St. Matthew’s Messenger
A Message from the Rector
As a church, we feel a need to join an exodus from power and privilege; to help engender conversation across ideological lines ; and to form individuals and help build community through Biblical study.
My Brothers and Sisters,
Let us prepare ourselves to join hearts, minds, hands, and feet as St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church and Westerville parish for the way of Exodus. Let us journey the ancient Exodus story as our story of liberation into a deeper relationship with God and neighbor. This story of Exodus is our story, just look how far we have come as a beautiful congregational people of Christ. I invite us to join with our diocese and discover that our story is a part of a greater story of God’s redeeming love. Stay tuned as we begin our journey on Sunday, August 27.
A Call to Exodus: A Message from Bishop Breidenthal
Beginning August 27, 2017 and running to April 7, 2018, I am inviting everyone in the diocese to come together to read the Book of Exodus.
We are at a moment as a church and a culture when the questions that the Book of Exodus raises are prominent. What does it mean to be a stranger in a strange land? What does it mean to leave behind all the things we thought we knew? What does it mean to see our communities change?
I asked a team of clergy and lay people to consider formation opportunities for the diocese, and they expressed a desire for us all to engage in scripture more deeply. This “planning group” developed the idea of a diocesan “Big Read,” and settled on Exodus as the topic for the reasons given above. My hope is that intensive study of Exodus will help form us for our essential mission of following Jesus into the neighborhood.
What does it mean to be a stranger in a strange land? What does it mean to leave behind all the things we thought we knew? What does it mean to see our communities change?
Several special events are planned for the seven months during which the diocese is reading together, but the most important part of the project will be the integration of our scripture study into every part of the life of the diocese. I ask that committees, councils, task forces, congregational staffs and vestries and mission councils to devote fifteen minutes to the study of Exodus at the start of their meetings. The planning group will provide materials to help them do so, and will also suggest some secondary texts that can help individuals study on their own. They will also provide materials for adult formation programs (most particularly online resources made available through ChurchNext, an online video learning tool) that congregations can use on Sunday mornings during forums and other adult education gatherings. I ask congregations to consider using these materials, or create their own forums and classes that delve into the richness of the Exodus story.
More information about this project will be forthcoming in the next few months. For now, please put the following dates on your personal and congregation’s calendars:
Sunday, August 27 – Launch Day! Exodus readings appear in the lectionary and clergy are asked to preach on Exodus.
November 10-11 – Diocesan Convention. Special emphasis on Exodus.
January 2018 – Jubilate Conference;The Liturgy & Music Commission’s annual conference will have an Exodus theme.
April 7, 2018 – Capstone Event. We will be joined by Old Testament scholar Terence Fretheim as we end the Exodus Project and summarize what we’ve learned.
Other diocesan-wide events that occur during this time (i.e. Convocation, Best Practices Conference, etc.) will also be asked to incorporate the study of Exodus into their program
We are now in that time of year when we start looking at stewardship. We all know the Time Talents and Treasure saying. The importance of each is highlighted and we are assured that we should not feel bad if we cannot contribute to each of them equally. However, often we end up putting more emphasis on Treasure than Time and Talents.
Over the last few years St. Matthew’s has worked hard at not doing this. The Vestry will continue to make every effort to equalize the three T’s.
As St. Matthew’s continues to find its place in “Westerville Parish”, and make better use of the Pray.Think.Love house, we will have to better organize the Three T’s. This is what we will attempt this upcoming Stewardship Season, starting in September.
Stay tuned for more on this.
PIMIL’S EIGHTH ANNUAL INTERNATIONAL LUNCHEON & SLENT AUCTION FUNDRAISER on Saturday, July 22nd was again a resounding success in attendance, substance and in the amount raised! Over the last three years (20l5-2017) in hosting the event at St. John’s, Worthington, the event has experienced an over flow crowd – the parish hall, Kilbourne, the event has had over one hundred persons attending; 2017 was no exception. The coordinator of the food preparation wrote in his email evaluation of the event: “For info, based on the number of plates used at the meal, we had about 135-140 attendees. Much higher than last year!” Accommodation for the yearly anticipated overflow has always been provided for in the Conference Room, and in the Library. Without doubt, the overflow can be attributed, although not perfect, to the excellent planning of over nine months, aiming at drawing people to support purpose of the cause, and also of having a good speaker.
The purpose of the yearly fundraising is to raise funds to augment the support of the economically challenged and the Ebola orphans in Liberia. The goal set was $10,000 for the campaign year of 2017. Although the full amount raised is still being determined, the event was successful in exceeding the amount by over $2000. Funds are still being received, the amount raised will be over $12,000. The annual budget of PIMIL is about $30,000; sponsors contribute half of that amount and the balanced is raised by fundraising activities throughout the year, culminating at the July event.
The speaker this year was the Rev. Dr. Lee Anne Reat, Vicar of St. John’s, Columbus. Speaking on the theme of “Bearing Fruit that Endures” (John 15:16), Dr. Lee Anne commended PIMIL, and its program in producing fruit that endures, citing a beneficiary who is now joining others to support a student in school. She admonished the attendees to continue to produce fruit that endures in continuous supporting of PIMIL to the nine fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22). The PIMIL’s leadership through the priest in charge, the Rev. Dr. Joseph G. Kovitch of St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church, Westerville expresses thanks to all for attending the event and for the committed support of PIMIL. The ninth PIMIL event is on July 23, 2018 at St. Philip Episcopal Church at 166 Woodland Avenue, Columbus, Ohio.
Worship and Music
Arts and Liturgy
A Reflection – MaryBeth Ingram
How did you learn your ABC’s? Ok … sing along … “ABCDEFG, HIJKLMNOP, QRS,TUV, WX, Y and Z, now I know my ABC’s, next time won’t you sing with me?” Did you, like me, at first think you were singing a word, “Elemenopee” and then it dawned on you those too were letters, L, M, N, O, P!
The Lutherans sing the liturgy! And I mean they sing it … all of it!! I can say the Gloria by heart because I sang the Gloria for years in the Lutheran church.
My years in the Methodist church taught me Wesley’s Rules for Singing – there are 7. Among them are, “Sing lustily and with a good courage. Beware of singing as if you were half dead, or half asleep; but lift up your voice with strength.” I often sat near “Jack” at the Methodist church who followed this rule delightfully and joyfully. And in fact on the last verse of every hymn he seemed to find just one more lever for volume and “boy howdy” could Jack belt it out!
My years in the Baptist and Methodist churches introduced me to the rich inventory of hymns by Fanny Crosby and John and Charles Wesley. Some of these are so familiar to us we can sing them without the music … we know the tune! In. our. hearts.
That’s where music reaches … in our hearts. Music sets mood and music enriches word and sacrament. What’s the purpose of a prelude? To pull us into worship … to give us time to take that cleansing breath and center ourselves. It helps the people of God enter into worship to meet God and hear God’s word. What about the postlude? It sends us out … as we were brought in, we now set our faces, our lives, into the world where God’s word, just renewed by the priest, goes to work to bring about the kingdom. Too often the postlude is “walking music” but just as we listen to the prelude, if you take the time to listen to the postlude, you’ll see and feel its purpose.
And a shout out to Sondra Young at the piano keyboard. She selects her music to fit the lectionary, the season, the Word. It may escape many of us but it’s there all the same and she enhances our worship by her choices. Hopefully you’ve enjoyed singing the Lord’s Prayer these past several weeks as a call and response. Amazing how wonderfully we’ve learned this new musical version and how beautiful it is to hear your voices unencumbered by a sheet of music! Just song. Just voice. Teaching. Reaching.
I have often said that should I find myself in a situation where my health is comprised or my life waning, bring me not a bible (they’ll have them there in the side tables any way!) but bring me a hymnal. The hymns teach the faith, tell the stories of the Bible. It’s all there in song.
Music teaches. Music reaches. “Sing lustily and with a good courage!”
PB&J … MaryBeth Ingram
About The Church
UPCOMING ISSUES WILL INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING SECTIONS
What’s Been Happening
-In St. Matthew’s
-In St. Matthew’s (In Pictures)
Around the Diocese
The following is from the Bishop’s office.
Toward the Promised Land
Saturday, September 16, 2017
9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Join us for a unique day of discovering, dreaming and discernment.
Learn to leave behind what holds us back and journey toward where God is calling us.
If you are passionate about making our Church/the Gospel relevant to our neighborhoods and the world today, this is the day for you! Come together for a day of deep discussion and practical learning about identifying our “Egypts” and how to allow the Holy Spirit to guide us out of our buildings and into connection with the people around us.
We’ll begin by spending time together in small groups pondering where Jesus is in our neighborhoods, what “pillars of cloud” we need to follow and what “pillars of fire” are pushing us. Participants will have time to contribute their thoughts and listen together for insights, ideas and deeper connections.
Then it’s time to find our way in the wilderness. Churches and people who have already found their way and are successfully connecting with their neighborhoods will offer a series of flash forums. Visit as many or as few of the forums as you like. Talk with those who have gone out and listened and engaged with both institutions and individuals in their neighborhoods. The open space format of the forums will allow you to stay as long as you would like, or leave if it’s not for you. Find a method that will work for your congregation and your neighborhood and connect with someone who can help you get started.
We’ll end by gathering the major insights that emerge from our discussions and learning, which will allow us to discern where God is calling our diocese and create a model to help us get there. The information collected will be used to create a formal statement to be presented to the 143rdconvention in November.
There is no cost to attend the Exodus Convocation, but registration is required.
(If you would like to take part in this Diocese life changing event, please see Fr. Joseph, or Clifton Flemister. They will have you registered.)
Dates to note
-Toward the Promised Land
Saturday, September 16, 2017
9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church
30 E. Collage Ave.
Westerville, OH 43081
St. Matthew’s Episcopal, Westerville, Ohio-New (Facebook)
The Rev. Dr. G. Joseph Kovitch
The Rev. Abeoseh (Abby) Flemister
Retired, Volunteer Priest Associate
The Rev. Douglas Argue
Ms. Sondra Young
Organist & Choir Director
Asst. Choir Director
Ms. Bernice Gruel
Mr. William Phythyon
Building and Grounds Manager
Mr. Clifton Flemister, Senior Warden
Ms. Jerrilyn Kaiser, Co-Junior Warden
Mr. Bob Zust, Jr, Co-Junior Warden
Ms. Donna Johnston, Secretary
Robert J. Hayes