VISITORS & NEWCOMERS

We welcome you to St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church!

Finding a church home is no small feat these days, even though the options are plenty! You probably have a lot of questions, and so we hope to make entry into St. Matthew’s as easy as possible.

There is a lot of information about us and the Episcopal Church all over this website. If you’d like to know more, Pastor Sonia would love to meet with you at your convenience. Definitely join us on Sunday mornings or at any of the other times we gather. You are always welcome!

Our hope and expectation is that we can help you experience the grace of God for which you are looking and that St. Matthew’s will become your home church.

We are often asked how one joins the Episcopal Church and there are a variety of ways. You can become an Episcopalian:

• THROUGH BAPTISM: The Episcopal Church considers that anyone who has been baptized with water in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, in any church or denomination, is welcomed as a baptized member of the Episcopal Church. Children as well as adults may be baptized. If you’d like to be baptized, please see Pastor Sonia.

• THROUGH TRANSFER: Those who have already been baptized may become members by transferring from another church or denomination. This is usually accomplished by a letter of transfer. You may contact your former church and request that your letter be transferred to St. Matthew’s.

• THROUGH CONFIRMATION: Adult baptized members become confirmed members through the Sacrament of Confirmation, which involves prayers and the laying on of hands by an Episcopal Bishop. To be confirmed at St. Matthew’s, we ask that you attend classes that are offered leading up to the Bishop’s visit. This happens about once a year and are announced well in advance. If you cannot attend them, you can make arrangements with Pastor Sonia to schedule other classes.

• THROUGH BEING RECEIVED: Those who have been confirmed in another denomination may become a Confirmed Communicant of the Episcopal Church by Reception. The requirements for this are the same as one being confirmed.

Here is some basic information about how to become a member of St. Matthew’s:

– Come to worship regularly. What does “regularly” mean? Not to split hairs, but if you come once every other month or so, you’re probably not “regular.” Setting aside time to worship weekly is ideal, and only you can know for sure if you feel like a “regular” member or not.

– Participate in the programs of the parish. There is so much that St. Matthew’s offers in order to exercise all the muscles of faith. Join a class, get involved in an outreach program, sign-up for a parish event. All of these are ways that you can begin to build relationships with the wonderful people of St. Matthew’s, and we can build relationships with you!

– Give generously and regularly. Our two greatest resources are our time and our money. Both of these things have been given to us by God, and as such, we give that time and money back to God. You can give your time by participating in programs and worship, but we hope you will give the financial gifts God has given you by pledging to St. Matthew’s. You can do so by giving in worship in the offering plates or by filling out a pledge card and making a weekly, monthly, or annual gift to the parish. The biblical principle of giving our first fruits of 10% (called tithing) is the standard. This is a spiritual discipline, and one that requires great prayer and consideration. If you would like to learn more, see Pastor Sonia.

A Visitor to St. Matthew’s is:
• A person who is visiting and getting to know us.
• A person who is interested in St. Matthew’s, but not a member.

A Friend of St. Matthew’s is:
• A person who is regular in attendance
• A person who is a participant in the programs of the parish
• A person who gives a financial gift on a regular basis
• A person for whatever reason has not transferred their membership, or not been baptized, confirmed, or received in the Episcopal Church.

A Member of St. Matthew’s is:
• A baptized Christian
• One who looks at St. Matthew’s as his/her parish
• A person regular in attendance.
• A participant in the programs of the parish
• A person who gives systematically through a recorded gift or pledge.

A Communicant of St. Matthew’s is:
• A member of the parish (see above)
• A confirmed Episcopalian whose letter of transfer is at St. Matthew’s