By Darlia Clerico
Roger has been attending St. Matthew’s ever since his mother first brought him and his three brothers to church back in 1964! The family had moved to the area from Evanston, Illinois. Though such a move can be challenging, Roger says that, “St. Matthew’s became a touchstone for stability, family togetherness, and contentment.” Roger has been a faithful servant of our church ever since.
Roger began his volunteerism at St. Matthew’s as a youth coordinator for high school students. He enjoyed planning winter ski trips, service activities, and movie outings. Roger sang bass in the church choir for over two years. In his current roles as veteran greeter and usher, he is a natural at making people feel welcome at St. Matthew’s. He warmly greets everyone as they enter the church for services and hands out programs. Roger’s genuine way of making people feel comfortable comes from his heart: “I continue to serve my friends as Sunday usher.” He greets communicants, offering an arm as he assists them down the stairs or gives a high five to the young ones as they proceed back to their pews. Roger is an excellent listener and has a knack for sensing when a parishioner needs assistance, which he offers gently and with dignity to the person in need. Roger says that he “feels right at home and in just the right spot on Sunday mornings.”
Thank you, Roger, for your heartfelt and sincere commitment of time and talent to St. Matthew’s.
By Darlia Clerico
St. Matthew’s has been Sally and Roger’s place of worship for over 63 years. Married in 1951 at St. Augustine’s By-the-Sea Episcopal church in Santa Monica, they moved to San Francisco as bride and groom and then to San Mateo three years later. They were attracted to St. Matthew’s by the Gothic architecture, and because “stepping inside felt like home.”
The Krakows’ second baby, Bradford, was baptized at St. Matthew’s. Days later, a charming woman appeared at their door, inviting them to join the Young Marrieds Club. The group met each month in the Fireplace Room for fellowship, complete with a potluck supper and sometimes a sherry hour. The Krakows’ children’s godparents, and most of their Peninsula friends, originally came from that group.
Sally loved teaching Sunday School, and Roger regularly gathered supplies for it. He also painted the babysitting and Sunday School rooms. Sally joined the Garden Guild. Roger has served as an usher for thirty years, faithfully counting the offerings as part of the Head Usher’s job. Their four sons served on Sundays as acolytes (which was Sally’s inspiration for the petit point Unicorn Banner that hangs near the organ.)
This active couple enjoys spending time with family, volunteering for the Burlingame Library Foundation, and entertaining friends in their home. They have a deep connection to each other (always holding hands when walking together). Sally is a go-getter and networker with a dozen projects on her to-do list. Roger is a charming, soft-spoken, true gentleman with a twinkle in his eye. This picture of them was taken on Veteran’s Day. Roger is a World War II Veteran of the Eighth Air Force, flying out of England over Germany (Sally calls him Wonderman). Both of them “feel a spiritual connection” to St. Matthew’s and consider their lifelong attachment to the church a major part of their well-being.
We thank you, Sally and Roger, for your devotion of time, talent and treasure to St. Matthew’s.
By Darlia Clerico
Suki and David moved from Chicago to the Bay Area in 2012, and to San Mateo in 2013. It was important to them to find a church with a strong music program. They attended various church services but were unable to find that perfect match until Suki saw a posting for a tenor section leader at St. Matthew’s. David auditioned and joined the choir and the family found their church home. A few years later Suki also joined the choir as soprano section leader and became director of the children’s and youth choirs. Now we get to enjoy their magnificent voices each Sunday.
Suki was born in Seoul, South Korea and David in Fort Wayne, Indiana. They met at the Rockefeller Memorial Chapel at the University of Chicago in 2006, where they both sang in the choir while David was finishing his final year of law school. Both sang in the Chicago Symphony Chorus for 6 years until their move to California.
The Von Bargens stated, “We love the community of caring people and we appreciate the beauty and grace of worship space and ritual traditions of the church. Making and listening to the music at St. Matthew’s fills us with joy and continually inspires us.”
Suki and David are raising two sweet girls, Gia (age 8) and Zoe (age 6), who have inherited their parents’ beautiful singing voices. Suki and David describe them as creative and artistic children who bring an abundance of joy to their lives. The four of them enjoy many activities together including dancing, singing, artwork, and playing video games.
Our parish is so very blessed for this family’s praises of God through their musical contributions at our Sunday services. Thank you, Von Bargen family, for your commitment to St. Matthew’s.