June 11, 2021
When I was about 7 or 8 years old, my pediatrician told my parents that I was "on track" to stand at approximately 5'7-5'8" tall when I was finished growing.
If you've met me in person, or even observed me from a worship video, you know that his prediction (which came from a fancy formula and digital growth chart) did not come to fruition - not even close.
I've thought about his hypothesis from time to time - especially when my (hardly) 5'1'' self attempts to reach something from a shelf or cabinet - and have found myself wondering, "What happened? Why didn't I grow in the way he had anticipated?"
Almost 20 years later, this all remains a mystery. What is not a mystery, though, is that I am exactly who God has created me to be. Even in the midst of any questions, doubts, or curiosities that I may have, (and that pertains to more than just my height), the gift of faith assures me of the promise that God creates with intentionality and purpose, and reminds me that I do not need all of the answers in order to understand.
This week, we will explore how we - people without full understanding - have been called to embrace the mystery of faith and "leave the growth to God."
See you Sunday!
June 4, 2021
“And he replied, ‘Who are my mother and my brothers?’ And looking at those who sat around him, he said, ‘Here are my mother and brothers! Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.” [Mark 3:33-35]
On the surface, it may seem like Jesus is denouncing his own family, but in reality he is providing a new image and understanding of what it means to be a family connected by the will of God.
This Sunday, we will not only explore what it means to be a part of God’s family, known as the body of Christ, but we will also live into this understanding as we honor several members of our own St. Matthew family.
During the children’s message, we will recognize Kylie, Sydney, Jessica, Kacey, Katelyn, Jeleighna, Aaron, Ethan, Otto and Jonathan, and celebrate their recent graduation from high school.
As a part of this celebration, you are invited to join in a brief time of fellowship following worship (in the parking lot) where you will have the opportunity to congratulate our graduates and wish them well.
Later on in worship, we will also have the joy of dedicating the new altar candles, which have been given in thanksgiving for the many years of service that Leithea Obermeier has given as a member of St. Matthew’s Altar Guild.
What a wonderful day to be the Church: a family, united by the waters of baptism and will of God!
See you Sunday!
April 16, 2021
For those of us who followed the Cleveland Cavaliers during the Lebron James era, perhaps a cloud of chalk and a cool-looking billboard come to mind when you hear the word "witness". I still have a wine and gold "witness" t-shirt in my closet from those days.
Long before Lebron James and Nike collaborated and created the "We are all witnesses" campaign, Jesus spoke the following to his disciples in the 24th chapter of Luke's gospel:
"You are witnesses to these things."
Perhaps Jesus inspired Lebron! (Or maybe not...) Though, one could argue that they shared a similar sentiment about the word "witness" serving as a verb in addition to being a noun. (More on that Sunday.)
Nonetheless, this Sunday's message will center around the responsibility that witnesses have to witness, and will model the art and practice of storytelling as one way of witnessing in today's world.
I look forward to being with you (via a pre-recorded video since I am still recovering, but actively working, at home) on Sunday.
Peace be with you,
April 9, 2021
First and most importantly -thank you for the many prayers, notes, cards, and well wishes you've graciously sent my way over the last few weeks. The gratitude I have for your support is beyond words.
Many of you have inquired as to how my recovery is going following my hip surgery on March 15. (In fact, as I type this blurb, I just received a text message from one of our dear St. Matthew youth asking how I'm feeling. Thanks, Evan!)
Like I shared with Evan, my response to that question could vary quite a bit depending on the day. One thing that remains true, regardless of the day, is the fact that I severely underestimated what this surgery and recovery would entail. Iwholeheartedlybelieved that I would spenda few days in the hospital, a few more on the couch at home, and would be up and moving by Easter. For those of you who attended Easter worship (in-person or virtually), you know that was not the case.
It has been just shy of three weeks from the time that I was discharged from the hospital and I finally have the ability to get myself off of the couch on my own and use crutches to get around. I am still experiencing significant amounts of pain, but it is being managed well with ice and pain medications. I continue to have some difficulty keeping my blood pressure up, but thanks to the aid of family and my dear boyfriend, Austin, I am getting the rest I need for my body to heal -it's just going to require more time and patience than I initially anticipated. (You'd think I'd be better at anticipating that reality by now. I suppose that's optimism at its finest!)
As for mobility, it will still be sometime before I am able to move in a way that would allow for me to carry out worship responsibilities,as I do not begin physical therapy for a few more weeks. With that being said, I anticipate my return to worship being sometime in May. I still have two more months until I can drive, but will continue to conduct my work from home during the week until I can be present in the office sometime in June.
Thank you again for your prayers and support. They, along with God's grace, have sustained me thus far in this recovery and will continue to do so in the weeks and months yet to come.
Peace be with you,