In This Week's Newsletter:
- All about The Third Sunday of Epiphany
- This Week's Worship: In-Person and Online
- Our Prayer List
- Giving Back: 2021 Pledges — What is a Pledge?
- ICYMI: Music Ministry Town Hall Update
- Connect With Us
- Update Your Church Community Builder
- Synod Feature: ELCA World Hunger
- Thankful Stewards
- Lunchtime Ministry
- The George Jardine & Son Organ of 1877 Update
The Third Sunday of Epiphany
As we continue through the time after Epiphany, stories of the call to discipleship show us the implications of our baptismal calling to show Christ to the world. Jesus begins proclaiming the good news and calling people to repentance right after John the Baptist is arrested for preaching in a similar way. Knowing that John was later executed, we see at the very outset the cost of discipleship. Still, the two sets of brothers leave everything they have known and worked for all their lives to follow Jesus and fish for people.
Readings and Psalm
First Reading: Jonah 3:1-5, 10
The book of Jonah is a comedy starring a reluctant prophet who is given a one-sentence message: Nineveh will be destroyed in forty days. Much to Jonah’s dismay, the people of Nineveh repent. The point of the story is to get the reader to wrestle with the question “On whom should God have mercy?”
God alone is my rock and my salvation.
Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 7:29-31
Paul does not disapprove of marriage or other human social institutions. He does, however, want Christians to live in the present in fervent anticipation of God’s future, which even now has dawned through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Gospel Mark 1:14-20
Before Jesus calls his first disciples, he proclaims a message that becomes known as “the gospel” or good news from God. God is ready to rule our lives. Those who realize this will respond with repentance and faith.
This Week's Worship
Join us this Sunday, January 24 at 10:30am ET for community and worship!
We invite you to attend in-person by following our COVID-19 safety protocols, or tune in virtually via Facebook Live or our website. A PDF of our bulletin will be available on our website this weekend.
We give thanks to our worship team this week:
- Usher: Ken Nilsen
- Lector: Ken Nilsen
- Organist: Matthew Hummel
- Cantor: Bernadette Oberndorf, Rebeka Schleifer
- Assisting Minister: Mark Singleton
- Preaching / Liturgist: The Rev. Gary C. LeCroy, Pastor
Please help us reconstitute our Prayer List. To add a prayer request, please email Pastor Gary. This week, we ask that you remember in your prayers and with acts of kindness:
Remember in your prayers and with acts of kindness:
- Sue Lescinsky (friend of Courtney Kochuba), as she battles COVID-19 and grieves the loss of her husband, John, to the virus
- Sheila (friend of Leslie Neve)
- The Nilsen family at the death of Ken’s mother Dorothy
- Dan Pickerel’s mother Patricia at the death of his Uncle Steve McCarthy
- The friends of Joe Protokowicz (former sexton current resident and employee of the Shelter)
- The family and friends of Thomas Sorensen (former member)
- Humberto, the family, and friends of Richard Brode
- Brian and family (Courtney’s friends)
- Dena Calabrese (friend of Irene Murray)
- Carol and Donna (friends of Leslie Neve)
- Zoia “Charlie” Foster (Pastor’s niece)
- John Weakland (Brian Weakland’s Father)
- Dida Hagen and the family of Chris Honda (friends of Mindy Rostal)
- Joanne Krayer (Joel's cousin)
- Those in our community lost to Covid19, the more than 1,500 deaths in Hudson County, the 350k deaths in our country, and those who suffer worldwide: Gilberto and Janet Diaz-Granados (friends of pastor), Francis Ng (friend of Dan Stoll) Charles Powers (friend of the Meusel family) Rosa Reyes (funeral by our parish), Richard Altomare (friend of our neighborhood), Barbara Wolfshorndl (funeral by our parish), Dawn Ennis (sister-in-law of Pamella Pater-Ennis) Arthur Jusu-Davies (member) and Florence Dombrowsky (funeral by our parish)
Giving Back: 2021 Pledges — What is a pledge?
“Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”
—2 Corinthians 9:7
What is a pledge? Webster’s Dictionary defines a pledge as a promise or agreement. One makes a pledge to show their support for the work of the church by sharing their time, talent, and treasures. Many people focus on the money and have a hard time moving forward. The process and commitment of making a pledge is the important step as we share our gifts ~ whatever they may be! The monetary amount is not the most important part, but rather the commitment to the work of this church. The joy that comes from giving is surely contagious and does one’s heart good!
Our stewardship program is currently in the process of receiving pledges from our faithful and generous members for 2021. Now is the time when our talk turns into action. You may find a pledge card available online and submit it there. Please send in your pledge as soon as you have prayerfully considered your giving for 2021 and join the joy of sharing. Give with a smile!
All four Advent Zoom Temple Talks are available on YouTube or our website. All four conversations focus on the joy of giving, the comfort of having a home in which to worship, and how giving truly benefits the giver. You can also find their videos on our website or YouTube channel.
Join in our What Stewardship Means to Me craft! Sarah Reever-Pickerel has designed a PDF for families and individuals alike to print and share what stewardship means to them. You can find instructions and the printable PDF on our website (scroll down the homepage), our weekly Stewardship newsletter or on social media.
St. Matthew Trinity is grateful for all of the generous offerings that have continued to come in during these extraordinary times. Offerings continue to be received via check (our mail is picked up regularly) and/or online. You can learn more about the giving process here. SMT is extremely appreciative of your financial and spiritual support so that our congregation may continue to minister to our community in Hoboken and beyond during these challenging and unique times. We are stronger when we give together!
“It is more blessed to give than to receive.” …Acts 20:35
Connect With Us
Especially during this time, connecting with each other is essential. Join our online community by following St. Matthew Trinity on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for church updates, sermon excerpts, and more! Plus, don't forget to check out our website to learn more more about SMT, our history, beliefs, and programs.
ICYMI: Music Ministry Town Hall Update
Many thanks to the many members of our congregation who attended the Music Ministry Town Hall conversation this past November, 2020. We gained a lot of valuable information and insight into what we as a congregation would like to see for the future of our music ministry.
After the Town Hall, the Church Council had an extensive discussion about what our next steps should be. Our conversation turned to our current guest organist, Matthew Hummel, who has been with us since early October. Everyone who has interacted with Matt agrees that he has been doing a great job and is skilled, dedicated and a pleasure to work with. In addition, we realized that while the pandemic continues to be a concern, we don’t have any need for the extra services, which would be provided by a Music Minister.
To that end, the Council offered Matt a continuation of his Guest Organist position through June, 2021 — at which point, we will resume the discussion of a Music Minister Search. We are delighted to share that he agreed to stay on with us!
Please join us in welcoming Matt to our community! Then, click here to learn more about the Matt's history, as well as notes from our Music Ministry Town Hall.
Update Your Church Community Builder!
Staying in touch with each other is always important, but even more so during this time. We encourage congregants to update their contact information and profiles on our Church Community Builder, so we know how best to reach you. Many thanks!
Synod Feature: ELCA World Hunger
The ELCA NJ Synod supports and works with many different organizations. What's more, as a church within the NJ Synod, some of our offerings go towards them — as well as our volunteer work. Throughout the year, we'll be sharing ways that our community is making a difference through NJ Synod and the ELCA. Today, we're focusing on ELCA World Hunger.
More than 820 million people - that's about 11 percent of people in our world today - are hungry.
Working with and through congregations in the United States, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands Lutheran churches overseas and other partners, ELCA World Hunger is uniquely positioned to reach communities in need. From health clinics to microloans, water wells to animal husbandry, community meals to advocacy, your gifts to ELCA World Hunger make it possible for the ELCA to respond, supporting sustainable solutions that get at the root causes of hunger and poverty.
Learn more here.
“As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace."
— 1 Peter 4:10
St. Matthew Trinity is blessed with faithful members who have worked diligently to keep SMT ministering to our community during these extraordinary times. Thank you to all the faithful members who provide a meaningful worship service each Sunday. Thank you to those who have the expertise and patience to allow us to connect virtually. Fun Fact: The views for our church services continue to increase.
Thank you to the thirteen faithful members who have submitted their pledge for 2021. The past two years we have had 26 pledges so we are only half way there at least. Please join this group as we support our mission to serve in our corner of the world.
Thank you to Pastor Gary who has been called to shepherd our congregation during these tumultuous times. Pastor delivered another very meaningful sermon. Some takeaways: God speaks and sees what is and what can be! Come and see and have your assumptions challenged. We don’t find Jesus, He finds us! Our discipleship matters.
Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.” —1 Corinthians 12: 4-7
Thank you!!!! - Terri Matteo
Greetings from Lunchtime Ministry! The parish hall has been getting busier as the month goes on, and we are more and more thankful for your support.
We continue to be in need of sandwiches, socks, bottled water, and canned soups (pop-tops are best!), which can be brought by LTM every Monday to Thursday from 8:00 AM to noon. You can also order items from our Amazon wish list. If you are interested in volunteering or in donating a hot dish, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Spike Enzweiler
Our George Jardine Organ Update
Work is being done to repair and recondition almost four ranks of pipes - about 300 pipes. They will be carefully crated and brought to the workroom of the Peragallo Organ Company in Paterson, New Jersey. Because of working through these months of the pandemic, the workroom has not been able to schedule the crating and work until sometime early this year. Considering that we've waited more than a decade for this work to happen, a couple more months is not so bad. We thank those who have been so generous in donating to the upkeep and restoration of this historic organ. The instrument will be celebrating its 144th anniversary in 2021. (And we're still striving to reach the $10,000 goal for this work!)
If you are interested in helping reach our goal, you can make a contribution to the St. Matthew Trinity “Music Ministry” fund or by sending a check to the office (St. Matthew Trinity, 57 8th Street, Hoboken, NJ 07030).