding.

Come and receive God's blessing.

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

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Epiphany 1/6 11am

The Christian festival of Epiphany commemorates the visit of the wise men from the east to the infant Jesus. The word "epiphany" means a sudden manifestation or perception of truth, an illuminating discovery. When they see this sign of God at work in the world, they bow down before it, and give the best gifts they can bring.

At St. Matthew's, we celebrate the wise seers. Following their example, we look in our own day for signs of God's presence in the world.

Pr. Hans Arnesen will preach and preside at a service of Holy Communion, God with us this day.

Come and know the gifts of God.

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