The various outreach programs at Saint Matthew’s offer the opportunity to respond to the needs of the human family locally, nationally and internationally. We are continually evaluating and encouraging new avenues of service and informing the parish of current opportunities and programs to serve.
Kitale Diocese, Kenya
Through Mwamba Church Ministries International, we are currently focusing on efforts to support the secondary education for girls in the Diocese of Kitale (The Anglican Church of Kenya). Dorcas and Emmanuel Chemengich are the founders of the Mwamba Foundation, a non-profit foundation formed to transform lives and communities in Kitale region of Kenya for sustainable human socio-economic development. Since approximately 2002, St. Matthew’s and the Mwamba foundation have partnered to change the lives of young men and women. Mwamba’s three main projects include providing funding for high school education for children in need, leadership development and women’s development. Throughout the year, we conduct various fundraisers and educational events on behalf of the Kitale Diocese. More information and a short video about the Mwamba Foundation, can be found here.
InterFaith Hospitality Alliance of Ambler
Saint Matthew’s supports the InterFaith Hospitality Alliance (IHA) of Ambler which provides shelter to homeless families from the local community. Currently we financially support residents of Hope Gardens, a transitional housing complex in Ambler. In previous years families sheltered by the network made Saint Matthew’s their home. Saint Matthew’s volunteers have supported this outreach ministry for over thirty consecutive years, providing shelter, food, transportaion and support to the families as they work to achieve independence and become re-established in the community.
As an extension of our own Interfaith Housing Network program, we provide ongoing family support and financial assistance to a selected family who is now living in the transitional housing development of the InterFaith Hospitality Alliance (IHA) of Ambler. Our goal is to be the extended part of their family, increasing their strength as a family unit.
Feed the Hungry
Following directly on the teaching of Jesus to aid the needy, each month the congregation takes a special offering to help fund the continued mission of the Grace and Cecil Bean Soup Kitchen housed at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Norristown, PA
Medical Mission to Haiti
A registered Nurse from Saint Matthew’s has participated for several years in a medical mission project in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, at the Parish of St. Jude. Under the direction of Fr. Andrew Labatorio, teams of doctors and nurses from our area have visited to run a clinic in this very poor urban neighborhood. Educational and employment programs have also been established. Our members have contributed medicines and other supplies to this work. In the summer of 2013 Fr. Andrew visited Saint Matthew’s with an inspiring message and word of thanks.
Acolytes assist the clergy and congregation in worship with the candles, cross and plates, and serving the celebrant at the altar. Acolytes are eligible to assist from third grade up.
George Bishop- Director
The altar guild is a group of women and men called to serve God by preparing and tending the places where His people come to worship. It is a ministry of time and many talents undertaken in the name of Jesus. Our work goes on quietly behind the scenes. This ministry often goes unnoticed as long as the setting for worship is the familiar one the congregation sees each week. In addition to preparing the sanctuary for all types of services as directed by the clergy, the altar guild also cares for all the vestments, the vessels and the paraments. We are further charged with obtaining the altar flowers as well as for their use in the flower ministry. The most exciting part of our ministry, is preparing for all of the “special” services, the baptisms, the weddings, and also the funerals . We also decorate the church, inside and out, for the celebratory seasons of Christmas and Easter. While this is primarily our work, we like to include the congregation in this wonderful activity.
The altar flowers are taken each week after service or on Monday to the sick, the homebound or to others. Those who are interested in this important ministry of care and comfort are scheduled by the coordinator for service, according to their availability.
Mary Anne Noon-Childers – Coordinator
Eucharistic assistants receive the gifts of the people at the altar, and assist the priest by administering the wine at the 9:00 a.m. Sunday Contemporary Service.
7:45 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. service – Melissa Brown – Director
9:00 a.m. service – Pam Lang – Director
Lay Eucharistic Ministers
Lay Eucharistic Ministers carry the bread and wine directly from the altar to the sick and homebound. They have completed a diocesan training program and are licensed by the bishop for three years.
Chris Strittmatter – Coordinator
The Ushers assist the Worship of the congregation as they welcome and seat people before services, take up the offering and perform other duties.
N. Trent Coombs – 9:00 a.m. Usher Coordinator
Bill Reynolds – 10:30 a.m. Usher Coordinator
Pastoral Care Visitation Team
This group of parishioners visits the homebound, the sick and others in the name of Christ and as representatives of the parish family. They have received special training to carry out this ministry of presence, care and prayer and are supervised by a member of the clergy.
George Bishop – Coordinator
The Prayer Chain
The Prayer Chain prays daily for those parishioners, their families, friends and others who have special needs, lifting them up to God. Names may be placed on the prayer chain by contacting the coordinators. Names remain on the list for two months. Those who place people on the list are asked to resubmit names every two months (by the 20th of even numbered months) if continuing prayer is desired and to inform the coordinator when intensive prayer is no longer needed.
Chris Strittmatter and Judy Ermigiotti – Coordinators