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In This Week's Newsletter:
  • All about Lent II
  • This Week's Worship: In-Person and Online
  • Our Prayer List
  • Youth + Family: Sunday School Begins!
  • Weekly Bible Studies: Join Us On Tuesdays & Wednesdays
  • Jardine Organ Update: Donations in Honor of Richard's Birthday
  • New Jersey & COVID-19 Vaccines
  • Lunchtime Ministry
  • Giving Back: The Little Church That Could
  • Thankful Stewards
  • Connect With Us
All About Lent II

Introduction
The second covenant in this year’s Lenten readings is the one made with Abraham and Sarah: God’s promise to make them the ancestors of many, with whom God will remain in everlasting covenant. Paul says this promise comes to all who share Abraham’s faith in the God who brings life into being where there was no life. We receive this baptismal promise of resurrection life in faith. Sarah and Abraham receive new names as a sign of the covenant, and we too get new identities in baptism, as we put on Christ.

Readings and Psalm
First Reading: Genesis 17:1-7, 15-16
As with Noah, God makes an everlasting covenant with Abraham and Sarah. God promises this old couple that they will be the ancestors of nations, though they have no child together. God will miraculously bring forth new life from Sarah’s womb. The name changes emphasize the firmness of God’s promise.

Psalm: Psalm 22:23-31
All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the Lord.

Second Reading: Romans 4:13-25
Paul presents Abraham as the example for how a person comes into a right relationship with God not through works of the law but through faith. Though Abraham and Sarah were far too old for bearing children, Abraham trusted that God would accomplish what God had promised to accomplish.

Gospel: Mark 8:31-38
After Peter confesses his belief that Jesus is the Messiah, Jesus tells his disciples for the first time what is to come. Peter’s response indicates that he does not yet understand the way of the cross that Jesus will travel.
This Week's Worship
Join us this Sunday, February 28 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
  • Matthew Hummel, Organist
  • Mark Singleton & Courtney Kochuba, Cantors
  • Mark Singleton, Worship Assistant
  • Jennifer Meusel, Lector & Usher
Prayer List

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:
  • The family, friends and congregation of the Reverend Bill Weiser (Rebeka Shleifer's former pastor)
  • The family and friends of John Weakland (Brian Weakland's father)
  • Ken and Jack Nilsen, as they recover from their accidents
  • Leslie Handler (friend of Bernadette Oberndorf)
  • Sheila (friend of Leslie Neve)
  • Humberto, the family, and friends of Richard Brode
  • Brian and family (Courtney’s friends)
  • Dena Calabrese (friend of Irene Murray)
  • Carol (friends of Leslie Neve)
  • Zoia “Charlie” Foster (Pastor’s niece)
  • John Weakland (Brian Weakland’s father)
  • Joanne Krayer (Joel’s cousin)
  • Those in our community lost to Covid19, the more than 1,900 deaths in Hudson County, the 497k 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), John Lescinsky (friend of Courtney Kochuba), and Jaime Pombo (friend of our parish)
Youth + Family: Sunday School Begins!

Thank you to our teacher Emily, Pastor Gary, and every family who shared in our inaugural virtual Sunday School lesson this past week! The children had a great time learning about God's promise to Noah. Here are some of the things they learned in the kid's own words:
  • "Rainbow is a symbol of God's promise that he would never flood the earth again."
  • "The animals were in the ark for 40 days."
  • "40 days is a month and 10 days."
  • "The people were in the ark for 40 days."
This week the Sunday School lesson will be about "The Faith of Abraham" based on Romans 4: 13-25.  To join, just email president@stmatthewtrinity.org for the Zoom link. 
Weekly Bible Studies: Join Us On Tuesday & Wednesdays

We're delighted to share that Pastor Gary will be leading two weekly Bible studies, beginning the first week of March:

Tuesdays at 1pm
Click here for the Zoom link.

Wednesdays at 7pm
Click here for the Zoom link.

These studies will take a fresh look at Israel’s prophetic movement that undergirds the Christian understanding of Justice.

Note that we will be using the book The Prophets by Abraham Josua Heschel, which was first published in 1962 and recognized as a masterpiece of biblical scholarship. While the the book is not necessary for our study, it is recommended for further reading and insight. You can find it for purchase ($15) on Amazon.

For questions, please email Pastor Gary at pastorgary@stmatthewtrinity.org
Jardine Organ Update: Donations in Honor of Richard's Birthday

As you know, we've been working to repair and recondition our George Jardine Organ, which includes about 300 pipes, for some time. This process is managed by Peragallo Organ Company, who crates and takes the pipes to their workroom in New Jersey. Progress has been halted due to the pandemic, however we are aiming to begin the restoration progress again very soon.

In the meantime, we are striving to reach our $13,500 goal that will cover this work. As of February 2021, we have $3,475 more left to raise.

Until his passing this last fall, Richard led the organ project with a deep passion and commitment. He often remarked that he wanted the organ restoration to be his lasting legacy at SMT. This February would have marked Richard's 70th birthday — so we would like to honor him by completing the fundraising for these efforts.

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). Thank you, friends!
New Jersey & COVID-19 Vaccine

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 president@stmatthewtrinity.org.
Lunchtime Ministry
Hello again from Lunchtime Ministry! Rain or shine, we kept our doors open this week and served 197 guests total. We were fortunate to have our friends from the Missing Gloves Campaign visit and donate over 250 pairs of gloves and other winter gear.

At this time, we are in need of masks, gloves, and wipes, which you can order from our Amazon wish list. And of course, we can also use 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. If you are interested in donating a hot dish or in volunteering, please email volunteers@stmatthewtrinity.org.Thanks for all you do to support this ministry!
Giving Back: The Little Church That Could

“So let us not grow weary in doing what is right, for we will reap at harvest time, if we do not give up.”   … Galatians 6:9

You should have received a stewardship letter from Pastor Gary with a pledge card enclosed this past week. We pray that this will remind you of all the wonderful work that is being done at our church for our community and the world beyond.

SMT is still receiving pledges for 2021. Now is the time when our talk turns into action. We will not give up and it is never too late to submit your pledge and promise for your participation and giving for 2021. You may find a pledge card available online, complete it, and submit. This is the first year that we have had the pledge card available online and many people have taken advantage of this convenience. Please send in your pledge to support our mission at St. Matthew Trinity.  Give with a smile, do not give up, and share some joy!

SMT is forming a stewardship committee to invite new ideas, new energy, and new voices. We already have several dedicated members.  One great idea has already been generated. During this season of Lent, think about the practice of almsgiving, kindness and charity towards others in need. Do something positive each day for others. If you would like to join this committee, please reach out to terrimatteo@mac.com

St. Matthew Trinity is grateful for all of the generous offerings that have continued to come in during these extraordinary times. Offerings are received via check (our mail is picked up regularly) and/or online. You can learn more about the giving process here. Our continuous grateful giving allows SMT to serve in our corner of the world.  

It is more blessed to give than to receive.” …Acts 20:35
Thankful Stewards

So then, whenever we have an opportunity, let us work for the good of all, and especially for those of the family of faith. 
 Galatians 6:10 

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 have consistently provided meaningful worship services 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 submitted their pledge for 2021. The great news is that 100% of our Church Council have turned in their pledge (promise) for 2021. Please join this group as we support our mission to serve and share the joy of believing and belonging to a church family.

Thank you once again to Sarah Reever-Pickerel for making virtual Sunday school for our young families a reality. Virtual Sunday school started on February 21st @ 9:30. This is an important ministry for our young families and their children. Thank you to Pastor Gary who has been called to shepherd our congregation during these challenging times. Some takeaways from Sunday’s meditation ~ The First Sunday in Lent. We should listen to Jesus as to how we treat others. 

For nothing will be impossible with God.    Luke 1:37
Connect With Us

Especially during this time, connecting with each other is essential. Join our online community by following St. Matthew Trinity on FacebookInstagram 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.
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St. Matthew Trinity Lutheran Church
Hudson & Eighth Streets
Hoboken, NJ 07030

201-659-4499  stmatthewtrinity.org

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