Service & Outreach

buildersWe believe that an important part of our call to be Christian is to serve others and devote our time, talents and resources to our church, the community and the world.

St. Matthew offers many ways for members to serve, from assisting with Sunday school and services to our work with needy communities around the country.

Just a few of the ways we extend St. Matthew into the community and world:

  • Operation Homecoming: For the past eight years we have been involved with the people of the Gulf Coast helping to restore lives and homes in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.nola
  • Heifer International’s mission is to work with communities to end hunger and poverty and care for the Earth, mainly by providing breeding stock for families to develop their own herds and flocks to eat, share and sell. All of our Sunday School offering goes to this mission.
  • Adopt a Child – Each year we provide Christmas gifts for over 50 children in the Foster Care and Adoption program through Lutheran Social Services of Illinois
  • Our food pantry supports local food deliveries to the hungry and poor in cooperation with the ministry of The Empty Tomb.
  • Almost every summer our Senior High youth join hundreds of other Christian youth in service projects for the poor and needy across the country. We have repaired roofs in North Carolina, painted homes in West Virginia, cleaned flood ravaged residences in New Orleans, and more.
  • Storybook Project. Disciples from St. Matthew and other local Lutheran Churches volunteer in the Men’s Correctional Facility, helping inmates record their reading of children’s books, and then providing that recording and book to the inmate’s children. A ministry of Lutheran Social Services, it is an effort to sustain healthy family connections even while a parent is incarcerated.

Local Ministries

St. Matthew Stephen Ministers

Stephen Ministers provide high-quality, confidential, Christ-centered care and support to people experiencing grief, divorce, cancer, job loss, loneliness, disability, relocation, and other life difficulties. Our Stephen Ministers are lay people in the Church with special gifts for providing this care and support. They are trained through the highly respected Stephen Ministry program which serves thousands of congregations of many denominations around the country. They work closely with our Lead Pastor and allow for our congregation’s need for care-giving to not fall on one person. Our Stephen Ministers use their gifts as their ministry and in helping others grow in their own spiritual life.

Sarah Jackson – Stephen Leader
Peg WarrinerStephen Minister

Stephanie AlumbaughStephen Minister

Debbie HuffStephen Minister

Jen CarterStephen Minister


Sola Gratia Farm is an urban farm that started out on four acres of land behind St. Matthew Lutheran Church in Urbana, Il. For years this land had been in production of corn and soybeans raised to support families and communities abroad suffering from chronic poverty and hunger. We then transitioned the farm to a more local focus and developed what is commonly known as a CSA, or community supported agriculture enterprise. Since being created in 2012, Sola Gratia Farm has grown to operate on twelve acres and provide a space for growing, sharing, and celebrating food and faith.

Sola Gratia Farm developed out of a joint vision with St. Matthew Lutheran which owns the land, and an organization called Faith in Place, whose fundamental ministry is aiding communities of faith develop responsible and sustainable practices. Sola Gratia is Latin for ‘by grace alone,’ and arose as a rallying cry of the Reformation. Its original context asserts that our salvation is the work of Christ alone, which we receive as a gift of grace. That is the spirit of this farm. We acknowledge that this land is a gift from God and are now committed to sharing its bounty with our immediate community in the form of fresh, naturally produced vegetables available to shareholders, and with the commitment to share at least ten percent of the farm’s production with the Eastern Illinois Food Bank and other hunger abatement programs. As we receive in grace, so we share in grace.

The Farm is also a venue for teaching the values of stewardship and the care of creation, for community building through volunteer opportunities, field days and an annual harvest festival, for strengthening the link between farmer and consumer, and for lifting up our responsibilities to one another, especially those who suffer from inadequate food resources or hunger.

Learn more about Sola Gratia Farm at its website,