St Matts News Blog

St. Matthews News Blog

Weekly News 3/11/2019

From the Senior Warden:

Good morning!  As we go through this interim period at St. Matthew’s I will try to update you on happenings and ministry opportunities.

First, please join me in welcoming back The Reverends Charlie Walton and Michael Hub, who will be serving as supply clergy during the search process.

Second, I have received an email from Ms. Swinney-Johnson, who is our contact for the annual “angel tree” project in the Darlington schools.  The schools are in need of undergarments for children who either are without or are soiling them during the day.  Currently the teachers are paying for these supplies and I hope you will agree that we can help with this. Ms. Swinney-Johnson says that they have a need for kleenex, hand sanitizer, underwear for boys and girls (sizes: 4 toddler-14), socks (shoe sizes 6 toddler-5 kids), pull-ups (sizes: 4t/5t-6x). There will be a signup sheet in the parish hall so that we don’t all buy the same size. If you feel called to help, please bring your items to the church on March 24th.

Although I am sad about the Jordan family leaving, I know that the Lord will provide for us so I am excited to see what’s coming.


The Men’s Ministry Breakfast will be held this Sunday, March 17 at 9 a.m.  All are welcome.
The DOK will meet this Sunday, March 17 at 4 p.m.
Our Church Wide Clean Up Day will be on March 23rd from 9 a.m. till 5 p.m.

Mark your calendars for a Quiet Day on March 30 at St. Bart’s.
Please mail “Pancake Supper Ticket” checks to Billy Early at 123 Cashua Street, Darlington S.C. 29532.  If questions, please call Billy Early at 843-858-3415.  Checks can also be dropped off or mailed to the Parish Office at 210 S. Main Street, Darlington SC 29532. 

Quiet Day at Mepkin Abbey:
The Order of the Daughters of the King, Christ Church Chapter, Invites you to a Quiet Day at Mepkin Abbey on April 27, 2019 from 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. Bring your own sack lunch.   This event is open to all women.
RSVP to or
Space is limited!  Reservation Deadline is April 5. 

Quiet Day at Mepkin Abbey

Quiet Day at Mepkin Abbey:
The Order of the Daughters of the King, Christ Church Chapter, Invites you to a Quiet Day at Mepkin Abbey on April 27, 2019 from 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. Bring your own sack lunch.   This event is open to all women.
RSVP to or
Space is limited!  Reservation Deadline is April 5. 

Masterworks Choir, Free concert in Florence

The Masterworks Choir, orchestra and soloists, conducted by Dr. Will Carswell, presents their annual Winter Concert this Sunday, March 10th at 4:00 pm at Central United Methodist Church in downtown Florence. The concert features master choruses from the 18th - 20th centuries. The concert is FREE and includes three of our own singers – Tracy Sutphin, Tara McCormick, and Kevin McCormick.

Dear St. Matthews,

Dear St. Matthew’s,

It is March already and it is time for one more newsletter. In this letter I want to point y’all to what is ahead in the future for St. Matthew’s, while looking at where we’ve been. 

Over the past three almost four years St. Matthew’s has become a place where the people don’t just gather to chat but rather build deep relationships. For we have become a church that pursues true Godly fellowship. Our first Sundays are a testament to this and in the years to come there will be a building of these relationships through small groups and other fellowship opportunities. 

While we have created space to fellowship well we also have pursued faithfulness together. We have done so by starting our faith in action groups, continuing our men’s Bible study, and starting a women’s bible study. In the future there are opportunities to continue to grow together in discipleship. 

A hallmark of St. Matthew’s is our worship. Over the years our weekly worship has continued to be a blessing. During this time together we have sung songs of praise, kneeled and prayed together, feasted on God’s word, and feasted at His table. Our rythm of worship has been and will continue to be a source of strength and growth at St. Matthew’s. 

We are a people who have fellowship together, seek discipleship, and worship regularly. These three areas help us to go out on mission. Going out is what St. Matthew’s has done these past years as we have opened the doors of the Purple Fish Coffee Company to our community. We are open weekly on Friday nights from 6:30-9:30 with live music, food, and drinks. This has created a safe space for our community to gather as over 50 people come weekly. This mission to our community will only grow in the years to come as you seek to care for your neighbors. 

I have been blessed to serve as your pastor and look forward to seeing how God will continue to use St. Matthew’s for the spread of His kingdom in the years to come. 


Announcements 2/11/2019


The Men’s Ministry Breakfast will be next Sunday, February 17th at 9 a.m.  All are welcome to attend.
The DOK will meet next Sunday, February 17th at 4 p.m.
There will be NO Women's Ministry Meeting in February.  The next meeting will be on Sunday, March 10 at 9 a.m.
Yard Sale Drop Off available starting Sunday March 3rd after potluck.   Sign up sheets will be on the board for shifts to work on March 8th and 9th.  
There will also be a Bake Sale sign up.  
The Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper will take place on Tuesday, March 5 at the Darlington High School cafeteria starting at 5 p.m.  Tickets are $6 and can be purchased from the men of the church or at the door at the night of the event.  If questions, please contact Robby Kilgo at (via Church office)
Please mail “Pancake Supper Ticket” checks to Billy Early at 123 Cashua Street, Darlington S.C. 29532.  If questions, please call Billy Early at (via Church office)  Checks can also be dropped off or mailed to the Parish Office at 210 S. Main Street, Darlington SC 29532. 
 (personal numbers edited out, contact the church office)

Please begin putting any items aside for the Women’s Ministry Yard Sale Fundraiser to be held on Saturday, March 9th.
Our Church Wide Clean Up Day will be on March 23rd.
Mark your calendars for a  Quiet Day on March 30 at St. Bart’s in Hartsville

Thinking Christian Politics by Sam Dargan

Thinking Christian Politics
by Sam Dargan, January 31, 2019


With recent changes in the United States Supreme Court, evangelical Christians will have more influence on American law. For example, a conservative majority on the Supreme Court may overturn the Roe v. Wade decision, which prevents states from outlawing abortions. I have generally supported rolling back liberal Supreme Court decisions and replacing them with conservative laws, but now that the opportunity is at hand, I’m pondering what, exactly, I want to happen.

For one thing, state law should leave room for the self-government of the people. I believe that Christianity teaches that self-government is the most important level of government. John Wycliffe wrote in the prologue to his translation of the Bible into English, in 1384 A.D., “The Bible is for the government of the people, by the people, and for the people.”[1] The church’s primary way of improving public morals is to teach people the Bible so that they can govern themselves by it, for the benefit of themselves and their neighbors, and for the advance of Christ’s kingdom on earth.

Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount, “First take the log out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.”[2] God wants us to work harder at making our lives conform to his laws than at making other people conform. Moreover, many biblical commands come without any requirement to force our neighbors to obey them. For example, tithing to the Lord’s kingdom is an important biblical rule, yet the Bible makes no provision for us to enforce that rule on others. We are to voluntarily obey it ourselves, and God himself will provide enforcement and rewards as needed.

Nevertheless, our self-governance includes deciding how to vote, and our votes affect how the state governs our neighbors. So, Christians have to make decisions about laws that govern everybody. The popular saying, “You can’t legislate morality,” is not quite true. We can and do legislate on moral issues. Laws against theft and fraud are examples of moral legislation that is taught in the Bible and is protective of innocent people. Yet, for the reasons noted above, we we should legislate morality carefully and sparingly. 

Looking at current issues, suppose the United States Supreme Court does overturn the Roe v. Wade precedent. Then, South Carolina will get to write its own laws regulating abortions, and there will be calls for ultra-strict limitations, such as outlawing abortions from the moment of conception. Such strictness would be inconsistent with God’s design of the human body, which gives primary responsibility to the pregnant woman. A mother makes many personal decisions, such as diet and sleep, that affect the welfare of her unborn child. The state has little ability to govern all her crucial decisions, and our gospel implies that the state should not try to take over all of the mother’s job of protecting the new life within her.

American history provides an example of misguided legislation of morals. In the 1920s, Prohibition attempted to solve the problem of drunkenness by making the sale of alcoholic beverages illegal. The Bible does warn us against drunkenness, and Prohibition had the enthusiastic support of many Christian evangelicals. However, the Bible does not command us to prevent others from drinking. In addition, Prohibition did not work, because many people, in their self-government, chose to circumvent those laws.

State laws that allow people some freedom to disobey God’s laws are not necessarily compromises of biblical ethics. Freedom is a feature of biblical law. I believe that Christians should work to make their society more pleasing to God. Building respect for, and protection of, human life is one area of need. The question is how to work for this good purpose. I now think we should work primarily through the self-government of the people. Statistics say that most abortions are obtained by single women of low economic status.[3] I agree that some state regulations are needed, because the unborn child is a separate human being. At the same time, I think the church should focus its attention on teaching biblical ethics regarding human life, helping people by alleviating poverty, and supporting crisis pregnancy ministries. These are the most powerful pro-life actions.

[1] John Bartlett, Familiar Quotations, 1951, cited in Letter to the Editor, The Washington Post, March 31, 2017. Perhaps Abraham Lincoln borrowed this quote for his “Gettysburg Address.”

[2] Matthew 7:5, English Standard Version.

[3] “U.S. Abortion Statistics, Facts and figures relating to the frequency of abortion in the United States,” at, accessed January 21, 2019.