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,
Chili Cook-Off Winners
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.
Virtual Social Hours
Virtual Talent Show Participants
Virtual Coffee Hours
British Tea Parties
Everyday Hero Interviews
Spotlight: Outreach at Potomac Elementary School
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.
from Jan - March 2020 (10 Sundays)
Attended Easter & Christmas Services
Attended Socially Distanced Outdoor Worship
Spotlight: Noonday Prayer & Compline Services
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.
Bags of School Supplies
Bags of Food Distributed
*Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Day of Giving
Donated to Sri Lanka Tsunami Relief
Households visited by the Care Response Team
Grocery Store Gift Cards
Amazon Gift Cards Given to Local Teachers
In Gift Cards Given to Backpack Buddies Families
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”
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.
Christmas Lights installed by the Men's Group
Devotional Copies Printed & Distributed
Bible Study & Prayer Groups
Global Leadership Summit Attendees
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.
Stories Read at Zoom Craft and Storytime
Toilet Paper Roll Crafts Made
17 Angels, 13 Animals and 1 Dragon in the Christmas Pageant
Faith Factory Kits Delivered
Bible Scavenger Hunts in Mr. Pete's Class
Times Nana Timmons quizzed her class on church seasons
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
Teens at Outdoor Movie Night
Teens Exploded Pumpkins!
Spotlight: School Supply Distribution
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.
Zoom Game Nights
Bible Study Series
*Great Falls & Raven's Rock
Christmas Zoom Party
Attended Pilgrimage to Israel
*out of 13 participants
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
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New Editing, Encoding, and Streaming Tools
Video Segments Created and Edited