Dear St. Matthew’s Church Family,
Since Sunday evening, we have been opening our doors and welcoming people in our community who are homeless and without safe and secure shelter. Serving as an overflow hypothermia shelter is very important ministry. Operating the shelter for a week is a massive undertaking and it is only possible because so many faithful members of the church family freely share their time, talent, and treasure to follow Jesus’ teaching and example and love our neighbors.
I want to thank everyone who has helped with the shelter this week, with a very special thank you to Deb Ansman, who is our Hypothermia Coordinator, and St. Matthew’s Hypothermia Team, who work year-round to coordinate our participation in the hypothermia program. In addition to operating the shelter between 5:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. each day, we also kept the church open on Monday and Wednesday. We had planned to stay open on Monday because of the holiday, but we also stayed open on Wednesday during the winter storm. I’m grateful to Deb and other faithful servants who made that possible. I’m also grateful to Manley Higgins and his snow shoveling team. Manley is a member of the Board of Trustees and is responsible for clearing snow from sidewalks and the parking lot. Manley and his team were at the church at various times on Wednesday to make sure guests and volunteers could safely access the building. Many thanks to everyone who has helped out this week.
Pray for General Conference
After months of preparation, the special called session of the General Conference of The United Methodist Church (UMC) will meet in St. Louis, February 23-26, to consider ways the Church can move forward in ministry in light of our ongoing conflict around issues related to human sexuality. You can find more information, including a link to the live video stream at www.vaumc.org/GC2019. If you are able to participate in our General Conference prayer vigil, you can go to this link. Even if you can’t sign-up for a specific time, I hope you will join me in praying that the delegates to General Conference will be open to the direction of the Holy Spirit and will seek unity so that the Body of Christ can focus its attention and resources on making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.
Sunday Morning at St. Matthew’s
On Sunday morning (February 17) we will complete our sermon series, A Reluctant Servant: Lessons from the Life of Jonah. The final message in the series is based on the fourth chapter of Jonah and is titled, Being Angry with God. Jonah 3:10-4:5 and Jonah 4:6-11 will be the Scripture readings.
Lent Begins March 6
The Christian season of Lent starts Wednesday March 6. During the 40 days (not counting Sundays) of Lent, Christians make a commitment to reflect on their need for God’s grace and deepen their relationship with God through spiritual disciplines. During Lent this year, we are going to explore 6 Decisions That Will Change Your Life. The sermons in the series will use the Gospel of John to help us hear and respond to God’s call in our lives. Lent at St. Matthew’s starts with worship services on Ash Wednesday (March 6) at 1:30 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. I hope you will plan to join us for one of them.
I look forward to seeing you on Sunday for worship.