Who Gets What?

Pastor Kathy Vitalis Hoffman
October 18, 2020

In today’s Gospel lesson the religious leaders are once again trying to trap Jesus with what appears to be a simple “Yes” or “No” question. But Jesus quickly sees the set-up and turns the question around on the Pharisees. He asks them a question he really asks all of us as well. “Who gets what?” Or, as Pastor Kathy suggests, “To whom do we belong?” How do we steward all that has been given to us? For, in reality, what belongs to God is NOT ours to own, but rather ours to share.

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More Than Just Showing Up

Pastor Kathy Vitalis Hoffman
October 11, 2020

So, we may all have an invitation to the banquet, but Pastor Kathy challenges us that before we simply show up and expect a place at the table, we best listen to today’s gospel lesson from Matthew and dress properly. Colossians 3:12 suggests the proper attire: “[C]lothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience.” Verse 13: “Forgive each other.” Then, verse 14 sums it all up: “[C]lothe yourselves with love.” Time to get dressed and enjoy the celebration.

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For previous Sermons and Special Service videos and audios,
please click on this link.

Indoor Saturday and Sunday Worship Returns


Greetings St. Matthew Friends,

This has always been a busy time for churches. It is the week we gear up for Rally Sunday, the beginning of the “School Year” when most of us settle into a different routine from summer. There’s nothing routine about 2020 and our rhythm is thrown off due to COVID-19. On the other hand, we are into a new season and it impacts our church life as well. Below is a list of opportunities related to Education, Worship, Fellowship and Service. It is a joy to share ministry with you even while we face the challenges of this pandemic. Please pay special attention to the opportunities to gather in person or on Zoom to have important conversations with me related to our congregation.

Our drive-in worship is planned to continue through September and early October at 9:00 a.m. We will also have indoor worship: Saturday, 5 p.m. in Fellowship Hall and in the Nave on Sundays at 10:45 a.m. This will, of course, depend on any changes in state safety regulations.  If it is raining, we will cancel the Drive-In Worship service. A determination will be made by 7:00 a.m. and cancellation will be posted on Facebook and on our website and there will be a message on the office phone.

Look for information on our Listening Sessions with Pastor Kathy; our blessing of the face masks at this weekend’s services and Pastor Kathy’s Bible study which will begin on September 16.

Yours in Christ,

Pastor Kathy

The Rev. Kathryn Vitalis Hoffman, D.Min.
Lead Pastor

Drive-In Worship Continues at 9 am on Sundays

Although we are returning to Indoor Worship, we will continue to offer a unique worship experience each Sunday with Drive-In Worship at 9:00 am.  Yes, we stay in our cars, watch through the windows and listen through the radio! Please click here for Drive-In Worship Guidelines and Details.

Recordings of our  Drive-In Worship nd other services are available through YouTube (with links found on the home page and Recent Sermons page).  Future services will be available within a day for all who are not able to come or who want to relive the experience.

Our whole staff has been actively at work with the ongoing ministries of our church and we are eager to welcome you to any of our worship services.  The church office continues to be open during regular office hours.

Sunday, November 1 - Sunday, November 8

Online Quilt & Craft Auction

To benefit the Lutheran Camping Corporation Endowment Fund

Preview items at https://www.lutherancamping.org/quiltauction. Items will be added throughout October, so check back often!

Don't miss this year’s Quilt & Craft Auction, November 1-8, online. This fun-filled week of bidding raises money for the LCC Endowment Fund, which helps to financially sustain our fine ministry activities.

Right now, you can register to bid, and bidding will start on November 1. Make sure you register and are able to log in before November 1 so you don't miss out on some awesome items! Online chat is available on the log in page should you need help.

Visit the Facebook Event page!

Quilt 3

Hello From Discovery Place Preschool

YES, we are actively planning for preschool, along with some extra health and safety measures in place. Our enrollment is low this year due to concerns about COVID-19, and we need your help and support so the preschool program can continue beyond the current health crisis.

Please spread the word to local friends and families with young children that we are planning a FUN and SAFE preschool year!  We have condensed our class offerings to 3s and 4s classes in the morning only this year.  While we pray our preschool remains open all year, we are also planning “distance learning” lessons and activities in case our preschool is mandated to close.

Discovery Place needs your support more than ever!  Watch our special Temple Talk from Director Martha Lobaugh.  Please say some prayers for God’s guidance and protection for ALL of our students and school personnel as our community school systems open up to in-person education in the coming weeks.  

As always, please reach out to Martha with any ideas on how to help your church preschool program grow!  You can reach her at discoveryplacehanover@gmail.com or 717-637-1864.


Remain Connected with St. Matthew While Social Distancing

We have settled into a way of functioning during a time of staying home and staying distant. This has a huge impact on our congregation as we continue our suspended activities at  church. What has not been suspended, however, is our mission and ministry. Christ is risen and is actively at work bringing hope and life to all. Thanks be to God!

Please make note of the opportunities that abound in the weeks ahead.

Celebrating God’s Love!

We continue with worship. You will find our worship videos on our Facebook page: St. Matthew Lutheran Church, Hanover PA and our website.

A worship experience with St. Matthew members sharing their faith stories is posted on Wednesdays at 7:15 p.m.

Our week-end worship services with the pastors preaching on the lectionary gospel readings are posted each weekend. You will find the most recent on the home page and past services on the Sermons page.

Learning and Fellowship Opportunities.

For all Zoom meetings:  Please e-mail the church office at info@stmattlutheran.org with your name, e-mail address and the Zoom meeting(s) you would like to attend.  You may also call the church office at 717-637-7101 with that information.  An e-mail will be sent you the day before or the day of the Zoom meeting you plan to attend.

NEW: BIBLE STUDY with Pastor Kathy

Beginning Wednesday, September 16, at 7:00-8:00 by Zoom

All are welcome to join this down to earth, back to the basics Bible study. The approach that we will take as we read the Gospel of Matthew is the following: The Gospel of Matthew is a training manual for disciples of Jesus who want to understand and be prepared for Christian life within the believing community and Christian mission outside the community.  With this approach, we can appreciate both how this Gospel functioned in Matthew’s own community and also, in a similar fashion, how it can serve as a discipleship manual for us today as well. (Thank you to Dr. Mark Vitalis Hoffman, Professor of Biblical Studies at United Lutheran Seminary, for the Bible Study resources.)

September 16 Take Us to Your Leader—What is our Identity in relationship to our leader? The Birth and Baptism in Matthew 1:1-4:25

September 23 Rock Solid Perfect—What is our Message? The Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5:1-7:29

September 30 From Miracles to Mission—What is our Mission?

Matthew 8-10 October 7 Whose Side Are You On?—What is our Calling?

Matthew 11-17 October 14 New Community, Same Old World—What is our Vision?

Matthew 18-23 October 21 Sent with a Promise—What is our Commission? Matthew 24-28

YOUTH  (7th to 12th graders) are invited to Zoom meetings from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. each Sunday.

YOUTH ALUMNI (post-high school to 24-ish) are invited to connect via Zoom from 9:00 to 10:00 p.m. each Sunday.

Week Day Devotions: Call in 24/7 to receive a new devotion each Monday through Friday read by one of St. Matthew's ministerial staff. Call 717-637-7101. When prompted, press 3. Between 8 and 5 on weekdays, our Administrative Assistant will answer your call and connect you to the devotion for the day.

Cyber Women Zoom Sessions will take place each third Monday of each month from 7:00 p.m.  to 8:00 p.m. Any changes will appear in the Messenger newsletter, bulletin and our Facebook page.


Welcome to Our New Lead Pastor, Kathy Vitalis Hoffman

The community of faith at St. Matthew Lutheran Church is pleased to welcome our new Lead Pastor, The Reverend Dr. Kathryn M. Vitalis Hoffman.  Pastor Kathy received her Master of Divinity at Luther Northwestern Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota and her Doctor of Ministry in Pastoral Leadership  from Drew University in Madison, New Jersey.

Pastor Kathy has served faithfully in ministry for over 31 years and in five different ministry settings before coming to St. Matthew.  She comes to St. Matthew with a passion for people and ministry and offers great insight and leadership.  Pastor Kathy is married to the Reverend Mark Vitalis Hoffman, a professor at Gettysburg Seminary.  Together, they have two daughters, Sarah and Amy.

Pastor Kathy will be a blessing to not only this congregational family but also to the community of Hanover.  We hope you will come and welcome her and experience first hand, how blessed we are to have her in our midst.

To the Glory of God —
The St. Matthew Austin Organ

organ_squareThe St. Matthew world renowned Austin organ was built and dedicated that its music might resound to the Glory of God and to the uplifting of God’s people in worship. It was also the desire of the donor, and the earnest hope of the designer-organist, that its beautiful and glorious tones might give inspiration and pleasure to many beyond the membership of our congregation. The organ has 14,470 pipes and 238 ranks.

Enjoy Adam Brakel as he puts St. Matthew's Austin organ and it's pedals to the test during his 2018 performance at St. Matthew.  It is a sight (and sound) to behold. And this is real time.  Simply amazing.

Take a tour of the beautiful Nave of St. Matthew Lutheran Church. Enjoy the exquisite stained glass windows and magnificent altar from anywhere at any time.
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