eBulletin — Sunday, Sept. 11, 2016



  • St. Matthew’s Calendar
  • Audi-Visual Working Group
  • Sunday School under way
  • St. Matthew’s Book Club resumes Sept. 20
  • If  you missed Sunday
  • In the Community
  • Everything you need know about Remits to the Basis of Union – Background in preparation for the Sept. 25 vote

St. Matthew’s Calendar


Thursday is Choir night –  Handbells, 6–7 pm, Choir, 7:30–9 pm ( If you are interested in choirs, please email Wayne Rogers at humber@ns.sympatico.ca)

Daytime Bible Study  – Thursdays, 12 noon–1 pm

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)

Sun. Sept. 18              Quarterly meetings of Session, Stewards, Official Board

Sun. Sept. 25              Voting on Remits, after church

Sun. Oct. 2                  WorldWide Communion

Sun. Oct. 9                  Thanksgiving and Blessing of the Animals

Sat. Oct. 15                 Nocturne Art at Night, 6 pm-midnight, featuring Halifax Circus


Audio-Visual Working Group

An invitation is extended to anyone interested in audio-visual technology and how we use it at St. Matthew’s. A sub-group of the Worship and Music Committee is being formed to work to improve our AV setup. Contact Cupido.Daniels@gmail.com by email.

 Sunday School under way

All our children, whenever they decide they are too old for the Nursery, are invited to join in the Sunday School program in the lower hall beneath the Sanctuary. Sunday School begins each week with prayers around the circle and the Lord’s Prayer (using hand-signs to help learn it), followed by a Bible Story and a craft or activity. Each week’s lesson stands alone, and we are happy to welcome the children whenever they are able to attend. Dr. Kim Murray Moors is our Craft and Activity Leader Extraordinaire, and she is joined each week by parent volunteers. Plus, our Sunday School is a peanut-free zone!

Not all children enjoy Sunday School, especially as they get older, and may prefer the quieter atmosphere of staying upstairs in church. Neither the sermon nor the service itself is overly long, so children who are doubtful about Sunday School are encouraged to try regular church instead.

 St. Matthew’s Book Club resumes Sept. 20

The first meeting this fall will be on Tuesday, Sept. 20 at 2 pm at the home of Joyce Anderson, Melville Heights, 24 Ramsgate Lane, Halifax.  The book we will be discussing is “The High Mountains of Portugal” by Yann Martel.  For information, contact Hope Toumishey (902-477-2773, hopet@ns.sympatico.ca) or Janet Copeland (902-445-5906, j.copeland@ns.sympatico.ca).

 If you missed last Sunday …

Prelude            Prière à Notre Dame *(Suite Gothique) Léon Boëllmann

Reading           Luke 15: 1-10

Anthem           Let My Prayer Rise Up Like Incense                  Marty Haugen

Sermon            Roaming …

Postlude          Toccato (Suite Gothique)        Léon Boëllmann

In the Community

Nova Scotia Youth Choir – Sun. Sept. 25 at 7:30 pm at Woodlawn United Church, performing as part of the Dartmouth Community Concert series. Tickets $25 adult, $20 senior, $10 student available at the door.

 Save the Date – 10th annual Brunswick Street Mission Breakfast will be held on Thurs. Oct. 13, 7:30 am, at the World Trade and Convention Centre. This year will feature real stories from real people who have been directly affected by the work of the Mission. Tickets $1,000 (table) or $100 each. Reserve by calling (902) 423-4605 or email bsm1@eastlink.ca

Everything you need know about Remits to the Basis of Union – Background in preparation for the Sept. 25 vote

Major operational/structural changes in the United Church of Canada can only take place by ‘Remit’.

A Remit is a national vote to alter the Basis of Union — the 1925 legislation which created the United Church of Canada from our three founding denominations (Presbyterian, Methodist, Congregationalist).

There are four Remits that require congregational votes.

Extensive information is available about each of them at http://gc42.ca/remits.

Two of them (Remits 2 and 3) have to do with oversight and placement of clergy.

Two of them propose

~    a new national structure for the United Church of Canada (Remit 1), and

~    a plan for its funding (Remit 4).

Who can vote?

The Official Board of St. Matthew’s has chosen to allow for a Full Congregational Vote on these Remits, in order to encourage broad learning about and engagement with United Church issues.

We had two gatherings last Spring about the Remits, and a final conversation will happen after church on Sunday September 11th.

The vote will take place on Sunday September 25th during Sunday Service.

All members and adherents of St. Matthew’s, regardless of age, can vote.

Whether or not you were confirmed…

whether or not you’ve officially become a member at some point…

…if St. Matthew’s is your current church home, you can vote.


The Four Remits

Remit 2: Elimination of Transfer and Settlement

Newly ordained clergy — who were formerly always “settled in” (ie, assigned to) their first pastoral charge — have in the past few years been so enthusiastically choosing the new option to instead “seek a call” as experienced clergy do that Settlement is no longer happening. This proposal is therefore to simply eliminate the option of “Settlement”.

Observations from Fun with Remits Session Two

  1. a) Settlement wasn’t just a method of employing new ministers: it manifested meaning about ordination and service and congregational mission that is lost without it. Arguably, of course, these were already lost when it was made optional.
  2. b) Is this proposal about cutting costs? Possible: the process of Transfer/Settlement involved much work from many across the country. Is this just expedient because no one is choosing Settlement anymore anyway? Likely. But should the option actually be removed? That is the question…

Remit 3: Office of Vocation

Installing (essentially) a College of Ministers to oversee professional standards, policies, and qualifications.

      Observations from Fun With Remits Session Two

  1. a) This relocates all the work that was formerly done in Presbyteries and Conferences to the national level, with an elected body (half lay, half ordained). There would be a list of clergy in good standing, from which congregations would call a minister.

Remits 1 and 4: Three Council Model and Funding the Three Council Model

Why? Because we can no longer afford the UCC infrastructure as it stands.

Remit 1: Three Council Model

Changing the governance structure of the United Church of Canada

from                Pastoral Charge ~ Presbytery ~ Conference ~ General Council

to                    Community of Faith ~ Regional Council ~ Denominational Council

In this model…

  1. a) the DC would be staffed to oversee operations, national policies, and overseas partnerships
  2. b) the RCs would be staffed to support local and regional ministries/missions
  3. c) it has not yet been decided how many Regions there would be (Confs < Regions < Presbs)
  4. d) process of calling a minister would reside wholly in congregation
  5. e) jurisdiction over property would reside mostly with congregation (overseen by Region)
  6. f) all processes more streamlined AND more dependent on congregational initiative/commitment

Touchy bits…

  1. a) with greater freedom (yay!) comes greater responsibility (uh oh…)
  2. b) not much accountability for congregations
  3. c) assumes that ‘clusters’ and ‘networks’ will arise unbidden and be maintained locally/regionally

Observations from Fun With Remits Session One….

  1. a) is it clear that this will save the church money? (see Remit 3)
  2. b) this may not be great, but it does preserve the national voice and overseas partnerships, and it also offers more flexibility and freedom locally. These were the two things most important to people across the church. In other words, this model might be as good as it gets… for what the UCC can now afford.

Remit 4: Funding the Three Council Model

Changing the way our monies fund infrastructure and mission.

In this model…

  1. a) Congregational assessments would be uniformly determined across the church, would be based on a percentage (probably 4.5%) of annual revenue, and this percentage would not rise.
  2. b) DC and RC staffing/operations would not exceed income from assessments.
  3. c) M&S donations would not support operational infrastructure: ie, could not be rerouted in case of budget shortfalls.

(NOTE: This is being stated as a protective policy. It is NOT already happening now. At present the church’s national budget shortfalls are being covered by depleting the principal of its trusts.)

Touchy bits…

  1. a) Congregational assessments could initially rise slightly from current levels
  2. b) Too much power invested in national DC?
  3. c) RCs can ALSO levy separate assessments, which is not insignificant in the Maritimes because of the new Conference building

Observations from Fun With Remits Session One…

  1. a) Uniform determination of assessments based on unchanging percentage is more just than current variety of practices across the church.
  2. b) Matthew’s assessment unlikely to rise by much; may not rise at all.
  3. c) This forces us to live within our means — which is necessary — but will significantly reduce staff support beyond the congregational level.

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: On Holiday

On the web: www.stmatts.ns.ca


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your email or to unsubscribe: stmatts@ns.sympatico.ca or (902) 423-9209