In This Week's Newsletter:
- All about The Fourth Sunday of Epiphany
- This Week's Worship: In-Person and Online
- Our Prayer List
- New Jersey & COVID-19 Vaccines
- Giving Back: What is a pledge?
- Connect With Us
- Update Your Church Community Builder
- Synod Feature: Lutheran World Relief
- Thankful Stewards
- Lunchtime Ministry
- The George Jardine & Son Organ of 1877 Update
The Fourth Sunday of Epiphany
In Deuteronomy God promises to raise up a prophet like Moses, who will speak for God; in Psalm 111 God shows the people the power of God’s works. For the church these are ways of pointing to the unique authority people sensed in Jesus’ actions and words. We encounter that authority in God’s word, around which we gather, the word that prevails over any lesser spirit that would claim power over us, freeing us to follow Jesus.
Readings and Psalm
First Reading: Deuteronomy 18:15-20
Today’s reading is part of a longer discourse in Deuteronomy, an updating of the law for the Israelite community as the people wait to enter the promised land. Here Moses assures the people that God will continue to guide them through prophets who will proclaim the divine word.
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. (Ps. 111:10)
Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 8:1-13
Paul is concerned about the way some Corinthian Christians use their freedom in Christ as license to engage in non-Christian behavior that sets a damaging example to other, impressionable believers. Christians have a responsibility to each other that their behavior does not cause another to sin.
Gospel Mark 1:21-28
Forces that would bring death and disease have taken hold of a man, yet they recognize Jesus and know what his power means for them. Jesus commands these forces to leave and people are amazed at his authority.
This Week's Worship
Join us this Sunday, January 31 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:
- The Rev. Gary C. LeCroy, D. Min. Pastor
- Mark Singleton, Preaching
- Leslie Neve, Assisting Minister
- Matthew Hummel, Guest Organist
- Courtney Kochuba & Mark Singleton, Cantors
- Jennifer Meusel, Lector
- Jennifer Meusel and Leslie Neve, Ushers Usher: Jen Meusel
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:
- Leslie Handler (friend of Bernadette Oberndorf) as she battles recurring cancer
- Gloria Honda and family at the death of Chris Honda (friends of Mindy Rostal)
- Sue Lescinsky (friend of Courtney Kochuba) as she battles COVID-19 and grieves the loss of her husband, John, to the virus
- Sheila Hayes (friend of Leslie Neve)
- Marina and August as they battle COVID-19, as well as Parker
- Dan Pickerel’s mother, Patricia, at the death of his uncle, Steve McCarthy
- The friends of Joe Protokowicz (former SMT sexton and Hoboken Shelter employee)
- The family and friends of Thomas Sorenson (former member)
- The Nilsen family at the death of Ken’s mother Dorothy
- 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 (friend of Mindy Rostal )
- Joanne Krayer (Joel’s cousin)
- The family of Jaime Pombo who died from Covid 19 on Wednesday
- Those in our community lost to Covid19, the more than 1,800 deaths in Hudson County, the 406k 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)
New Jersey & COVID-19 Vaccines
New Jersey has now opened up COVID-19 vaccination to health care workers, long-term care residents and staff, first responders and those at highest risk of severe disease. The high risk group includes: Individuals aged 65 and older, and individuals ages 16-64 with medical conditions, as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, that increase the risk of severe illness from the virus.
If you are in one of these groups, we encourage to sign up for your vaccine as soon as possible. You get more information about New Jersey's vaccination program here.
If you are eligible to receive a vaccine, there are generally three ways to get vaccinated:
Mayor Ravi S. Bhalla announced the City of Hoboken launched a pre-registration process for seniors in Hoboken to receive a COVID-19 vaccine appointment. All Hoboken seniors 65 years of age and up are invited to register with the City of Hoboken here. Further, seniors ages 75 and up will be able to call the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) hotline at 201-420-5621 (9 am - 2 pm, weekdays) to pre-register if internet access is unavailable. Seniors can also leave a voicemail with CERT at that phone number starting Wednesday by providing first name, last name, age, address and phone number to pre-register. More information regarding obtaining a vaccine in Hoboken can be found here.
We encourage everyone to obtain the vaccine as soon as it is available to them, as it will allow us to return to normal services at which our entire congregation can take part! Love your neighbor and protect yourself. If you would like assistance in registering for a vaccine please contact Courtney Kochuba at email@example.com.
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.
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: Lutheran World Relief
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 Lutheran World Relief.
Lutheran World Relief envisions a future where all people, in every corner of the world can live full, dignified lives.
Founded by Lutherans in the United States at the end of World War II, grounded in Lutheran theology and building on decades of experience, Lutheran World Relief tackles global poverty by helping people adapt to the challenges that threaten their livelihoods and well-being.
They work with people based on need, regardless of race, religion or nationality and do not evangelize.
They provide aid in emergencies and help families restore their lives. We partner with communities to build and grow rural economies. We break the cycle of poverty, so families and communities can thrive.
Their goal is to help people build self‐sufficiency and create new community‐owned approaches to problem‐solving that will last long after our projects end.
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.
Thank you to the faithful members who have already submitted their pledge for 2021. The past two years we have had 26 pledges and we plan to build on that. Please join us 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. Pastor delivered another very topical sermon. Some takeaways: Repent means to take a second look, a new look, a different look. Trust in the Lord is the only thing that is truly trustworthy. Hope is always in the middle of our suffering and misery.
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! We've had a good week here despite the cold temperatures.
Did you know that we compost at LTM? We don't often have food left over, but when we do, it goes back to the earth. Thanks to Community Compost for making this happen!
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).