News & Messages

Prayers for the United Methodist Church

Please keep the United Methodist Church (UMC) in your prayers February 23-26 as they meet in their special worldwide General Conference in St. Louis, Missouri. The UMC has struggled for decades with many of the same issues around human sexuality that the Episcopal Church has. This special conference is focused on trying to find a way forward.

The results of this convention could radically change the structure and discipline of the UMC, which will determine the shape of the church that the Episcopal Church is seeking to enter full communion with. The UMC is a multi-national church with voting membership from all over the world. Please pray for our Methodist sisters and brothers as they struggle in much the same way as our own church has over the last few decades.
 
Here’s an RNS article that lays out some of the options.
 
Suggested Prayer:

Almighty and everliving God, source of all wisdom and understanding, be present with those who take counsel in the Special General Conference of the United Methodist Church. Grant them discernment. Help them in all things to seek first your honor and glory. As there is but one Body and one Spirit, one hope of our calling, one Lord, one Faith, one Baptism, help us to support our sisters and brothers in Christ as they seek to be your faithful servants. All this we pray in the Name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Amen.

The Rev. David Simmons, ObJN
Rector, St. Matthias Episcopal Church
President, Episcopal Diocesan Ecumenical and Interreligious Officers

Lenten Resources 2019

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Life Transformed: The Way of Love in Lent and Easter

Visit Lenten Resources 2019 for this and other seasonal resources

The journey through Lent into Easter is a journey with Jesus. We are baptized into his life, self-giving and death; then we rise in hope to life transformed. This Lent, faith communities are invited to walk with Jesus in his Way of Love and into the experience of transformed life.

New Way of Love resources for Lent and Easter include three components; additional resources from partnering organizations and churches are also featured:

Adult Forum: This set of seven Adult Forums, suitable to diverse settings, ties the Easter Vigil readings to the seven practices of the Way of Love. Drawing on the ancient practice of setting aside Lent as a period of study and preparation for living as a Christian disciple (known as the catechumenate), the forums draw participants to reflect on salvation history, walk toward the empty tomb, and embrace the transforming reality of love, life, and liberation. As we stand with the three women at the empty tomb, we hear his call to go and live that transformed reality. Curriculum will be available in Spanish before the end of this month.  

Quiet Day: The Quiet Day curriculum condenses the forums into a single-day journey. Offered as an option for churches and dioceses seeking an alternative to the weekly class.  

Test Kitchen: “Living the Way of Love, Transformed.” After the forty days of Lent, this Facebook-based platform will invite participants into a fifty-day Eastertide “Test Kitchen.” People everywhere will actively “GO” with Jesus from the tomb to bless the world - and then share and inspire each other with accounts of how they are living the Way of Love. Consider joining this closed Facebook group now to receive regular messages of support as you live the way of love through Lent. 

Resources shared by partnering organizations and churches

Way of Love resources from Church Publishing, Inc. (CPI) include Living the Way of Love, a 40-day devotional by Mary Bea Sullivan, along with their recently published Little Books of Guidance – one for each of the seven Way of Love practices.

Coming in early February are a series of sermons based on the Year C lectionary readings offered by St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church in Gladwyne, Pennsylvania as well as video classes that track with the Life Transformed curriculum offered by The Hive.

 Additional seasonal resources include

If your ministry has developed a seasonal Way of Love offering, please share at  . We’d love to feature it on the website and pray for our shared journey into new life. 

Explore the Way. Start a small group. Follow Jesus. Let God’s love transform you and your ministry. Find resources for every liturgical season here:www.episcopalchurch.org/wayoflove.

St. Matthew's, Kenosha Service Award Winners

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Paul calls us to “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thessalonians 5:18). What is your church doing to give thanks to its members?

St. Matthew’s, Kenosha has a tradition of showing gratitude for those who serve in their church by awarding three services awards yearly at their Annual Meeting. Before the annual meeting, Fr. Matthew Buterbaugh typically confers with the senior and junior warden about who the recipients should be.

“Gratitude is not just a private feeling but is also inherently social, connecting us as individuals with others,” according to author Diana Butler Bass. By acknowledging the award winners, St. Matthew’s is able to celebrate the work that people have done, and publicly thank them for their service. Generally, the award recipients are surprised with their awards at the Annual Meeting. This year’s meeting was held on January 20.

Jazmin Mendoza-AndersonJazmin Mendoza-Anderson, Acolyte Award winner

The Acolyte Award is based on best attendance in the past year. The acolytes give themselves a check every time they come into the sacristy, and whoever gets the most checks by the end of the year gets the award. This year’s winner was Jazmin Mendoza-Anderson. Fellow member Linda Bogdala noted about Jazmin, “She had been the most faithful in attendance and everyone appreciates her dedicated service to St. Matthew’s.”

Jennifer MeyerJennifer Meyer, Women's Service Cross winner

Jennifer Meyer was awarded the Women’s Service Cross. Jen has shared her musical talents as a member of the choir and as cantor at many services. She has worked diligently on many service and outreach projects. Jen also stepped up to assist in the office, coming in after her full-time job and weekends, after the parish was without an office administrator for several months.

Geoffrey GreeleyGeoffrey Greeley, Men's Service Cross winner

This year St. Matthew’s awarded the Men’s Service Cross award to Geoffrey Greeley, senior warden. Though usually the award it is a surprise, Fr. Buterbaugh said, “I had to tell him I’d made the decision without him.” In addition to his duties as senior warden, Geoff chaired the Stewardship drive last year. Linda Bogdala said, “Geoff is a licensed lay preacher, sharing his knowledge and love of God’s word with the congregation.” He also shares his musical talents as a member of the choir.

“Gratitude happens when some kindness exceeds expectations,” according to David Brooks in an article written in the New York Times. Thank you to Jazmin, Jen, and Geoff for exceeding expectations at St. Matthew’s.

What are other parishes doing to show gratitude?

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