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St. Matthew’s United Church eBulletin March 20, 2012

· St. Matthew’s Calendar
· Potluck Church tonight
· Women’s Breakfast this week
· St. Matthew’s Rising service and congregational lunch
· The Great St. Matthew’s Clean-up
· Sandwiches for the Shelter in April
· Religion in Life Badge
· Penny collection during Lent
· Thinking about ...
· Thanks to ...
· How to support the Runners United for Change
· In the community

St. Matthew’s Calendar

Holy Week
Palm Sunday, April 1, 10:30 am – “The Last Week”, a dramatic service to begin Holy Week
Holy Thursday, April 5, 5:30 pm – Celebration and remembrance of the Last Supper with a potluck supper and communion around the table
Good Friday, April 6, 7:30 pm – Choral Service of music and readings
Easter Sunday, April 8, 7 am – Sunrise Service followed by light breakfast
Easter Sunday, April 8, 10:30 am – Communion Service with Symphony Brass and singalong Hallelujah Chorus

March 20 – Potluck Church
March 24 – Women’s Breakfast at Smitty’s
March 25 – Official Board meeting after church
April 15 – St. Matthew’s Rising and Congregational Lunch
April 20–21 – The Great St. Matthew’s Clean-up
May 27 – Kirk Session and Official Board
June 10 – Congregational Budget Meeting

Potluck Church tonight at 5:30 pm
All are welcome to enjoy the supper and informal worship that arise from sharing with one another. Tonight’s Potluck Church – Tuesday, March 20 at 5:30 pm – is on the first day of spring and all are invited to share springtime poems, prayers, music, art or your favorite sign of spring.

Women’s Breakfast this Saturday
Women in the congregation are invited for breakfast and good company this Saturday, March 24, at 8:30 am at Smitty’s, corner of Spring Garden and Tower/Martello. We order off the menu, drink coffee, and chat for an hour or so – a fine way to get to know each other better.

Prayer Shawl Service next week
The gift of a prayer shawl is a tangible sign that others are thinking about someone who is suffering from illness, grief, loss, or other unhappy circumstance. Made by caring hands and finished by a quiet blessing, a prayer shawl is a way of offering support as well as prayers for peace, healing, hope and comfort. Over the years several craftspeople in the congregation have made these for others, and they have become treasured possessions. On Sunday, March 25 our worship service will focus on prayer shawls, especially some recent creations that are ready for blessing before being given to individuals who need our support.

St. Matthew’s Rising Service and Congregational Lunch April 15
We have a Vision for St. Matthew’s, and now we begin to bring it to fruition. After a service of celebration and commitment on Sunday, April 15, all are invited to bring ideas, areas of interest, curiosity and wisdom together over lunch to begin to make an interesting, faithful, and sustainable future real for St. Matthew’s. The six elements of our vision are:
1. A community of faith, worshipping God in downtown Halifax
2. Committed to spiritual, financial and environmental sustainability
3. An advocate and partner in the work of social justice
4. Nurturing and caring for each other in our spiritual growth
5. A sanctuary for the arts, celebrating creativity and enriching faith and worship
6. Engaging and mobilizing one another to achieve this vision

The Great St. Matthew’s Clean-up April 20–21
You know all the stuff that’s lying around the church and never used? It’s time to get rid of it. We’re going to separate usable items from trash, offer things free-to-a-good-home, arrange to sell things of value, and dispose of things that remains – all in 48 hours. The tentative plan is to clean/sort on Friday evening and Saturday morning, have a gym sale and free-to-good-home distribution on Saturday afternoon, with a free offering to breakfast guests on Sunday morning.
Save the date and help this spring cleaning and renewal of the building.

Sandwiches for the Shelter in April
A few volunteers are still needed to make sandwiches for the Out of the Cold Shelter on Thursdays in April. This has been very successful – many thanks to Jean Hattie, coordinator, and everyone who has provided sandwiches. Contact Jean through the church office, 423-9209, if you can help in the final weeks.

Religion in Life Badge
Attention Brownies, Cubs and others in the Girl Guide and Scouting movements – If you or someone in your house would like to earn the Religion in Life Badge, please speak to Betsy.

Penny collection during Lent
Lent has begun, and so has the second annual St. Matthew’s penny collection. Even small contributions make a difference when we all participate. Empty your piggybanks and dresser drawers, ask your friends to contribute, pick pennies up off the street – and bring them to church for the collection jar that will be at the entrance to the sanctuary. All coins welcome, loose or rolled. Proceeds will support our outreach initiatives.

Thinking about ...
Thank you for remembering in your prayers:
· All who are travelling during March Break
· Jack Fraser, recovering from scheduled surgery

Thanks to ...
· Flutist Rebecca Simpson-Litke for sharing her musical talents on Sunday. Rebecca is a music faculty member at Dalhousie and a member of St. Matthew’s Choir.
· Everyone, from Kim and Ken Moors, for all the kind wishes, prayers, cards and emails. Kim is recovering from surgery at home

How to support Runners United for Change
Four runners and walkers from St. Matthew’s will be participating in the Bluenose Half Marathon this year. They are part of a larger United Church initiative to raise money for the Mission and Service Fund called Runners United for Change.

You can participate by:
1. Sponsoring the St. Matthew’s runners and donating to M&S. Go to www.bluenosemarathon.com and click on Scotiabank Group Charity Challenge in the right column. On the Welcome page, choose Option 2, “Sponsor a team of fundraisers”. On the Search page, enter “Matthew’s” in the team name. Donate.
2. Joining the St. Matthew’s team. Contact Marg Machum, marg.machum @bellaliant.net or call 477-9914 for information.

‘Tis A Gift: Living with Simplicity

Over the last 200 years humanity has ravaged the earth in the name of progress and a better life and God’s creation is grieved. It is time for this generation to promote change. It is time to mend our ways and move from the frenzied, consumerism society we have created to find simpler lifestyles. TIP 7: One way to start is to downsize. As we move into the season of Spring and warmer weather, we will be bringing out our lighter clothing. As you do so, go through your clothes closet and give away items from both your winter and summer collections.

In the community

Famous Chowder Luncheons – Wednesdays until Apr. 4, 12 noon–1:15 pm, Presbyterian Church of St. David, 1537 Brunswick St. Fish chowder and roll, gingerbread dessert with hot lemon sauce or whipped cream, tea or coffee. Eat in or take out. Price $10.

Halifax Camerata Singers – Saturday, March 24, 7:30 pm, First Baptist Church. A spiritual journey of psalm settings through the ages, including Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms. Guest artists Andrew Pickett, counter-tenor; Shawn Whynot, organ; Ellen Gibling, harp; D’Arcy Gray, percussion; and Singers of the Camerata Youth Mentoring Program. Tickets $20 ($10 student) from Jill Rafuse, 492-4523, or at the door. Information: www.halifaxcamerata.org

Nova Sinfonia – Monday, March 26, 7:30 pm, Faith Tabernacle, Summit Street. Nova Sinfonia, conducted by Mark Shapiro, presents Brahms Symphony No. 4 and Mozart Coronation Mass K317 with Bedford Singers (Wayne Rogers, conductor), Dartmouth Choral Society (Malcolm Bradley, conductor) and soloists Vanessa Lindsay-Botten, Anna Bond, Marcel d’Entremont, and John Lindsay-Botten. Tickets $15 ($5 student) at the door.

Atlantic School of Theology Gala Dinner – Saturday, May 4, 6:30 pm for 7:30 pm, Pier 21. St. Matthew’s is putting together a few tables for the 40th anniversary gala banquet of the Atlantic School of Theology. Guest speaker is CBC foreign correspondent Brian Stewart, who will be receiving an honorary degree at convocation. Tickets $125 / $60 alumni. Contact the church office, 423-9209, for information.

Church office: stmatts@ns.sympatico.ca , 423-9209
Pastoral care: Rev. Betsy Hogan, 489-4739 – New phone # for Betsy
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