eBulletin — Sunday, Dec. 4, 2016

Second Sunday of Advent: Preparation


  • St. Matthew’s Events and Advent Calendar
  • Greening of the Sanctuary Dec. 10
  • White Gift Sunday Dec. 11
  • Sharing the Christmas spirit at St. Matthew’s
  • Zatoun products on sale – great Christmas gifts
  • Bethlehem@Barrington Live Nativity Service Christmas Eve wants singers
  • AcabellA Handbell Choir on the road this season
  • Gifts With Vision catalogue in the sanctuary
  • If  you missed Sunday …
  • Notes from the Congregational Meeting
  • St. Matthew’s Book Club meetings Dec. 20
  • Sandwiches and other donations for Out of the Cold Shelter
  • Atlantic School of Theology continuing education Winter 2017
  • In the Community

St. Matthew’s Events / Advent Calendar

Tue. Dec. 6                  Remembrance/ Action Against Violence Against Women Service, 12 noon

Sat. Dec. 10                 Greening of the Sanctuary, 9 am

Sun. Dec. 11                Advent Three. Service with Sunday School Christmas pageant

Sun. Dec. 18                Advent Four. Choral Christmas Service with AcabellA Handbells

Christmas Breakfast in the lower hall, 8 am

Christmas Eve             Bethlehem@ Barrington Live Nativity Service, 6:30 pm

Christmas Eve Candlelight Communion, 10 pm

Christmas Day             Christmas Carol Service, 10:30 am

New Year’s Day           Service, 10:30 am, with New Year’s Levee following


Thursday is Choir night –  Handbells, 6–7 pm, Choir, 7:30–9 pm

Daytime Bible Study  – Thursdays, 12 noon–1 pm

Third Tuesday – St. Matthew’s Book Club

Sunday Free Breakfast  – Sundays 8–9:30 am (If you are interested in joining a Breakfast Team, please email Carol Smillie at carolsmillie@hfx.eastlink.ca)


Greening of the Sanctuary Dec. 10

Members of the Worship and Music Committee invite anyone interested in Christmas decorating to join them on Saturday, Dec. 10 at 9 am for the Greening of the Sanctuary. Enjoy holiday music and coffee with others while preparing the church for the holiday season.

White Gift Sunday Dec. 11

Shop for a Christmas gift for a guest of the Sunday breakfast. White Gift Tags will be available on Sunday, or you can make your own. Gifts should be identified (for size and gender) and either brought to church for presentation as a White Gift on Sun. Dec. 11, or left at the church before Fri. Dec. 16 so they can be given on Dec. 18.

Sharing the Christmas Spirit at St. Matthew’s

Bake cookies for the Special Christmas Breakfast – Donations of homemade cookies are needed for the special Christmas breakfast on Dec. 18. Cookies can be dropped off at the church hall on Sat. Dec. 17 between 1–3 pm during set-up. Frozen cookies can also be given to Michelle Jensen at church on Sun. Dec. 11. Pick-up can be arranged if needed.

Christmas Morning Breakfast – Even though the special breakfast will be on Dec. 18, there will still be a Sunday breakfast on Dec. 25. If you would like to help prepare and serve breakfast on Christmas morning, please contact Michelle at (902) 420-9769 or email woodengiant@hotmail.com

Socks for Phoenix Shelter for Youth – We donate socks to at-risk youth who are served by Phoenix Shelters in Halifax. Donations can be left at the back of the sanctuary.

Knitting and Crocheting – If you have some spare time, knit or crochet scarves, hats, mitts or socks for the Advent Knitting Tree and help keep a shelter guest warm this winter.

Zatoun products on sale – great Christmas gifts!

At coffee hour during Advent, Zatoun products – olive oil, spices, and soap – will be available for purchase, so be sure to bring your wallet to church! Zatoun is an organization that sells fair trade products from Palestine to support farmers in the struggle for their livelihood and land. Proceeds also support an arts and education program for young people and make it possible to plant olive trees inside Palestine, where many have been destroyed during the occupation. For information contact Janet Copeland, j.copeland@ns.sympatico.ca or 902-445-5906.

Gifts With Vision

The United Church of Canada has a catalogue entitled “Gifts With Vision” for those interested in donating to the church’s peace and justice programs as an alternative to gift-giving at Christmas. Copies of the catalogue are available in the sanctuary. Honor family , friends, or any life occasion or season by purchasing a gift that will help others – “It’s an awesome way to purchase a gift for people whose only real need is a better world.”

Bethlehem@Barrington: Christmas Eve Live Nativity Service

A St. Matthew’s tradition! Planning is under way for this year’s B@B service – an all-ages Christmas Eve service that brings the Christmas story to life with drama, rewritten pop hits, and a band – plus our beautiful Tia Maria the Donkey. If you like singing along with the radio (Mix 96, for example) and those around you seem okay with this, think about joining the B@B cast. Let Betsy know you are interested.

AcabellA Handbell Choir

The choir is on the road during the Christmas season, participating in the RCCO Carolfest concert Dec. 5, playing at the Black Cultural Centre in Dartmouth Dec. 10, and at the Keshen Goodman Library on Dec. 18 at 2:30 pm. And YOU can hear them on Sunday Dec. 18 in the morning at St. Matthew’s during the annual Christmas music service.

If you missed last Sunday …

Prelude            Meditation on “Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming”        arr. Diane Bish

Reading           Matthew 1:17-24

Anthem           In Night’s Dim Shadows                      Charles Coffin/Robert Lehman

Sermon            Wrestling with Angels

Postlude           Postlude on “Mary Had a Baby”        Andrew Gant

Notes from the Congregational meeting

Financial update – The Board of Stewards presented a financial update that shows our financial position improved for the year ended June 30, 2016. The unbudgeted draw on endowment funds was less than $50,000.

Property redevelopment update – Starfish Properties will be buying the Commissionaires property on Hollis Street in April 2017. The developer plans to build a 6-7 storey building of large, expensive condos with two floors of parking, although construction is not going to proceed immediately. Our property is not part of this development. However, Tim Matthews has had a preliminary conversation with Starfish about our hall and will pursue this in the new year.

Elevator update – The Board of Stewards will investigate a medical lift as an alternative to an elevator. A report will be prepared for the Official Board meeting in February.

New Members of Session – April Hennigar and Cupid Daniels were appointed to Session.

Out of the Cold Shelter – The Shelter opened Dec. 1 and will be accommodating 12-15 guests maximum during the winter months. The OTCS received some grant money for bathroom renovations, and work on the lower-hall men’s bathroom is completed. In previous years Feed Nova Scotia provided about 40 hot meals at the shelter during the evenings, but this is not going ahead this winter; the shelter is looking at alternatives. St. Matthew’s provides sandwiches for guests on Thursday evenings, while other churches and agencies assist on other nights.

St. Matthew’s Book Club

The next meeting will be Tuesday Dec. 20 at 2 pm at the Bedford Basin Farmers Market (formerly Farmer Clem’s), 397 Bedford Highway. This month’s book is Alone in the Classroom by Elizabeth Hay. For more information contact Janet Copeland at 902-445-5906, j.copeland@ns.sympatico.ca or Hope Toumishey at 902-0477-2773, hope@ns.sympatico.ca

Sandwiches and other donations for Out of the Cold Shelter

The Out of the Cold Shelter will open in St. Matthew’s lower hall on Dec. 1, 2016. Jean Hattie is coordinating sandwiches for the shelter residents each Thursday throughout the winter. If you are interested in providing sandwiches, see Jean during Fellowship Time in the lower hall to schedule a week(s) when you can assist.

St. Matthew’s contributes space and utilities to the shelter as well, so any donations to St. Matthew’s operating costs also assist the Out of the Cold Shelter.

The OTCS also lists specific needs on the website http://outofthecoldhalifax.org/

Atlantic School of Theology Continuing Education Opportunities – Winter term 2017

Registration details at http://www.astheology.ns.ca/con-ed/index.html

The Social Gospel: Hastening the Kingdom of God

January–February 2017 (6 weeks), Online course with instructor Dr. Rob Fennell. Cost $100 ($120 with a CEU certificate). This non-credit program offers you an exploration of the distinctive themes and applications of the social gospel movement, its theology, and its place in Canadian church and society. The movement’s relationship to liberation theology and other disciplines (economics and sociology) and the contemporary renewal of the social gospel will be of special interest.

Reading Each Other’s Scriptures

January–March 2017 (8 weeks), On Campus course Tuesdays 6–8:30 pm with instructor Dr. David MacLachlan. Cost $100. Besides getting to know the scriptures of other religious faiths, students will also explore how the scriptures function in their various communities and worship services. Guest lecturers will represent various religious communities. Readings are optional, and there are no assignments for continuing education students.

In the Community

Christmas on the Grand Parade – Mon. Dec. 12 at 7 pm, inside St. Paul’s Anglican Church. This community Christmas event will feature music, readings and carols of the season led by St. Paul’s Choir, the St. Paul’s Children’s choir, and the St. Paul’s Music ensemble. In addition, “Christmas on the Grand Parade” is pleased to welcome back saxophonist  David Christensen, St. Pauls’ Musician in Residence Ian Bent, and the Bedford Brass Quintet. No admission charge: voluntary donations will be received.
Helios Vocal Ensemble – Sat. Dec. 17 at 7:30 pm, Christmas concert and CD launch at St George’s Round Church.



Administrative Stuff

Church office: stmatts@ns.sympatico.ca or  (902) 423-9209

Pastoral care: Rev. Betsy Hogan, (902) 423-9209, stmatts.betsy@ns.sympatico.ca

Sunday Free Breakfast: 8 am – Want to volunteer? Contact carolsmillie@hfx.eastlink.ca

Sunday Worship: 10:30 am

Minister of Music: Wayne Rogers, (902) 429-1680, humber@ns.sympatico.ca

AcabellA Handbell Choir rehearsal: Thursdays, 6–7 pm

St. Matthew’s Choir rehearsal:  Thursdays, 7:30–9 pm

Lunch Bunch Community Choir: Fridays at 12:15 pm

On the web: www.stmatts.ns.ca


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