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Rev. Matthew's church

Church at the Mission, Yonge Street Mission
Toronto, *Province/Other M5A 2G7
416-929-9614

About Rev. Matthew
  • Education: I studied Jazz at Humber College in Toronto and I have a degree in music (classical flute performance) from Toronto’s York University. I also have a Masters of Theological Studies from Wycliffe College/Toronto School of Theology/University of Toronto.
  • Experience: I have been a pastor since 1994, serving first as Assistant Pastor at Church on the Street, a church planted for Street youth in Toronto, and then as Associate Pastor from 1996 to 2007 at Church at the Mission, a branch of Yonge Street Mission in downtown Toronto. Since 2007 I have served as the Lead Pastor/Director of Church at the Mission, The Yonge Street Mission.
  • Comment to those looking at my sermons: You are brave. I hope they are a blessing to you.
  • Sermon or series that made a difference: The biggest influence on my life in terms of preaching was Rev. Dr. Winston Nunes who pastored in downtown Toronto until his death in 1999. As well, Dr. Rick Tobias, former President and CEO of Yonge Street Mission and current Mission Community Advocate, has had quite an impact on my understanding of Scripture as relates to ministry to the poor.
  • Family: I come from a long line of atheists and horse-thieves. Although raised an atheist, I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Saviour on the ides of March in the year of our Lord 1980. I am married to a beautiful and talented woman who I met at Yonge Street Mission in 1986, Barbara Parker. We have two remarkable children: Jared Lemuel Lewis born 1991 and Elia Margaret Ruth Parker, born 1993.
  • What my parents think of my sermons: My parents, although atheist/agnostic, were always supportive of my ministry, I think in part because it is to the poor in the inner city. Although miffed by my worldview that differed so much from their own, they were quite remarkably invested in what I do. I miss them dearly.
  • What my spouse (really) thinks of my sermons: Barbara is very supportive as is the congregation.
  • Best advice given to me about preaching: Preach Christ! Always ask the question when preparing a sermon: 1. What? 2. So What? 3. Now What? 1. What? What’s the issue. Demonstrate that there’s some value in staying awake for the sermon. 2. So what? How does this issue matter to the congregation. 3. Now What? If I’ve convinced you that the issue is important, that it is relevant, what clear direction can we now undertake to apply what we’ve learned.
  • Books that have had an impact: Tim Keller, C.S Lewis and Henri Nouwen have impacted my thinking most deeply in matters of faith and ministry.
  • Hobbies: I am a jazz musician, multi-instrumentalist (I'm always learning a new instrument) and avid spender of time with my wife.
  • What I want on my tombstone: I told you I was sick.
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Newest Sermons

  • Spiritual Resilience

    Contributed on May 19, 2020
     | 207 views

    How do we bounce back after a terrible experience? King David helps us to see.

    Spiritual Resilience Resilience Synonyms: Flexibility, pliancy (pliable), recoil, snap, pliability, elasticity Resilience is desirable because ? [Enables you to bounce back after a struggle or loss; enables you to adapt to change, which is one of the few constants in life. Have you ever tried ...read more

  • Spiritual Strength

    Contributed on May 19, 2020
     | 381 views

    We are weak, if we know ourselves at all. But God is the opposite of weak, and in knowing Jesus, God gives us His power to live for Him!

    Where Do I Find Spiritual Strength? When we face hardships, when we dwell on the past, when we are not being good to ourselves, we can feel weak. And yet hardships are not possible to avoid. The past cannot be willed away or ignored. We are not good to ourselves for a lot of complex ...read more

  • The I Am Statements: Jesus Is The Light Of The Word!

    Contributed on May 18, 2020
     | 205 views

    Jesus is the Light of the world, and He gives light in order to reveal the heart of the Father.

    The I Am Series - The Light of the World - John 8:12, 9:1-6 We’re continuing to meet online, as this is what we can do. Hopefully soon, the pandemic will lift and we’ll be able to meet again in person. And maybe, just maybe, for all the sadness we’re going through now, for all the isolation ...read more

  • Seeing And Believing - An Easter Sermon

    Contributed on Apr 11, 2020
     | 442 views

    A message about the experience of Mary, John and Peter on the morning of the resurrection

    Easter Sunday Online Sermon April 12, 2020 - Seeing and Believing It is Resurrection Sunday. It is a day that we Remember Jesus’ triumph over death Renew our commitment to the One in Whom we believe Proclaim that light is greater than darkness That God is stronger than Satan That we are ...read more

  • Submission To God

    Contributed on Mar 8, 2020
     | 1,074 views

    James, the brother of Jesus, gives powerful direction and truth to this hearers about what it means to truly love God and live in submission to His love and authority

    Sermon for March 1, 2020: James 4:1-12 - Submission to God 1. We’ve been looking at the letter of James, the brother of Jesus. He was the pastor of the church in Jerusalem and he loved and cared deeply for his congregation. In his day-to-day life he observed the congregation struggling with ...read more

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Newest Sermon Series

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Newest Sermon Illustrations

  • What's Wrong With Slandering Someone?

    Contributed on Aug 29, 2014
     | 2,438 views

    I was speaking with someone this past week who has spent a great deal of his life travelling around the world, much of it for a mission agency. He spoke of a time when he visited an extremely remote, forested part of India where people live very primitively. He stayed there for a while. This fellow ...read more

  • Joy In The Midst Of Rough Waters

    Contributed on Feb 13, 2011
     | 1,668 views

    JOY IN THE MIDST OF ROUGH WATERS I’ve spent a fair bit of time in recent weeks doing funeral pre-planning for my parents. Making decisions about final disposition of the remains of people you have loved all your life is not any fun at all. It can be overwhelmingly sad. After spending hours ...read more

  • Then We Have The Symbol Of Being Under Water. I ...

    Contributed on May 23, 2010
     | 1,496 views

    Then we have the symbol of being under water. I tell some of the baptismal candidates when meeting with them ahead of time that once they are under the water, the congregation votes how long they should stay under water. The voting process ...read more

  • My Daughter Elia Has Given Me Permission To Tell ...

    Contributed on Jan 11, 2009
     | 928 views

    My daughter Elia has given me permission to tell this story. Elia faced a huge dilemma in high school when her best friends from junior high days started hanging out with a rough crowd, starting smoking and crossing all sorts of boundaries. In order to keep the friendships she would have to start ...read more

  • A Friend Of Mine Pastors In The Bloor West ...

    Contributed on Nov 2, 2008
    based on 2 ratings
     | 1,356 views

    A friend of mine pastors in the Bloor West village in Toronto and runs a "God at the Pub" where he holds open discussions on the Christian faith in a bar setting. He told me the other day that he has all sorts of people there who are not people of faith, but who have told him they want to model ...read more