Ministries, Committees and Volunteer Opportunities
St. Matthew’s recognizes the importance of youth participation through its active group of acolytes. Over 20 children from 15 families take turns serving at Sunday services. They are coordinated by a volunteer adult director. Acolytes start in 3rd grade and continue through the end of high school. Elementary children begin as Torchbearers and then Crucifer through 8th grade. Servers at the altar are generally in grades 9 – 12. Upon completing 5 services, acolytes receive silver crosses. As they achieve greater service numbers, the color of the ribbon holding the silver cross changes, followed by a silver chain, and ultimately a silver ring.
Acting Chairperson: Debbie Linthorst / Home Phone: 609-730-9480 / Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Ministry of the Acolyte Robes includes overseeing the robing of the acolytes before the service to ensure that each acolyte can locate a robe and cotter that fits appropriately. After the service, we make sure the garments are replaced in the proper sequence so that the robing can be efficient the next week.
Michael Olin works with acolytes and their families to arrange the acolyte schedule every month. He also works with Reverend Barbara to schedule acolyte trainings yearly and as necessary.
Mike Olin (scheduling),
Debbie Linthorst, (records and awards)
Joan Nester (robes)
The Altar Guild is the “behind the scenes” group of over 25 members who sets the Lord’s table for our Sunday morning worship services. They care for the vessels, linens, vestments, and adornments used in worship and set up for all celebrations of the Eucharist, as well as all funerals, weddings, Christmas, Holy Week, and Easter. The Altar Guild is also responsible for the reception following the annual Bishop’s visitation.
BATTLE AGAINST HUNGER
The Battle Against Hunger (BAH) was founded in 2003 by our late parishioner Chuck Inman. BAH believes passionately that no one in a place as plentiful as New Jersey and Pennsylvania should ever have to suffer the ravages of hunger. To that end BAH has an annual bike tour of various distances and a walk to raise funds to support its mission and almost two dozen charities. Since its founding BAH has been the beneficiary of over $1,000,000 in support of its mission. For more information see our website http://www.battleagainsthunger.org/ or contact Amy Eckel, Andy Swords, Kevin Margiatto, Phyllis Jones, Ginny Buchanan, Ron Buchanan or Bruce Weise.
Funds have been raised for Rescue Mission of Trenton, Trenton Area Soup Kitchen (TASK), and 17 other organizations. As an example, in one recent year there were 60 riders and 55 SAG (Support & Gear) volunteers who traveled 200 miles from Gettysburg to Washington Crossing.
CHILDREN'S MINISTRY - KAIROS
Kairos is the Greek word meaning “God’s Time” and on Sunday mornings we share God’s time with the children of St. Matthew’s Church, ages 4 years through 8th grade. Kairos is more than church school, more than Christian education. It is a time for children to build relationships with other children and adults in their faith family, learn how to live their faith and how to make a positive difference in the world. It is God’s Time.
KAIROS TEACHERS: Our teachers feel blessed to be able to participate in the spiritual growth of St. Matthew's children, to witness their maturing as individuals, and to be able to form relationships with them as adults who care about their church, who they are, who they are becoming.
Chairperson/Director: Lori Cooper / Email: email@example.com
COMMUNICATIONS AND INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
Our committee strives to provide the best communication methods internally for our parishioners and externally to the community. Methods include our parish newsletter, weekly bulletin insert, Fellowship One emails, our church web site StMatthewsPennington.org, Social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube), targeted newspaper ads, church event flyers and more.
Chairperson/Director: Mitch Friedman / Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Almost every Tuesday evening at St. Matthew’s you’ll find at least three people playing cornhole in Belmont Hall. Usual participants are Denny Rodgers, John Eckel, Andy Swords, Sara Ritchie and Bruce Weise. Rev. Barbara also joins us from time to time. The group includes non-parishioners as well. It’s great fellowship and competition. If you’re interested in learning more about this or joining us contact Denny Rodgers (email@example.com)
The Finance Committee makes recommendations for the annual budget, for adequate insurance, for investment of funds, for receipt of the annual audit of the Books of Account and for all other matters of a financial nature; which shall also provide counsel to the Rector relating to the administration of the Parish. For additional information contact Bruce Weise, Chair… firstname.lastname@example.org
LITURGICAL (EUCHARIST) MINISTERS
Nearly 30 lay persons actively participate as Lectors, Lay Eucharistic Ministers (which includes Sub Deacons and Chalice Ministers), and Lay Eucharistic Visitors. Lectors read the lessons and lead the congregation in the Prayers of the People. Sub Deacons read lessons, lead the congregation in the Psalm, administer the chalice, and assist the clergy at the altar and in worship. Some Sub Deacons may also lead the congregation in Morning or Evening Prayer. Chalice Ministers administer the chalice and help the clergy as needed. Lay Eucharistic Visitors visit and share the sacraments with members of the congregation who are unable to attend the church Eucharist due to illness or infirmity.
Chairperson: Tom Bruhl / Email: email@example.com
LOGOS - HIGH SCHOOL YOUTH: Meets every Sunday, this high school program allows kids to participate in their church. Many graduate and head back to the classrooms as assistants to Kairos teachers thus completing the circle. Nine students have found their way back into the Kairos classroom teaching younger kids.
Chairperson: Diana Drake / Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
HONDURAS: Over the last 8 years close to 200 participants have traveled, some more than once to El Hogar in Honduras. The majority of the volunteers are teenagers, many who have grown up in the church and participated in this opportunity with other family members. Boys from El Hogar have been sponsored by families from St. Matthew’s. These life changing experiences have influenced participants to consider careers in teaching inner city students, to develop similar programs in other parts of the world, and participating in similar activities once in college.
URBAN PROMISE, CAMDEN (and now Trenton): There have been 7 trips to Camden and 89 volunteers, many repeat volunteers; "After this week, I really feel that I am closer to God than ever before." Many teenagers from St. Matthew’s have participated from the very beginning. “I truly feel that my efforts in Camden have inspired me to devote my life to serving others." Most volunteers go and get hooked! The majority continue to go back each year, and some are also now volunteering on a regular basis in UP-Trenton, due to its convenient location.
Chairperson: Mark Lederer / Email: email@example.com
MUSIC (SENIOR CHOIR, CHILDREN'S CHOIR, HANDBELL CHOIR)
Music is an integral part of the parish life at St. Matthew’s Church, existing to transform and joyfully connect people with God and each other through worship, formation, mission, education and fellowship. The Music Director/Organist along with the Senior Choir, Children’s Choir, and Hand Bell Choir lead the music ministry at St. Matthew’s. Recommend discussing this significant committee’s role and responsibilities directly with the Director of Music Ministry.
Chairperson/Director: Jim Douglas / Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The mission of this ministry is to support the Parish in the management of the physical properties of the church. These include the worship space, social hall, education space and grounds. This ministry conducts maintenance and improvement of Parish facilities, annual inspections and property work days. Activities are performed through a combination of volunteer labor and contracted services.
Chairperson: Al Krokowski / Email: email@example.com
PRAYER PARTNER MINISTRY
Each Sunday during Communion, parishioners in need of confidential prayer are invited to join rotating Prayer Partners in the Chapel. Prayer Partners are chosen in conjunction with the Rector. Although concerns may seem either overwhelming or mundane, no need or request is too big or too small. Parishioners are encouraged to share both their special concerns and celebrations with Prayer Partners each week.
TRENTON AREA SOUP KITCHEN (TASK)
Individuals or small groups go to the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen on the 2nd Tuesday of each month to assist in the preparation and serving of a hot meal lunch to community members. "TASK has recently confirmed that they can always use extra volunteers for help with arriving donations. St. Matthew's also delivers clothing, especially coats, frozen turkeys, bag lunches, etc. at appropriate times of the year." We go individually or by car pool, leaving about 9:30 am and returning by 1:30 pm. Anyone interested in joining this St. Matthew's effort may call Bob Holmes at 609-730-8354 for more information.
USHERS AND GREETERS
Nearly 20 ushers and greeter’s welcome parishioners and visitors, and assure all that St. Matthew’s is a comfortable church home. Ushers greet persons in the narthex, hand out bulletins and other materials (such as books and candles for special services), and guide individuals to the pews as needed. The ushers take a count of the congregation at the service, pass the collection plates during the offertory, and ensure an orderly experience during communion. After the service, the ushers collect stray or extra bulletins and papers from the pews. For the 10am service, the ushers are divided into teams, one for each of the first four Sundays of the month. The fifth Sunday rotates. Each team has a “captain”. For special services, such as Christmas Eve (Midnight Mass) and the Great Easter Vigil, the captains usually fill in as ushers/greeters.
Chairperson: Matthew Hill / Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The two wardens, typically identified as Senior and Junior, serve as members of the vestry. The senior warden is the primary elected lay leader of the congregation, and serves as a principal liaison between the parish and the rector. The senior warden typically presides at vestry meetings in the absence of the rector, and the junior warden presides at vestry meetings if both the rector and the senior warden are absent. Each warden serves a two-year term, with one-year overlap.
St. Matthew’s has many other ministry opportunities including: the Adult Education Committee, Christmas Bazaar, Coffee Hour volunteers, Destinations (for our middle schoolers), Hospitality Committee, Pastoral Care, Prayer Chain, Prayer Partners, Fall and Spring Rummages Sales, Stewardship Committee, and more.
For more information please leave a message on the church mailbox voicemail and Pam will be sure to get back with you (609) 737-0985.