70th ANNIVERSARY

Dear brothers and sisters,

All are welcome!  This is the name of a hymn we sing at church.  It was written by a church musician from Minnesota named Marty Haugen in 1989.  Many denominations use this song, and, despite its welcoming spirit, it has created much controversy in some communities.

At Saint Matthew, we use this song because it speaks to the congregation that we share.  We historically describe Saint Matthew as being a Caucasian Parish from 1949 to 1969; Caucasian and African American from 1969 to 1989; and Caucasian, African American, Immigrant, and LGBTQ from 1989 to the present.  We know our history and realize that all people were not always welcome in this place.  So as the community developed over the years, we had to face our history, and do what we could to reverse any unwelcoming spirits, so that we could be come a welcoming community.  Now we have people in the congregation from about 47 different countries.

We share our life, our faith, our food, our music, and our families together.  It is a place of hope in a world that tries to divide and separate.  On this 70thAnniversary, we are grateful for what God has created in us and through us.  As we continue to learn from and share with each other, may our children and our children’s children maintain this spirit of welcome and hospitality for future generations, or at least for the next 70 years (2089!)

Happy anniversary, everyone!

Fr. Joe Muth

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