Contact Pastor Otto for pastoral care at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 816-524-7068.
Worship - Worship is described as a "Divine Service" because God serves us as we gather in His name. As a mother prepares food for a healthy meal, the pastor prepares a balanced message through the order of service, hymns, readings, sermon, and prayers. Worship is never virtual. In worship we gather before God's altar to sing with and pray with the body of believers. As Jesus resurrection was in a physical body, we gather together physically, one Body in Christ, as the people of God in mission.
Spiritual Care - Members of the congregation receive the spiritual care of pastors, who are called by the congregation to shepherd the flock that belongs to Christ. He prays for them, speaks the truth of God's Word to them, and leads the congregation to find refuge and forgiveness in Christ. He is to teach the Holy Scriptures to all ages, from children to adults, in the hope of strengthening faith so that God's people remain true to Jesus Christ, believe in Him for eternal salvation, and live as active disciples. His calling is to encourage, support and forgive those who are repentant, and to correct and admonish those who sin against God and others, so that restoration and reconciliation may occur.
Confession & Absolution - God's people trust the Lord: He is merciful and wants to forgive sinners. We are called to confess our sins, to believe that for Christ's sake we are forgiven, to repent of our sinful behavior, and live in holiness before God. Christians may forgive one another in Jesus' name, and for good order the pastor announces forgiveness to the congregation during worship.
Hospital Visitation - Pastors visit those who are ill, preparing for or recovering from surgery, and are often part of the family's support when sudden medical emergencies occur.
Homebound Care - Pastors are entrusted with care and encouragement for those who have become homebound. They bring the Lord's Supper, devotions and prayer so the church family stays knit together, hearing the voice of our Savior.
Official Acts - Pastors are called through the congregation to properly administer God's Word and the Sacraments that Jesus instituted. Therefore he prepares each individual, couple, and family with appropriate Law and Gospel as they receive God's blessings.
Membership - Becoming a member is an act of care and confession. We go through instruction together to confess the Christian faith, and pray for one another as brothers and sisters in Christ. One can become a member of St. Matthew Lutheran Church in the following ways:
Membership for Children - Children are part of the Body of Christ, and are received as Baptized Members on the date of their baptism. Since all mankind is born into sin, children need the "washing of rebirth and regeneration" that St. Paul speaks of (Titus 3:5), and to have the righteousness of Jesus imputed to them through the Holy Spirit, Who comes to dwell in the child at Baptism. Having received Christ, parents, sponsors, and the Church teach little ones about life, doctrine, and walking in discipleship.
Following years of learning to memorize, sing, and worship, they go through a course of instruction to prepare them to affirm their baptismal faith. Our Confirmation process begins in 5th and 6th grade, with children learning how to read their Bibles and become acquainted with the basics of Luther's Small Catechism. Then in 7th and 8th grade we use the Explanation to Luther's Small Catechism which goes into further detail of what we believe, teach, and confess as Christians. Children are invited to commune when they and their parents express interest, and the family visits with the Pastor to learn more about the Lord's Supper. The first Sunday in May is always Confirmation Sunday, in which these students confess their faith publicly, and are considered communicant members. Looking into young adulthood, these boys and girls trust in Jesus Christ and desire to live in His Church and follow His ways until Christ comes again. As it is written, "Be thou faithful unto death, and I shall give thee the crown of life," (Revelation 2:10).