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Pentecost Ponderings: Secret Friends Edition

“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father.John 15:12-14

One of the things that I have been trying to encourage here at St. Matthew’s, if somewhat indirectly, is a “permission-giving” model of being. Unfortunately, one thing that churches in general have often done is invest in a lot of time and energy to say “no.” The idea is that nothing happens without the governing body of the congregation approving it, and quite often it leads to micromanaging that can stifle creativity and initiative. The efforts we took earlier this year in refining and stating our mission and vision statement was and is intended to open us up to this permission-giving way of being. The principle works like this: if anyone has an idea for something for St. Matthew’s, as long as it fits with our mission and vision statement, and they’re willing to find someone to work with and make it happen, then our attitude is “go for it!” Board approval ahead of time isn’t needed. My role and the Board’s role is more of encouragement and support, rather than to say “yes” or “no.” The only reason we might say no to something is if it doesn’t fit with our vision.

So in that vein, one project that has emerged out of this is “St. Matthew’s Secret Friends” which Mary Spooner has offered and is taking the lead on. I’ve attached a PDF document that explains what it is and how it works. Since it fit so perfectly with the lines from our mission statement “Connecting People” and “Creating Caring Community” we encouraged Mary to run with it. I would encourage all of you to please read the document, and take the time to sign up to be a Secret Friend with Mary. While she also includes it in the attached letter, you can email her at Please take a moment to read this, as it represents an exciting shift in the way we can be a church together.

I would also encourage you to think and pray about ideas and projects that you would be excited in being a part of that would help us fulfill our vision statement of “Connecting People, Growing in Faith, Creating Caring Community.” This could even be a short one-shot thing, or a new ongoing ministry. Anything is possible.  By doing this, we collectively and continually listen for and discern God’s call for St. Matthew’s!

Yours in Christ,



Upcoming Events

  • Choir
    • Choir rehearsals continue this Thursday, September 15th at 7:30pm! It was great to have the choir back in the loft this past Sunday!
  • Richard the Third
    • Wayne Valleau is once again offering a course on one of Shakespeare’s plays. This time, he leans historical, offering to take us through Richard III starting Monday, September 19th at 10:00am.
  • Christianity, the First 1000 years.
    • Starting October 17th, this course will explore the first 1000 years of Christianity, from its formation as a sect of Judaism to the circumstances leading up to the infamous Crusades.
  • Congregational Membership Classes
    • If you or someone you know would like to formalize membership with St. Matthew’s, I am hoping to run a membership class in the next few months. If you are interested, please email me, call me at the church, or speak with me directly on Sunday mornings.

Church Office Hours

  • Wendy’s regular office hours are Mondays, 11am-3pm, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Friday from 9am-3pm.
  • My regular office hours during the day are Sunday through Thursdays from 9:00am to 3:00pm. Pastoral care visits and community meetings sometimes require that I be out of the office from time to time during those hours.

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