Parish of St. Matthew Annual Report January 24, 2016
Annual Report The Parish of St. Matthew Sunday January 26, 2016 Our Parish Mission Statement The Parish of Saint Matthew, a community of faith in the Episcopal tradition, is called by God to love, serve and worship Jesus Christ. Our mission is to spiritually nourish those who seek unity with God and each other in Christ. As stewards, entrusted with Godâ€™s gifts, we are committed to carrying on Christâ€™s work in the world.
Stewardship Stewardship is currently composed of six exciting areas of parish ministries. During this year with the arrival of our new rector Bruce Freeman and with outstanding support from lay leadership and clergy, all the Stewardship Ministries performed with commitment, compassion and dedication. The year 2015 opened with the Spring Workday in preparation for Palm Sunday followed by St. Matthew’s Planned Giving Program & Legacy Society celebration in April; the Alleluia Book Offering, Pentecost Sunday and Stewardship Community dinners followed in June and November. The Fall 2015 program began with an overflow attendance at our annual September St. Matthew’s Day Celebration, kicking off parish programs and building community. The October 2016 Pledge Campaign was fast on its heels. With the leadership of our rector Bruce Freeman, the 2016 Campaign produced positive results and support crucial to the life of our parish. Some special features of the campaign include the number of parish volunteers (close to 100), including four outstanding Sunday speakers, new and long-time parishioners writing and sharing their stories in the Epistles, and the 2016 parish brochure. The fall Work Day with the help of Troop 223 prepared the property for All Saints’ Sunday. The beautiful, inspiring annual November Christmas Faire, with the largest number of attendees ever, generated $129,000 for St. Matthew’s Outreach Partners – all proceeds going to outreach ministries. It was a wonderful year filled with good works and blessings. Stewardship Ministries: Annual St. Matthew’s Day Celebration; Annual Parish Pledge Campaign; Planned Giving Program; The Annual Parish Christmas Faire; Fall & Spring All Parish Workdays; the 2015 Alleluia Offering Book.
Rosters Stewardship Pledge Campaign Planning Committee: Carter Beal, Kathy Bitting, Lynne Brickner, Kristin Chambers, Lisa Goldman, Nona Greene, Maida Hastings, Chris Kanoff, Val Holwerda Kruger, Peter Mann Jr., John Momtazee, Paul Notaras, Charles Simonds, Becky Winding, Peter Trepp, Kathy Volz
St. Matthewâ€™s Day Celebration: Marianne Wisner, Jana Russell, Kristin Finney, Courtney Sheldon, Vesta Kia, Shana Garner, Cindy Davis, Jennifer McCarthy, Kathy Bitting, Bruce Freeman
Planned Giving/Legacy Society: Bruce Freeman, Lynne Brickner, Bill Finestone, John Martineau, Becky Winding
Annual Christmas Faire: Christel Durkin, Cary Sinnott - Auction co-chairs, Lyndsie Cardito, Amy Beal - Event co-chairs, Advisors - Amy Childress, Bruce Freeman
Alleluia Offering Book: Michelle Bitting and Phil Abrams, Susanne Howarth Work Days: Parish volunteers from Fellowship, Stewardship, Troop 223, Youth, Missy Morain, The Altar Guild, clergy, ofďŹ ce staff, Jeremias Mendez and the sextons. Submitted by Kathy Bitting and with great appreciation to all!!
Ministries with Young People at St. Matthew’s continues to prayerfully create the conditions that enable the work of formation to be done by the Holy Spirit. This is accomplished by continuing to weave current ministry programs and opportunities together while filling in missing portions, and focusing on faith formation resources and support for families engaging young people in their primary faith formation learning environment– their homes. Parish-based formation opportunities continue to be many and varied, including: Godly Play, Boy Scout Troop 223, Confirmation, St. Matthew’s Day Camp, and St. Matthew’s Parish School. We also focus on providing resources to parents and young people for formation through faith-at-home materials. You don’t have to have children at St. Matthew’s to receive materials; just contact Missy Morain, Director of Christian Formation for Children and Youth (email@example.com) and ask to join the mailing lists.
Godly Play continues as an area of Christian formation ministry to children and their families. Our Godly Play programs begin at age three and continue through second grade. St. Matthew’s has one Godly Play session most Sunday mornings through the school year, beginning at 10:15 am. All stories are one of three different types: sacred stories, liturgical action and parables. St. Matthew’s is lucky to have some of the finest and most dedicated Godly Play faculty including, Sarah Adams, Jim Dutka, Sue Ganz, Kim Iselin, Guilford Robinson, Debbie Tennant, Kathy Bitting, Peter Dubrawski, and Pam Mann. Nona Greene serves as the Godly Play Coordinator leading our faculty and program, and Pam Mann serves as the Godly Play Room Coordinator, slipping in and out of rooms without being seen to make sure we have the correct supplies and that our rooms recover after the summer fun of St. Matthew’s Day Camp. Our annual budget has given us the opportunity to continue to have high quality art and work supplies, while also allowing us to purchase new stories to expand our lessons.
Tween Church In the fall of 2015 we began a new program during the 10:15 am service. Tween Church is an opportunity for those in second grade and above to explore the liturgy with language that is age-appropriate and interactive.
Confirmation We welcomed Bishop Mary Glasspool to celebrate the sacrament of confirmation with eleven young men on Sunday, May 17, 2015.
St. Matthew’s Day Camp The 62nd year of St. Matthew’s Day Camp was a tremendous success under the leadership of Director Erik Warren and Assistant Director Katie Wood. Approximately 250 campers entering first through fifth grade joined with forty-seven staff members for a fun-filled summer. Although the majority of campers come from within the parish community, the camp program reaches out to the broader community and includes thirteen “campership” children, who participate each summer free of charge. Daily transportation is provided from the Neighborhood Youth Association community center in Venice. The six-week session included a wide variety of activities taking place across the entire property. The daily schedule includes a camper-run chapel service, swimming, arts and crafts, music, and skits. Special days involved performances, competitions, adventures, hikes, beach trips, a camperrun fair to raise money for St. Matthew's Outreach Partners, and a day to give thanks for our time together this summer. So much of the mission, ministry and program of day camp rests on the shoulders of the staff and they are a tremendous gift to the St. Matthew's community.
Roster St. Matthew’s Day Camp is led by a Board of Directors, appointed by the St. Matthew’s Vestry. The current SMDC Board members include Billy Jones, President, Mike Davis, Vice President, Kathy Harlan, Secretary, Trey Hastings, Treasurer, David Carr, Tony Hocking, Jennifer Levi, Missy Morain, Liz Rahn, Jana Russell, Rachel Schultz, and Erik Warren.
Boy Scout Troop 223 Troop 223, sponsored by St. Matthew’s, had another extremely successful year of Youth Development. Carrying out its Vision of “Young men leading skillfully, making good choices, and serving others,” the Troop’s Youth Leaders participated in more than 8800 hours of leadership training and practice, 5180 hours of ethical discussions, and rendered approximately 3500 hours of service to St. Matthew’s, its Outreach Partners, and the greater community! Scouts join for Fun, Adventure, Achievement and Friends. The 140 boys and eighty-seven adult leaders in the Troop enjoyed ten overnight campouts, nine days at Emerald Bay on Catalina Island, canoed and backpacked over 6600 boy/adult miles, learned responsible wake boarding, shotgun, rifle, and archery shooting, rock climbing, river rafting, snorkeling, kayaking, sailing, rowing, canoeing, and Leave No Trace Outdoor Conduct.
The Troop’s Scouts achieved, earning more than 1100 merit badges and qualifying for over 210 individual rank advancements. On November 25th the Troop awarded twenty-one Scouts the prestigious Eagle Award, bringing the Troop’s sixty-year total to over 770. Scouts also earned the God and Life and God and Church awards through individual and/or group studies with Missy Morain.
By the end of a Scoutâ€™s first fifteen months in the Troop, he has been trained, tested and qualified for merit badges in survival swimming, advanced lifesaving, boating safety and rescues, wilderness survival, and advanced first aid. All Scouts also earn three different citizenship merit badges, Environmental Science, Oceanography, Communications, Personal Management, and Personal Fitness. All eighty-seven Adult Leaders of the Troop and the twelve Troop Committee Members have completed Scoutingâ€™s required Youth Protection Training including online testing. All Youth leaders have completed, or are in the final stages of completing Scout Leader Specific and Outdoor Training. All High Adventure Teams of eight to twelve have at least one person trained in Wilderness Medicine and two in advanced CPR. The Troop will welcome new scouts in February.
Roster Michael Lanning serves as the Scoutmaster for Troop 223. Bill Walker is the Troop Committee Chair. The Troop Committee members are Andy Breech, Brian Webber, Brian Coughlin, Frank Jakel, Jana Russell, Mark Albert, Missy Kolsky, Suzanne Lowe, Tim Smith, Bill Wilson, Susie Pitcher and Missy Morain.
The Choir of St. Matthew's Parish The choir continues to serve St. Matthewâ€™s Parish with a dedicated group of singers. The choir includes approximately 28 volunteers and eight stipendiary singers. The Music Director and Parish Organist are the principal leaders. The choir sings on Sundays and at feast day services from early September through mid-June plus three Evensongs and two concerts annually. We welcomed Parish Organist Cecily Yuka Ito in September 2015. Cecily was born in Japan and educated in Japan, Brazil and London. This year we welcome Pam Barry, Susan Tortorici and Mary Lou Loper, back from hiatus. We are also pleased to welcome Kimberly Bloom and Gregory Pottie.
Tom Neenan, Music Director Cecily Yuka Ito, Parish Organist
The St. Matthew’s Music Guild The Music Guild had a wonderful and successful 2014-2015 season. We presented eight subscription concerts here at St. Matthew’s and a free community concert in April. At our community concert we celebrated the scholars, teachers and parents of Valor Charter Academy and the members of the Chamber Orchestra and Jazz Band at Paul Revere Middle School. The Chamber Orchestra at St. Matthew’s began as a cooperative venture made up of prominent professional local musicians, many of whom were church members. With support from classical music fans in Pacific Palisades and neighboring communities, the Chamber Orchestra began presenting concerts, with the musicians dividing the door proceeds. Within a few years the Music Guild had established a successful series of eight annual concerts featuring the Chamber Orchestra and visiting guest artists and ensembles. The Music Guild has over 200 current subscribers who are the life-blood of the organization. The series of subscription concerts, the outreach program, and the commissions of new works are financially supported by subscriptions, individual, corporate and foundation contributions, ticket sales and private and public grants. The Music Guild is a not for profit 501(c)(3) organization governed by the Music Director and the Board of Directors.
Roster Tom Neenan, Music Director; Fred Doering, President and Acting Treasurer; Bill Greene, Secretary. Board members: Anne K. Costin, Gordon Dressler, Robert Finnerty, John Graham, Catherine Lanter, Patricia Massey, John O’Reilly, Cynthia Smith
St. Matthew’s Thrift Shop This year the St. Matthew’s Thrift Shop, the original outreach program of the parish, will celebrate its 60thanniversary of operation on Main Street in Santa Monica. As in the past, the Thrift Shop continues to thrive due to generous donations from the parish and school community, its dedicated volunteers, and its Board of Directors. The Thrift Shop continues to honor its original mission, which is to sell affordable clothing to its customers and to donate all the proceeds to local service agencies. In 2015, we were able to give a record total of $91,000 in grants. The donations included $40,000 to the St. Matthew’s Outreach Commission to help support the Westside Food Bank, SPY, OPCC, and St. Joseph’s Center. In addition, we gave $51,000 in grants to other deserving organizations such as the Venice Family Clinic, Airport Marina Counseling, Las Familias del Pueblo, K9 Connection, and Laundry Love. The Thrift Shop also contributed $6,000 toward the Palisades Homeless Coalition to help fund the Homeless Task Force staffed by OPCC. Every month the Thrift Shop delivers clean, wearable clothes, in a minimum of 10 bags each, to the OPCC Access Center, SPY, Sojourn, and the Daybreak Women’s Shelter. Last July, we also hosted a picnic/pool party for 65 children from Las Familias del Pueblo on the St. Matthew’s property. This summer they will be back for two days of fun in the sun. The St. Matthew’s Thrift Shop is a community where we treat all customers with respect – a place where people can hang out, read a book, chat with other customers, or share their journeys with one of the caring volunteers.
Our goals for 2016 are to recruit more volunteers for the marking center and the shop, to make some long overdue shop improvements, to be open longer hours, and to continue to be a welcoming presence in the community.
Roster Laura Borda, Diane Elander, Diane Hogsta, Heather Jones, Richard Kuhlenschmidt, Annabel Montgomery, Mary Naef, John Phelps, Patricia Platt, Alexandra Roosa, Stacy Santos, Tracy Metzger, Jamie Madden, and special thanks to Jeremias Mendez and the Sextons.
Outreach Commission The Parish of St. Matthew demonstrated its commitment to outreach throughout the year as we served those in need. Many parishioners volunteered countless hours to ensure another successful Christmas Faire, which helped raised a portion of the funds for outreach grants. In 2015, we made grants totaling $261,511 to our outreach partners from the Parish and $51,000 from the Thrift Shop. The school distributed $66,001.33 to outreach organizations through their Service Learning Program in the 2014-2015 school year.
Parishioners prepared and served monthly dinners to homeless youth at Safe Place for Youth (SPY) as well as holiday meals for Thanksgiving and Christmas at SPY and Common Ground. Many volunteers came together to prepare, serve and sing carols at our annual Christmas lunch at St. Joseph Center’s Bread & Roses Café. We collected hygiene products for OPCC, visited the incarcerated and celebrated a wonderful Prism Picnic with the families of those who are incarcerated. We donated art supplies and books for NYA in December and parishioners fulfilled 107 wish lists, making Christmas merry and bright for 250 clients of St. Joseph Center in Venice through the Adopt-a-Family Program. Together with the school and Boy Scout Troop 223, we held two Food Drives, in November and March, for the Westside Food Bank and donated almost 22,300 pounds of food. In addition, parishioners shared their time, talent and treasure with our outreach partners as regular volunteers, Board members and donors as they lived out God’s call to serve others in God’s name. Thank you so much to all who offer their time, talent and treasure by serving or helping with organizations including: • SPY dinners and Common Ground meals • Annual PRISM Picnic • St. Matthew’s Thrift Shop • Prison visits and support • Boards of Westside Food Bank, Chrysalis, the CLARE Foundation, Hollygrove, NYA and OPCC
2015-2016 St. Matthewâ€™s Parish Outreach Partner Grant Recipients Angel Interfaith Network www.angelinterfaith.net Chrysalis www.changelives.org CLARE Foundation www.clarefoundation.org Episcopal Urban Intern Program www.euip.org Episcopal Relief and Development www.er-d.org Global AIDS Interfaith Alliance www.thegaia.org Hollygrove www.hollygrove.org Jubilee Consortium www.jubileeconsortium.org Neighborhood Youth Association www.nyayouth.org OPCC www.opcc.net PRISM/Restorative Justice www.prism.ladiocese.org Safe Place For Youth (SPY) www.safeplaceforyouth.org St. Joseph Center www.stjosephctr.org Westside Food Bank www.westsidefoodbankca.org
Roster Lester V. Mackenzie, Kathy Bitting, Jocelyn Cortese, Jackie Ehlers, John Carrick, Amy Childress, Eric Edmunds, Michael Freehling, Kristen Hocking, Heather Jones, Tracy Metzger, Sujie Min, Shawn Silletti, Suzanne Trepp, Dede Vlietstra, Kathy Volz Thanks to all the members and volunteers involved in the ministry of Outreach and St. Matthewâ€™s Thrift Shop. Blessings and Strength, Lester V. Mackenzie, Jackie Ehlers and Jocelyn Cortese
Connect Our parish’s Connect Team began its ministry in 2010, with the mission of making the culture of St. Matthew’s an open and welcoming place for all. Since then we’ve worked to host regular Connect gatherings where newcomers and longtime members can meet, establish relationships, and learn together about the many ways newcomers can share in the life and ministry of our parish. In 2015, we welcomed a host of people to our Spring and Fall Connect events. A number of our Connect guests have become members of our parish, as well as joining parish ministries including the Altar Guild, the Choir, Pastoral Care, and our liturgical Eucharistic Ministers. In the fall of 2015, we also launched a new corps of Sunday morning greeters, who help to guide and welcome all who join us for the 10:15 Sunday morning service. A number of our Greeters are also “graduates” of Connect events! We’ll be hosting more events in 2016 and continuing to look for ways to welcome newcomers to our parish and to invite them to share in the many ministries that make St. Matthew’s such a vibrant and rewarding community.
Roster Special thanks to our wonderful Connect team members under the direction of The Reverend Michael Seiler: Kimberly Bloom, John Carrick, Cindy Dunne, Liesel Friedrich, Richard Kuhlenschmidt, Catherine Lanter, Nan Ritenour, Laura Roberts, Betty-Jo Tilley, and Cheryl Vigna.
St. Matthew’s Altar Guild The Altar Guild is an amazingly dedicated team of women and men who, with love and respect, work together to prepare the Lord’s Table for the Celebration of the Holy Eucharist each week. With the direction of René Buchanan who continues as the Altar Guild Directress, the 2015 Lenten and Easter seasons were beautifully executed and Advent and Christmas 2015 were also expertly handled by our loyal members. In honor of our new Rector, the Altar Guild commissioned a new St. Matthew’s banner, which was debuted during his installation. Having downsized from four to three teams in 2014 because of decreased membership, we had hoped to again add a fourth team in 2015. Though our membership did not grow sufficiently to add an additional team, November 2015 was our second annual recruitment month, and we added four NEW members whose hands-on training has already begun. In other positive news, two of those new members are parish teens. The Altar Guild fully embraces our new Rector’s belief that our children should be involved in all aspects of our parish ministry. To increase our membership further, we began exploring other recruitment avenues. We are working with members of the Worship Commission on broadening the scope of our search and we continued updating our Altar Guild manual to a more ‘user-friendly’ format.
Roster René Buchanan – Directress, Lead Trainer Maida Hastings – Team Captain Merelie Whited – Team Captain Katie Sanders – Team Captain Audrey McQuay – Team Captain, Recording Secretary Lynne Brickner – Captain, Weddings and Funerals Annette McCarthy – Captain, Fair Linen Maintenance
The Fellowship Commission is a Ministry providing hospitality and festivities for key events throughout the Liturgical Year. We promote “Fellowship” among Ministry members, as well as throughout our Parish Community. Through Fellowship we emulate God’s unconditional love: All are welcome in Ministry, as all are welcome at St. Matthew’s. Fellowship sponsored events: • Foyer Program & Kickoff Dinner • Advent Celebratory Brunch • Shrove Tuesday Pancake Celebration • Lenten Soup Nights
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Maundy Thursday Supper Easter Vigil Reception Eastertide Brunch & All-Ministries’ Raffle
Highlights in 2015: • Parish-wide increased participation in Foyer Program • Donated funds to SPY from Advent Event tree raffle • Increased Fellowship membership & attendance • Increased spirit of “Fellowship” on the Patio with events after Services
Roster Co-Chairs: Betty-Jo Tilley Sarah Peterson In coordination with: The Rev. Lester Mackenzie Members: Allora Adams Jessica Allen Jennifer Armistead Amy Baker Andrea Barton Amy Beal Kimberly Bloom Lyndsie Cardito Kristen Chambers Amy Childress Valerie Clifford Brooke Crane Emily Culbertson Kathryn Daly
Rachel Davis Gretchen Ebrahim Shana Garner Lisa Goldman Kim Gorry Kristin Grove Deborah Hale Karen Hand Lindsey R. Hansen Julieanne Hathaway Kristen Hocking Diane Hogsta Katarina Hyde Lucy Meredith Kanner Monica Lacy Amanda Larson April Martin Liana Martin Margaret McCourt Erica McLoughlin Sujie Min Mina Mucha
Charlie Webster Muir Allison Murphy Paige Nesbitt Kelly Peterson Sarah Peterson Patricia Platt Susan Prince Elizabeth Rahn Kristen Becker Reed Marsha Scimo Lori Bruns Selna Courtney Sheldon Shawn Silletti Deirdre Simonds Debbie Tennant Betty-Jo Tilley Lizzy Tooke Claudia Vallon Alexa Villen Kristin Waters Jessica Bulen Wire
Pastoral Ministries As the second year of George Daisa’s Curacy comes to an end on February 3, Pastoral Ministries has a lot for which to be thankful. The intentional work of the “care of souls” begun by The Rev. Betsy Anderson, and carried forward by the myriad committed shephers over the years, has coalesced into an unstoppable pastoral machine. This machine, comprised of nine distinct ministries, continues to serve the pastoral needs of the community, engaging participants in love-spreading difference-making. The work of the “care of souls” continues, and with God’s help, will continue to grow in 2016. The success of Pastoral Ministries has been maintained due to the continued commitment, passion and tenacity of the Pastoral Care Commission (PCC), the group at the heart of Pastoral Ministries at St. Matthew’s, ably led by Alice Simmons, Chair. In her unprecedented third year as PCC Chair, Alice offered insight, wisdom, and mentorship, and always offered herself as a consummate, authentic, compassionate collaborator, and a true partner in the administration and leadership of Pastoral Ministries. Alice rotated off the PCC as Chair in December, opening up the opportunity for another leader to take the reins, and we celebrated Alice and her ministry at our December PCC meeting, pictured. We offer our heartfelt gratitude and thanks to Alice, and wish her all the best. Beginning in February, our new Pastoral Care Commission Chair will be Lizzy Tooke. We are honored to have her great skills and talents at work for the PCC, but we are also blessed to have in her someone of great heart. Lizzy has a discerning and organized mind, and she possesses many spiritual gifts, which have been formed right here at St. Matthew’s, and developed in her life as an educator, and as an urban planner. God is very good, and we are thankful for what 2016 will bring! As always, 2016 will be another year of growth and development. Key to that growth will be a process of “deepening the bench.” Recruitment and formation in all areas of the Pastoral Care Commission will be some of the good work done this year. The success of Pastoral Ministries is the deep bench of deeply formed folks.
This deep bench is at the heart of how we, as a community, care for each other’s souls. Our work, then, is to continue to find innovative and creative ways to serve one another, and grow the “kingdom of delights” as The Rev. Lester Mackenzie has so aptly put it. This is nothing short of responding to the evolving character and needs of our parish and our community, both spiritual and corporeal. To that end, we will endeavor to refocus our primary task in pastoral care, which is to help folks find their own healing relationship with God. We will powerfully communicate God’s love through our response to human need. We will visit the homebound, the sick, and the needy as empowered instruments of God’s supernatural healing. We will pray for those who ask for prayer, and continue to pray for those in our midst who need our prayers, but whose need are unknown to us. We will endeavor to live into our calling to be walking sacraments, food for a world in great need of God’s healing grace and love. It’s a tall order, but one for which we have support and help from the Divine Advocate, our beloved Holy Spirit. If you feel called to be a love-spreading difference-maker through Pastoral Ministries, please contact The Rev. George Daisa at firstname.lastname@example.org, or at 310-573-0729.
Roster Pastoral Care Commission: George Daisa, Associate for Pastoral Ministries; Alice Simmons, Outgoing Chair and Lizzy Tooke, Incoming Chair
Ministry Coordinators: Birthday Callers – Daniela Winter Sunday Flowers – Courtney Sheldon Helping Hands – Courtney Sheldon and Lindsey Hansen, Co-Chairs; Kathy Bitting, Memorial Receptions Home Eucharist – Lizzy Tooke Intercessory Prayer – Fred Simmons Lay Visitors – Rob Wood; Bill Wallace, Facilitator Narthex Rack – Marianne WisnerRoyer Prayer Station – David Landau Saints Alive – Christie Smith, Toni Gundershaug, Bob Harter and Amy Childress
Adult Christian Formation Our Adult Christian Formation ministry had a busy and successful 2015. In January 2015, we welcomed Stephen Macchia for a special lecture presentation on the theme of “A Rule of Life,” which was well-attended. Our annual Women’s and Men’s Retreats, led by Bishop Catherine Roskam and Alan Fadling respectively, were well-attended and very well-received. In August we welcomed Dr. Miroslav Volf, Director of the Yale Center for Faith and Culture and professor of theology at Yale Divinity School, to deliver the 2015 Stern Lecture. St. Matthew’s continues to be a place where deeper prayer is a focus of ministry and formation. Our ongoing Centering Prayer group met weekly for conversation and spiritual practice, moving to the Labyrinth on Monday evenings of the full moons. On the first Saturday of each month, a group gathered to pray the Rosary together. In Lent and during Eastertide, in what has now become an annual tradition, a group met to pray the Psalms from start to finish – a “Psalmathon!” Our Advent Quiet Day in December was a wonderful and moving morning of prayer, reflection and celebration. In the fall, a team of small group leaders and I led our fourth edition of “DOCC – Disciples of Christ in Community” and it proved a very rewarding experience for all who participated. Parishioners meet monthly to gather for a meal, fun and fellowship – and discussion of a theological book. This year we’ve worked through Thomas Merton’s classic “The New Man” and we’re now reading Mark McIntosh’s “Christology From Within.” I want to express my deep gratitude to the many parishioners who help make these rich experiences possible. I’m particularly grateful to our DOCC facilitators: Melinda Benton, Catherine Lanter, Tracy Metzer, and Kristen Reed; and to the members of our Adult Christian Formation Commission: Melinda Benton, Helen Cooksey, Cindy Davis, Nona Greene, Anne Jaskoski, Dan Keatinge, Paul Notaras, Kristen Reed, Carolyn Roberts, Chris Schetter, and Fred Ufkes. – Michael Seiler
Emmaus Groups In late 2014, following Brian Palmer’s call to serve as Rector of St. Paul’s Church in Cambria, the Emmaus ministry became one of our Adult Christian Formation ministries, and I now have the privilege of providing clergy leadership to this remarkable network of small groups. Thanks to the many years of pioneering work and the strong foundations laid by Emmaus’s founders, the ministry continues to flourish. In 2015 an Emmaus leadership “think tank” convened to outline some vision and goals for Emmaus’s future. Cindy Davis, Ted Russell, and Nancy von Oeyen have done a brilliant job guiding Emmaus into a new era. Cindy Davis also has embraced the demanding role of administrator for our Emmaus groups with wonderful energy and talent. In the fall of 2015, a new Tuesday night Emmaus group launched, under the leadership of John Sheller and Catherine Vielhauer, and it is flourishing. Our other Emmaus groups continue to provide amazing support, fellowship, service, fun and spiritual growth for all who participate. The group leaders are a remarkably talented and dedicated group, and I’m so grateful to them. In addition to Cindy, John, Catherine and Nancy, they include Sarah Adams, Mike Freehling, Karen Grigsby, Josephine Habiby, Jane Halgren, Jim Huser, Jennifer Kanaar, Jana Russell, Susan Schomburg, Megan Sheridan, Joan Sumpter, Henry Weaks, and Linda Wessen. – Michael Seiler
Facilities This year there have been too many improvements across the campus to detail, however some critical changes include roofing repairs to the Church and major renovations to the Preschool Building. The main St. Matthewâ€™s Welcome Sign was replaced along with all of the other ongoing, daily setup and maintenance throughout the year. The Sextons have been a crucial and valuable component to the success of both the Parish of St. Matthew and of St. Matthewâ€™s Parish School.