Things To Know About St. Matthews
Who Are We At St. Matthews?
St. Matthew's Episcopal Church, in keeping with our baptismal covenant, vow to respect the dignity of every human being, and has adopted the following policy of non-discrimination:
Employment, membership, and participation in any church activity is open to all without regard to ethnicity, race, skin color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, or disability. Either for those looking for a church, or those who are curious about the Christian faith. We welcome people from all walks of life and faith backgrounds. We center our life around worship, and from that experience we find ourselves in community, supporting one another in fellowship, outreach, education, and life in the greater community of Saline County, neighboring towns, and the world.
On Sunday mornings we meet at 8:30 a.m. and at 11:00 a.m. for Holy Eucharist. Worship begins with silence, offering people an opportunity to pray and prepare for worship. During our worship we hear several readings from the Bible, including the Old Testament, Psalms, Epistles, and the Gospel. A homily or sermon is offered on the scripture readings and our life today. After we have been fed with the word of God, we are fed in the sacrament of Holy Eucharist or Communion with wine and bread. Throughout the service we stand to sing, we pray, often kneeling, and we sit to listen, and learn. Our worship is traditional and liturgical. We follow the Book of Common Prayer so that all can participate easily. Worship normally takes about an hour on Sunday morning.
The 8:30 service is quiet and contemplative, with little singing.
The 11:00 service has more music and more people!
We also stream the service on Facebook Live at https://www.facebook.com/stmatthewsbenton
Each Wednesday morning at 8:00 a.m. we say our Morning Prayers together on Zoom and Facebook Live. The service is designed to last no longer than 20 to 30 minutes for those who need to get to work.
Morning Prayer via Zoom on Wednesdays at 8 AM: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89184239117?pwd=OVN6alJEUGZDM0RIT0pwK2E1QzE2dz09
Often, The Episcopal Church is called a “bridge church” between Roman Catholicism and Protestant denominations. This is because much Episcopal theology is Protestant in nature, while much of Episcopal worship, spiritual practice, and church structure resembles Catholicism. As a result, individuals and families from a variety of backgrounds will find in the Episcopal Church a home that honors their own faith tradition while providing a new source of shared nourishment.
Episcopalians describe the foundation of our faith by using the image of a ”3-legged stool.”
The first leg is Holy Scripture, which Episcopalians say is “written by people...inspired by the Holy Spirit” (from the Catechism in the Book of Common Prayer). The Old Testament chronicles the relationship between God and Israel. The New Testament chronicles the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus and the faith journey of the first generation of disciples. The wisdom that Scripture provides guides our lives.
The second leg is Tradition. Tradition consists of the interpretation of God’s purposes by past generations of Christians. Especially valued are the interpretations offered by early Church Fathers and the Church Councils, including the First Council of Nicaea. The First Council of Nicaea wrote the Nicene Creed, which Episcopalians recite every week. The Creed reminds us of the nature of God as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
What is the Mission of our Church?
The mission of the church, as stated in the Book of Common Prayer’s catechism (p. 855), is "to restore all people to unity with God and each other in Christ."
So as a congregation we strive…
To proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom
To teach, baptize and nurture new believers
To respond to human need by loving service
To seek to transform unjust structures of society
To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth
What is “The Episcopal Church”?
The Episcopal Church is the American province of the Anglican Communion, a worldwide body of over 70 million Christians who trace their origins to the Church of England. Episcopalians are thinking Christians who engage questions of faith with both seriousness and great joy.
The third leg is Reason. Episcopalians understand that God makes human beings in his image, which includes gifting us with complex, reasoning minds. We honor God’s gift when we use our minds to think deeply about God’s will, consulting Scripture, Tradition, and the myriad ways that God is revealed in the world around us.
The Book of Common Prayer is an important part of Episcopal life and worship. The Prayer Book includes a wealth of prayers and liturgies for virtually every occasion. It serves as a way to center our lives in Christ.
The word “Episcopal” is derived from the Greek word for “bishop.” Thus, our very name means that The Episcopal Church is structured around bishops. Episcopal bishops, like bishops in the Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches, trace their authority to the first-century Apostles.
Each bishop oversees a geographic area called a diocese. Within a diocese are local congregations called parishes. A parish consists of a body of baptized Christians, often served by an ordained priest and deacon.
Our bishop is The Rt. Rev. Larry Benfield