2017 is a banner year at St. Matthew’s. The Lutheran Reformation of the Church began 500 years ago, and St. Matthew’s was founded 125 years ago as the first Lutheran congregation in Wilmington to worship in English.
St. Matthew’s is an evangelical catholic parish, which means we are “evangelical” by being committed to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and “catholic” by being rooted in the faith once delivered to the saints. When you worship with us, you experience a vibrant Christianity that would be recognizable to the previous centuries of Christians. We are biblical, creedal, and sacramental!
Why is this so? St. Luke’s description of the birth of Christ’s Church in Acts 2 begins with Holy Baptism in response to the preaching of the Gospel. He says of Christ’s Church: “And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers” (Acts 2:42). Biblical, creedal, and sacramental worship continues today the Great Tradition built upon Christ the Cornerstone and the foundation of His apostles.
We welcome you in Jesus’ name to worship with us on December 23-24, the Fourth Sunday in Advent. Pastor Sam Zumwalt, STS, preaches the sermon, “The Incarnate Word: Ready for Him! ” (Luke 1:26-38). Hymns for traditional worship include: “What Feast of Love”(Saturday Entrance); “Awake! Awake and Greet the New Morn! (11am Entrance); “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” (Hymn of the Day); “Lo! How A Rose Is Growing” (Recessional). Sunday distribution hymns include: “The Angel Gabriel from Heaven Came” and “What Feast of Love.” In place of the psalm, we sing: “My Soul Proclaims Your Greatness, Lord.”
The congregation sings the fourth stanza of “Light One Candle to Watch for Messiah” as the fourth candle on the Advent wreath is lighted. Joyful Noise leads the Chicago Folk Service at 8:30 a.m. and Bill Glisson leads at 11am from the console of our 25-rank Austin organ with trompette-en-chamade.
Christmass Eve Eucharists are on Sunday, December 24, at 5 pm (children and youth), 8:30 pm (with sermon), 11 pm (Solemn High Christ Mass with Choir). The Rev’d. Dr. Samuel Zumwalt, STS, preaches the sermon “Room for Jesus?” (Luke 2:1-20) at 8:30 and 11 p.m.
Pre-service music begins 30 minutes before each Eucharist. A nursery is available from 4:30pm – 6:30pm and from 8pm – 10pm. A New Hanover County Deputy will provide contract parking lot security from 4:30 pm – 1 am.
Discover the Lutheran difference this week. At St. Matthew’s, when it says Lutheran on the sign, you can actually count on scriptural, creedal, and sacramental worship week after week. Please find your way often to St. Matthew’s where Christ has promised to be present in the Word and Sacraments always!
Thanks for stopping by!
Peace and joy,
Pastor Sam Zumwalt, STS