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St. Matthew’s United Church eBulletin
Holiday Edition 2012

•  Christmas Eve services
•  Services during the Twelve Days of Christmas
•  Last week for the 2012 Anonymous Couple Challenge
•  Lorna MacDonald to sing Jan. 13
•  Thanks to ...
•  Sharing the Warmth of Christmas
•  Out of the Cold Shelter donations
•  Shop for Peace
•  St. Matthew’s 2013 Calendar

Christmas Eve Services

  • Mon. Dec. 24 Christmas Eve

6:30 pm – Bethlehem@Barrington is an indoor Live Nativity Service with donkey, sheep and actors who lead us through the Christmas story in word and song, accompanied by a small band. The music is lively and contemporary (Christmassy rewrites of recent hits) and the tone is upbeat. This is a joyful beginning to Christmas, and attracts a big crowd of all ages. It will be held in the sanctuary.
10 pm – Candlelight Communion is a contemplative and traditional Christmas Eve communion service with choir and Christmas carols, quieter in tone and a peaceful and beautiful celebration of the nativity.

Services during the Twelve Days of Christmas

  • Tue. Dec. 25, 10:30 am

Christmas morning Carol Service

  • Sun. Dec. 30, 10:30 am

Worship service

  • Sun. Jan. 6, 10:30 am

Worship service

Last week for the 2012 Anonymous Couple Challenge
An Anonymous Couple has generously offered to match, dollar for dollar, up to $20,000 in special givings made by the congregation before Dec. 31. This presents the possibility of raising $40,000, 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 before Dec. 31. Information: Ken Moors, kkjm.moors@ns.sympatico.ca or 445-5464.

Lorna MacDonald to sing Jan. 13 [What a great gift idea!]
The third concert in our SteepleConcerts@Barrington series takes place Sunday. Jan. 13 at 2:30 pm featuring soprano Lorna MacDonald with piano collaboration by Lynette Wahlstrom. Tickets ($20) are available by calling 429-1680, or at the door.

A member of St. Matthew’s choir some years ago, Lorna is head of the vocal department at University of Toronto. She offered to present this concert so the proceeds would go towards the balance owed on our new Yamaha C7 grand piano. Pianist Lynette Wahlstrom is director of music at First Baptist Church, Halifax, and a collaborative pianist at Dalhousie University Department of Music. Please tell friends, family and musicians who would be interested in hearing this wonderful concert.

Thanks to ...
• All who participated in Sunday’s baptisms, and a warm welcome to the newest members of our church family:
Emma Toohey, daughter of Steve and Kathy
Anderson Powers, son of Brent and Kathleen
Shirley McInnes for overseeing poinsettia orders, and to Dora Stinson and the Pastoral Care Team for distributing the plants to members of the congregation
• 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 Sunday’s Christmas breakfast and gift-giving 

Sharing the Warmth of Christmas
•  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 have been decorating an Advent Tree with warm hats, mitts, and scarves that will be given 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.

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.

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.

St. Matthew’s 2013 Calendar
SteepleConcerts@BarringtonSun. Jan. 13, 2:30 pm, Lorna MacDonald, soprano
Book Club Tue. Jan. 15 at 12:30 pm, 3 Anchor Drive, Apt. 309 – “Invictus” by John Carlin
Executive of Official BoardJan. 27, Mar. 24, Apr. 28
Session/ Stewards/ Board – Mar. 3, May 26
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