LONGEST NIGHT SERVICE (Blue Christmas): Is the season leading up to Christmas a difficult time for you? Do you sometimes feel overwhelmed by all of the hustle and bustle and need a chance for quiet? Do you have trouble holding on to the light in the midst of the world’s gathering darkness? On Saturday, December 21st at 6:00 PM, St. Matthew’s will be hosting a Longest Night Service. This service will be an opportunity for us to acknowledge the ways in which this season is not always as joyful for all of us as our culture tells us that it should be, and a time to hold on to Christ’s light in the midst of the world’s darkness. It will include singing Christmas carols, lighting candles, and prayer, and brief Scripture readings. God holds all of us, and all of our pain, close to God’s heart. Join us as we celebrate this together. (Please note the time change from last year’s service. This year we will meet at 6:00 PM.)
“Here is my servant, whom I have chosen, my beloved, with whom my soul is well pleased. I will put my Spirit upon him, and he will proclaim justice to the Gentiles. He will not wrangle or cry aloud, nor will anyone hear his voice in the streets. He will not break a bruised reed or quench a smoldering wick until he brings justice to victory. And in his name the Gentiles will hope.” Matthew 12:18-21, NRSV
#HappyThanksgiving!!! Look what our weekday school director made for us today!
St. Matthew’s Weekly Pastors’ Message - November 22nd, 2013
Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
“Come, ye thankful people come, raise the song of harvest home.” These familiar words from our traditional Thanksgiving hymn, welcome us to worship this Sunday. What a joy it will be to celebrate the goodness and bounty of God’s love for each one of us. For many, this will be a week of gathering with friends and family, to take a break from our routines of work, that we might be thankful. Starting your thankfulness week with worship is a great idea, and the wonderful music and nurturing experiences of being in the St. Matthew’s church community on Sunday will be a great blessing all the week long.
Last Sunday, we announced a special UMCOR offering to aid the victims of the historic typhoon in the Philippines. The response that first Sunday was generous. We heard via email this week from [St. Matthew’s former senior pastor] Denise Honeycutt, now General Secretary for UMCOR. She writes,
I appreciate St. Matthew’s giving toward the Philippines. It is going to be a long term recovery and I am so thankful that our church, through UMCOR will be there. This morning when I talked with our folks on the ground in Tacloban they said the hillsides were all brown, - the water washed away all the vegetation and tree. No green – just brown. What a sad sight. Today is our second day of local food and water tablet delivery. UMCOR is being escorted by Philippine soldiers but all has gone well so far.
We will conclude that offering this coming Sunday. See you on Sunday as we lift our voices in THANKFUL praise.
Jay M. Hanke, Senior Pastor
Brian Johnson, Associate Pastor
Bill Moberly, Associate Pastor of Senior Adult Ministries and Visitation
Connect with God in Worship on Sunday, November 24, 2013
8:15 & 11:15 AM - Traditional Worship: “Pronouncements of the King” by Pastor Jay M. Hanke. 2 Corinthians 9:6-12 (NT); Mark 4:21-32 (Gospel). The Sanctuary Choir & Peace Ringers (8:15); The Chapel Choir & Carol Ringers (11:15)
9:45 AM - Modern Worship: “Pronouncements of the King” by Pastor Jay M. Hanke. 2 Corinthians 9:6-12 (NT); Mark 4:21-32 (Gospel). The 9:45 Worship Team led by Nelson Cowan.
St. Matthew’s is a welcoming community, nurturing and serving God’s children so that all may find meaning and purpose through Jesus Christ.
But God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us. - Romans 5:8, NSRV
(please note, “I loved you at your darkest” doesn’t necessarily appear in the Bible, instead it is a response to the verse Romans 5:8)
3 Things I Wish We Christians Did Online -
One author/blogger’s thoughts on how Christians speak to one another online:
When Christians attack each other online, the gospel moves backwards. There’s not a single atheist on the sidelines of Christianity who says, “You know, I don’t love this guy Jesus, but his followers sure do hate each other online. Maybe I should get to know him.” I’ve never met someone with a testimony that said….
Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer. - Romans 12:12 (NRSV)
In the event of inclement weather, cancellations, closings and delays for St. Matthew’s activities and programs may occur (this can sometimes include Sunday worship). When this happens, notices will be posted to:
The message on the church voicemail (703-978-3500) will also change to reflect inclement weather updates.
If Fairfax County Public Schools are closed or delayed, the St. Matthew’s Weekday School will also be closed or delayed. This will reflect on the church voicemail, the blog, facebook, twitter and the church website.
If Fairfax County Government is closed the church office is closed. If Fairfax County Government is open but conditions are bad, the pastors will make the decision whether or not to close the church office. Again, this will reflect on the church voicemail, blog, facebook, twitter and the church website.