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June 2, 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

•  St. Matthew’s Calendar
•  Organ Concert with Organized Crime on June 12
•  88 Keys fundraising campaign update
•  Photo directory – make sure you’re in
•  Thanks to ...
•  Condolences to ...
•  Runners United for Change
•  Maritime Conference 2013 Report
•  Pride Float update
•  Need a babysitter?

St. Matthew’s Calendar
Sun., June 9 – Communion
Wed., June 12 – Organ concert with Sara Svendson and Rachel Mahon
Sun. June 16 – Sunday School closing and after-church barbecue

Organ Concert with Organized Crime on June 12
On Wed., June 12 at 7:30 pm Sara Svendson and her colleague, Rachel Mahon, are bringing their highly acclaimed organ skills to St. Matthew’s for a concert. Performing under the name Organized Crime – An Organ Duo Like No Other – they come with sequined dresses, fancy shoes and two newly-acquired Bachelor of Music degrees in organ performance from the University of Toronto. Learn more about them at http://www.organizedcrimeduo.com/ and at this link to a Macleans Magazine feature article http://www2.macleans.ca/2012/12/19/the-key-to-survival/

They are fresh off a show at Metropolitan United in Toronto. Sara, who is from New Glasgow, was taught by Wayne Rogers while she was in high school, then worked at St. Matt’s as our summer tour guide for a couple of years. Her concert last year kicked off our piano fundraising concert series, and we are delighted that she is returning with Rachel to finish it off.

Tickets are $20, and are available from Wayne Rogers and at the door. Please bring friends and music lovers!

Steady progress in 88 Keys fundraising campaign
Only $5,775 left to pay off in the grand piano debt. One key is $100 and a full scale is $1,000, and all donations will be gratefully received. Cheques indicating “Piano Fund” can be made payable to St. Matthew’s United Church. Tax receipts will be issued at the end of 2013. For more information contact Jill Rafuse, 492-4523 or rafuse<at-symbol>ns.sympatico.ca.

Photo directory – make sure you’re in
Thanks to David Fraser and Tim Covert, we will soon have a new church photo directory. If you haven’t had your photo taken yet, or if you have a photo already that you would like them to use, please email david.fraser@gmail.com

Congratulations to ...
- Leonard Preyra and Susan Gowan, married on Victoria Day weekend

Thanks to ...
- AcabellA Handbell Choir for sharing their gift of music during last week’s worship service, and for a fine season of handbell ringing.
-  Carolyn Jarock, for sharing her recent experience of service in Belize.

Condolences to ...
-   The family of the late Edith Mingo, whose funeral service was held last week. Edith was a long-time member and former elder of the church.
-   The family of the late Eileen Jackson, whose funeral service was also held last week.

Runners United for Change
On the holiday weekend a team of United Church folks ran and walked various races in the Bluenose Marathon in support of the church’s Mission and Service Fund. They raised close to $15,000 for M&S, including a contribution of $80 raised at St. Matthew’s on race day by Danielle St. Jean’s homemade chocolate sales (thank you, Danielle).

Bluenose Sunday can be a little trying for our congregation, since St. Matthew’s is “inside the line,” so Marg Machum shares this note from one who participated in Runners United – the team uses St. Matthew’s as its gathering place and returns over the course of the morning.

“I guess the most moving part for me was at St. Matthew’s. We arrived a bit late as the 10K didn’t start until 9 am. As we were looking for the entry door to the church we became aware that breakfast was being served to folks in the downstairs hall, Boy, it smelled good! I looked around at the many faces – some young, some older. The hall was alive with conversation as folks eagerly waited in line for a hearty breakfast. I thought to myself, ‘This is what it is all about. Mission and Service.’ ”!!

Report from the annual meeting of Maritime Conference 2013
On the last weekend in May the clergy and Presbytery representatives of United Churches from the three Maritime Provinces, Gaspésie, and the Methodist Synod of Bermuda gathered in Sackville, NB for the annual meeting of Maritime Conference. Gathering concurrently were Youth Forum and Intermediates at Conference.

While the theme of Conference was “What If? Moving from Fear to Hope”, the prevailing issue of the weekend was the debt caused by the construction of the new Conference Office and Archives at a cost of $3 million. To date the fundraising campaign has only been minimally successful and permanent tenants for the Archives have not yet been secured. These difficulties, combined with significant cuts to the grant from General Council, have resulted in a large operating deficit for the Conference.

This did not inspire a move from Fear to Hope.

However, it is fair to say that over the course of the weekend, members of Conference did at least seem to move from Anger to Resignation. The new building is built, and it must be paid for. That which cannot be changed must be endured. Conference approved by necessity, therefore, a budgeted rise in congregational allotments (annual contributions) of at least 5% and probably significantly more for the year ahead.

Having thus conceded this increased financial pressure on congregations, Conference then turned – with little apparent awareness of sad irony – to the main policy debate of the meeting. Proposal One was presented by Executive to establish policy for the use of proceeds when church properties are sold, which of course usually happens when a church closes … due to increasing financial pressures.

The proposal called for a 25% levy on proceeds from sale to be applied toward the debt associated with the Conference Office/Archives, as well as a 10% levy to Mission and Service. After members of Conference responded by swinging briefly back from Resignation to Anger, Executive acknowledged that these were only offered as suggested guidelines to inform post-sale conversations between congregations and presbyteries. As such, they were approved.

Pleasant interludes between endless conversations about the financial crisis occasioned by the Office/Archives were provided by various Conference Committees: notably, Church in Action which reminded us of ongoing work toward justice and peace in Palestine/Israel, demanding increased Canadian oversight of mining companies in Guatemala, and urging the healing and protection of the environment (the latter presented in part by Marg Machum!). In addition, Conference discussed commencing the process of becoming an Affirming Conference – affirming of diversity within the work and committees of Conference itself – and enjoyed the lively presence of Youth Forum and Intermediates in worship.

Thursday evening’s service included a baptism for the first time in Conference history – the son of two clergy who had met at Youth Forum, and who now serve two separate charges, was baptized in what is for his family a sort of ‘home church’. At worship on Sunday morning, Conference ordained three new ministers of Word, Sacrament, and Pastoral Care, thanked outgoing President Phillip Kennedy, and welcomed new President Meggin King. Gloria Churchill was elected President Designate.

Pride Float update
We have a truck, a design and a plan! Soon we will be getting together to build and decorate so that we can make our float beautiful and churchy. Please let Betsy know if you are interested in helping out.

Need a babysitter?
Bella Dini, a Grade 12 student at Sacred Heart High School, is available for after-school and weekend babysitting. She is also available in the summer. Her hours are flexible and she is experienced. She can provide her resume upon request. Contact Bella at 817-7790.

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
Minister of Music: Wayne Rogers, 429-1680
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