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St. Matthew’s United Church eBulletin March 27, 2012

· St. Matthew’s Calendar
· Volunteer needed – Old Burying Ground Foundation
· Vision Implementation Committee (ViC)
· St. Matthew’s Rising service, lunch, brainstorming
· The Great St. Matthew’s Clean-up
· Sandwiches for the Shelter in April
· Religion in Life Badge
· Penny collection during Lent
· Thinking about ...
· Support the Runners United for Change
· ‘Tis a Gift
· In the community
· Prayer Shawl Patterns

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, 6 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


April 15 – St. Matthew’s Rising, Congregational Lunch and Brainstorming
April 20, 21 – The Great St. Matthew’s Clean-up
May 20 – Bluenose Marathon and M&S fundraiser
May 27 – Kirk Session and Official Board
June 10 – Congregational Budget Meeting

Volunteer needed – Old Burying Ground Foundation
A volunteer from St. Matthew’s is requested for the board of the Old Burying Ground Foundation, which oversees the cemetery across the street. The congenial group meets monthly (Wednesdays at 4:30 pm) at St. Paul’s Church in the Grand Parade. The Foundation administers grant money, sets priorities for restoration and maintenance, hires a student guide for the summer months, and generally ensures that this is a pleasant green space for our corner of the city. Please let Betsy or the church office know if you are interested.

Vision Implementation Committee (ViC)
We have a Vision for St. Matthew’s, and now we begin to bring it to fruition. A Vision Implementation Committee is being established to set priorities, suggest ideas and action, and identify the resources and people who will pitch in to do the work. To date ViC includes Rev. Betsy Hogan, Paul Bowlby, Janet Copeland, Gail Jay, Marg Machum and Jill Rafuse.

St. Matthew’s Rising Service, Lunch and Brainstorming April 15
This is the first ViC congregational activity! 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.

Think about the six elements of our vision, and imagine what each one means to you. There will be ample opportunity to share ideas, brainstorm, and be creative.
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
Six more volunteers are needed to make sandwiches for the Out of the Cold Shelter on Thursdays in April. Contact coordinator Jean Hattie at coffee hour or 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:
· Jack Fraser, recovering from scheduled surgery
· the family and friends of Aileen MacIntosh of our congregation, who died on March 16 at St. Vincent’s Guest House

How to support Runners United for Change
Five runners and walkers from St. Matthew’s are participating in the Bluenose Half Marathon in May. They are part of a 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. As of this writing, they had reached 21% of their goal. 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
Take time over the remaining Lenten period to ponder our errors and misdeeds and move towards a deeper relationship with creation. Through a deepend spirituality and with the love of God in our hearts, let us find ways in which we can live with sustainability. TIP 8: One way to start is to downsize. As you go about your spring cleaning, simplify your living space. Get rid of clutter and find pleasure in recycling these items.

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.

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.

Prayer Shawl Patterns
Prayer shawls are knit or crocheted in simple, repetitive patterns that allow the spirit to pray while the hands are at work, creating at once a warm embrace for both the body and spirit. On Sunday we dedicated new and old prayer shawls to call attention to this ministry. Thanks to Marg Arklie, who has embraced the prayer shawl ministry first shared by Hope Toumishey and Helga Mills.

Anyone in the congregation who enjoys handwork can participate. Prayer shawls can be quite small for a baby or child (24”x24”), or substantial (24”x60”) or anything in between. The exact size isn’t important. Contact Betsy if you have a prayer shawl to contribute, and a good home will be found. Patterns can be found online or at the library, but here are a few suggestions.

Simple pattern: Cast on in any multiple of three. Row 1: K3, P3. Row 2: Knit the purls, and purl the knits. Repeat.

Beginner’s Shawl: This can be made on any size needles and with any yarn. For a lacy effect, use 6.5 mm needles for bulky or chunky yarn (68 stitches), or 5.5 mm for medium yarn (worsted, Aran, 78 stitches). Yarn – app. 700 yards. Knit every row until shawl measures 60 inches or desired length. Cast off.

Garter Stitch Shawl: Needles 6 mm. Yarn – bulky or chunky weight (#5 on label), app. 555 yards. Cast on 62 stitches. Work even in garter stitch (knit every row) until the piece is the desired length and cast off.
Fringe: Cut 124 strands of yarn about 6” long. For each fringe, fold one strand in half. Using a crochet hook, draw fold through the edge of the piece to form a loop. Pull the ends of the fringe through the loop and pull to tighten. Make the fringe along each short side and trim evenly.

Chevron Shawl: Needles 6 mm. Yarn – bulky or chunky weight (#5 on label), app. 555 yards. Cast on 73 stitches.
Row 1: K4, *k into front and then back of next stitch, k4, sl 1, k2tog, pass sl st over, k4, k into front and then back of next st; repeat from * to last 4 sts, k4.
Row 2: K4, p to last 4 sts, k4.
Repeat rows 1 and 2 until shawl measures desired length.

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