Pastor’s Page

Pastor Finney | St. Paul's Lutheran Church of Sassamansville

Pastor Matthew Finney

Pastor Matthew Finney was unanimously installed at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church of Sassamansville on Aug. 7 as the 21st pastor. Before receiving the call at St. Paul’s, Pastor Finney served a two-point parish in Western Pennsylvania known as Holy Shepherd Lutheran Parish which was a combination of Holy Trinity Parish in Lanse and Shepherd of the Hills Parish in Karthaus.

Pastor Finney brings many gifts to St. Paul’s. He received his master of divinity at the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg in 2010. He also has a master of science degree in 2003 from North Carolina State University and a bachelor of science degree in 2000 from Purdue University both in agricultural science.

Pastor’s March Message

In my last newsletter article, I wrote about things we were considering at our annual meeting. These important decisions would be a part of revitalizing the congregation here at St. Paul’s. As most of you hopefully know all of the proposed resolutions passed. Now that we have a plan in place for the next 20 years for our building we can now turn our attention to the next 20 years for the church (all of you, and others). Having a plan in place to maintain our building for the next 20 years does not mean much unless there is also planning for ministry and mission that happens within (and outside) the building.

The season of Lent is a time to consider one’s practice of faith. So church, how is your faith? Are all of you taking steps to grow in following Jesus? Are you doing things that allow God to work in your life and bring to fruition a renewed and deepened faith? The fact is all of us (I include myself) can take steps to let God work in our lives in a deeper way. The traditional disciplines of Lent, prayer, fasting, and giving are all good places to start. The 40 days of Lent are a good opportunity to build a new habit. There are several opportunities to do this here at St. Paul’s.

First, commit to attending worship every Sunday in Lent. Many of you already do this; others do not, but all can benefit from making this commitment. Gathering for worship is the most important thing we do as a church. Assembling to hear the word of God and receive the grace of God in the sacrament is vitally important for our spiritual health and vitality. The theme for our sermons on the Sundays in Lent is Inheritance and Legacy. We will be looking at what God has given to us as an inheritance and what does God want us to pass on as a legacy.

Next, the study of the scriptures is an important way for God to work in our lives. On Wednesday nights in Lent, we will be studying the book of Philippians. This relatively short letter has many things to say to us about how we live out our faith. We will begin our evenings at 6:30 with a simple soup meal and then at 7:30 we will move into a time of prayer and Bible study.

Additionally, I want to let you know that we have a new way to give financially to support our mission and ministry here at St. Paul’s. You can now give online through our church website stpaulssassamansville.com or through the ELCA Tithe.ly app on your mobile device. With a credit card or bank account number you can give one-time gifts or set up a recurring weekly or monthly gift. Also, any fundraiser orders, tickets, or registrations can be paid through the website or app. Please see the additional information elsewhere in the newsletter for instructions on how to find the app and online giving.

I hope and pray that you will take the opportunity this Lent to seek a renewed and deepened faith in God through Jesus Christ. We are a community of disciples (followers of Jesus) and being a committed disciple of Jesus means that we seek to follow him more and more, growing in his image and likeness. Please take these opportunities to follow him.

Finally, since the January/February newsletter was completed before Christmas, I want to thank the congregation and council in writing for the generous Christmas bonus. My family and I appreciate it very much, and we are glad to be a part of the community of faith here at St. Paul’s.

Thank you.
In Christ,
Pastor Matt