Pastor’s Letter for August 2021


Pastor Jim Martin of St. Matthew United Methodist Church in Weston, WV
Jim Martin

Hi folks!  I greet you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.  We are beginning August 2021.  Normally, I am told, the newsletter takes the summer off, but we have some dates and events which we wanted to make sure all of you were aware. 

Many of you may know that St. Matthew helped in a big way to support a day camp here in Lewis County on July 22 and 23.  Staff members from Spring Heights Camp, our West Virginia Conference’s camp and retreat center, were on hand to offer the programming and lead in the activities.  Although we had a modest turnout of children (Kindergarten through Middle School), the love of Jesus Christ was lavished upon our children.  Christ was offered in real and practical ways.  And we had fun in the process.  Thanks to all of our volunteer counselors who “herded and fed” our campers. 

We are in the middle of a worship series called “Geared Up for Life” which is taken from messages from The Letter to the Ephesians.  So far, we have explored where to set our hope, examined the peace that Christ offers, and dug deep into what it means to be rooted and grounded in love.  We will continue in Ephesians through August 22nd.  Upcoming sermon titles include:

August 1 – A Life Worthy from Ephesians 4:1-16

August 8 – Speaking the Truth from Ephesians 4:25 – 5:2

August 15 – Giving Thanks from Ephesians 5:15-20

August 22 – Armored from Ephesians 6:10-20

It is my prayer that you will set aside time to read Ephesians and join us either in person or online for worship.   

Looking forward, I will begin a new worship series on August 29th that will carry us through the end of September on The Letter of James which is entitled “Doers of the Word.”  Along with this worship series focusing on James, I will begin both an online and in person weekly study of James beginning Wednesday, August 24th.  I look forward for you joining me in this deep dive of The Letter of James.  Look and listen for details coming soon.

As I began preparing this letter this morning, I looked at the Covid-19 activity in Lewis County.  Our new daily cases on a per capita basis leads the counties of West Virginia.  Thankfully, The Weston Democrat reported this week that there are no cases involving the “Delta variant” which is described as highly virulent, threatening especially to the unvaccinated population.  As the hymn goes, “Because He lives, I can face tomorrow…”  Let us be mindful of Jesus’ lesson on being good neighbors, and once again prepare ourselves to adapt to changing conditions.  Philippians 4:11b-13 offers me a word to consider here: “for I have learned to be content with what I have.  I know what it is to have little, and I know what it is to have plenty.  In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being well-fed and of going hungry, of having plenty and of being in need.  I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”

May the strength of Christ hold and sustain us, instilling within us his grace and encompassing love.   

In Christ,

+ Pastor Jim