Evangelical Lutheran Women (ELW) is a Christ-centered community of women who are committed to nurturing our faith and spiritual strength to enable us to be people of God. As a vital partner of the ELCIC we express our faith in action, support and affirm one another, develop leadership skills, and nurture our faith and spiritual growth through prayer and Bible study. At St. Matthew’s we meet monthly for Bible study or a topic of current interest, either in a member’s home or at the church. We coordinate a prayer circle and provide funeral lunches for bereaved families. Our monthly offerings support our national organization, our congregation and our community. As women from many backgrounds and life circumstances we enjoy learning and laughing, serving and supporting. Women at all stages of their adult lives can find value and meaning by participating actively in ELW.
” If anybody asks YOU who you are, Tell them You’re a child of God.”
Singing and Story Telling, Games and Riddles are all part of sharing our faith with children. Each Sunday morning at 10:30 from September until June, an enthusiastic group of children from age 3 to Grade 6 gather in the Sunday School area with a dedicated team of Christian teachers and leaders. Together they explore both Old and New Testament Bible truths to discover what it means to be a child of God. Bible stories are presented in a rich variety of ways incorporating learning activities that are experiential and interactive yet sensitive to the learning styles of each child. Developmental assets that have been identified, through research, as the key building blocks for the healthy development of children and youth. If you are looking for a faith community where children and their parents are both valued and warmly welcomed, you will find it at St. Matthew’s Evangelical Lutheran Church. Come and learn from the Bible to live the Good News.
“Our children are not the future church, they are an important part of the church today!”
Home for Peace
Paul describes in 1 Corinthians 12:26 how members of God’s family share both joy and suffering. When one family member feels down or angry, these feelings affect others in the family. Here are some ways to build peace within in the family.
Ask family members to tell about times when they have shared each other’s joys and disappointments. Such a discussion will help build a bridge of communication. Read together children’s books that focus on feelings and facing problems. Start individual journals in which family members can write about or draw their feelings. Some people are more comfortable writing rather than talking about their concerns. Others may prefer to act out their feelings. Create paper bag puppets and act out 3-5 minute plays about family situations. (Suggestions include: the unhappy sister; the boy who bragged; or the embarrassing father.) A vital step in building communication is recognizing that family members may use different approaches to express their feelings.
Looking for the positives can actually prevent problems from developing. Decorate pads of scratch paper for writing positive notes to family members. Make happy faces by pressing your thumb on an inkpad and then onto the papers. Add features using a pen or marker. Make a “Spirit Lifter” to keep on your kitchen table. Write positive messages on small slips of paper. Fold them up and put them inside empty decorated jelly jars. Read one together daily to lift the family’s spirits! If family members are hesitant to pray, try a “popcorn prayer.” Anyone may say a single word or phrase, naming something or someone for which they’re thankful. Several persons can speak at once.
From Family Newsletters on Disk, copyright 1995 Augsburg Fortress.
Children copy the behaviour of those they admire. Young children tend to imitate their parents and caregivers. As they reach the middle elementary grades, they begin to copy the behaviour of friends, peers, and sports and entertainment personalities. Our children’s faith growth can be helped or hindered, depending on whose behaviour they choose to imitate. That’s why we need to expose our children to people with behaviours worth copying. Share stories with your child about heroes and heroines of the faith: biblical, historical, and contemporary. Follow up these stories with conversations about these faithful people. How was their faith important to them? What can we learn from them? There may be heroes in your neighbourhood or your church. Introduce your children to people for whom faith is real and active.
From Family Newsletters on Disk, copyright 1995 Augsburg Fortress