Visiting a Church for the first time can be a scary thing. You might see a Church while driving home from work and your curiosity says, "Maybe I should visit that Church someday." However, all you know is what you have seen from the comfort of your car. You don't know what the worship service is like. You don't know what the congregation believes. You don't know what the people will be like. You don't know the size of the congregation. There are a lot of uncertainties about coming to a Church. That is why we offer this section of our website.
We live in a fast paced world. We run from work to home to the grocery store to the soccer fields. Often times, we don't have the time to stop and enjoy each other's company. At St. Matthias, we want to fellowship with one another. We are one body in Christ and we want to live as such. Not only do we spend time talking and laughing before and after services but we also fellowship outside of Sunday morning. A few men regularly go golfing or hunting together. The women of the Church (aka, The Cathedral Auxilary) have activities such as wine tastings, Southern Living decorating parties, card-marking events, antique shopping trips among other things.The entire Church enjoys a brunch after services once a month. The men from Holy Trinity and St. Matthias gather on the breezeway between the buildings once a month for "Pipe Club" (really its cigars).
Col. Andrew Bland (ret)
New Sanctuary Dedication (2006)
A common misconception is that Church goers, especially those of a traditional Church, are stuffy and standoffish people who don't like newcomers. Nothing is farther from the truth at St. Matthias. It is our desire to develop and harvest a family atmosphere where Sunday morning is only a portion of our Church life. And when you come to visit, we want you to experience our fellowship and warmth firsthand. We want you to feel comfortable and to enjoy St. Matthias just as we do.
The best way to answer that question is to say that we are a growing Church. Our regular Sunday attendance ranges around 60 people. One of the advantages of joining a Church like St. Matthias is that it is like the hit TV show "Cheers". St. Matthias is a place where "everybody knows your name" and "glad you came".
Since our service comes from the Prayer Book, the length is pretty much the same every week. The only thing that varies is the length of the sermon and the time it takes to distribute Communion. Father Jason typically preaches for about 10 to 15 minutes each week. Overall, our service is roughly one hour and fifteen minutes long. Fellowship afterwards can vary in length. View an example of our worship service (Liturgy)
Over the past several years, we have seen an increase in the number of young children and we are thoroughly delighted with that. We wholeheartedly believe that Worship involves the entire family and that worship is an essential part in raising our children in the ways of God. But we also understand that children can get fidgety and that it can be difficult for them to understand everything that we say or preach in our service. To that end, we offer "Kids Chapel" for children ages 3 to 8. Kids Chapel is a time for the children to worship together as children in a way they can understand. Every week, in the parish hall, they have an opportunity to sing and to get the "sillies out" (to use a phrase from Yo-Gabba-Gabba). But they also learn the Apostles Creed, the Ten Commandments, the Lord's Prayer, have a time of discussing and confessing sin and hearing a Bible story. It is very much like our "grown-up" worship but on their level. The children begin worship with the congregation and leave for Kids Chapel during the sermon hymn. They return again at the distribution of Holy Communion and remain with their family through the end of the service. For those with younger children, we do have a cry room in the rear of the Church that you can take your children to during those moments of loud crying or outbursts.
Simply put - we have a very traditional form of worship. That always prompts the question, "What does that mean?" When we say "Traditional" we mean that we have things like candlesticks, older hymns, bells, organ music, pews, and ornate garments. We also recognize that there are many wonderful hymns and songs written recently that are quite worthy of God's praise. And so, from time to time, we will utilize a piano keyboard to sing some more modern hymns. In addition, we use a Prayer Book that leads us through the service each week. View an example of our worship service (Liturgy)
We believe that these traditional symbols & actions teach us about God, Jesus, and the Gospel. For example, the candlesticks teach us about Christ being the light of the world and the white garments teach us that we are washed clean in the blood of Jesus. As Revelation tells us - Those arrayed in white robes were those washed in the blood of the Lamb.
If you have never been to a "Traditional" Church, it can be quite different. But don't be afraid about that. We will provide you with an easy to use layout of the service and are more than willing to answer or explain any questions or curiosities you may have.
Our pastor's name is Jason Grote. He was born in 1973 in Pennsylvania and was raised in New Jersey. Growing up he played football and he competed on the state level in the javelin (track and field). He married his wife, Elizabeth, in 2004. They had their first child, Aidan, in November of 2005 and their daughter, Avery, on January 30, 2008. He has been our pastor since 2000.
Father Jason (right) and brother Josh (left)
Hitting the "Links"
Father Jason is a normal "down to earth" guy who enjoys many different things. He is an avid golfer and is always looking for an opportunity to play a round with anyone who wants to join him. He also enjoys rooting on his favorite football team - The Philadelphia Eagles.
Not only does Father Jason pastor St. Matthias but he also wears many other hats. He serves as the Treasurer for the Diocese of Mid-America, The Reformed Episcopal Church's Board of Foreign Missions and Cranmer Theological House. Outside of the Church, Father Jason works as a web-database programmer specializing in programs written for School Districts.
St. Matthias is a Church that invites everyone to Communion provided that they are baptized in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost and that they love the Divine Lord Jesus Christ with all sincerity. It is Father Jason's practice to ask the parents of children whether their children partake of the Sacrament. If the parent so desires, he is more than willing to serve children.