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March 3, 2013 – St. Matthew’s United Church eBulletin
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

Contents
•  Joining St. Matthew’s by transfer
•  Lenten Calendar
•  Lenten Sunday Studies – new dates, topics
•  Thanks to ...
•  Remember in your prayers ...
•  Ron Klusmeier “Tour of a Lifetime” April 7
•  St. Matthew’s friends in the community
•  Upcoming meetings

Joining St. Matthew’s by transfer
On Sunday, Mar. 10 we will celebrate the sacrament of baptism, which means it is a very good Sunday to also welcome new members by transfer. If you’ve been a member of another church and would like to transfer your membership to St. Matthew’s, please contact Rev. Betsy Hogan, 423-9209 or stmatts.betsy@ns.sympatico.ca

Lenten Calendar
Lent is the 40 days (minus Sundays) that precede Easter. It is a season of prayer and preparation, and reminds us of the 40 days that Jesus spent in the desert before he began his ministry of teaching and healing. The traditional colour of Lent is purple, symbolizing repentance.

During each Lenten service we light a candle to mark the six invitations of the Season of Lent – Resistance, Responsibility, Trust, Repentance, Forgiveness, Faithfulness. Adapted from a resource of Rev. Mindi Welton-Mitchell, http://rev-o-lution.org

Lenten Sunday StudiesNote new dates, topics
After church (noon-2 pm) in the parlour. Bring a bag lunch and attend any that interest you. This is a not a series – all sessions are unique. Bring questions, all questions are good questions!

Mar. 10 – Preparing a/your funeral in advance

This isn't weird or morbid. It's actually something very practical that can be both an immense help to your family and quite meaningful for you – a chance to think about what readings and music and other remembrances would be important to you, as well as anticipate the other end-of-life decisions and arrangements that all of us must consider.

Mar. 17 – Vengeance/War, Mercy/Peace: Images of God in the Bible

Many people struggle with what is sometimes perceived as the "difference" between the God of the Older Testament and the God of the Newer Testament, and especially with God's apparent affinity for vengeance, violence, and even pettiness in some familiar Bible stories.

We'll take an honest look at these many images of God in the Bible, the context in which they arose, and how they shape our understanding of God today.

Mar. 24 – Charity, Advocacy, Justice: Finding our way to a better world

What is the difference between charity and advocacy/justice? Is one better than the other? Are we called more to one than the other? We'll talk about biblical and church traditions around each, and how they each shape ways in which we seek to make the world better, locally and globally.

Mar. 31 – No study because it’s Easter Sunday

Apr. 7 – Weird churchy traditions and the answers why

In honour of Holy Humour Sunday (the Sunday after Easter) – If you ever wondered about any church tradition or practice that seems utterly bizarre or even vaguely incomprehensible, this is your chance to find out why.

Special Lenten/Easter services
Sun. Mar. 24 – Palm Sunday Service, 10:30 am
Thu. Mar. 28 – Maundy Thursday Communion Service, 7:30 pm
Fri. Mar. 29 – Good Friday Choral Service, 7:30 pm
Sun. Mar. 31 – Easter Sunday Sunrise Service, 7 am
Sun. Mar. 31 – Easter Sunday Worship, 10:30 am with Symphony Brass, mass Hallelujah chorus

Penny collection until Easter – We value pennies! Bring your coins to church during Lent and put them in the giant jar at the entranceway (loose or rolled). They will help provide emergency care (bus tickets, food vouchers, unpaid bills, etc.) for visitors who come to the church seeking assistance. All coins are welcome!

Thanks to ...
* Gordon and Sue Kent, whose generous gift allowed us to replace the fixtures and repaint the downstairs (parlour) bathroom – a beautiful renewal, for which we are thankful!

Remember in your prayers ...
* Cheryl Fraser, recovering from surgery at home
* Anne Calder, recovering from surgery in hospital

Ron Klusmeier “Tour of a Lifetime” April 7
Celebrated hymn writer and musician Ron Klusmeier is including Halifax in his trans-Canada farewell tour. St. Matthew's will host his concert on Sunday, Apr. 7 at 3 p.m. Because of his special relationship with and in The United Church of Canada, as well as the many hymns he has composed over the years that are sung throughout our Church, we hope many United Church people in this area will want to hear him in person. One-quarter of gross revenues from the concerts on the tour are going to the Canada Food Grains Bank. Tickets $20 adults, $5 children and youth (16 and younger), pickup choir singers $16 (anyone can be part of the pick-up choir). Reception to follow. More details in the coming weeks, but please mark your calendars and support this “Sanctuary for the Arts” initiative of St. Matthew’s.

St. Matthew’s and friends in the community
Chowder luncheons during Lent – On Wednesdays during Lent, 12 noon – 1:15 pm. Enjoy haddock chowder, roll, and gingerbread  at St. David’s Presbyterian Church, Grafton Street. Cost $10, eat in or take out. For information or to reserve a table, 423-1944.

Phil Fontaine: Ethical Relations with First Nations –Tue. Mar. 5, 11:30 am-1 pm, Westin Nova Scotian Commonwealth A Ballroom. Lecture sponsored by the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Public Affairs. Tickets $50; registration required, 428-4731 or info@ccepa.ca.

Atlantic School of Theology – Tue. Mar. 5 and Wed. Mar. 6 – Love This Church: Living Provocative Paradoxes. Grad project presentations at AST, 660 Francklyn Street. Schedule is online at http://www.astheology.ns.ca/home/GradProjects.html

Halifax Camerata Singers – Earth Songs, a choral celebration of the earth, the oceans and the spheres beyond on Sat., Mar. 23, at 7:30 pm at St. Patrick’s Church, 2267 Brunswick St., Halifax. Guest musicians Jennifer Jones, violin, and Cynthia Davies, piano. Tickets $20 adult, $10 student, available from Jill Rafuse (choir), www.HalifaxCamerata.org and at the door.

Runners United for Change – May 19, Bluenose Marathon weekend. The United Church’s Runners United for Change encourages church people to walk or run in one of the Bluenose Marathon races on Sunday, May 19 to raise money for the Mission and Service (M&S) Fund. Choose from four distances: 5 km, 10 km, 21.1 km (half marathon) and 42.2 km (full marathon). Participants ask friends, family and church members to sponsor them, with all donations going to M &S.
Last year several St. Matthew’s runners participated, and the Maritime Conference group raised $13,000; this year’s target is $15,000. If you are a novice, the team can help you get ready. You don’t have to run it all – alternate running and walking, or just walk. And it doesn’t matter how long you take, as long as you try! Take time for yourself, get in shape, and make a difference in the world – contact Keltie van Binsbergen, (902) 868-1990 or sjminister@eastlink.cafor more information or to get started on your running program.

Upcoming meetings at St. Matthew’s
Executive of Official Board – March 24, April 28
Session/ Stewards/ Board –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