150 years in San Mateo

St. Matthew’s, San Mateo, was founded in 1865 — at the end of the Civil War. During his sermon on Sunday, the Rt. Rev. Marc Handley Andrus, bishop of California, noted how different life is in contemporary society from frontier days in San Mateo. During his sermon on Matthew 9.9–13, Andrus said that Jesus’ call of Matthew was the beginning of Matthew’s transformation, not the end, as he leaves his tax booth to follow Jesus. 

Andrus shared that tax collectors were not popular because of their extortion of the people to make their own money. John the Baptizer had already directed tax collectors to only take what was fair. Jesus’ call for Matthew to follow him was completely different. It wasn’t an incremental change of not cheating anymore. It was a brand new life. Andrus offered two different images for Jesus’ meal with “tax collectors and sinners” — the Pharisees’ view that it was like a 1920s speakeasy compared to what was more likely the experience of people who’d come to eat with Jesus: something more like a 12 step meeting of people who needed a change in their lives and something outside themselves for healing.

At the 150th anniversary celebration, nine people were baptized. Bishop Marc also confirmed and received adults. After the service, the people of St. Matthew’s celebrated their anniversary with an extensive reception that featured beautifully decorated cupcakes, peanut butter and jelly sandwich empanadas, other appetizers, and punch. After the reception Bishop Marc met with the vestry of St. Matthew’s. Later in the day Sancta Canticum had the inaugural concert of its inaugural season. For more informatino about St. Matthew’s, visit their website here.