Dear St. Matthew’s Church Family,
Earlier today, we finished up a great week of Vacation Bible School (VBS) and Kids and Mission Projects (KAMP). We had 208 kids spend at least part of the week with us, learning about Jesus and serving God in our community. This is the most kids we’ve had at VBS and KAMP in recent memory and I think that at least half of the kids do not regularly attend ministry programs at St. Matthew’s. The truth is that we will likely never see the fruit of the seeds that have been planted, but I am confident that God is at work and that lives are being transformed. I am very grateful for everyone who made it possible.
I had the privilege of helping with the KAMP program. (KAMP is the program for rising 5th and 6th graders, in which the kids perform daily mission projects around the church and community.) I was inspired to see how passionately the KAMP Kids engaged with each of the projects – from baking cookies for shut-ins to preparing P3 packs for Food for Others. They worked hard and were proud of the work they accomplished. Several of the kids told me that they wished we could have stayed longer and that they wanted to go back and volunteer on their own. I was honored to work alongside them this week.
In worship this week, we will show you a video slide show with highlights from VBS and KAMP. We’ll also recognize and thank the Children’s Ministry staff and volunteers who prepared for and led the programs this week. You won’t want to miss it!
This weekend, there are two groups of youth and adults heading out from St. Matthew’s for mission trips. On Saturday, Cate Baum, Colleen Baum, and Leah Burrer are leaving for a ten-day mission trip to Costa Rica with the Bi-District Youth Mission Team. On Sunday, fifteen junior high students and four adults will leave for a week of service with the Jeremiah Project (JP). They will be staying in Front Royal, VA and doing service projects around the Front Royal and Winchester area. The names of everyone participating in mission trips next week will be printed in Sunday’s Grow-Pray-Study Guide. I hope you’ll take it home with you and keep everyone in your prayers throughout the week. We look forward to hearing about their experiences on Youth Sunday on August 26.
We will start a new sermon series about Moses on Sunday. The story of Moses and the delivery of the Israelite slaves from the tyranny of Egypt is the defining story of the Jewish people. In the Old Testament account of Moses’ life and ministry, we find lessons that transcend time and place. I hope you will join us, if you are in town, as we discover some of the amazing ways that God is at work in our lives today. The first message in the series is entitled, The Power of Fear. Exodus 1:6-22 and Exodus 2:1-10 will be the Scripture readings.
Finally, you may have seen news reports about the recent vandalism with hate-filled messages that occurred at one of our neighbor congregations: Bethlehem Lutheran Church. Unfortunately, this is the second time that these kinds of action have taken place in our community. (The Jewish Community Center and Little River UCC were vandalized in April last year.) I want you to know that on behalf of the St. Matthew’s Church family I reached out to their pastor and offered our prayers and our support during this difficult time. here will be an Interfaith Community Response at Bethlehem LC on July 25 at 7:30 p.m. This event is open to everyone and will include prayer, song, and messages from various faith leaders. The church is located at 8922 Little River Turnpike, Fairfax, 22031. Whether you can participate in the community event or not, please join me in praying for and standing with our sisters and brothers at Bethlehem Lutheran Church and for our community.
I look forward to seeing you on Sunday.