Officers Elected/Installed

Four new members of the Church Council were installed at our Service last Sunday: They include Dan Hoffman, who was appointed by the Council to fill Anthony Kiefer’s term (Anthony had to resign because of his temporary relocation to Muncie). Also installed were Heidi Rudolph, Theodore Mowery, and Ron Werskey, who were elected at the Annual Congregational Meeting in January.

Thank you to those who have completed their terms on Church Council: Connor Becker, Douglas Wellman, and Bill Zurbrugg. We truly appreciate their years of service.

The following church officers were elected or re-elected at the last meeting of Church Council: Deb Kiefer, Chairperson; Ted Mowery, Secretary; Larry Campbell, Treasurer; Susan Bernard, Financial Secretary. Thank you to Ian Webb for his service as Chairperson (term limited to 2 consecutive years per the congregation’s constitution).

Our Lenten Journey

The season of Lent will begin with Ash Wednesday, March 6th.  The Ash Wednesday Service will be at 7:00 PM.  The following 5 Wednesdays the Midweek Gatherings will begin with a meal at 5:30, with our Lenten Study and Evening Prayer following at 6:00.  This year’s Lenten Study will be “Jesus Among Secular Gods,” by Ravi Zacharias and Vince Vitale. Through this highly informative study we will see how Jesus stands above all the false teachings so popular in our time.  People of all ages–including youth– will learn how to defend their faith when it is challenged, how to caringly respond to others who are struggling with their faith, and how to tell the difference between what the world holds out to us as truth and The eternal Truth of God.  Don’t miss out on this opportunity to grow in your understanding and discipleship.

Youth Group Update

Thirteen youth attended last Sunday’s meeting, and how proud we are of them for taking on as one of the first activities a project such as this. But we’re looking forward to many other activities for youth in the months ahead as well. Our goal is to provide a mixture of events including fun, learning, fellowship, and Christian service. We are urging all of our young people to come and be part of it, and please invite friends.

The youth group is open to all ages and grades. If you are unsure as to whether your daughter or son is old enough to attend, please be assured that we will make every effort to help him or her feel comfortable with other members of the group. Last Sunday’s meeting ranged from grades 3 to 11, and — honestly — they all got along beautifully.

We believe that the strength of a youth program will only be as strong as the support it receives from caring adults. We’ll be needing parents and other adults of the congregation to provide resources and leadership. And we’ll be needing dads and moms to encourage the kids to get involved and to make the effort to get them there. We understand that the competition from school, sports, family, friends, and community is great, and so we ask parents to consider giving church youth involvement a high priority. As we all will surely agree, when it comes to faith formation and development in the youthful years, the window of opportunity is small.  If you have questions or suggestions, or if you’d like to volunteer to help make a youth event happen, please speak with Ted Mowery.

Spaghetti Dinner Fundraiser

Spaghetti Dinner Fundraiser

The youth of St. Matthew’s are inviting you to join them for a spaghetti dinner after the service this coming Sunday, February 24th, in Fellowship Hall. Come and enjoy a plate of delicious spaghetti with meat or marinara sauce, Italian bread, tossed green salad, and cake for dessert.

The spaghetti dinner is a fundraiser for Project 216 (formerly known as Kids Against Hunger – Fort Wayne). Through their efforts our youth group hopes to raise the $750 needed to pack approximately 3,000 meals for shipment to wherever it is needed. Let’s all give our youth group members a big thank you for taking the lead as we try to do our part in alleviating hunger and suffering in the world.

Nursing Home Ministry

Nursing Home Ministry

God’s vineyard (the Church) is vast and beautiful. It covers the earth, bearing fruit through God’s people for the healing of the world. One corner of His vineyard, however, is sometimes invisible and often forgotten. It’s made up of countless elderly souls who are no longer seen when their churches gather on Sunday morning. I’m speaking of those who are in their later years, who are no longer able to live independently in their own homes and are now residing in nursing facilities.

Through Lutheran Senior Care Ministries our church is actively involved in bringing God’s love to those who are dear to God in 30 nursing facilities in Allen County. LSCM has a team of chaplains who visit in these facilities and conduct weekly services so that residents can experience what we sometimes take for granted–namely, a chance to “go to church”.

Some may ask, “Isn’t it the responsibility of every pastor to visit his/her members in the nursing home?” My answer to that is, “absolutely.” Our members in nursing homes cherish their pastor’s visits and look forward to receiving the Sacrament. But there’s something else about the church experience that people also miss–that is the fellowship of the saints. What’s more, it’s surprising how many residents in elder care facilities do not have a church or a pastor to look after them. LSCM chaplains are often called upon to baptize a person or conduct a funeral for someone who somehow got “lost” or “missed” by the church in earlier years. These souls are precious, and they make up a county-wide congregation of over 500 worshippers each and every week.

As we did last year, Church Council has decided to dedicate our Lenten envelope offerings to Lutheran Senior Care Ministries. Based on our membership, our goal for supporting LSCM in 2019 will be $544. Please help as you are able by using the Lent envelopes in your box of envelopes or in the pew card holders.

Joy and peace and blessings to you all!

Pastor Dale