Dear St Matthew’s Family,

Happy 50th Anniversary!

We’ve been planning and waiting and working, and now it is here: the celebration of the first 50 years and the years 51+ yet to come! I hope you will be able to take part in some of the festivities—the Family Fun Day, Service Project, Banquet, and our Sunday morning worship featuring Pastor and Artist Paul Oman as he brings to life the gospel story of the feeding of the 5000—happening over the weekend.

It seems all too appropriate for us to focus on a story of feeding and being fed. St Matthew’s has a wonderful history and present reality of feeding and being fed both literally and figuratively. Through the years we have fed through local organizations like ACTS, Bill Mehr and Hilda Barg. We’ve fed each other through tables of eight and when someone has needed support through illness or mourning. We support the work of national and international efforts and organizations like Lutheran Disaster Response and Lutheran Social Services that feed as they walk with people through their hunger and loss.

We also have been fed through shared social events, because it is good to just sit around a table, to break bread, and to be blessed in conversation and company, whether it’s with a few or the multitude. I appreciate that we will be bringing to canvas Luke’s version of the feeding of the 5000. It’s a story told in different ways in all four gospels, and even twice in two with the feeding of the 4000. But what I’m drawn to in Luke’s version is the clear connection to communion. You can hear in the text the words I speak to you over Holy Communion every Sunday:

“… he blessed and broke them and gave them to his disciples…”

Out of so little can come so much… what would five loaves of bread and two fish do to feed 5000 men plus women and children? And yet, there were twelve baskets of broken pieces left over. What begins as something small can multiply. What begins can be added to, can be joined and can meet the present need.

The gospel of Luke doesn’t have a little boy to give the disciples bread and fish. It has the disciples considering what it is they have to give, struggling to understand that what they offer might eventually be made into enough, and then offering it those gathered. Whether we understand Jesus as miraculously multiplying the loaves and the fish, or if the multiplying came from those who responded to the original sharing, or a bit of both, we see a lesson in knowing that we have enough to give and share with our neighbors, strangers, and friends. It’s in the sharing, service, love, and care that we are all fed, physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

May we continue to live into this beautiful lesson!


Pastor Kirsten