Formation New Beginnings and Endings
The 2018-2019 St. Matthew’s Program Year has begun. We celebrated kick-off Sunday by worshipping with St. Andrew’s Pentecost and hosting our annual block party. We recognized our ministries, blessed the congregation and new steps, and presented information about upcoming formation opportunities at our Ministry Fair. And this week-end, the church is going to the dogs as we celebrate the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi at the popular Blessing of the Animals.
During the summer, the St. Matthew’s Formation Team continued to meet to create another year of formation opportunities for the people of St. Matthew’s. Our monthly meetings are a time where we examine our current program offerings, congregational attendance and response, resources of people, and ministry growth realities. I am very excited about the calendar ahead.
The biggest change is the ending of our Interactive Worship offering. This creative, innovative worship experience for people of all ages was carefully crafted to integrate conversation and craft into worship. The liturgy opened up our community to formative conversations within the worship experience. As the Formation Team met during the summer to look ahead, it became apparent that our Interactive Community was evolving. Many were now regular servers on the altar. Others seemed to have outgrown the experience and preferred to worship in sanctuary. Some no longer attended. After some difficult but creatively engaging conversations, the Formation Team revisited some of the values that were stated during the creation of Interactive. These values inspired the creation of a new formation liturgy which we are calling the Inquirer’s Eucharist.
The Inquirer’s Eucharist is a six-session instructed Eucharist for inquirers of all ages. This instructional worship experience invites participants to understand and appreciate the liturgical tradition of the Episcopal Church. Elements of Godly Play and Interactive Worship have evolved into this worship service, making way for deeper conversations and participation. Each service will highlight and discover an aspect of the Episcopal Church’s liturgical tradition. This year’s schedule is:
November 11 – Circle of Holy Eucharist
November 25 – Collect Writing
January 13 – Liturgy of the Word
January 20 – The Nicene Creed
March 10 – Prayers of the People
March 17 – The Eucharistic Prayer and Salvation History
The Inquirer’s Eucharist will gather for worship from 10:30am - 11:45am on its scheduled Sundays. This complete worship experience includes the formative piece coupled with Holy Eucharist.
Our popular Sunday Workshops for Children and Families continues. The arc of the workshops begins with Hebrew Scriptures then moves into stories for Advent and Christmas. We then study the life and parables of Jesus. The year concludes with looking at letters from the New Testament. The year’s schedule is:
Workshop Series 1
October 14 - November 4, 2018
October 14 – Creation
October 21 – Abraham
October 28 – The Ten Commandments
November 4 – Queen Esther
Workshop Series 2
December 2 - December 23, 2018
December 2 – The Angel Speaks to Mary
December 9 – Jesus is Born
December 16 – The Wise Men Follow the Star
December 23 – John the Baptist
Workshop Series 3
February 10 - March 3, 2019
February 10 – The Parable of the Mustard Seed
February 17 – The Parable of the Good Samaritan
February 24 – The Parable of the Prodigal Son
March 3 The Lord’s Prayer
Workshop Series 4
April 28 - May 19, 2019
April 28 – The Empty Tomb
May 5 – Thomas Believes
May 12 – The Road to Emmaus
May 19 – The Holy Spirit, p. 319
The Sunday Workshops meet from 9:30am - 10:15am on their scheduled Sunday mornings, 2nd floor, meeting room Mark.
If you are interested in helping to shape the direction of
for Children and Families, you are welcome to join us at our regularly scheduled meetings on the third Tuesday of the month, 6:30pm - 8:00pm, in the library.