Our next 25th Anniversary Event is Sunday, March 14, at 3:00 p.m.
The Zoom program on the 14th of March will continue the exploration of SsAM’s past. That exploration began on February 28, when over 65 of our church’s members and friends joined us as former members of St. Andrew’s and St. Matthew’s talked about the slow difficult process of two churches consolidating into one. For our next 25th Anniversary event, look for Zoom login details in Friday’s email blast to you. You can also call or text Danny Schweers at 302 475-0998 to get the Zoom info.
Another Event is Scheduled on March 28 at 3:00 p.m.
We look forward to seeing you then and later on in the year for more events. Further details will be given closer to these presentations.
We began celebrating our 25th Anniversary on January 31, 2021 with a video conference attended by over 140 members and well wishers.
One person said it was like passing the peace for an hour! Pat Hampton and Lou Soukup talked about how two churches consolidated in 1996. Our rector and rector-emeritus both remembered their earliest times. The Rt. Rev. Kevin Brown, Bishop of Delaware, and U.S. Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester were our special guests.
More events will celebrate our 25th Anniversary Year
April 26 , 2021, will mark 25 years since the founding of the Episcopal Church of Saints Andrew & Matthew in downtown Wilmington, Delaware.
This silver anniversary will be celebrated in many ways. If you would like to help us celebrate, please click here to contact us using the form on this website or reach out to Pat Hampton, chair of the 25th Anniversary Committee.
Thanksgiving Prayer for 25 Years by Christina Brennan Lee
Almighty Creator God, with great thanksgiving we celebrate this 25th Anniversary of the joining of two faith-filled parishes, once separated by race. Through struggle, perseverance, and prayer, we have grown into a dynamic spiritual center, one in passion and activism for justice, peace, and racial harmony throughout our diverse community. As we continue to seek and serve Christ in each other and beyond our doors, grant us Your constant blessing and grace to honor our historic roots, our differences, and our similarities. Guide us in our living history, as we strive always to welcome the many colors of the faces, hands, eyes, and ears of the Body of Christ. We ask through Jesus, our Strength and our Redeemer; and the Holy Spirit, our Wisdom and Counselor; who together with You are One Holy and Living God, now and forever. Amen.
The SsAM Mission Statement
To be an inclusive Christian community which worships God, follows Christ in all aspects of our lives, and serves the Greater Wilmington area through actions and ministries which promote peace, justice, reconciliation and empowerment for all people.
The SsAM Vision Statement
SsAM will be a dynamic spiritual center which is active in the pursuit of peace and justice in the community, and a place where all of God’s People are honored.
The Guiding Principles of the Episcopal Church of Saints Andrew and Matthew (1994)
(Adopted at the Joint Vestry Meeting, May 14, 1994; that is, at a time just before the two churches consolidated — St. Andrew’s and St. Matthew’s — two churches with histories going back for decades.)
- We will create a new Christian Community.
- We will have an Eucharistically-centered Liturgy that is mission driven and varied in format.
- We will be mission driven in our work and life together so that we go forth into the world as representatives of Christ.
- We will include individuals from all walks of life, all cultures and all races in the life of the Community.
- We will be advocates for social justice.
- We will share authority and ministry with the congregation in the design and implementation of worship and Christian formation, education, services, activities and program.
- We will model a multi-cultural community in everything we do.
- We will respect the needs of individuals and families.
- We will offer Christian formation in a variety of ways.
- We will have multi-cultural and/or diversified education.
- We will use all our resources in ways that strengthen both our faith community and the surrounding community.
- We will be supportive of those in physical and/or spiritual need.
- We will confront issues and conflicts openly, honestly, and with care for each other and the Community.
- We will honor and celebrate our historic roots and differences in ways that move us toward our Vision.
OTHER HISTORICAL LINKS
A Short History of SsAM. St. Andrew’s history dated back to 1829; St. Matthew’s, to 1846. In 1996, the two churches consolidated.
History of Slavery in Delaware. Diane Clarke Streett, a member of SsAM, is one of the authors of this six-page history. In 2010, she was sworn in as the second black woman to serve as a Delaware Superior Court judge.
History of Wilmington Garden Day. An annual tour of gardens and homes to benefit charities in Wilmington, Delaware.
The Episcopal Church of Saints Andrew and Mathew Celebrates 25 Years! Nine Months of Celebration!
Martin Luther King, Jr. stated that “11 o’clock on Sunday morning was the most segregated time of the week in America.” It was the time both white and black Christians, throughout the country, attended church services but at separate institutions.
In the early 1990s, the parishioners of St. Andrew’s, a predominantly white church, and St. Matthew’s, a predominantly black church, began to discuss partnership and, ultimately, consolidation. After several years of weighty discussion, the two churches came together as one. In April 1996, The Episcopal Church of Saints Andrew and Matthew was born in the Diocese of Delaware. Now a diverse and inclusive group of Episcopalians worship together at Eighth and Shipley Streets in Wilmington.
In 2021, SsAM celebrates its “25th Anniversary — Our Past, Our Present, Our Future”.
We began by “Zooming” a launch party on Sunday, January 31, 2021 from 3–4 pm. Our celebratory program included remarks by Delaware’s U. S. Representative, Lisa Blunt Rochester, joyful music, and many surprises.
On Sunday afternoons in February and March, through Zoom and in other ways, SsAM will tell the story of OUR PAST. We will feature photos, videos and personal testimonies from those who worked so hard and faithfully to make this dream a reality.
On Sunday afternoons from April through June, SsAM will tell the story of OUR PRESENT, featuring information on its internal as well as external ministries. Although we have not been able to experience in-person worship, it does not mean we are quiet. Worship services, both, pre-recorded and through Zoom, continue. Our ministries, through the miracle of Zoom, email and telephone, are active. Descriptions and stories of our ministries will be evidenced through videos, photos and personal presentations, including the opportunity for Q & A and a chance to join us as we serve the church and the community.
Lastly, on Sunday afternoons in July, August and September, SsAM will present what we hope lies ahead for OUR FUTURE. In these uncertain times, no one can predict with surety what may occur, but SsAM can plan and dream. Those plans and dreams may require revision as the year goes by, but SsAM is committed to keeping its dream alive, and, with God’s help, it will. Despite some skepticism and some naysaying a quarter century ago, many brave and committed members of both historical congregations had the faith and courage to become The Episcopal Church of Saints Andrew and Matthew.
As we approach this very important anniversary, the members of SsAM say together, “We have come this far by faith”, and by faith we will continue!
Thanks goes to Ken Francis, who created the 25th Anniversary Logo.