Sunday Eucharist service – 10:30 am at Otterbein Chapel

St. Matthew’s 10:30 am Eucharist service will be held at Otterbein Chapel, located in Barlow Hall, 88 Cochran Alley

St. Matthew’s Goes to College

A New Chapter Begins

As I spend time with the reality of our move from an Irish Pub to a University Campus, it becomes clear to me that we (St. Matthew’s) are an adaptive community that understands its identity, not by a sanctuary built by human hands, but a family of faith built upon relationships and the commitment to being the church for ourselves and others. The more that I ponder our move to Otterbein’s Chapel for Sunday worship, a move precipitated by necessity, I also realize that we are also a faith community shaped by our environment. 

Our time at the Old Bag of nails connected us to a rhythm of hospitality that only a pub can create. A space of connection around a table with food, fellowship, drink, and conversation. A space that has bartenders, chefs, and servers. I know that this rhythm did form us and gave us a narrative and a unique image of a church who gathered in a pub. Now, as we move to Otterbein’s campus chapel, we will experience a new environment and a space to form our narrative. Though this does not alter who and Whose we are as St. Matthew’s Episcopal Community, a resilient and missional people of God’s transformative love, this move will place us on a university campus. 

How shall this move inform us and transform us? A campus is a space of deep learning in the liberal arts. A campus is a place where young students (and not so young) come to learn critical thinking, celebrate the arts, discover thier best offering to themselves and the world, and encounter the best thoughts and actions for our current times. The campus is also a space where teachers and staff seek to inspire and lead the students to serve themselves and the world. It is not lost on me that as we enter this campus space, even for a few hours on a Sunday morning, we have the privilege to be formed by such a rhythm, but also contribute to the conversation as a faith community of radical hospitality and inclusive love for all. So, St. Matthew’s, let us go to college and raise our minds, hearts, and souls to offer our care, prayers, compassion, worship, and love to a new community. Let us read, write, listen, learn, and join as the Spirit guides. 

It is time to renew our mind, as Paul writes in Romans 12:

12 I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. 2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect.

3 For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of yourself more highly than you ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.

In Christ mind,

Fr. Joseph

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