St. Matthew’s United Methodist Church
UNITED METHODIST MEN
St. Matthew’s United Methodist Men (UMM) organization exists to enrich the lives of a community of believers in Jesus Christ both within and outside of our church, to expand fellowship among the men of St. Matthews and to provide both physical and financial support for the mission, ministry, programs and facility needs of St. Matthew’s. While the UMM strives to create an inviting and open environment for men to gather and enjoy the fellowship of old friends and new acquaintances, our principal focus is outward in support of our whole church and our local and international community.
As an organization, St. Matthew’s UMM does not function on the basis of a specific list of members; rather it maintains an extensive directory of Methodist men within the church who have expressed an interest in the activities of our organization and in serving our church and its community. As such, the UMM reaches out on a regular basis to approximately 80 members and friends of St. Matthew’s regarding our monthly meetings and individual programs and service projects.
For 2017, the officers serving the UMM are Bruce Thomas (President), Keith McCartney (Treasurer/Secretary), and Darold Plate (Programs).
St. Matthew’s UMM gather together frequently at the church on Saturday mornings for a 9:02am meeting… an odd time to be sure, but that is what makes it easy to remember … to enjoy a shared breakfast and either hear an interesting presentation on a wide variety of subjects or simply to conduct essential business. These meetings are open to all and on many instances spouses and friends are encouraged to attend because of the topic being discussed. Occasionally, the UMM schedules evening meetings where a larger audience is anticipated or the topic is of broad interest. Our meeting attendance can vary from 15 to upwards of 70 people depending on the time and the subject.
In addition to service projects both at St. Matthew’s and in our local community (such as preparing meals for the homeless at a part of our church Hypothermia Project or providing assistance to senior citizens through programs administered by the Fairfax County Helping Hands project), the UMM provides financial support to a number of worthwhile missions and ministries at St. Matthew’s. During 2016 and again in 2017, the UMM contributed funds in support of the Jeremiah Project and the Appalachian Service Project, the Hypothermia Project, the St. Matthew’s Early Response Team, The Venture Crew scouting program (serving 19+ year old inmates at the Fairfax County Probation House), the BSA Troop 260 (serving 14-18 year old youth at the Fairfax County Probation House), and the MicheLo Swaziland mission project. The UMM also provides funding and physical support for several church-wide functions including the “Wednesday on the Lawn” dinner in July (where we also arranged for a Moon Bounce that was popular among our church youth), and the “Fall Kickoff Picnic” in September. Each year the UMM also sponsors the popular Army-Navy Pantry Bowl which collects donations to the Ken Jackson Food Pantry at St. Matthew’s.
Funding for UMM contributions originated primarily from our annual Christmas Tree Project. Each year from Thanksgiving through the first two weeks of December, the UMM Christmas Tree Project involves approximately 60 adult and youth volunteers from within the St. Matthew’s community who sell 250 fresh trees to a long list of new and old customers. The UMM also uses this opportunity to inform our customers about the worship and service opportunities available at St. Matthew’s. In many years the UMM typically provides a tree free of charge to families in need who may not have otherwise been able to enjoy a real tree in their home for this special season.
St. Matthew’s UMM is another example of the many avenues available for members and friends to be the “hands and feet of Christ” in our world. We welcome all who wish to serve and fellowship in a warm and inviting Christian environment to join us in this mission.