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St. Matthew’s United Church eBulletin Dec. 20, 2011

§ Presbytery Executive approves call
§ Church Office Christmas hours
§ Christmas Services
§ New Year’s Day Levee
§ Our famous AcabellA Handbell Choir
§ Giving at Christmas
§ The Anonymous Couple 2011 challenge
§ Thanks to ...
§ In the Community

Presbytery Executive approves call
Paul Bowlby, chair of the Joint Search Committee, announced that last week the Executive of Halifax Presbytery had reviewed and approved the congregation’s request to call Rev. Betsy Hogan. No further process is required.
What happens next? Betsy will continue as supply minister until mid-January, then have a few weeks off. She will become our full-time, ordained minister on Monday, Feb. 13. Church officials will determine a date for a covenanting service.

Church Office Christmas hours
The office will be closed from noon Dec. 23 until Tuesday, Jan. 3. Betsy can be reached at any time via email, stmatts.betsy@ns.sympatico.ca and the office phone, 423-9209, will be checked daily for messages.

Christmas Services

v Sat., Dec. 24, 6:30 pm – Bethlehem@Barrington Christmas Eve Service. A live Nativity service with donkey, sheep and actors who lead us through the Christmas story in word and song, accompanied by a small band. The music is lively and contemporary (Canadian content pop/folk/rock this year) and the tone is upbeat. Hot cocoa will be served. A joyful beginning to Christmas, with a big crowd of all ages. Outdoors on the North Lawn, weather permitting (otherwise indoors).
v Dec. 24, 10 pm – Candlelight Communion. A contemplative, traditional Christmas Eve communion service with Senior Choir and carols, quieter in tone and a peaceful and beautiful celebration of the Nativity.
v Sun., Dec. 25, 10:30 am – Christmas morning carol service
v Sun. Jan. 1, 10:30 am – New Year’s Day service

New Year’s Day Levee
After church on Sunday, Jan. 1, the Fellowship Committee will host a New Year’s Levee from 11:30 am–12:30 pm. In Halifax, levee-going is a celebrated way to usher in the new year. This year St. Matthew’s will open the doors to welcome visitors and wish them well. Some of our neighbors – including the Lieutenant-Governor, the Archbishop of Halifax, City Hall, and St. Andrew’s Masonic Lodge – also host levees.

Our famous AcabellA Handbell Choir
On Dec. 14 the Chronicle-Herald did a feature story on our handbell choir. In case you missed it, here is the link to a video of AcabellA playing “Carol of the Bells”, complete with seasonal photography: http://thechronicleherald.ca/video/sain-matthews-handbell-choir-acabella

Giving at Christmas
§ Donations of socks for Phoenix Shelter For Youth – Leave donations of socks at the front of the sanctuary by Dec. 25.
§ Brunswick Street Mission – You can donate to Brunswick Street Mission’s “Year of Caring” program and receive a lovely card and lapel pin to give as your gift to a friend or relative. No deadline! Details available at http://www.brunswickstreetmission.org/
§ Knit scarves, hats, mitts, or socks – Leave donations of knit or crocheted goods, toiletry kits and non-perishable snacks at our Tree of Knitting at the front of the sanctuary. Gifts will be given to the Out of the Cold Shelter, which runs all winter in our lower hall.

The Anonymous Couple challenge
There are only a few days left to meet the challenge made by the mysterious Anonymous Couple. They will match, dollar for dollar, up to $10,000 in special givings made by members and adherents in the days remaining in 2011.
The church Stewards are excited by the prospect of significantly reducing the draw on endowment funds, which is a key requirement for the long-term viability of the congregation. Your extra givings will be greatly appreciated by the whole St. Matthew’s community. Stewards will report on the results early in the new year. For information: Ken Moors, kkjm.moors@ns.sympatico.ca or 445-5464.

Thanks to ...
– Wayne Rogers, AcabellA Handbell Choir, and the Senior Choir for the splendid music on Sunday
– Shirley McInnes, for coordinating the poinsettia project. After brightening the church during Advent, poinsettias will be taken to shut-ins of our congregation to brighten their homes during Christmas.
– The Breakfast Program team leaders and members, super-shoppers John and Karen Pearce, and all who donated white gifts to make the Dec. 18 Christmas breakfast something special for 70–80 guests

In the Community
To Bethlehem With Kings – Tuesday, Dec. 20 at 7 pm, First Baptist Church, Oxford Street. Capella Regalis Men and Boys Choir under the direction of Nick Halley. Tickets available at King's Co-op Bookstore; $30/$20/$10 student. Kids 12 and under free. Patron tickets with priority seating $50.

Church office: stmatts@ns.sympatico.ca , 423-9209
Pastoral care: Rev. Betsy Hogan, 423-9209
Sunday Breakfast: 8:30–9:30 am, Worship: 10:30 am
Choir rehearsals: Thursdays, Handbell Choir at 6:15 pm and Senior Choir at 7:30 pm
Lunch Bunch Community Choir: Fridays at 12 noon

Enjoy St. Matthew’s United Church weekly eBulletin. Contact the office to add your email or to unsubscribe: stmatts@ns.sympatico.ca or 423-9209