St. Matthew’s Messenger
A Message from the Rector
What does it mean for a priest and a congregation to be “all in?” And if we are “all in,” how do we know we have achieved this aspirational goal?
To be “all in” indicates that there is a mutual commitment between priest and people for the vision that God has embedded within the community of faith, and that the commitment to hold each accountable and build trust in each other to that vision is a priority. Why are we committed to God’s mission in Westerville? 1) We are formed by the great commandment of Jesus: To love God with everything that we are and to love our neighbor as we love ourselves; to always seek to establish new communities; and create positive social capital. That is – God’s love is the core value that drives our hospitality and inclusive orientation as a church; community building and discovering ways to support the emergence of new communities is a core value; and being a creator of positive social capital, that is, workers for the common good – finding the currency of relationships and making connections – is priceless. Thus, together we pledge ourselves to the cause of Christ considering the why of our existence is a movement of God’s spirit in and among us.
Our achievements as a faith community are on a continuum that embrace joy and sorrow, success and failure as a pilgrimage, for the journey is the destination. Achieving a unity of spirit, faith, and cause is a process forged in holy listening, honest discourse, transparent agendas, creative vision, spiritual practice and discipline, and a celebration of our rich diversity. Creating a safe community for all to thrive, and not merely survive is a key component of the world “all.” We serve a God who is creative and redemptive, and a God who makes all holy, and this should be our rhythm as community – to be a creative, redemptive, and holy people.
What gives me much joy, hope, and purpose in my serve with you, as your priest, is that we are on this journey together as St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church – a journey that is always evolving and ever adventurous, and yet, rooted in a changeless God through an Episcopal witness that honors an ancient future mission. We are “all in” because we genuinely care for one another and desire to grow our circle larger to include “all” for the sake of Christ.
Yours in Christ’s love,
Renewal of Fr. Joseph’s Contract
The Vestry has reviewed Fr. Joseph’s last three years as our Priest-in Charge. It was unanimously agreed to that we would ask him to sign a new 3-year contract.
While we reviewed his work, he also reviewed us, the members of St. Matthew’s. As he mentioned at the signing event on Pentecost Sunday, he is pleased with what we as a congregation are doing and how we are supporting the church’s ministries.
The Vestry plan is to make this the last 3-year contract. After this period we hope to convert him from Priest-in-Charge to Rector. For this to happen, we need to be able to fully support him, financially, and not have to receive support from the Diocese.
Plans are under way to make this happen.
PIMIL is the acronym for Partners-in-Ministry-in Liberia. It is an outreach educational ministry established at St. Matthew’s in 2005. The purpose of the ministry is to provide scholarship assistance to economically challenged families to send their children to school. These conditions arose from the Liberian Civil War (1989-2003). Today, PIMIL has expanded to include orphans who lost one, or both, parents in the Ebola epidemic that plagued Liberia from 2014-2015. PIMIL supported 156 students in the academic year ending of 2016/2017 that included 65 Ebola orphans. PIMIL’S goal is to support 100 orphans, of whom there are over 2000.
The mission of PIMIL, through education, is:
- Demonstrating Jesus’ Love
- Restoring Hope
- Enabling Dreams
- Building Liberia
- Fulfilling the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals).
This mission is implemented by voluntary donations from individuals, organizations, congregations, families and friends in the Diocese of Southern Ohio and beyond. However, the annual fundraising event is the primary way by which PIMIL is supported. The 2017 fundraising event is being held again at St. John’s Episcopal Church, Worthington. St. Joh’s has been the host for the past three years. The theme of this year’s event is: “Bearing Fruit that Endures” (John15:16). The dynamic, gifted and missional speaker, the Rev. Dr. Lee Anne Reat, Vicar of St. John’s Episcopal Church, Columbus will speak to us on this topic.
Do join us for this wonderful- others-centered program and please invite someone. You’ll be glad that you did! The food is delicious. There will be activities for the entire family, including a special children’s program. A guest’s comments from last year’s event: “Just a note to tell you how much my friend … and I enjoyed the luncheon and program on PIMIL … The food was delicious and we both bought several things at the Silent Auction. In addition, the presentation by Rufus (the speaker) was inspiriting and clearly demonstrated the economic blessings that PIMIL gives to children from low income families.”
Worship and Music
Arts and Liturgy
We now have an Arts and Liturgy team focusing on ways to draw us deeper into our spiritual lives through art and liturgy. Our focus begins by looking at our Sunday worship time and ways we can enrich the music and liturgy we experience in community. We plan to widen the focus to include other art experiences throughout the week and in the community.
One of our first efforts to ‘go deeper’ is the Celtic liturgy we are using in worship this summer. While we love the familiar liturgies and have no desire to put them aside, a change can break open our seeing and our hearing so that a new meaning is received within. That takes us deeper.
You will also experience some new musical offerings in the weeks ahead. Fear not! Musical leadership will be there to teach and guide.
We are also hosting, for four Sundays, a format to keep the conversation going after worship. “Early Afters” is available to the 8 am worshipers at Java Central and “After Words” is available to the 10:30 worshipers back at the Think, Pray, Love house. Each gives time for further reflection, questions, “ahha’s” and maybe even “stump the priest”! Recently at Java Central there was a hearty discussion after the June 18th early service that rode on the heels of that day’s scripture lessons. It was meaty and energizing.
Won’t you join in on one, or all four Sundays and continue the conversation?
Sundays July 23rd, 30th, August 6th and 13th.
About Alternate Liturgies
You have noticed, I am sure, that over the last few weeks we have been using new liturgies.
The Bishop has given us the authority to experiment with liturgies in worship. We still follow the Revised Common Lectionary for the readings, but the prayers and supporting activities use non-Book of Common Prayer wording.
So far this Pentecost Season we have used Celtic liturgy from St Ciaran’s Community Celtic Rite Mass.
The Celtic Church greatly influenced the way the Church of England (the Anglican Church, of which the Episcopal Church is a part) developed its liturgy.
Historically, Christianity arrived in the British Islands around 200 AD. It developed under the influence of the Roman Church. However, some groups in Britain had always resisted Rome. The Celts more so than the rest of the island groups. From the beginning, the Celtic religion developed differently from the Roman Church. The church in England initially developed as an offshoot of the Roman Church. In fact, the Roman Church was the main church in England for several centuries, and it recognized the Pope and the Roman rituals. It was not until the 16th century, during the English Reformation, that the Church in England broke away from Rome and developed its own church (The Anglican Church).
During this time, the Celtic Liturgy continued to develop along the line we now recognize.
As time passed, the Celtic liturgy became more appreciated by many Christians in the Middle Ages because it tended to be more inclusive and less elitist. Also, the Celts had resisted the Roman Church and its Pope. This impressed many in the Anglican Church. The Celts’ liturgies assisted the Anglicans in finding a non-Roman identity.
So, as we go through the Season of Pentecost, we will look at other liturgies, and ways to worship. By doing this, we will learn more about worship and what other Anglican liturgies mean. Also, hopefully we will become spiritually enriched.
SEASONS OF THE CHURCH
Pentecost Season is the sixth and last of the seasons in the Church Year and lasts about half of the year. The Day of Pentecost (Whitsunday) is the start of the season and begins fifty days after Easter Day. Pentecost (‘fiftieth’) comes from the Greek name for the Jewish Festival of Weeks (Festival of Harvest), which is fifty days after Passover. Passover is the most important of the Jewish feasts.
The Day of Pentecost (Whitsunday) was when the Holy Ghost descended on the Apostles, thus completing the revelation of the Trinity (the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost) to us (John 7:37-39). It was after this that the Apostles started proclaiming Jesus as the Christ, and the Church started. Because of this, the Day of Pentecost is often called the birthday of the Church.
Whitsunday eventually replaced Easter day as the day that baptisms take place in some churches. In earlier times, people wore white baptismal garments, thus the name Whitsunday (White Sunday).
Pentecost Season is the time we learn to live and grow as Christians. The other seasons teach us the basics of Christ’s birth, his earthly ministry, his death, resurrection and ascension.
Length of Season: 24 to 29 Weeks.
Date of Season: Variable. Starting May 10 to June 13 and ending on November 30.
Mood of Season: Joyful.
Color of Season: Red on Pentecost Day, then Green thereafter, except Trinity Sunday (the first Sunday after Pentecost), when White is used.
Symbol: Tongues of Flame.
UPCOMING ISSUES WILL INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING SECTIONS
What’s Been Happening
-In St. Matthew’s
-In St. Matthew’s (In Pictures)
Around the Diocese
Dates to note
Servants for the Month
|Old Testament and Psalm|
|Lock up &
St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church
30 E. Collage Ave.
Westerville, OH 43021
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