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St. Matthew’s United Church eBulletin April 3, 2012

· St. Matthew’s Calendar
· Volunteer needed – Old Burying Ground Foundation
· St. Matthew’s Rising service, lunch, brainstorming
· The Great St. Matthew’s Clean-up
· Penny collection during Lent
· Atlantic School of Theology gala dinner
· Thanks, everyone ...
· Support the Runners United for Change
· ‘Tis a Gift
· In the community

Ring the bells that still can ring. Forget your perfect offering.
There is a crack, a crack in everything.
That’s how the light gets in. – Leonard Cohen

St. Matthew’s Calendar

Holy Week
Holy Week Morning Services, 7:30–8 am, light breakfast follows
Ø Wednesday, First Baptist Church, 1300 Oxford
Ø Thursday, Presbyterian Church of St. David, 1544 Grafton
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.

St. Matthew’s Rising Service, Lunch and Brainstorming April 15
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.

Penny collection during Lent
It’s the end of the penny era. Conveniently, St. Matthew’s collects pennies during Lent. 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.

Atlantic School of Theology Gala Dinner
St. Matthew’s is putting together several tables for the 40th anniversary gala banquet of the Atlantic School of Theology on Saturday, May 4, at Pier 21. Reception is at 6:30 pm, dinner at 7:30 pm. 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.

Thanks, everyone ...
Jack Fraser is home, recovering from surgery, and he and his family send thanks to all for the kindness and thoughtful care, prayers and cards, book loans and hot meals. He can finally enjoy the Bell Choir apples-and-treats!

How to support Runners United for Change
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
During Lent we have given ourselves the opportunity to find quiet times for reflection and contemplation and the space in which to grieve the devastation the Earth has suffered at our hands. Through these reflections let us move to acquire a deepened spirituality that will allow us to find the path to simpler lifestyles. TIP 9: Take your children, your grandchildren, or your inner child to see the movie The Lorax. Come home and plant some seeds.

In the community
Famous Chowder Luncheons – Last chance for chowder Wednesday, 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.

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
On the web: www.stmatts.ns.ca

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