||If you are reading this, you are like us, looking, searching for a way to engage in this time of challenge for a way to discern God’s will and leadership to help bring peace, joy, and justice to our fractured world. It feels a bit like a dating app, with potential clergy presenting their credentials and the church providing documents supporting our sincerity and worthiness of your consideration. Our diocese is acting like a motivated, good willed “yenta” providing guidance and help seeking someone who will be a spiritual leader to our small congregation here in what some dismiss as “flyover country.” Our wish is for a one-half time priest who will lead us in liturgy, engage and be a presence with our small vibrant community, Iowa Falls, and help us organize our talents to be the “hands of Christ.”
St. Matthew’s has over a century of history of that very same quest in Iowa Falls. We have always been a mission congregation, sometimes led by a full time priest, sometimes a part-time priest and for the past fourteen years two very dedicated priests in partnership. While we have attracted several new members in the past few years, we have also had a goodly number of faithful members join the church eternal. As with most congregations, we are itching to grow in order to bring that unique Episcopalian theology of scripture informed by tradition and reason to our discernment of action in contemporary society.
Our resources, as God promises, and our predecessors have helped provide, are ample for our needs. We are fortunate to have a well cared for church building and rectory, large enough for use, and yet not so big as to be a liability to our budget needs for outreach and mission. We have always paid in full our apportionment to the diocese, and have saved resources to help fund this desire for one-half time clergy. Our present worship consists of alternate weeks of lay led Morning Prayer, and Eucharist. We would like to have weekly Eucharist. Our outreach to the community at large includes a summer Organ Recital Series, and our annual Advent/Christmas Lessons and Carols Service. Our members are active in many of the local civic organizations and boards, which include Meals on Wheels, the Union Cemetery Board, the Iowa Falls Historical Society, the ministerial association, and Church Women United.
We also hope that our new clergy person will be a presence on our community college campus, which along with our fine public schools, recently constructed regional hospital, attractive parks, and vibrant downtown, makes this a wonderful place to live. If you would like to learn more there is a video produced by our Chamber Main Street in the profile, which accompanied by the portfolio, is available at the Diocese of Iowa website. This ad is being written a month or so before Advent when the church once again prepares for the birth of Christ, and the New Covenant. We are hoping to join in a new relationship with a priest in residence position. Could that be you?