St Matthias Online Worship – March 28, 2021

Grace and Peace to you on this celebration of Palm Sunday and the Passion of our Lord Jesus,

Spring is upon us! The blooming daffodils outside of our education building and the buds ready to burst through on the trees outside of our sanctuary remind us that warmer weather is here — I hope you’ve had a chance to get outdoors and enjoy it!!

Mark’s description of the Passion of Christ is the shortest and most stark of the Gospel writers’. At first glance, it seems like defeat, culminating his cry of abandonment. But a closer hearing reveals the opponents of Christ being manipulated into doing exactly what he had foretold and what was required. At the death of Jesus, the Roman who headed the squad charged with crucifying him echoes the opening of Mark’s Gospel, identifying Jesus as “Son of God.” We hope that listening to The Passion as part of our online worship service will provide you with insight into this unfolding as our Lord went to the cross.

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 28, beginning at 9 a.m. by clicking on one of the following links:

(71) St Matthias Lutheran Church Carlisle PA – YouTube

(Please click on the video for March 28)

​​(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 9 a.m., 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 vicarmartyjo@gmail.com.

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 90 cases per 100,000 people. As more people in our community are getting vaccines, the numbers keep going down and we hope to be able to gather in person soon. If you are eligible for a vaccine and haven’t yet received one, a list of available sites is located online at COVID-19 Vaccine (pa.gov) – you may search by county or location nearest to you.

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 9:30 a.m.; online worship will also be available Easter Sunday. If you plan to worship in person on Easter, please bring your lawn chair (and blanket?!) as we will have a socially-distanced service in front of the church (similar to our worship last summer). We will plan to gather unless it is raining, in which case the service will be online only.

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.  If you attend any of those services, you may see me as I am participating in the services as part of my internship learning. For more information, visit the church website at https://firstlutherancarlisle.org

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.

https://tithe.ly/give?c=2732717

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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