St Matthias Online Worship – March 21, 2021

Grace and Peace to you on the Fifth Sunday in Lent !

Because Lent points us toward Holy Week, the Gospel readings this year collect Jesus’ predictions of his own suffering and death. In the earlier chapters of this Gospel, Jesus has denied that his hour had come. Now, when Gentiles first seek him out, the hour has come and hepoints forward to his crucifixion, speaking of it in ways which echo Moses’ lifting up the bronze serpent in the wilderness (we heard this story and Jesus’ other use of it last Sunday).

Online Worship – We continue to worship online to help ensure the safety of our St. Matthias family and we invite you to worship at home with us. Worship will be available Sunday morning, March 21, beginning at 9am by clicking on one of the following links:

(71) St Matthias Lutheran Church Carlisle PA – YouTube

(Please click on the video for March 21)

​​(20+) St Matthias Evangelical Lutheran Church | Facebook

(The video link will be at the top of the page – You do not need to have a Facebook account to view the worship service)

Until we resume in-person worship, we invite you to worship together with us each Sunday morning at 9am, or you may watch the worship service later at your convenience.

We invite you to follow along with our online worship using the bulletin and Celebrate inserts that are part of your “Lent-at-home” worship packet. You may also follow along with the words that are printed on the screen. If you have any questions or concerns, please Email me at

Pandemic Numbers – We continue to monitor the Department of Health website regarding returning to in-person worship. Bishop Dunlop recommends that churches maintain online worship until the positive testing rate in our county is 5 percent or lower or less than 20 cases per 100.000 people, especially in older or smaller buildings, or those spaces with slower air recirculation. As of this past week, Cumberland county is currently at a 4.4% positivity rate with an incidence rate of 81.3 cases per 100,000 people.

Holy Week Worship – As the Covid-19 numbers in our county continue to drop and as more vaccines are becoming available, we are planning for worship during Holy Week. This will include online worship services for Maundy Thursday and Good Friday, with prepackaged communion elements available for you to partake in during the online service. Similar to the Lent “worship-at-home” packets, we will also provide bulletins and communion elements (if you wish to receive them) for Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday. A separate email will be sent to you to request communion elements to be provided to you for Maundy Thursday and Easter Sunday worship.

Maundy Thursday and Good Friday worship will be available online at 7 p.m. each day. We will have outdoor in-person worship with Holy Communion on Easter Sunday beginning at 9 a.m.; online worship will also be available Easter Sunday. If you plan to worship in person on Easter, please bring your lawn chair as we will have a socially-distanced service in front of the church (similar to our worship last summer).

If you are interested in attending socially-distanced, in-person worship during Holy Week, First Lutheran Church in downtown Carlisle will offer two Maundy Thursday services (12 noon – Holy Communion (no singing) and 7 p.m. – Holy Communion with the stripping of the chancel) and a 7 p.m. Good Friday service of readings and music,  with the nave open for prayer, meditation and reflection from 12 noon to 3 p.m. . For more information, visit the church website at

Midweek Lenten Worship – We continue to host a brief mid-week Lenten worship service through Zoom on Wednesdays at 7 p.m. throughout the season of Lent. A reminder email with the Zoom link (below) will be sent out Wednesday mornings.

Topic: MJ Irvin-Stellabotte’s Zoom Meeting
Time: Mar 24, 2021 07:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 978 052 2760
Passcode: 8675309

Accessing Zoom on your Telephone:

By phone (not toll free)  – dial any number below and enter Meeting ID: 978 052 2760 and Passcode: 8675309 whenever you are prompted

  +1 646 558 8656             +1 301 715 8592             +1 312 626 6799

Please note – since you are on a phone, you will not be able to view participants and they will not be able to see you, but you will be able to hear the meeting and participate.

Walking to Jerusalem – Do you like to walk? Have you ever thought about walking…to Jerusalem?!?! Well, you’ll have a chance to do just that during our season of Lent! We have been invited to partner with our friends at St. Matthew to join them as we record our collective miles and see if we can walk 6300 miles to Jerusalem. Any family and friends are welcome to join in and record their miles — just record your collective miles and submit them to me once a week by emailing, or call and leave me a voice message with your mileage, and I will submit them to St. Matthew. Sure, it’s a lot of miles…but we know that anything is possible through God!

Online Giving to St. Matthias – Although we aren’t gathering in person, bills to maintain our ministry and our building still continue. We have set up a secure online giving tool (endorsed by the ELCA and used by more than 4,000 churches) through Tithely. You may give online by clicking on the link below — and you may also use the site to set up recurring giving, where your gift will be automatically deducted on a day of your choosing. There’s also a green DONATE button at the bottom of this bulletin (and at the bottom of our website) that you nay click on to make a gift. If you have any questions on how to use this service, please let me know. THANK YOU for your continued support of St. Matthias and its ministry.

Prayer List – All those affected by Covid-19, all affected by the weather disaster in Texas, Christian M. (Marines) and all military service personnel, Don and Joanne Spahr, Jacques, Pam, Betty Lou, Mark, Pat, Seth, DJ, Margaret, Sally, George, Arleen, Greg, Charles, Carol, Darryl, Billie, Wayne and family, Pat Hummel, Troy Snyder, and all who ask for the Lord’s healing and mercy.

God’s peace and love to each of you,

Vicar MJ

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