9 AM Holy Eucharist in the church; 10:15 AM "Virtual" Worship and Spiritual Communion via Zoom
Operating as usual
Thank you to everyone who joined us tonight for the Ladies Ornament Exchange. We wish you all a very Merry Christmas and can’t wait to see you again in February. Much love and blessings!
We are here and can’t wait to see you! Come by today before 2pm and pick up your ornament.
[12/06/20] Ladies: TOMORROW is pickup for the Ornament Exchange. We will see you between 12-2 to pick up your ornament and a special surprise. See you then! If you signed up for your ornament to be dropped off to you, it will be coming tomorrow between 2-4pm.
The following upcoming performance was recommended by Angela McCormick, present member of St. Matthew's, Orlando and former member of St. John's, Chicago.
[12/01/20] THANK YOU! All Angel Tree gifts have been accounted for. Drop off is scheduled for Friday, December 11th from 10:00AM-2:00PM. You may also drop off this Sunday, December 6th from 12:00-2:00PM. Please be sure to write the name of the child AND the Social Worker on your name tags, so we can ensure they get to the right child. If you have any questions, please reach out to Jennifer Latterell at [email protected]
We have 3 gifts remaining for the Angel Tree! Anyone interested in buying for our last three Angel kiddos? If so, here is the link. https://www.signupgenius.com/go/30E044DAAA82B0-angel
signupgenius.com Please review the available slots below and click on the button to sign up. Thank you!
Attention: Please complete the form below for Gingerbread Day. We are working to determine an in-person or zoom event for this Annual Celebration of Family. We don’t want to skip it this year due to the pandemic, so we need to determine the best fit to move forward. All are welcome, it is not limited to Sunday School Families. Please click and complete.... https://forms.gle/EyECaLCDjgV2dMjRA
It may look a little different, but the Spirit of the Season remains strong. We are ready with our Sign Up for the Angel Tree Gifts. This year we are sponsoring 50 children. Please choose a child (or more) from the list and be sure to add your name and contact information. Gifts can be dropped off every Sunday during Live Service from 9-10AM and on designated drop off days. The final drop-off deadline is Friday, December 11. Please bring your gifts to the church wrapped and labeled for your specific child. https://www.signupgenius.com/go/30E044DAAA82B0-angel
It is the time of year! Are you ready for our Annual Ornament Exchange?
We are not going to let COVID stop us from enjoying the traditions of the holidays or miss an opportunity to see dear friends. However, we will be doing things a little different this year.
It is VERY IMPORTANT that you reply to this email or comment on the page to RSVP for this event. Once we know how many people would like to participate, we will send out another email for next steps.
Our plan is to meet via Zoom. You will have dessert and an ornament ready for you. You can pick it up from the church or we will drop it to your house the week before the event. We are hoping you will all participate in the FUN!
So the first step is to reply back to this email that you would like to participate and we will send another email with all of the logistics. Very simple....just hit reply and say "I want to participate" and we will add you to the list. THE DEADLINE TO RSVP IS MONDAY, November 23rd.
Thank to your all who donated for the Thanksgiving Basket Collection. It was a great success and we were able to deliver 20 baskets to families. Thank you to Parker & Katie Latterell and Ashley & Amy Lansel for helping pack baskets and Betty Betty Stockdill Gower for making our beautiful bows.
Today is our last drop off day for Thanksgiving Basket Donations. Someone will be in the office from 9-12. If you need to drop off beyond that time frame, comment below or message Jen Hopfauf Latterell
Here for Thanksgiving Basket Donation Drop-Off today from 9-11AM. Would love to see you! Next drop off day will be Friday, November 13 from 9-3PM.
This year has been crazy and we may not all be together for the holiday season, but we can all work together to create a special season for families. We are again partnering with the East Orange County Learning Center to provide Thanksgiving Dinner Baskets to 20 families.
Follow the instructions below to be part of our Season of Giving:
Please click the link: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/30E044DAAA82B0-thanksgiving
Choose the items you wish to share
Pick them up from the store during your shopping trip
Drop them off at the church on the specified days (During Sunday 9AM services, Wednesday, November 11 from 9-11AM, Friday, November 13 from 9-3PM
Stay tuned for photos and updates
Smile in your heart knowing you provided a meal for a family during our Season of Giving
The happiest of blessings has arrived! Welcome to the world, Baby Bradly Foust. Congratulations to Ellen, Brad and Family. We can’t wait to meet him. Much love and blessings.
Know a worthy group who could use our help? The Outreach Committee is looking for opportunities now. Find out more in this week's newsletter.
Student, teachers and parents who have become teachers!! If ever there was a year we needed blessings to start the year, this is definitely the one! I hope you will all join us during announcements on the Sunday Zoom call for the Back to School Blessing. Bring your laptops, backpack, pencil, keyboard or mouse along, whatever you decide, and receive a blessing from Father Gary.
Our youth have been busy. See what they've been up to in this week's newsletter. https://conta.cc/3fTfReE
There's a blood drive at church this Sunday! Get the details about it and everything happening with St. Matthew's in this week's newsletter. https://conta.cc/33xFUFL
Check out this week's newsletter. https://conta.cc/30dsPhy
Check out this week's news. https://conta.cc/3hIct8q
The latest news from St. Matthew's
Check out our Weekly News for May 21, 2020
St. Matthew's Episcopal Church's cover photo
The world is an exhausted place. We search constantly for what should be most important or what deserves our attention from moment to moment. As the tides of societal values ebb and flow, so do our affections. We invest value and love into that which offers us nothing in return. And unfortunately the cares of this world have creeped into the people of God. Our gatherings are often marked by complexity and exhaustion. With program goals and achievements, we make complex what God intended to be so blessedly simple. We give our attention, energy, and love to that which isn’t always rooted in simply loving God.
When asked to highlight the most important commandment in all of Scripture, Jesus responded, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment” (Matthew 22:37-38). All of Christianity boils down to this one pursuit. And because we are to pursue loving God in all we do, all of life boils down to this single pursuit. Every single thing we do, whether it involves work, family, friends, church, entertainment, school, or solitude, is meant to be marked by the simplicity of loving God.
At the end of our days, the way we loved our heavenly Father will matter most. Our love for God matters more than any achievement, success, or program. It matters more than any possession, status, or relationship. And when we align our perspective with the first and greatest commandment, everything else comes into focus. When we pursue loving God above all else, all other pursuits fall into their proper places.
Read the rest of today’s devotional: https://bit.ly/2SUXbmd
Listen to today’s devotional: https://bit.ly/2LgEUeQ
For much of my life I feared the thought of obedience, especially to the almighty, all-knowing, and all-powerful Creator of the universe. I couldn’t seem to find a way to consistently choose him over myself. I couldn’t seem to be able to live for his affections over those of the world. As hard as I would try in various seasons, I just couldn’t be obedient.
What I didn’t realize about God’s command to be obedient was the process by which I could grow in obedience. God will take our obedience however he can get it because he wants us to enjoy the incredible fruits of his perfect will, but his desire is always to love us to a place that our obedience would be a natural overflow of our love for him. He longs for us to live a lifestyle of love-based obedience.
John 14:15 says very simply, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” Jesus’ words here are a promise. If we truly love him, we will keep his commandments. If we truly have love in our hearts, we can’t help but be obedient to him. I long to grow to the place where I am so in love with Jesus that I long to choose him in every situation. I long to be a servant so in love with my King that I would die for him or anyone else he asked me to.
The love of God is so real, so powerful, and so transformational that it can mold and shape us into people who no longer live for this temporal world but seek first an everlasting, invisible kingdom. If we will simply be people who let God love us in every moment, we will naturally be people who are obedient to God’s perfect will for us.
Read the rest of today’s devotional: https://bit.ly/2AmvZGJ
Listen to today’s devotional: https://bit.ly/2yERli2
Our world despises discipline. We view correction as an attempt to keep us from doing what we really want rather than an act of love to guide us toward a more abundant life. If we are ever going to live the incredible life God longs to give us, we need renewal in the area of discipline. We must allow God to correct and shape us as the potter molds the clay so that we can live the life to which we have been called.
God longs to establish a foundation of discipline in your relationship with him because he loves you. It’s our pride and lack of revelation that keeps us from allowing God to correct us. If we truly knew the abundant life available to us on the other side of discipline, we would run to the forming hands of our God rather than hiding from them. If we had revelation on the incredible plans God longs to equip us for, we would yearn for the loving correction of our Father rather than withholding the broken places in our hearts from him.
Your heavenly Father has greater plans than you could ever ask or imagine in store if you will allow him to mold and shape you through discipline. He longs to correct every area of your heart that isn’t bearing the fruit of the Spirit or producing abundant life. He longs to provide discipline for your sin so that you can live in the freedom of righteousness.
Open your heart to his loving discipline today. Allow him to mold and fashion you into the likeness of Jesus.
Read the rest of today’s devotional: https://bit.ly/3dgvKLc
Listen to today’s devotional: https://bit.ly/2SBhiWq
The St. Matthew's Community is gathering online. Learn how we can be together apart in this week's newsletter.
There is a misconception in Christianity that we cannot tangibly encounter our heavenly Father. Often we’re taught that we are too broken, dirty, or sinful to experience God. We’re told that experiencing God is only for some people, or only for some nations and cultures. Or maybe as a result of a lack of experiencing God in the past we believe that we are made without something that allows us to encounter God. Maybe we believe that encountering God is for other people, but not for us. Nothing could be further from the truth.
We encounter God because he desires to be encountered, not because we possess some special ability. We encounter God because he longs for us to know him, not because we are more holy than someone else. You see, encountering God is entirely based on his grace and love for us.
What do you feel is in the way of you experiencing your heavenly Father today? What past experience or present thoughts are keeping you from seeking God with all your heart?
Read the rest of today’s devotional: https://bit.ly/3eBqHGO
Listen to today’s devotional: https://bit.ly/2VPm3w7
[04/21/20] Good Morning! We have a request from OCPS to help out a student who does not have a laptop to complete his work. Is there anyone who has an old laptop you would be willing part with? If so, I am happy to do a porch pick up. Thank you!!
We'd normally have a blood drive scheduled for this Sunday, but with the church closed, the bus won't be coming. Check out this week's newsletter for a link to make an appointment to donate near you.
Dear St. Matthew's Family:
It's been a long "dark" Lent, and in some ways Easter doesn't seem a lot brighter. But we know that it shines with a Light that can never go out, because that Light now shines in each one of us.
We may be stuck in our caves on this bright spring Sunday, but Jesus is not! The stone has been rolled away from his "cave," and he's up and about with no "social distancing" restrictions! I bet he's been to your place already, and I know he'll be back!
I'm personally grateful to all of you for rolling with all the punches that have been dealt to us at St. Matthew's during an already long interim, and now another "interim" while the church is closed. One lesson we've learned already is that the real Church never closes!
By the readiness of people to seek out fellowship by any available means, by the willingness of some to ask for help and support and the eagerness of others to respond, it's obvious that nothing can put real "distance" between the people of St. Matthew's Church.
Another resurrection awaits us when our present "exile" is finally over, and I know that the same Spirit that wells up in us now will explode like something brand new!
I know I'm grateful for the blessings that have come to me from all of you, whether by this way or that. What more can I say?
God bless you all this Easter, and beyond! The Lord is risen indeed, and you're the living proof!
Coming to Washington National Cathedral for Easter: one of the largest virtual choirs ever assembled!
From across the country, 514 singers and 120 instrumentalists filmed and recorded more than 800 tracks, which were then synced and merged to form a beautiful national tapestry of music for Easter Sunday.
You can catch their premiere, and a not-to-be-missed sermon from Presiding Bishop Michael B. Curry, online at 11:15 tomorrow. We hope you'll join us to celebrate the risen Christ!
The Lighting of a New Fire
The lighting of the Pschal candle at the beginning of the first Easter procession
"Dear friends in Christ: On this most holy night, in which our Lord Jesus passed over from death to life, the Church invites her members, dispersed throughout the world, to gather in vigil and prayer. For this is the Passover of the Lord, in which, by hearing his Word and celebrating his Sacraments, we share in his victory over death."
Book of Common Prayer, page 285
Those who would like to follow the Scriptures, prayers, and canticles of the Great Vigil of Easter can find them beginning on page 288 in the Prayer Book.
It's Hallelujah time!
In Biblical understanding, a new day begins at sundown. Thus we read, "And there was evening and there was morning, the first day" (Genesis 1:5).
Below is a link to the Scriptures appointed for the Great Vigil of Easter, traditionally the first service of Easter. There are lots of them. They recall the whole plan of salvation as laid out in the Old Testament, where Jesus' Birth, Passion, and Resurrection are prefigured.
Following the Scriptures is a video recording of the Exultet, the ancient anthem sung following the lighting of the Paschal candle. It signifies the Passover of the Lord from death to life, and with him the "new birth" of all believers.
Lent is over. It's Hallelujah time once again!
Readings for the great vigil￼ of Easter linked in the comments.
Sung by the Rev. Noah Van Niel, Curate, at the Episcopal Parish of St. John the Evangelist in Hingham, Massachusetts.
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