Contributors
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

  • Approaching God With Freedom And Confidence

    Contributed on Jan 21, 2018
     | 236 views

    How do we come to God? How do we approach Him with liberty and confidence? It starts with know God, knowing His nature and responding to His good gift of the Holy Spirit.

    January 21, 2018 Sermon - Approaching God with Freedom and Confidence These are sermon notes, numbered and expanded upon during the message INTRO ILLUSTRATION 001 Start by holding guitar; it’s out of tune. Play out of tune chord. Do you ever feel like your life is out of tune? Maybe ...read more

  • Our Foundation Is Sure

    Contributed on Jan 8, 2018
     | 490 views

    This is a outline of a sermon about Christ as our foundation and also about the 'superstructures' God gives us to develop as the people of God.

    January 7, 2018 Sermon Outline - Our Foundation is Sure - Ephesians 2:18-22 Talk today about foundations and superstructures. 001 New Evergreen Foundation Issue; Many of you have heard about our Evergreen Centre for at-risk youth. Close to my heart Forced to move ourselves from current ...read more

  • Down He Came From Up

    Contributed on Dec 21, 2017
     | 528 views

    A homily for a community banquet at the Yonge Street Mission

    Christmas Banquet Homily for Bridges - Down He Came From Up Down he came from up, and in from out, and here from there. A long leap, an incandescent fall from magnificent to naked, frail, small, through space, between stars, into our chill night air, shrunk, in infant grace, to our ...read more

  • He Is Our Peace

    Contributed on Nov 26, 2017
     | 1,097 views

    Jesus is the one who brings full reconciliation to God through His suffering and death. Every tribe, every tongue now has access to God through faith in His Son. This message explores this theme.

    He is our Peace - November 26, 2017 Sermon - Ephesians 2:11-18 Who are your personal heroes? Who do you look up to/want to be like? Or what people group do you admire? Who do you look down on? What people group do you have less empathy for than others? Some Canadians, I’ve noticed, ...read more

  • A Baptism Sermon

    Contributed on Nov 5, 2017
     | 874 views

    This is a message before a baptism service. It includes a standard 'congregational renewal of Baptismal Vows" at the end of the message.

    October 15, 2017 sermon - Baptism - Ephesians Series – Part 1 – Ephesians 1:1-6 I speak to you in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen. And I speak to you today, on a joyous day that marks the baptism of 6 adults and the dedication of one infant in the name of the ...read more

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Newest Sermon Series

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Newest Text Illustrations

  • What's Wrong With Slandering Someone?

    Contributed on Aug 29, 2014
     | 1,179 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
     | 820 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
     | 810 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
     | 297 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
     | 677 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