Throughout the year, watch for these special days, with special events for the entire family:
Fall Kick-Off (August)
Sunday programming begins in August with a commissioning of teachers and a parade around the Nave of all the children and youth. We take photos of the children with their age or grade to mark the start of a new year. Later these photos are decorated and sent home as as a special memento.
St. Matthew’s Day (September)
We wear red on this special day and remember the saint for which our church was named. Children and families are invited to stay after the service to eat together, play together, and recognize all of the new faces in our midst.
St. Francis Day (October)
St. Francis loved all of creation. On this special day people are invited to bring in their pets to receive a special blessing. Small charms are given to all who come as a reminder of God’s love for all of creation.
All Saints (November)
All Saints Sunday reminds us that all of the baptized are saints of God, no matter their age. Children process into the Eucharist from the Narthex wearing golden halos singing Who Are These Like Stars Appearing with the choir and congregation. Sometimes icons of saints are also paraded through the Nave.
Bishop Nicholas (December)
The first Sunday in December Bishop Nicholas comes for a special visit to St. Matthew’s. He brings candy canes in the shape of a Bishop’s crozier for young and old alike and shares in the joy of the season.
Taizé Evening Prayer (December)
A short, accessible, candlelit service occurs each week in Advent, usually on Wednesday evenings in Clingman Chapel. All who attend are invited to participate in reading or hearing poetry and prayers, and in singing songs that come from an ecumenical community of Christians in France.
Christmas Eve (December)
Children and youth lead the gathered community in the annual Christmas pageant which recounts the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ.
Families are invited to participate in this special Sunday where we are reminded that Jesus received many visitors early in his life, some of which brought him gifts. All who encountered him were transformed. As an act of remembrance of the gifts given to Christ, families share stories of gratitude for the abundance they experienced during the season of Advent.
Parish Annual Meeting (January)
The entire church gathers to hear of the many ways we have grown and impacted our community and world. After the service we often share a meal with one another.
Ash Wednesday (February)
On this first day of the season of Lent, we gather throughout the day to receive the imposition of ashes. Some come early in the morning, others gather for a service in the evening.
Palm Sunday (March or April)
Children are a vital part of this special Sunday where we recount the triumphant entry of Christ into the city of Jerusalem. Prior to the start of the service we gather in Saints’ Hall to distribute palms and then process singing into the Nave. Children who choose to can also sing with the choir on this Sunday or read one of the parts in the Passion Gospel.
Maundy Thursday (March or April)
Holy Week is for the whole body of Christ, including those who are just beginning to learn about Christ’s suffering and death. This special service begins with a meal in Saints Hall, then the entire body processes up to the Nave. During the Eucharist we wash one another’s feet. At the conclusion of the service the altar is stripped and we leave in silence.
Good Friday (March or April)
Good Friday offers two opportunities to gather. The earlier gathering is at noon where the Passion Gospel is chanted. Later in the evening we gather in Myll Chapel for an intimate experience of the Stations of the Cross. All who come are welcome to serve as readers.
Easter (March or April)
In an attempt to gather in joyous celebration, all of the children present (and many who are children at heart) receive bubbles to blow every time they hear the word “alleluia.” Special activity bags contain ways to keep little hands busy.
Youth Sunday (April or May)
The transition of youth to the next phase of life is one worthy of marking. On this Sunday graduating seniors receive a walking stick engraved with their initials. The youth lead the entire service.
Pentecost (May or June)
The birthday of the church is an opportunity to receive, reaffirm, and confirm the faith. Often the day the Bishop comes to visit, Pentecost reminds us of the coming of the Holy Spirit to the early followers of Christ. Also a Sunday where we wear red, children, youth, and adults are invited to fly kites in the church yard after the service.