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From the Rector

Dear and Beloved Friends,

 

Who would have thought that we would ever have to close the Church? Yep, that’s a trick question. We NEVER closed the Church! We did close the church building, but closing the church building and closing the Church are two very different things.

 

No matter how great the challenges or how formidable the adversity, in 2020 we found new and robust ways to be the Church. We moved our mission of knowing and sharing God’s love forward, and did so in ways that have bordered on being miraculous.

 

That will become crystal clear in the pages ahead. The pictures and stories you will find there tell a story of people faithfully living like Jesus with such boldness, courage, and stunning generosity that it is unlike anything I have ever seen.

 

As you look back at all that we have accomplished in 2020, by God’s grace and with God’s help, I hope it will inspire you to continue to do all that we can do –and then some!—to draw people into an ever deeper relationship with God, one another, and our community in 2021. I pray that you will continue to be faithful in worship, devoted to service, and audacious in giving. Parents: I hope you will remain committed to your children’s faith formation, because I can’t think of anything more important to give them in times like these (or any other time, really, but times like these make the need for, and value of, faith so obvious).

 

The church building may be closed, but we have never stopped being the Church. Our God is far greater than any obstacles we might face; 2020 showed us that over and over again. Whatever 2021 might bring, God will lead us through. And seeing the things that God is doing through God’s people—through you—will continue to be source of hope, inspiration, and encouragement no matter what the circumstances.

 

May I say one more time how much I love you (infinity times, well, infinity!), how much I enjoy serving by your side (tons!), and how deeply honored I am to journey through life with you (lots and lots and lots!).

 

With much love and affection,

Rob+

YEAR IN REVIEW

23,747

Total in Attendance 2020

4,371

Video Segments Created

120

Full Length

Live-Stream Services

"The story of real people helping real people with very real needs in very real ways"

-Rev. Rob Merola

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January 2020

Chili Cook-Off Winners

COMMUNITY

St. Matthew’s community started 2020 off with an EXPLOSION & finished with a BLAST! 

This year St. Matthew's really shined in expressing our core values of Creativity, Adaptability, and Enthusiasm! We found new ways to stay connected through social distancing.

3

In-Person Events

*Pre-COVID

37

Virtual Social Hours

29

Virtual Talent Show Participants

89

Virtual Coffee Hours

10

British Tea Parties

on Zoom

8

Everyday Hero Interviews

Spotlight: Outreach at Potomac Elementary School

REVERENCE

Beginning March 15th, our physical doors were closed for in-person services.  We moved to live-streaming and online services almost overnight.  Our reverence committee and worship teams worked hard all year showing their strength in Adaptability, Loving God and one another through creative worship, services, and staying curious on how to constantly improve these experiences.

30

In-person services

from Jan - March 2020 (10 Sundays)

120

Virtual Worship

Services

196

Virtual Noonday

Prayer Services

197

Virtual Compline

Prayer Services

809

Attended Easter & Christmas Services 

Online

460

Attended Socially Distanced Outdoor Worship

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Spotlight: Noonday Prayer & Compline Services

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OUTREACH

Reaching Out to share God’s love with  our neighbors, near and far! The impact that St. Matthew's Outreach had on the community undoubtedly embodied the "And Then Some" spirit. 

From the newly developed Care Response Team, to the continued dedication and support of LINK food pantry and Backpack Buddies programs has been remarkable. 

100,000

Diapers Donated

750

Bags of School Supplies

2,750 

Glue Sticks

730

Bags of Food Distributed

*Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Day of Giving

$500 

Donated to Sri Lanka Tsunami Relief

260 

Households visited by the Care Response Team

$2000 

Grocery Store Gift Cards

$22,190

Amazon Gift Cards Given to Local Teachers

$40,000 

In Gift Cards Given to Backpack Buddies Families

143 Miles 

Run to Raise Awareness to Hunger in Loudoun County

Spotlight: Backpack Buddies

“The Backpack Buddies has really helped my children because  sometimes I am not always there to be able to buy food for my  kids as I work a busy schedule at my job. However, with the  Backpack Buddies program my kids can have something to eat  every Friday of the week. I would like to thank the people that  work in this program and I would also like to thank Linda Ables, throughout the whole time my children were in the program, everyone working in the program has been very professional. I don’t know what I would do without this program. God bless you”

SPIRITUAL FORMATION

St. Matthew's offered a wide variety of formation opportunities throughout the year from Education for Ministry (EFM), Global Leadership Summit, Weekly Wednesdays on Zoom (WONZ) to individual small group study and prayer like: Women's Uncommon Prayer, Sandwich Generation, and Bread of Life. Spiritual Formation offered support for many spiritual journeys during an exceptionally difficult year.

5,000+ 

Christmas Lights installed by the Men's Group

400

Devotional Copies Printed & Distributed

14 

Bible Study &  Prayer Groups

15 

Global Leadership Summit Attendees

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CHILDREN'S MINISTRY

Ms. Adrian and the Faith Factory teachers connected with the children in unique and fun ways each week, teaching them to love God and one another. We learned about our Episcopal church seasons and traditions, found new creative outlets, and helped our children find a sense of normalcy all while embracing the changes of 2020.

94

Stories Read at Zoom Craft and Storytime

37

Toilet Paper Roll Crafts Made

17-13 -1

17 Angels, 13 Animals and 1 Dragon in the Christmas Pageant

160

Faith Factory Kits Delivered

25

Bible Scavenger Hunts in Mr. Pete's Class

50

Times Nana Timmons quizzed her class on church seasons

YOUTH

Middle and High Schoolers always have a place at St. Matthew's, from serving during worship, playing in the band, and staying connected through social events on Zoom. "Thank you so much for doing these zoom nights!! Our kids are always so happy to join, are engaged, and need the social outlet." --Alli Lesser, parent

7

Game Nights

12

Teens at Outdoor Movie Night

6​

Teens Exploded Pumpkins!

17

Teens Attended

Rafting Adventure

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Spotlight: School Supply Distribution

YOUNG PROFESSIONALS

Our Young Professionals Group created several opportunities to continue to fellowship throughout 2020, and even had 2 of our YoPros participate in the Pilgrimage to Israel.

4

Zoom Game Nights

2

Bible Study Series

15

Miles Hiked
*Great Falls & Raven's Rock

1

Christmas Zoom Party

2

Attended Pilgrimage to Israel

*out of 13 participants

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Spotlight: Pilgrimage to Israel

"I will forever remember my pilgrimage to Israel, and I think I can say with pretty good certainty that my fellow pilgrims would say the same. It was not just the beautiful landscape, or being where Jesus did so many remarkable and miraculous things. It was not just the poverty we saw in the Palestinian territories or the walls dividing the country. It was not just the magnificence of the Dome of the Rock, or the Wailing Wall. I think most of all it was worshiping together, every day, wherever we were or whatever the amazing sites we were seeing. We knew that we were being touched by God in a way that could never be replicated."

-Vicki A. Nelson

TECHNOLOGY

1

New, Modern, and Mobile Friendly Website

3

New Editing, Encoding, and Streaming Tools

4,371

Video Segments Created and Edited 

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(703) 430-2121

201 E Frederick Dr, Sterling, VA 20164