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St. Matthew’s United Church eBulletin Dec. 16, 2012

•  Advent and Christmas at St. Matthew’s
•  Christmas Breakfast Dec. 23
•  Clock ticking on the 2012 Anonymous Couple Challenge
•  Shouting out a big thanks to ...
•  Sharing the Warmth of Advent
•  Out of the Cold Shelter donations
•  St. Matthew’s 2013 Calendar

Advent and Christmas at St. Matthew’s

  • Sun. Dec. 23

8:30 am – Free Christmas breakfast
10:30 am – ADVENT 4 – Traditional service (not the Sunday School pageant)

  • 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

Christmas breakfast Dec. 23
Gifts – One of our Christmas traditions is providing gifts of clothing and other useful things for the Sunday breakfast guests. Wrapped gifts can be left at the office any morning this week.  Include a tag indicating whether the gift is for a man or woman, and the size. The distribution of presents is Sunday, Dec. 23 at the Christmas breakfast.
Cookies – Donations of homemade cookies for the breakfast 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

Clock ticking on 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. This year the Anonymous Couple has generously offered to match, dollar for dollar, up to $20,000 in special givings made by the congregation. This presents the possibility of raising $40,000 by Dec. 31, which would significantly reduce our draw on endowment funds.

Our drawdown from the endowment fund is projected to be about $60,000 this year – down from $160,000 in 2008–09. We are making progress on balancing the books at St. Matthew’s, and the Anonymous Couple campaign is a great boost as we enter into the winter months. Adjust your PAR contribution level, make a special envelope offering, send a cheque, or call the office with your VISA number – but support the challenge. Information: Ken Moors, kkjm.moors@ns.sympatico.ca or 445-5464.

Shouting out a big thanks to ...
Wayne Rogers, St. Matthew’s Choir and AcaBella Handbell Choir for their leadership in worship last week, and to readers Elaine Murray and Gordon Murray
Shirley McInnes for overseeing poinsettia orders, and to Dora Stinson and the Pastoral Care Team for distributing the poinsettias
• Breakfast team leaders Carol Smillie, Michelle Jensen, Shannon Black, Jeff Kirby and Barry Smith, Eric Chaytor and Carl Abbott, and John and Karen Pearce for organizing the Christmas breakfast and gifts 

Sharing the Warmth of Advent
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.

Shop for Peace
The United Church of Canada passed a resolution at the 2012 General Council that supports the voices of Palestinian Christians as well as the security concerns of Israelis. It denounces all forms of violence. Because it identifies Israel’s settlements and the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories as key obstacles to peace, it encourages United Church people to boycott products made in the West Bank settlements that use Palestinian land, water and other resources. This is the same action taken by the US Presbyterians, the US and UK Methodists, the World Council of Churches, and others.

Why Boycott Soda Stream?
While Soda Stream, a home water carbonation devise, claims that it is “Made in Israel”, its main factory is in the occupied West Bank industrial zone of Mishor Edomim, in the settlement of Ma’ale Adumim. Ma’ale Adumim, one of the largest of the illegal settlements, is strategically positioned to cut the Palestinian West Bank in two. It prevents Palestinian movement and development and is a major obstacle to any peace agreement. Soda Stream’s taxes go directly to support the infrastructure of Ma’ale Adumim. Soda Stream’s operations exemplify the reality of Palestinian life under occupation, with few employment opportunities. It takes advantage of a virtually captive Palestinian workforce, paying them less than half of the minimum wage and subjecting them to terrible working conditions. Those who have disagreements are labeled “security risks”, making them virtually unemployable.

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.

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

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