The Community

Outreach and service are a key component to living out our faith and  St. Matthew’s mission statement. Jesus said, “If you love me, feed my sheep.” God calls us to reach out to our brothers and sisters and live in partnership with them.

Learn more about outreach and service opportunities with St. Matthew’s:

  • Meal Outreach Ministry

    The Meal Outreach Ministry has grown very quickly through the efforts of dedicated volunteers.  Our Meal Ministry encompasses many areas, including five opportunities that are described below. Volunteers for these areas of ministry are always needed and appreciated. Please contact the church office. or call 414-774-0441.

    Serenity Inns

    Serenity Inns is a transitional living program for homeless men recovering from addictions. St. Matthew’s members provide a meal on the second Sunday of each month for about twelve men and take the meal to Serenity Inns to eat with the residents.

    Guest House of Milwaukee

    The Guest House of Milwaukee is a homeless shelter providing services and housing for about 100 men per evening.  A varied group of people from St. Matthew’s provides and transports the dinner to the Guest House and serve it to the guests. During the pandemic, the meal has been delivered to the Guest house, but not served inside.

    Just One More Ministry

    Just One More Ministry began at St. Matthew’s in 2008 and has grown quickly. Volunteers from St. Matthew’s and elsewhere pick up “rescued” food from area stores and restaurants, about 25 sources. This food is repackaged and distributed in family size portions to over 75 Milwaukee city churches and programs. JOMM is now located in Glendale.  Volunteers are always welcome.

    Bob Zwaska interviewed Chris Capper, the founder of Just One More Ministry, in 2020. To hear about the JOMM story, read the article in Media Milwaukee.

    Cross Lutheran Church in Milwaukee

    St. Matthew’s provides a monthly meal at Cross Lutheran Church in Milwaukee on the fourth Wednesday of each month which is attended by those in the surrounding neighborhood. This meal has been on hiatus during the pandemic, and we look forward to resuming it when it is safe.

    Repairers of the Breach in Milwaukee

    Bag lunches are provided to homeless people at the shelter Repairers of the Breach in Milwaukee.  On two Sunday mornings per month, members of St. Matthew’s gather to assemble about 100 bag lunches, with food provided through donations.  A volunteer transports the lunches to the shelter.

  • Local Partnerships

    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. 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 Outreach

    Reformation Lutheran Church

    St. Matthew’s and Reformation have a long-standing relationship. 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.

  • Caring Ministries

    Sharing God’s love and care to others is an important way to live out our faith. We have several more structured programs for doing this – other ways are lived out daily through relationships among caring Christians. Our pastors make regular calls on those who desire a pastoral visit. St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church offers a variety of opportunities for you to express your faith and love for others. Please see the descriptions below. For more information about any of these ministries, contact the church office, 414.774.0441 or

    Stephen Ministry

    Stephen Ministry is a ministry in which trained and supervised St. Matthew’s laypersons provide one-to-one Christian care to individuals facing life challenges or difficulties. This may include the bereaved, hospitalized, terminally ill, separated, divorced, unemployed, relocated, and others facing a crisis or life challenge. Stephen Ministers are caring, Christian friends who listen, understand, accept and pray for, and with, those who are working through a crisis or tough time. Stephen Ministers are trained caregivers whose role is to listen and care, not to give advice or counsel. Stephen Ministry helps our pastors and congregation provide quality caring ministry for as long as people need it.

    The Stephen Ministry is active in over 10,000 congregations.

    Learn more about becoming a Stephen Minister or get connected to a Stephen Minister by contacting the church office – or 414.774.0441.

    Sharing and Caring Program

    Making a warm meal for someone who has been ill, has a new baby, or in another situation makes a big difference. Through the Sharing and Caring Program members make meals for those in need.

    Quilt Ministry Blitz, January 2013

    Stitches of Love Quilt Ministry

    Meets approx. 3-4 times a year, between September and May, usually on Saturday mornings. Watch The VOICE newsletter and Sunday bulletin for details on dates and times.

    The quilt ministry strives to make beautiful quilts, afghans and receiving blankets from donated fabrics for distribution to individuals who are in physical, emotional or spiritual need.  Quilts are donated to ministries serving the needs of the Greater Milwaukee area, charities and foreign missions.

    Prior to the quilts and blankets being distributed, all receive a prayer of blessing on Mother’s Day as they are displayed in the sanctuary of the church.

    Bev Etzelmueller is the coordinator and she can be contacted through the church office with questions, 414-774-0441.

    Prayer CardPrayer Chain Ministry

    The Prayer Chain of St. Matthew’s is continuously praying for the needs of the congregation and the community. These prayers are sent out weekly or more often as needed by email.

    If you would like the prayer chain to be praying for your circumstances or needs, on Sundays you may use the blue cards in the pews. You may also fill out the prayer request form HERE. Or if you wish to speak to a staff person or pastor about your prayer request contact the church office at 414-774-0441.

  • Care for Creation

    God created the heavens and the earth and gave them to us. We show thanks to God for these gifts by caring for them.

    Check out statistics from St. Matthew’s rooftop solar panels!

    A list of links to guide your sustainability efforts:

  • International Partnerships

    TTanzania Outreachanzania

    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 few years and helps sponsor visits by members from Sing’Isi. St. Matt’s provides financial assistance to the congregation as well as to several students so that they can receive a secondary education. ELCT Meru Diocese Bishop Elias Kitoi provides an especially strong link with the Meru diocese.

    Our Synod Meru Partnership now has a website:


    St. Matthew's in El Salvador

    El Salvador

    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.

    We have a newer partnership with Pan de Vida Lutheran Church (Bread of Life) in El Salvador.

    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.