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St. Matthew’s United Church eBulletin Dec. 9, 2012

Contents
•  Advent and Christmas at St. Matthew’s
•  Friday Christmas carolling
•  Bring White Gifts next Sunday
•  The 2012 Anonymous Couple Challenge
•  Thinking about ...
•  Shouting out a big thanks to ...
•  Out of the Cold Shelter donations
•  Sharing the Warmth of Advent
•  St. Matthew’s 2013 Calendar

Advent and Christmas at St. Matthew’s

  • Sun. Dec 16

10:30 am – ADVENT 3, White Gift Sunday and Choral Christmas Service with Christmas music and poetry, Senior Choir and AcabellA Handbell Choir
2:30 pm – AcabellA Handbell Choir makes its 6th annual Christmas presentation at Keshen Goodman Library

  • Sun. Dec. 23

8:30 am – Free Christmas breakfast
10:30 am – ADVENT 4

  • Mon. Dec. 24 Christmas Eve

6:30 pm Bethlehem@Barrington Live Nativity service (indoors)
10 pm  Candlelight Communion

  • Tue. Dec. 25, 10:30 am

Christmas morning Carol Service

Friday Christmas carolling
If you are downtown at lunchtime on Friday, Dec. 14, stop in and enjoy the Lunch Bunch Community Choir. This is our choral outreach for people who work downtown and like to sing. The group will present some Christmas songs plus there will be carolling and cider for all, from 12:30–1:15 pm.

Bring White Gifts for the Sunday Breakfast on Dec. 16
One of our Christmas traditions is providing gifts of clothing and other useful things for the Sunday breakfast guests. Please bring yours to church on Sunday, Dec. 16 to be received and acknowledged as our White Gifts. Distribution of presents will be at the special Christmas breakfast the following week.

If you need ideas, stop by the sanctuary and take a gift tag from the small tree at the door of the church. Buy, wrap, and return your gifts with the tag attached. Alternatively, make your own tag saying whether the gift is for a man or woman, and the size.

The 2012 Anonymous Couple Challenge
For the last two years the congregation has been challenged  by a mysterious Anonymous Couple to boost annual givings at year-end. They’re back – and this year the Anonymous Couple has generously offered to match, dollar for dollar, up to $20,000 in special givings made by members/adherents. This presents the possibility of raising $40,000 in the days remaining in 2012, which would significantly reduce our draw on endowment funds.

At the congregational meeting last Sunday, Ken Moors, chair of the Board of Stewards, reported that our drawdown from the endowment fund will be about $60,000 this year – down from $160,000 in 2008–09. Additional savings are expected this year as a result of the new natural gas furnace and the repair of the Rose Window, which was the source of water damage. We are making progress on balancing the books at St. Matthew’s, but the Anonymous Couple campaign is a great boost as we enter into the winter months.

Please support the Anonymous Couple initiative – adjust your PAR contribution level, make a special envelope offering, send a cheque, call the office with your VISA number. Information: Ken Moors, kkjm.moors@ns.sympatico.ca or 445-5464.

Thinking about ...
• The family of the late Joe Lee, whose life was celebrated on Sunday afternoon. In years past Joe was a Steward, and the members of his large family were an active part of the life of St. Matthew’s.
• Terry Hurrell, recovering at home from surgery

Shouting out a big thanks to ...
• The Sunday School for a splendid presentation of The Jesse Tree that included Creation, the Garden of Eden, Noah’s Ark, Abraham and his descendants, Moses, the Good Shepherd, Prophesies and the Nativity. Kudos to Anne Fay, Robert Murray, Kim Moors, parents and teachers, and the Sunday School children: Claire and Josh Black, Calista Caron, Adam and Heather Clarke, Aiden Culligan, Chris and Stephanie Currie, Matthew and Tom Fraser, Madeleine and Malcolm Gareau, Lindsay MacKay, Josh and Emma Toohey, Elizabeth Wallace and Katie Waller.
• Everyone who loaned a nativity set (there were 40!) for the Come to the Stable display last Sunday. Special thanks to the Worship and Music Committee for the great job they did in setting up the display.

Out of the Cold Shelter donations
Toiletries, oral care, small items – There is a box at the sanctuary entrance for donations to the Out of the Cold Emergency Shelter that opened Nov. 25 at St. Matthew’s. Small-size toiletries and  oral care items are welcome.
Financial – St. Matthew’s provides a home and covers the utility costs for the Shelter. Your financial contribution to the church helps enormously.

Sharing the Warmth of Advent
Cookies
The Breakfast Program would like donations of homemade cookies for guests at the special Christmas breakfast on Sun. Dec. 23. Cookies should be brought to the church on Sat. Dec. 22 between 1-4 pm when volunteers will be setting up. If you need to drop cookies off earlier, contact Michelle, 420-9769 or woodengiant@hotmail.com
Socks for Phoenix Shelter for Youth
Warm socks are given to the young people who seek shelter at Phoenix House during the winter. You are invited to “hang your stockings” on the mantel at the door of the church.
Hat, mitten and scarf tree
We will be decorating an Advent Tree with warm hats, mitts, and scarves that will be given as gifts to guests at the Out of the Cold Shelter and Sunday breakfast. If you knit or crochet and are looking for a project, consider a hat, mitts or scarf. Purchased items are welcome too.
Brunswick Street Year of Caring
By giving the gift of a “Year of Caring” to a friend or loved one, you can help the Brunswick Street Mission care for individuals and families in need. You will receive a pewter lapel pin and a gift card. $100 provides 100 hot breakfasts, keeps someone from becoming homeless, buys clothing and boots for a family of 5 for a year, or helps people obtain housing or employment. Call (902) 423-4605 Monday-Friday, 9 am-noon, or email bsm1@eastlink.ca. MasterCard and Visa accepted.
Poinsettias
Interested in placing a poinsettia in the church during Advent, perhaps in memory of a loved one? See Shirley McInnes at Fellowship time. Many poinsettias will be taken to shut-ins of the congregation as Christmas gifts. Cost $15 per plant.

St. Matthew’s 2013 Calendar
SteepleConcerts@Barrington – Sun. Jan. 13, 2:30 pm, Lorna MacDonald, soprano
Session/ Stewards/ Board – Mar. 3, May 26
Executive of Official Board – Jan. 27, Mar. 24, Apr. 28
Congregational meeting June 2

***
Church office: stmatts@ns.sympatico.ca , 423-9209
Pastoral care: Rev. Betsy Hogan, 423-9209
Sunday Free 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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