St. Matthew’s has two partner congregations in Milwaukee: Cross Lutheran Church and Reformation Lutheran Church. We also partner with Sing’isi Lutheran Church near Mt. Meru in Tanzania and Casa Esperanza, a homeless shelter in El Salvador. All partnerships are relationship-based, following the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America’s accompaniment model.
If you are interested in participating in any of St. Matthew’s Partnerships, contact Gretchen Haugse through the church office at 414-774-0441 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
An Opportunity for Good Gifts for Christmas: we have printed a booklet listing several needs from each of our partners. Donations are given toward these items as a gift for someone on your Christmas list. A certificate is available to present to the recipient to explain that a gift has a been given in their honor. St. Matthew’s Good Gifts Catalog 2016
Cross Lutheran Church
Members of Cross Lutheran Church and St. Matthew’s have learned to know one another by working, worshiping, studying, and celebrating together. The third Wednesday of every month we share in a meal held at Cross, and members of St. Matthew’s are welcomed on the board of Cross’s Bread of Healing Empowerment Ministry. We have attended retreats and special events together and have worshiped in each other’s churches. We are blessed to see again and again that we are all one in the Body of Christ.
Reformation Lutheran Church
St. Matthew’s and Reformation have a long-standing relationship, which has been formalized as an official partnership within the last ten years. Members of all ages from both congregations have collaborated in educational, relational, financial, outreach, and neighborhood improvement ministries. Tutoring and mentoring relationships have grown into deep friendships. Each year high school kids from Reformation participate with St. Matt’s kids on their mission trip. Youth and adults work side-by-side to build and maintain the Angel Gardens, a raised bed garden project in Reformation’s neighborhood. The Just One More ministry housed at St. Matthew’s provides meals each week that are distributed through Reformation’s food pantry. And it is in worship that we see so clearly that in the Body of Christ there is no “us” and “them,” according to Reformation’s Pastor Wohlfeil, but only “us.”
St. Matthew’s partners with the Sing’Isi congregation of the Meru diocese in Tanzania. We are always united by prayer and in person on a regular basis. A group from St. Matt’s travels to Tanzania approximately every three years and helps sponsor visits by members from Sing’Isi to Wisconsin usually every other year. St. Matt’s provides financial assistance to the congregation as well as to several students so that they can receive a secondary education. Pastor Elias Kitoi provides an especially strong link with the Meru diocese. The Greater Milwaukee Synod’s Meru Diocese Committee meets monthly at St. Matthew’s.
Every January a group from St. Matthew’s travels to El Salvador to walk in solidarity with members of the Salvadoran Lutheran Church. With the help of social media, the friendships that form can be sustained through frequent contact. Members of both church bodies hold one another in prayer.
St. Matthew’s is privileged to sponsor approximately 25 Salvadoran students, enabling them to pursue secondary education. The students and their sponsors maintain a close and enduring relationship. On each January journey, the St. Matt’s group visits Casa Esperanza, a homeless shelter in San Salvador, which St. Matt’s supports financially. Recently we provided funding for a hydroponic garden, which significantly increases the nutritional value of meals served at the shelter.
People who have traveled to El Salvador are always ready to spread the word about the remarkable Salvadorans who have blessed them in their journey. “El Salvador” means “the Savior,” and many travelers from St. Matthew’s have learned that El Salvador changes lives.