Dear St. Matthew’s Church Family,
I hope you are doing well this week and that you are experiencing peace, hope, joy, and love as you prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus. I know that your calendar is already overflowing, but I want to remind you about the special worship services that we will be having at St. Matthew’s over the next 10 days.
One of the highlights of the Advent and Christmas season is the opportunity we have to hear and sing the familiar and meaningful carols and music of Christmas. That’s why this Sunday, December 16, is going to be a wonderful day for worship; it will be Music Sunday at St. Matthew’s. At the 8:15 and 11:15 services, the Cantata Choir, accompanied by orchestra, will be presenting “Let There Be Christmas” by Joseph Martin. At 9:45, the Modern Worship Team will lead a service of Advent Poems, Songs, and Art. Please consider attending one of the Cantata services and the Modern Worship Service. You will be blessed by both of them.
Christmas Eve Worship
We have four very special worship services planned for Christmas Eve:
• 4:00p.m. – Family Christmas Eve Service: Our children’s choral and handbell choirs will help lead the service and every child who attends will be invited to participate in a very special telling of the Christmas story. Plan to arrive extra early to get a costume and find a seat.
• 6:00p.m. – Modern Candlelight & Communion Christmas Eve Service: Our Modern Worship Team will lead us as we celebrate Jesus’ birth in a meaningful service of word and song. The service will include Holy Communion and will conclude with candlelight and Silent Night.
• 8:30p.m. & 11:00p.m. – Traditional Candlelight & Communion Christmas Eve Services: Our choral and handbell choirs will help lead these traditional services, which celebrate the birth of Jesus. There will be extended handbell preludes before each service and both services will include Holy Communion and will conclude with candlelight and Silent Night.
Please note that these services are very well attended, so we encourage you to give yourself a few extra minutes to park and make your way to the sanctuary. Overflow parking will be available at Wakefield Elementary School. The nursery will be open for the 6:00 and 8:30 services.
Invite a Friend
During the Advent and Christmas seasons, many of our friends and neighbors are looking for opportunities to attend worship services and may be more likely than at any other time of year to respond to an invitation from you. Please consider telling a friend, neighbor, or co-worker about Music Sunday and Christmas Eve at St. Matthew’s. Share the Good News of Christmas with someone you know.
One of the best ways to honor Jesus on his birthday is to do something to help someone else. Through our Advent Offering, St. Matthew’s Church is partnering with three organizations that are making a difference in the lives of people in our own community and around the world: Weyanoke Elementary School, the Shepherd’s Center of Annandale and Springfield, and Operation Mercy. If you haven’t done so already, I hope you consider making a generous donation to the Advent Offering and be a blessing to children, senior adults, and people in need. I think the vision statement for Operation Mercy says it all: “Our vision is to work in partnership with others to restore hope, grow capacity, and promote community through relief and development initiatives that help transform lives, including our own.”Your support will change lives – including your own!
We are continuing to receive Estimates of Giving (EOG) for 2019. As of this week, we have received 189 Estimates of Giving for next year, for a total of just under $794,000. Our goal is to receive at least 260 EOG’s by the end of the year. You can go to our website and use the Give link to download a form, complete your EOG, and sign-up for online giving. I want to express my deep appreciation for your faithfulness, your generosity, and your commitment to all that God is doing through St. Matthew’s Church.
I look forward to seeing you on Sunday.