Faith in Action

Faith Story of Joan Scott
August 12, 2020

Joan Scott is a living example of what faith looks like in action, a glimpse of faith lived out in daily life. She is a person of action who acts on what she hears. She firmly believes God can do far more through each of us than any of us can do by ourselves. Whether through Fair Trade, the Girl Scouts, Women of the ELCA or in simple acts of kindness, she embodies what it means to love your neighbor as yourself.

What Are You Looking At?

Pastor David Kiel
August 9, 2020

Do you ever get overwhelmed with life to the point where you lose heart; lose faith? It is easy to be a person of faith when life is going smoothly, without challenges. But as soon as things go wrong, we often forget who we are and whose we are? Pastor David reminds us that when we take our eyes off of Jesus and focus on our surroundings instead, we begin to sink. But the Good News is, if we stay focused on Jesus, we can rest assured that He is always there to pull us back in the boat.

Download or Print a Service Bulletin.

Poster image:  Ludolph Backhuysen, Fishing Vessels Offshore in a Heavy Sea, Oil on Canvas, Minneapolis Institute of Art

For previous Sermons and Special Service videos and audios,
please click on this link.

Beginning Sunday, July 19,
Indoor Worship Services Have Been Suspended


Dear Friends of St. Matthew,

Wednesday afternoon 7/15/2020, Governor Wolf issued an order which limits indoor gatherings to a maximum of 25 people. He made this announcement as a response to “an unsettling climb in new cases” of COVID-19. In response to this order and the present rise in cases, we are suspending our indoor 10:45 a.m. this Sunday, July 19, until further notice. This is a decision I made in consultation and support from our staff and congregational leaders.

I realize that churches are legally exempt from these orders and that the case could be made that given the size of our church and the guidelines in place, we could continue indoor worship. On the other hand, it is important for us to consider the safety of our congregational members and community. This is a disappointment for all as we have gathered indoors for three weeks.

Although we will not meet for worship indoors at 10:45, we will continue to have our regularly scheduled Drive-In Worship at 9:00 a.m. At least for this Sunday, we will not have a second worship service due to the heat that is expected for this week. Because we are having only one service, I encourage more members to consider sitting outdoors, under the tree or a canopy or umbrella brought from home and then parking in the lot by the YWCA. We continue to offer an online worship experience which will be made available on our website or our Facebook page on Sunday afternoon. Everyone who has worshipped at the indoor service during the last three weeks is receiving a phone call or email from our administrative assistants, Jane and Stacy, regarding this decision.

In the meantime, I am asking our COVID-19 Task Force, to meet soon to explore ways for us to meet within the restrictions of the Governor’s order. This Task Force, together with our congregational council’s support, did a great job in helping us prepare and implement protocols for our worship experiences.

Please watch for more details regarding our ongoing ministries as we continue to celebrate God’s love, grow in faith and serve in Jesus’ name.  I pray that God’s grace and peace fill you with hope during these difficult times.

With you in Christ,

Pastor Kathy

The Rev. Kathryn Vitalis Hoffman, D.Min.
Lead Pastor

Drive-In Worship Continues at 9 am

Although we are suspending our Indoor Worship for now, we will continue to offer a unique worship experience each Sunday with Drive-In Worship at 9:00.  Yes, we stay in our cars, watch through the windows and listen through the radio! Please click here for Drive-In Worship Guidelines and Details.

Worship is so successful that we are continuing with our Drive-In Services each Sunday until further notice.  A recording of our first Drive-In Worship Service is available through YouTube (with links found on the website).  Future services will be available within a day for all who are not able to come or who want to relive the experience.

We continue to offer Mid-Week Worship recordings each Wednesday evening with faith stories shared by St. Matthew members!

Our whole staff has been actively at work with the ongoing ministries of our church and we are eager to welcome you to our drive-in worship.  We returned to our regular office hours on June 1. Please keep an eye out for updates regarding resumption of our Indoor Worship Services.

Vacation Bible School Set for August

Vacation Bible School is going to CLICK this August! CLICK stands for Children Live in Christ's Kingdom. Our VBS won't just be for kids, it will be for the whole family! We'll meet Sunday, August 2 through Thursday, August 6, 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., in Fellowship Hall. Kids will attend with a parent (or other adult or older sibling at least in high school) and will sit at their family table for Bible stories, Puppet Shows, crafts, snacks and more! Registration will continue until our table capacity is filled, so the sooner you register your family, the better.  Downlaod a Registration Form by clicking here or look in Sunday's bulletin or the up-coming Messenger, too.  More details may be found by clicking on About Vacation Bible School under the Education tab above.  Mark your calendars and get ready to CLICK together!

Don’t Forget Thursday Prayer Time with the Pastors

Thursdays — Prayer Time with the Pastors 1:30 to 2:30

Join Zoom Meetings by calling the church office at 717-637-7101 with your name and e-mail address and which Zoom meeting you would like to attend or by e-mailing that information to  You will receive an e-mail the day before or the day of the meeting you want to attend.  The e-mail will include the Zoom link, login credentials and password.


Remain Connected with St. Matthew While Social Distancing

We have settled into a way of functioning during a time of staying home and staying distant. This has a huge impact on our congregation as we continue our suspended activities at  church. What has not been suspended, however, is our mission and ministry. Christ is risen and is actively at work bringing hope and life to all. Thanks be to God!

Please make note of the opportunities that abound in the weeks ahead.

Celebrating God’s Love!

We continue with worship. You will find our worship videos on our Facebook page: St. Matthew Lutheran Church, Hanover PA and our website.

A worship experience with St. Matthew members sharing their faith stories is posted on Wednesdays at 7:15 p.m.

Our week-end worship services with the pastors preaching on the lectionary gospel readings are posted each weekend. You will find the most recent on the home page and past services on the Sermons page.

Learning and Fellowship Opportunities.

For all Zoom meetings:  Please e-mail the church office at with your name, e-mail address and the Zoom meeting(s) you would like to attend.  You may also call the church office at 717-637-7101 with that information.  An e-mail will be sent you the day before or the day of the Zoom meeting you plan to attend.

NEW: Book Study:  Understanding and Dismantling Racism by Joseph Barndt.  All are invited to read and discuss this revealing and eye-opening book for our discussions to be held each Wednesday evening, July 29 and August 12, 19 and 26, 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. via Zoom.

YOUTH  (7th to 12th graders) are invited to Zoom meetings from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. each Sunday.

YOUTH ALUMNI (post-high school to 24-ish) are invited to connect via Zoom from 9:00 to 10:00 p.m. each Sunday.

Call-In Daily Devotions: Call in 24/7 to receive a new devotion each day given by one of St. Matthew's ministerial staff. Call 717-637-7101. When prompted, press 3. Between 8 and 5 on weekdays, our Administrative Assistant will answer your call and connect you to the devotion for the day.

Cyber Women Zoom Sessions will take place each third Monday of each month from 7:00 p.m.  to 8:00 p.m.  (Please note our date for July will be the 27th.)

NEW: Zoom Chats with the pastors. Check in with Pastor Kathy, Pastor David and Pastor Faye on Thursdays anytime between 1:30 and 2:30 p.m. To receive a zoom link, please use the information above.

Welcome to Our New Lead Pastor, Kathy Vitalis Hoffman

The community of faith at St. Matthew Lutheran Church is pleased to welcome our new Lead Pastor, The Reverend Dr. Kathryn M. Vitalis Hoffman.  Pastor Kathy received her Master of Divinity at Luther Northwestern Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota and her Doctor of Ministry in Pastoral Leadership  from Drew University in Madison, New Jersey.

Pastor Kathy has served faithfully in ministry for over 31 years and in five different ministry settings before coming to St. Matthew.  She comes to St. Matthew with a passion for people and ministry and offers great insight and leadership.  Pastor Kathy is married to the Reverend Mark Vitalis Hoffman, a professor at Gettysburg Seminary.  Together, they have two daughters, Sarah and Amy.

Pastor Kathy will be a blessing to not only this congregational family but also to the community of Hanover.  We hope you will come and welcome her and experience first hand, how blessed we are to have her in our midst.

To the Glory of God —
The St. Matthew Austin Organ

organ_squareThe St. Matthew world renowned Austin organ was built and dedicated that its music might resound to the Glory of God and to the uplifting of God’s people in worship. It was also the desire of the donor, and the earnest hope of the designer-organist, that its beautiful and glorious tones might give inspiration and pleasure to many beyond the membership of our congregation. The organ has 14,470 pipes and 238 ranks.

Enjoy Adam Brakel as he puts St. Matthew's Austin organ and it's pedals to the test during his 2018 performance at St. Matthew.  It is a sight (and sound) to behold. And this is real time.  Simply amazing.

Take a tour of the beautiful Nave of St. Matthew Lutheran Church. Enjoy the exquisite stained glass windows and magnificent altar from anywhere at any time.
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