Opportunities for Ministry and Mission:

 Taken from Rev. Ophelia’s 7/24/2019 Email Blast!

1. Calling any St. M’s parishioner with a big heart: Announcing a backpack drive that starts ASAP and ends Sunday, August 18th. There are kids who carry their schoolbooks and supplies (if they have them) in Shoprite bags. So sad. What if we could fill every chair in Belmont Hall with a backpack?!?  The kids who will receive the back packs live in the inner city of Trenton. We will donate the backpacks to Christine’s Hope for Kids who will then deliver to Womanspace, Task, Children’s Home Society and Urban Promise. Bring a backpack to St. M.’s today and let’s fill every chair! Giving kids a new backpack gives them a chance to start school feeling confident. Thank you!

2. We may have survived this most recent heat wave, but imagine our servicemen and women and first responders who work to protect and serve us daily in these conditions.  To alleviate some of the discomfort, I (Cheryl Ludwig), would like to support a mission project called "Cool Ties", a neck wrap filled with polymer crystals that stays cool for hours.

Each one takes only 20 minutes to make (really simple construction!) and is reusable providing months of cooling for the wearer. The first shipment is already on its way to Tom Pearse Drance and his crew., The second is worn by my son's fire company.

If you are interested in participating either by manpower to make these, or by providing materials, contact Cheryl Ludwig at cludwig529@gmail.com - Subject line Cool Ties. I have a list of materials and a breakdown of the jobs.  An August evening workshop is planned. Sewers needed (with machines), teens, young adults welcome. It will be a fun night of service and fellowship!

Consider: LOGOS is St. Matthew’s youth group for high school age kids. It has been most recently led by Diana Drake, assisted by Phyllis Jones and Denise Hersey. We thank Diana for her faithful leadership of this important ministry.  Now Diana is stepping down and will put her energies into leading Destinations. Diana’s resignation begs the question of what will happen to ministry with our teens next year? If you are a person interested in the well-being of teenagers, might you be willing to get together with me to brainstorm about how to go forward? Kindly let me know if so. I welcome your thoughts and ideas!  You can reach me at: rector@stmatthewspennington.org  All interested in brainstorming are invited to meet tomorrow, Thurs. 7/25 for 1 hr, beginning at 6:30pm  in Ophelia’s office.

Ministries and Committees


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:  Mike Olin

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)

Adult Education

Chair: Joan Verplanck/Richard Del Monaco


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.

Chairpersons:  Elizabeth McGuire & Sue Nelson / Home Phone: Elizabeth (609-737-1776)  Sue (609-397-9021) / Email: elizabeth.davis.mcguire@gmail.com   sue.nelson929@gmail.com 


See our web page for details
Acting Chair: Carl Weber

BATTLE AGAINST HUNGER – Founded in 2003 by Chuck Inman, a St. Matthew’s parishioner: Over $1.1 million has been raised for Rescue Mission of Trenton, Trenton Area Soup Kitchen (TASK), Arm In Arm and 17 other organizations since the beginning. Each September we typically have over 30 riders and 20 SAG (Support & Gear) volunteers for our two day ride (200 miles from Gettysburg to Washington Crossing), one day ride (up to 63 miles) and one day walk.


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: Cheryl Watterson / Email: kairos@stmatthewspennington.org


Annual Bazaar held during the first Saturday of December.
For info please contact Amanda Morrison.


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.

Chair: Mitch Friedman / Email: mrf0901@gmail.com

Chair: Cheryl Ludwig


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 (dennypenny@verizon.net)


St. Matthew's Destinations program has grown into an enjoyable Christian experience for our middle school youth (6th through 8th grade). It builds a bridge for kids passing from their elementary school years into what can sometimes be the turbulent middle school years as they head toward highs school and adulthood. 

Chairperson:  Diana Drake / Email: drakeinc@aol.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… finance@stmatthewspennington.org



The St. Matthew's Grocery Program is a source of revenue to the Operating Fund of the parish and a service to its members. Under the program, parishioners buy gift cards and certificates from nearby grocery stores at no extra cost.

Chair: Andy Swords


Chair: OPEN / Christina Kales

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:  Tim Cooper


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: drakeinc@aol.com


Chair: Tom DiMuzio


   HONDURAS: Over the last 10 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: markalederer@gmail.com


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:  Bob Thick/Susan Jones


Chair: Tom DiMuzio


Chair: Susan Kleinschmidt


Pastoral care at St. Matthew's comes in many forms, and our parish caregivers have answered many needs in the spirit of love and devotion – some participating in more than one ministry. Click here to see some of the ways you can get involved.

Chair: Anne Birkett


Click here for information on Planned Giving.

Chair: John Krisulewicz


Chair: Sally Burkman


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.


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.

Chair:  Al Krokowski / Email: alex.krokowski@verizon.net


The Spring and Fall Rummage Sales are two of St. Matthew’s most important outreach initiatives.  Twice a year we rescue thousands of items from moldering away in basements or filling our landfills, we sell them to treasure hunters looking to give them a new home, and, what is left, we donate to the needy through the Rescue Mission. 

Click here to learn more.

Chair: Amanda Morrison

St. Matthew's 100 Year Celebration

Chair: Anne Gribbins


St Matthew’s has a mission grounded in Christ. It impacts us as individuals, it impacts our community, and it impacts the wider world. To maintain our worthy causes we ask you to make them your own. Become a steward by giving your time, expressing your talents, and pledging your treasure. By this you will be continuing God’s mission, a mission of joy and abundance! To learn more, please click here.

Chair: Lynn Lorenz


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.



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.

Chair:  Matthew Hill / Email: hillmatthew.6416@yahoo.com


Chair: Wardens


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.

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.