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St. Matthew’s United Church eBulletin June 10, 2012

• St. Matthew’s Calendar
• Women’s Breakfast on Saturday
• Celebration of Communion
• Redevelopment of the hall
• Budget approved
• New grand piano for the sanctuary
• Vision Implementation Committee (VIC) report
• Summer Scratch Choir
• Congratulations to ...
• ‘Tis a Gift: Living with Simplicity

St. Matthew’s Calendar
June 12 – Book club meeting, 12:30 pm
June 16 – Women’s Breakfast, 8:30 am
June 17 – Celebration of Communion, 10:30 am
July 15 – Jazz Festival Service
July 22 – Pride Week Service

Women’s Breakfast on Saturday
Women from the congregation are invited to Smitty’s (Tower/Martello and Spring Garden Road) on Saturday, June 16 at 8:30 am for breakfast. Choose what you like from the menu, and enjoy good conversation and lots of coffee. No cooking or washing up!

Celebration of Communion
There will be a celebration of Communion on Sunday, June 17. On Communion Sundays you are invited to make a special donation to support the Benevolent Fund of St. Matthew’s, which provides emergency care for those in need.

Redevelopment of the hall
The congregation has given unanimous approval for St. Matthew’s to enter into partnership with the Corps of Commissionaires Nova Scotia (CNS) to explore joint redevelopment of the non-heritage portions of our respective properties.

Halifax Regional Municipality requires that certain studies are completed before staff can consider any discussion about development, so on Sunday the congregation voted to:
(a) undertake a number of pre-development studies – planning policy and application management, market analysis and return on investment, urban design and architecture, traffic, heritage, environment, infrastructure/storm water management, and wind assessment
(b) budget up to $25,000 for the relevant studies

The congregation named four St. Matthew’s representatives to work with four members of CNS to develop a memorandum of understanding and, potentially, a redevelopment proposal. Our representatives are Tim Matthews (lawyer), chair of the Official Board; Dale MacLennan (accountant), Trustee; Ben Black (urban planner), Board of Stewards; and Rev. Betsy Hogan (spiritual counsel).

At this very preliminary and sensitive stage we are cautioned against widespread discussion outside the congregation.

Budget approved
The congregation approved a budget for July 1, 2012 to June 30, 2013 that was presented by Ken Moors, chair of the Board of Stewards. The budget identifies total expenditures of $468,630 funded by revenues of $208,890, a sustainable draw from endowment funds of $60,000, and a further unsustainable draw from endowments of $99,740.

Highlights of the budget, in comparison with last year, include:
• 2.9% increase on salaries for all staff and the minister’s housing allowance
• 16.5% decrease in the administrative and general budget
• 12% decrease in the committee and programs budget
• 21.7% decrease in anticipated expenses of the church and hall, largely as a result of the purchase and conversion of our furnaces to natural gas
• one-time costs of redevelopment study ($25,000) and infrastructure study ($7,000)
• 46.7% decrease in other income, largely because of reduced revenue for hall rental
• 8.3% decrease in the unsustainable drawdown on the endowment funds – over the last 5 years the unsustainable deficit has almost been cut in half

All collections and donations are expected to increase in the 2012 year to $165,250. But last year we also budgeted $20,000 for the Anonymous Couple campaign. In the coming year Ken asks the congregation not only to maintain their contributions, but also to “pick up” the $10,000 the Anonymous Couple contributed as a matching program last year, and contribute an additional $10,000. This is asking for an effective increase of about 14% in givings from the congregation.

New Grand piano for the sanctuary
The congregation approved the purchase of an 18-month-old Yamaha grand piano (7½’) from Doctor Piano to replace the aging Baldwin (9’), which will be traded in. The net cost is $48,300. Revenue will come from the Allen McKenzie Reid music fund ($20,000), the Jim Holland music fund ($10,000), the Sarah Svendsen concert ($1,000), and a cash donation from the Lunch Bunch ($200), in addition to the new Steeple Concert Series, individual donations, and other fundraising ($17,100).

Minister of Music Wayne Rogers says a new grand piano will quickly become revenue-generating through rentals, as it will allow the church to seek new clients such as chamber groups, piano and vocal recitals, the Nova Scotia Kiwanis Music Festival, and Royal Conservatory exams. Arrangements have already been made for a fall fundraising concert by Lorna MacDonald, Professor of Voice and the Lois Marshall Chair in Voice Studies at the University of Toronto, who is a former member of the congregation.

Vision Implementation Committee report
What has happened in the few months since St. Matthew’s ended its ministry quest with the appointment of Rev. Betsy Hogan? A natural gas furnace has been installed, the two buildings have had a spring cleaning and sprucing-up, financial stewardship is improving, and we see deepening partnerships with groups that use the church. And the Vision Implementation Committee (VIC) – Paul Bowlby, Gail Jay, Janet Copeland, Marg Machum, Jill Rafuse and Betsy – has had some meetings and hosted a congregational brainstorming session.

Importantly, the work of the church is being broadly shared among more volunteers from the congregation. Several new initiatives are already planned or under way:
• lots of fellowship over food (e.g., congregational lunches, Potluck Church)
• Celtic dancing to be featured during the SummerSounds@Barrington concert series
• web site updating
• a congregational directory (fall)
• small-group gatherings for fellowship, including a daytime one for seniors
• conversation with Brunswick Street Mission board about outreach partnership

However, VIC has identified three particular activities that we would like to get under way and for which volunteers are needed:

1. Lunch and Learn Task Group – This group would establish a noontime Lunch and Learn program – e.g., continuing education, public information sessions, speakers’ series – that would target downtown people. The Task Group would explore possibilities and try to set something up for the fall. Some work has been done on this already, and Paul Bowlby has offered to take the lead.

2. Grant Writing Task Group – Grants are available for such things as renovations to heritage buildings and green/energy-efficient improvements, but grant writing is an art. Identifying appropriate programs that might assist a St. Matthew’s “wish list” and preparing applications would be this group’s focus. Our partners from the Out of the Cold Shelter also will be invited to help.

3. Theatre Arts Task Group – We would like to take advantage of opportunities to partner with community theatre groups. Perhaps our sanctuary might host one “downtown” show for a theatre company that performs in the suburbs, for instance. This group would explore the needs, possibilities, and revenue-generating potential of such partnerships.

These are time-limited, project-specific task groups. If you have skills or interest to volunteer to get these initiatives moving, please contact Betsy, 423-9209 or stmatts.betsy<atsymbol>ns.sympatico.ca

Summer Scratch Choir

Throughout June, July and August all are invited to see what it’s like to sing in the choir. The Summer Scratch Choir will meet Sundays at 9:30 am to rehearse hymns and service music – easy anthems and lots of support from regular choristers. No experience necessary! Contact Wayne Rogers, 429-1680, or just show up Sunday morning.

Congratulations to ...
© Leonard Preyra, who has been appointed Minister of Communities, Culture and Heritage for Nova Scotia. Leonard is a member of the congregation and an active volunteer in the Breakfast Program.
© Dr. Dora Stinson, who was awarded honorary membership in the Canadian Medical Association at the Doctors Nova Scotia annual meeting. Dr. Stinson is our Clerk of Session and a soprano in the Senior Choir.
© Mary Rose Detcher, on the birth of her first grandchild, Rebecca
© AcabellA Handbell Choir and conductor Wayne Rogers, who concluded a most successful handbelling season on Sunday. In addition to leading worship services at St. Matthew’s, AcabellA performed a Christmas concert at Keshen Goodman Library and two services at United Memorial as a thank-you for the loan of a set of chimes.

‘Tis a Gift: Living with Simplicity
We began our journey along the path to a simpler lifestyle by decluttering our home, workplace, and other spaces where we spend time. We then downsized our finances by paying off outstanding balances on our credit cards and cancelling those with high interest rates, by closing bank accounts we do not need, and by simplifying our accounting and budgets. Tip 15: Over the summer, continue to simplify your life and household. Your homework is to read Your Money or Your Life by Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez, which may be available at second-hand bookstores. I hope your vacation will include spending time in the countryside in nature – Have a wonderful rest and see you in the fall.


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 (resumes in September)
On the web: www.stmatts.ns.ca

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