Adult Forums: Throughout the year (and always at Lent and Advent) there are educational sessions for adults. These sessions can be one time sessions or several weeks in length and allow participants to engage in a deeper understanding of Biblical teachings. Teaching segments are offered on seasonal or particular topics. This can be led by clergy or laity.
Altar Guild: Twelve male and female parishioners prepare the altar for worship, baptisms, weddings, funerals. In December we have a special greening of the church to get ready for the Christmas season.
Choir: Currently, fourteen adults provide vocal enrichment to the worship. Frequently we have instrumental accompaniment and children participate for special services.
- Heavenly Bakers: A group of volunteer parishioners bake desserts for the Open Table dinners, Lenten dinners and special occasions.
- Communion Bread: Homemade communion bread, to be used for our worship service, is baked by a group of volunteer parishioners.
Easter Egg Hunt: Around Easter, parishioners fill plastic eggs with small items and candy and the children hunt for them.
Elder Parishioner Talks: Every few months, an elder parishioner come to speak to the children in the older elementary /middle/and high school age students during Sunday school. They discuss their lives and the role that God played in it. It is a valuable experience for all involved!
- Sue’sCart: Non-perishable items are collected to benefit St. Joseph the Worker food pantry in the village of Liverpool.
- Grocery bags/emergency food bags: A steady supply of food bags, contributed by parish members, contains non-perishable items. These are in stock for the clergy or other authorized persons to give to families and individuals in immediate need.
Food/Meal train: When a parishioner needs meals furnished during an illness, the parish sends out the call. A schedule is developed to make sure meals are supplied during this time of need.
Food $en$e: A program of the Food Bank of Central New York, began at St Matthews in November 2015. The goal is to help anyone stretch their food dollars. Offerings change monthly and there is no income requirement to purchase. We offer units of food for $20.50 and several specials every month. This is not government food. It is the same food as in a grocery store, but at a better price.
Giving Boutique: A “pop-up’ shop that sells hand-made cards, jewelry, scarves and other items between church services and during Lenten fish dinners. The proceeds have been used to support outreach ministries.
The Gregory J. Harris Military Courtesy Room at Hancock International Airport: We collect travel sized toiletries, individually wrapped candy,
snacks, cookies and canned soda for this courtesy room. It is located at Hancock International Airport, here in Syracuse, for the use by military members to enjoy while waiting for transportation.
Halloween Party: Each year, the children of St. Matthew’s gather for a Halloween celebration! There’s nothing more fun than showing up to church on a Sunday and finding costume-dressed little ones!
- Baptismal blankets: White blankets are knit or crocheted and presented as a gift and remembrance to children and adults baptized in the church.
- Prayer Shawls: Small blankets are knit or crocheted by parishioners, prayed over by the congregation, and given to those during a health challenge.
Lay Ministry (Lay Eucharistic Ministersand Acolytes): We have 22 congregational leaders who lead the lessons and psalms. We have 12 Lay Eucharistic Ministers who lead the prayers of the people and are chalice bearers. We have ten youth who maturely act as acolytes for services. This program has grown over the years to include youth as readers and the older acolytes mentor the younger ones.
Men’s & Women’s Groups: Recently formed, the men’s and women’s groups intend to gather for fellowship, fun and various outreach projects.
Martin Luther King Day of Learning and Service: Begun in January 2015, parishioners gather to carry out service projects and enjoy fellowship on Martin Luther King Day. Service components include making sandwiches and cookies for the Samaritan Center. Adults and children have also learned how to make Communion bread for our Sunday Services. Learning opportunities include an MLK ?reading room?in the church, films on diversity and racial injustice, listening to MLK speeches and participating in cra
The Open Table: Started in March 2015, and held on the last Sunday of the month, The OpenTable is a free community meal for visitors and parishioners designed to feed their bellies and their souls. It is held at the end of the month when food dollars are stretched the most. Usual attendance is 40-60 and parishioners serve as greeters, servers, cleaning and resetting tables, kitchen staff, dishwashers and donate food, money and desserts. It is funded by diner’s donations and generous donations from others.
Public School Outreach: Backpacks are filled with food and distributed to students in need. Food for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners is also collected and presented to families.
Rummage Sale: In early September, St Matthew?s holds its AnnualRummage Sale. This is a large fund raiser for the church. All money goes toward operational expenses. Leftover items are offered to Interfaith Works for refugee resettlement, and other charitable organizations.
Senior Scholarship: Bowling and golf tournaments are held to benefit a scholarship fund for graduating high school seniors. It is also a wonderful time for fellowship.
Sunday School: We have 4 classes of Sunday school: preschool to kindergarten, first to third grade, fourth to sixth grade and seventh to twelfth grade. Forty-two students are registered. The average weekly attendance is twenty-five.
Sunshine Cards: In 2016, the committee mailed sympathy cards, get well cards, birthday cards and Christmas cards. “Thinking of you” cards are mailed to those parishioners who can not attend worship services, either long term or short term.
Wine Tour: Open to parishioners and friends, a bus is rented to tour wineries in the Finger Lakes region in late summer or early fall for fellowship and fun.
Wine & Cheese Auction: Annually, we solicit contributions from individuals and businesses for a silent auction of various baskets, art, jewelry, gift cards, etc. Refreshments are offered and the highlight of the evening is a wine auction-craziest title on the wine bottle, the better! Proceeds go to operational expenses.