Contact Pastor Otto for pastoral care at email@example.com or call 816-524-7068.
Worship - This is God's highest and best way to care for His people. Worship is described as a "Divine Service" because God serves us as we gather in His name to hear His Word. As a mother prepares a variety of foods for a healthy family meal, the pastor prepares a balanced message through the order of service, hymns, readings, children's message, sermon, and devotional thoughts in the bulletin. Worship is never virtual! In worship we gather together to pray before God's altar, to sing with and pray with the body of believers in Jesus' name. As Jesus resurrection was in a physical body, so we gather together physically as one Body of Christ to be the people of God in worship and mission.
Spiritual Care - Members of the congregation are under the spiritual care of the pastor, who is called by the congregation's Voter's Assembly 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. (See St. Paul's Epistles, 1 & 2 Timothy)
Confession & Absolution - God's people bear an important message: He is merciful and wants to forgive sinners! We are called to confess our sins daily, 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. (See John 20:21-23, 2 Corinthians 5)
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 soul care, and especially encouraging those who have become homebound due to age or disability. They bring the Lord's Supper, devotions and prayer to them so the church family stays knit together in hearing the voice of our Savior. Elders of the church are sometimes part of the support and encouragement for those who cannot attend worship.
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 sharing your life with Christ, and with others in the Body of Christ. We go through instruction together, learn about one another, and promise to pray for and support 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 two-year course of instruction in the 7th and 8th grade to prepare for their Confirmation; that is, for Communicant Membership. This event is a traditional time in which each child affirms the Covenant that God made with him/her at Baptism, and receives Holy Communion for the first time. 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).