St. Matthew Evangelical Lutheran Church, 400 N. Broadway Street, Medina, Ohio 44256 330-725-8885
For financial assistance, please call 330-725-8886 (ext. 60).
PASTOR STEVE MAHAFFEY
Pictures from Pastor's Installation
Monthly Reports to Executive Council
'Weekly Message' Below
May 25, 2023
"You should each give, then, as you have decided, not with regret or out of
a sense of duty; for God loves the one who gives gladly."
2 Corinthians 9:7
Well, here we are again, heading into Memorial Day weekend, the official kick-off to the Summer. The young adults are home from college. High school students are hurriedly applying for a seasonal job. The young ones are anticipating the swimming pools finally opening again. And the adults are looking forward to the vacation get-away and weekends at the lake. Summer is an amazing season of the year!
This is my second Summer with you at St. Matthew. What that means for us here at the church is a break from Sunday School classes, some additional fellowship events geared towards Summer fun (bicycle rides, baseball games, trip to Cedar Point, etc), and a combined worship service. I’ve said that if there comes a day when we “need” to have two services during the Summer we will … but given the attendance drop due to our Summer activities pulling many of us away, it makes more sense to worship together as one.
For many congregations, Summertime is a period filled with stress over the finances of the church. Giving to the church historically drops off in most congregations due to our Summer activities pulling us away. People that are regular givers all of a sudden “forget.” Some of that has changed in recent years with many people electing to set up automatic withdrawals. But for others the sad reality is that the giving just stops.
I know, nobody enjoys talking about money in the church. Nobody wants to acknowledge that 11 of the 39 parables of Jesus talk about money, or the fact that 1 out of every 7 verses of Jesus’ words talk about money. Jesus knew the potential power that money can hold over our lives. And yet the truth of the matter is that it takes money to do all of the amazing ministries we want to and feel called to do, and let’s be clear … St. Matthew is doing some pretty amazing ministries! It takes money to keep our building operational and open not just for ourselves, but for the many community organizations that call this “home.” And it takes money to pay the bills, the staff, and the rostered ministers. It’s simply a fact.
Giving, whether it’s of our time, talents, or treasures is a faith response to God. It’s between each of us and God. How much, how often, and to what extent we give of our time, talents, and treasures is up to each one of us. And it’s dependent … the widow, in giving her mite, gave more in offering than the person who had much but gave very little in relation to what they could have given. It’s a struggle, and Jesus knew this.
Here’s the hard and difficult truth … as a congregation, we’ve been behind in our giving these first five months of 2023. What we’ve budgeted for isn’t what we’re receiving in our offerings, and we’re about to head into the Summer months when giving historically decreases. And so I’d ask you to pray about and intentionally go into this Summer with a plan … how will you continue to give to support that ministries of St. Matthew (which don’t stop) during those weeks when you’re away for vacation, or on the lake, or camping, or at Cedar Point? Only you can answer this … it’s between you and God. But as your pastor, who is called to walk with you and lead you in being faithful stewards of all for which God has entrusted us, I encourage you think and pray on it.
In Christ, with Christ, for Christ!
Pastor Steve Mahaffey
Reverend Steven Mahaffey (Pastor Steve) is originally from North Canton, Ohio. After graduating from GlenOak High School in 1990, he attended and graduated from Capital University with a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education. Upon graduation, he worked as a substitute teacher in Columbus and the surrounding areas, as well as worked as a downtown bicycle messenger. After a year of substitute teaching, he was hired to teach the 5 th grade in Euless, Texas, located between Dallas and Fort Worth. During the last of his three years of teaching in Euless he discerned God’s call to become a minister. The first year and a half of his seminary training he attended Brite Divinity School, located on the campus of Texas Christian University. He transferred to Trinity Lutheran Seminary in Bexley, Ohio to complete his Master of Divinity. Following his classroom time and internship at All Shepherds in Lewis Center, Ohio, he accepted the call to serve St. Luke’s Lutheran in Marietta, Ohio, where he has served these past 18 years.
While serving St. Luke’s, in addition to the normal role a pastor plays within the life of a
congregation (planning and leading worship, committee meetings, oversight of staff, weddings, funerals, catechism, regular home and hospital visits), he remained committed to teaching, instructing the adults in over two-thirds of the Bible line by line, verse by verse. He enjoys music, participating in the vocal choir, singing solos, and ringing bells in the bell choir. He helped to lead the congregation in the updating of its constitution/bylaws/mission statement and core values/job descriptions/and helped create a sabbatical policy. He was active within the ministerial association in the conference of churches, as well as actively participated with the Synod: served for a period as a member of the Southern Ohio Synod Council; helped to develop the Thrive Campaign that’s still ongoing; served as a member of the call committee on calling an assistant to the bishop; as well as helped to cast the vision for the Synod at the transition of the Bishops. He was active in the community, serving as the President of the Harmar Rowing Club for 2 years while his children participated in High School crew, as well as helped to organize, prepare, and manage the racecourse for the Midwest and National Scholastic Rowing Championships. He enjoyed attending sporting events and cultural events in support of the local teams and youth of the congregation.
Pastor Steve believes a person can be “real and down-to-earth” and still possess a deep faith. This belief is reflected in who he is as well as how he approaches ministry and leadership. He believes the healthiest way to approach one another is with open, honest, and direct communication. That said, he shepherded his congregation through the discussions of some sensitive social and justice issues, leading them toward a response grounded in their faith, abiding with hope, and expressed in love. His door is always open and encourages people to come to speak and pray with him if there are questions, concerns, or hurts that need to be addressed. He enjoys working with teams of people, and actively encourages people to become involved in the life of the congregation by using their spiritual gifts. Pastor Steve was married for just shy of 8 years. He raised 3 children: Erin (24), a graduate from the University of Cincinnati with a Business degree in Market Research, she now resides in Milwaukee, Wisconsin where she works at the corporate office for the Milwaukee Power Tool Company; Jacob (22), a graduate from the University of Pittsburgh with a Bachelor of Arts in Film Studies, Communications Rhetoric, and a minor in English Literature, he now resides in Pittsburgh where he works for Aldi while seeking employment as a production specialist in the film and tv industries; and Jacob’s twin Jon (22), who will graduate with a Bachelor in Business and a Master’s Degree in Accounting this coming May from the University of Arkansas. Jon plans to remain in the Fayetteville, Arkansas area to work for an accounting firm that’s already hired him!
Pastor Steve enjoys movies, reading (sci-fi/fantasy and theology), cooking, and sampling new
craft beers. His passion is bicycling. He was blessed in 2019 by St. Luke’s with a 3-month
sabbatical in which to renew and recharge for ministry. Working with the congregation, he
planned a self-supported journey by bicycle across the United States. Adamant that he wanted
to share this journey with the congregation, family, and others, as well as demonstrate that
there are more decent and caring people in the world than what many believe, he wrote a daily
post with pictures on Facebook. You can still find this journey on Facebook (The Ponderings of a Pedalling Pastor). And yes, that’s the British spelling of “pedaling!”