eBulletin — Sunday, Nov. 26, 2017

Anniversary Sunday


  • St. Matthew’s Calendar and Events
  • Congregational meeting highlights
  • Chocolate Chip Cookie Baking Challenge deadline Dec. 1
  • Anonymous Couple returns
  • From The Ashes concert Dec. 6 – Buy your ticket Sunday
  • Sharing the Christmas spirit at St. Matthew’s
  • Out of the Cold Shelter opens Dec. 1 – How can you help?
  • Thanks to …
  • If you missed last Sunday
  • In the Community

St. Matthew’s Calendar and Events

Fri. Dec. 1        – Out of the Cold Shelter opens

Sun. Dec. 3      – 10:30 am, Advent I

Wed. Dec. 6    – Noon, Service of Remembrance/Action Against Violence Against Women

– 8 pm, From the Ashes concert commemorating the Halifax Explosion

Sun. Dec. 10    – 10:30 am, Advent II: Sunday School Service

– After Church, St. Matthew’s Chocolate Chip Cookie Contest

Sun. Dec. 17    – 10:30 am, Advent III: Choral Christmas service (singing and ringing)

– 2:30 pm, AcabellA Handbells at Keshen Goodman Library

Christmas Eve – 7:30 am, Christmas Breakfast

– 10:30 am, Advent IV

– 6:30 pm, Bethlehem@Barrington Live Nativity Service

– 10 pm, Candlelight Communion Service

Christmas Day – 10:30 am, Christmas carol service

Thursdays        – Bible study, 12 noon–1 pm in the parlour


Congregational meeting highlights

The congregation met on Sunday to approve the financial statements for the year ended June 30, 2017, and assorted other business. Highlights:

  • The congregation was commended by the auditor for its rigorous cost-control, and for the dedicated record-keeping provided by treasurer Marg Arklie.
  • Expenditure in excess of revenue before any draw on the Endowment Fund was $149,200.
  • The Endowment Fund provided $59,983 in income, as well as $100,000 from the principal.
  • The buoyancy of the the stock market in recent years has been beneficial.
  • Recent capital expenditures include: (1) a kitchenette in a corner of the Minister’s Office, which enables the Fellowship time to be held upstairs and available to all, including those with mobility challenges (2) repair to a stained glass window in the sanctuary (3) recarpeting the foyer and stairs to the gymnasium (4) computer screens in the sanctuary and improvements to the sound system
  • Current or upcoming capital expenditures include: (1) new signage outside (2) removal of a few front pews and new flooring, to provide the necessary storage to facilitate having Fellowship time in the sanctuary (3) work on the exterior buttress on the south side
  • The rejuvenated Property committee includes Fred Donaldson, Ken Moors, Greg Bent, Ian Austen, Jeff Kirby, Marc Charbonneau, and Pierre Gareau.
  • The Extreme Weather Warming Centre was open 27 times last winter with an average of 14 people stopping by.
  • Monthly United Church services are offered at Melville Heights Residence, with a regular congregation of 20-25 residents, led by Rev. Betsy Hogan and Matthew Fraser.
  • Monthly United Church services are also offered at the Caritas Residence of Sisters of Charity at Mount Saint Vincent campus, led by Rev. Ted Thompson, Molly Austen, Dora Stinson, and Keith Wiseman, with assistance from Mary Rose Dechter.
  • The Sunday Breakfast program involves 25-30 volunteers who serve 45-60 guests every week. More volunteers are welcome!
  • Both the Breakfast program and the Fellowship organizers could use small (8 oz) coffee mugs (i.e., no saucer required), if anyone has extras to donate.
  • There are no new talks about redeveloping the property. The Commissionaires building behind us has been sold, but there is no immediate development plan and none of the St. Matthew’s property was part of that purchase.
  • Volunteers needed – To assist with ushering and Fellowship time, among other tasks at the church. Please consider getting involved and helping out.

 Chocolate Chip Cookie Challenge

This fun-filled baking challenge will be judged on Advent II (Sun., Dec. 10). Cookie bakers are invited to bake a batch of their BEST chocolate chip cookies WITHOUT NUTS and bring them to church on Dec. 10. Select your 4 best cookies for the adjui-tasters (Molly Austen, Craig Reiner, and Heather Clarke) to taste, and put them on the plate that will be provided. Put the rest of your batch of cookies in a freezer bag to give to the Out of the Cold Shelter. Judging will take place during Fellowship Time. Registration deadline is Dec. 1 – entry forms are available in the sanctuary.

Anonymous Couple donations

St. Matthew’s has an Anonymous Couple who has pledged to match the congregation’s year-end contributions up to a total of $15,000. To qualify, donations from the congregation must be over and above any donations already pledged by PAR. Donations can be left in the offering plate marked “Anonymous Couple” or dropped off at the church office.

An influx of $15,000 from the congregation, matched by the Anonymous Couple, would greatly improve our financial position in a year when there have been extraordinary expenditures related to stained glass window repair, creating a coffee hour kitchenette at the sanctuary level, and buttress work. All contributions to operating costs (heat, lights, etc.) also support the worthy outreach work of the church, including the Out of the Cold Shelter, the Circus Circle for youth at risk, the Sunday breakfast, and addiction recovery groups.

Members of the congregation are reminded that one convenient way to support the church is by share transfer of an equity from your stock portfolio. You get a charitable receipt and pay no capital gains tax. For further information on this option, contact Dan Campbell.

“From The Ashes” commemoration of the Halifax Explosion – tickets available Sunday

Wayne Rogers has tickets ($20) for the From The Ashes concert commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Halifax Explosion. The concert is Wed. Dec. 6 at 8 pm in the sanctuary.

From The Ashes features the Fauré Requiem sung by the 48-voice St. Matthew’s Chorale, accompanied by chamber orchestra, organ, and harp. The choir will also perform the world premiere of The Halifax Explosion, a commemorative choral work written by Lunenburg composer Mary Knickle and accompanied by Dean Bradshaw.

Advance tickets are $20; if you can’t buy them at church, go to www.eventbrite.ca to make an online purchase. Tickets will be $25 at the door on the night of the concert.

Members and friends of the congregation are also invited to help stage this important commemoration by making a tax-deductible donation to offset production costs. Cheques marked “Explosion concert” made out to St. Matthew’s United Church can be left at the church office or in the collection plate.

Sharing the Christmas Spirit at St. Matthew’s

Poinsettias – If you would like to order a poinsettia ($20) to decorate the church during the Advent season, perhaps in memory of a loved one, please see Gail Jay during Fellowship Time. Many of the poinsettias will be brought to shut-ins of the congregation as Christmas gifts.

Shop for Peace on Dec. 3 – When you buy Zatoun fair trade olive oil products from Palestine, you take positive economic action that supports farmer families and collectives in Palestine while promoting justice, peace, and ecumenical understanding. The products will be sold after church on Dec. 3. Extra virgin olive oil 750 ml. $18, Za’atar thyme/spice blend $5, Unscented pure olive oil soap $4.

White Gifts for Sunday Breakfast – Shop for a Christmas gift for a guest of the Sunday Breakfast program. Pick up a White Gift Tag at the back of the sanctuary or make your own – just identify who the gift is for (man or woman) and indicate the size. Gifts can be brought to church for presentation as a White Gift on Sun. Dec. or left at the church by Fri. Dec. 22 so they can be given on Dec. 24. If shopping for clothes isn’t your thing, bus tickets and coffee or fast food gift cards ($5-$10) are always welcome.

Bake cookies for the Christmas Breakfast Dec. 24 – Donations of homemade cookies are requested to give to our breakfast guests at the special Christmas breakfast on Dec. 24. Cookies can be dropped off at the church hall on Sat. Dec. 23 between 1-3 pm during set-up. Frozen cookies can also be given to Michelle Jensen at church on Sun. Dec. 17. Pick-up can be arranged, if needed.

Gifts With Vision – To support Mission and Service AND get some great Christmas gift-giving ideas for loved ones who already have everything they need, visit www.giftswithvision.ca. The United Church of Canada developed this giving catalogue in response to member requests to be able to give gifts to relatives, friends, and loved ones that are in direct support of the church’s Mission & Service partners across Canada and around the world.

Out of the Cold Shelter opens Dec. 1 – How can you help?

You can make sandwiches – Since 2011 members of St. Matthew’s have been making sandwiches for the Out of the Cold Shelter each Thursday. Jean Hattie is coordinating the project again this year. On Sunday during coffee hour Jean will have sign-up sheets so volunteers can choose a Thursday that is convenient. Each volunteer makes and wraps two loaves of sandwiches – Jean will provide instructions.

You can donate money – St. Matthew`s partners with the Out of the Cold Shelter to provide space, heat, lights, washroom facilities, etc. for guests. Your donations to St. Matthew`s help cover the operating costs that allow the shelter to stay open for 5 months of the year.

Thanks to …

All who brought donations of vegetables, canned tomatoes, and stock – and to choppers Leonard, Kim, Xavier, and John. The joint work resulted in Stone Soup, which was served at the Dal Chaplaincy Monday Multifaith Support last week, and at Sunday’s congregational lunch. There were 22 hungry and appreciate Dal students who enjoyed our soup, as well as the lentil soup brought by Dal Chaplaincy treasurer Ken Moors. Chaplain Rev. Robyn Brown-Hewitt sends thanks to St. Matthew’s.

If you missed last Sunday …

Prelude  –  Nun Danket (Eric H. Thiman) and Servant Song (Mark Himmelman)

Reading – Matthew 25: 31-40


All Praise to Thee

We Are Pilgrims

Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah

Sermon – Lindell Smith, speaker

Anthem – The Old Hundredth Psalm Tune   Ralph Vaughan Williams

Postlude Cwm Rhondda       Paul Manz

Our 268th Anniversary Speaker was Councillor Lindell Smith. First elected in November 2016 to represent residents of Halifax Peninsula North on Regional Council, he is a lifelong resident of the North End. He is co-founder of Centre Line Studio, a not-for-profit recording studio for young artists and musicians, and “The One North End Project”, that ensures all North End residents can participate in and benefit from North End revitalization. Councillor Smith has been recognized and honoured for his community leadership with several awards, including the Abby Bryant Humanitarian Award of Excellence.


In the Community

En Chor East: “Noel, Noel” – Sat. Dec. 2 at 7:30 pm at Bethany United Church and Sun. Dec. 3 at 3 pm at Knox United Church, 567 Sackville Dr. Music includes “The New Born Child” by Buxtehude. Conductor is Wayne Rogers and accompanist is Dean Bradshaw; special guests are Tim Matthews, tenor, and Baroque ‘n Fiddle String Quartet. Tickets $20 regular, $15 senior at the door.

 From The Ashes – Wed. Dec. 6 at 8 pm at St. Matthew’s. Performance of the Fauré Requiem  and a new composition entitled The Halifax Explosion by Lunenburg’s Mary Knickle will commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Explosion. Advance tickets $20, available at  www.eventbrite.ca.  Tickets at the door $25.

Open House Atlantic School of Theology – Wed. Dec. 6 from 4-6 pm at 640 Francklyn Street. On the 100th anniversary of the Halifax Explosion, AST will delve into the history of its 1898 building, which served as a convalescent home for children after the tragedy. There will be a display of photos depicting the impact of the explosion on local churches. Visitors can learn more about the campus renewal plan and restoration of the 1898 building. RSVP by email at advancement@astheology.ns.ca or by telephone, 902-496-7943.

6th annual Christmas on the Grand Parade  – Mon. Dec. 11 at 7 pm at St. Paul`s Anglican Church on the Grand Parade (storm date Tue. Dec. 12). Christmas on the Grand Parade brings together community members from all backgrounds and walks of life and features readings, choir selections, and Christmas hymns of the season, in the wonderful, seasonally-decorated backdrop of the oldest building in Halifax. 75 minutes in length. Reception to follow. Free admission.

Christmas Art Show – Nov. 24 to Dec. 16 at Bedford Place Mall. Landscapes, seascapes, animals, buildings, birds, tall ships – enjoy your shopping during mall hours. The artists include Hazel Reid of our congregation, along with Christine MacDonald, Ghislane Fecteau, Myrna Landers, Dorothy McCarron, John McGrath, Ernie Gardiner, Rene Brousseau, Cheryl Bagnell, Carol Fraser, and Jean Watson.

Children’s International Global Villages CISV Halifax – The first CISV opportunity will be an interchange to Paris for boys ages 12-13. The exact dates are to be finalized, but are expected to be in July. We already have part of this delegation in place but are looking for 2 more boys to join and match with the delegates in Paris. Your boy will travel with a leader and 5 other children, and stay in a CISV house in Paris with a boy matched to you via a survey of your likes and dislikes. That boy will also come to Halifax to stay in your house. You must be a member of CISV Halifax to apply. For more information: Local Interchange coordinator Heidi Carr, or Lyn Waller of our congregation (Halifax@ca.cisv.org)

Bereavement Support – Bereavement counselling is offered every Saturday from 10–11:30 a.m. at the temporary offices of Halifax Hospice, 1471 Carlton St, near the Just Us! Coffee location on Spring Garden Road. Anyone is welcome on a drop-in basis; there is no need to sign up. Sessions are peer-led, with counsellors present to help guide discussion as the participants desire. If you are interested in a bereavement support group but cannot attend on Saturday mornings, call the Hospice Society of Greater Halifax at 902-446-0929.

St. Matthew’s Activities


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

Caritas Service – Second Sunday at 2 pm for Victoria Hall Residence for Senior Women, now at the Caritas Building, Mount St. Vincent

Melville Heights Service – Second Sunday at 2 pm at Melville Heights retirement lodge

Choirs Practice on Thursdays – Handbells at 6:15 pm, Church Choir 7:30 pm

Daytime Bible Study  – Thursdays at noon

St. Matthew’s Book Club  – Second Tuesday in the afternoon, private homes

Lunch Bunch Choir – Fridays at noon

Potluck Church – Wed. Jan. 17, 2018; Thu. Mar 29, 2018 (Seder)



All meetings are held after the Sunday service. Bring a lunch! Clerk of Session Dr. Dora Stinson encourages everyone involved in these quarterly meetings to note the dates in their calendars.


Kirk Session/Stewards/Official Board         2018 – Mar. 18, June 3

Executive of Official Board                          2018 – Jan. 21, Feb. 18, Apr. 22, May 20

Worship and Music Committee                 TBA

Congregational Meeting (budget)              Nov. 26, 2017; June 10, 2018



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 Worship: 10:30 am

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

On the web: www.stmatts.ns.ca


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