St. Matthew’s United Church eBulletin Dec 1, 2019 Advent I: Annunciation


  • What's coming up at St. Matt's
  • Funeral Dec. 7 for the late Glennis Farquhar
  • Thanks to …
  • Congratulations to …
  • Christmas at St. Matthew's (Poinsettias, calendars, trees …)
  • Things you can donate to St. Matt's
  • In the Community


What's coming up at St. Matthew's  (* see below for more information)

Fri. Dec. 6                                Service of Remembrance and Action Against Violence

Against Women, 11:30 am

A quiet service of candlelighting and prayer

Sat. Dec. 7                               Funeral for Glennis Farquhar, 2 pm

Sun. Dec. 8    Advent II           Worship with AcabellA Handbells and Patricia De Méo, harpist

Sun. Dec. 15  Advent III          Choral Christmas Service with Symphony Brass

                                                – White Gift Sunday for Sunday Breakfast

Sun. Dec. 22  Advent IV         Sunday School Christmas Service

                                                – Christmas Breakfast 8 am

Tue. Dec. 24                            Bethlehem@Barrington Live Nativity Service, 6:30 pm

                                                Candlelight Communion, 10 pm

Christmas Day                        Christmas morning Carol Service, 10:30 am



Funeral Dec. 7 for Glennis Farquhar

Funeral service: Sat. Dec. 7 at 2 pm, Rev. Betsy Hogan officiating.

Online condolences:

 Glennis Farquhar, widow of the late Rev. Alexander J. Farquhar (2008), died peacefully, in her 90th year, in QEII Health Sciences Centre, Halifax, on Nov. 20.

Glennis grew up in the Qu'Appelle Valley region of Saskatchewan, a brilliant student, sensitive soul, and granddaughter of hardy homesteaders. One summer evening in 1948, while she was in teacher's college, she met a handsome and athletic young student minister from Nova Scotia named Alex, who immediately wrote to a friend, "Tonight, I met a girl I could marry." Although somewhat less smitten at first sight than he, she eventually reciprocated his ardor when he returned the following summer. After two fulfilling years of teaching in prairie schoolhouses, she married him in July 1950, and they moved to the Maritimes to begin a life in ministry together. With her quiet poise, gentle charm and natural empathy, she was adored by all whose acquaintance she made. She met life's adversities with dignity, grace, and deep reserves of strength, resilience and faith.

            Surviving are her children, Alec (Kathleen); James (Liliane); Sarah (Randell); Megan (David); Donald (Kathryn); Anaya (Donald); and Katherine (Robert); her brother-in-law, Hugh (Claudette); sisters, Melva and Patricia; 14 grandchildren: Anwen (Josh), Martha (Tyler), Alec, Rory (Lauren), Ivy (Eliot), Kevin (Desiree), Michael, Elise (Matthew), Madeleine, Reid, Paul, Sophie, Olivia, and Alexandra -- and 10 great-grandchildren: Aurora, Magali, Eliza, Sylvie, Josie, Ciaran, Janelle, Harlow, Alexander, and David; cousins, Carol and Joan. She was predeceased by her parents, Wesley and Jean Lamb; and her brother, John.

Donations in Glennis' name are welcome at QEII Health Sciences Centre Foundation ("Geriatric Medicine Research and Teaching" under "for a specific area or purpose" at or Halifax Public Libraries at


Thanks to …

  • Members of the Worship and Music Committee for Greening the Church for Christmas. The prayers used with our Advent symbols were adapted from “Prayers for Life” by Welsh Methodist preacher John Birch, who also shares his Celtic-tradition prayers on his website:

 Congratulations to …

Matthew Fraser, chief organizer of Monday`s Carolfest sponsored by the Halifax Chapter of the Royal Canadian College of Organists. Matthew also accompanied the choir on piano and organ, and played the postlude at this delightful service. Other St. Matthew`s participants were Rev. Betsy Hogan, reader; Wayne Rogers, organ and choir director; Marg Machum, organ and president of the Halifax Chapter; and several members of the St. Matthew`s choir.


Christmas season at St. Matthew's

Poinsettias for Christmas – All are invited to purchase a poinsettia ($20) to place in the church for the season of Christmas, perhaps in memory/in honour of a loved one. Some plants will be used to decorate the sanctuary, and smaller plants will be taken to seniors and shut-ins. See Shirley McInnes after church, or contact her at (902) 423-4320 or

Canadian Church Calendars – 2020 Church Calendars can be purchased ($6) from our Minister of Music, Wayne Rogers.

Shop for Peace – Support the farmers of Palestine in the struggle for their livelihood and land: buy these Zatoun fair trade products after church on Dec. 1. Cash sales only, exact change welcome. Thanks to Janet Copeland for organizing this.

  • Olive oil $18
  • Soap bar $5
  • Za'atar herb mix $5

White Gifts & Tim Horton Gift Cards for Sunday Breakfast guests – Shop for a Christmas gift for a guest of the Sunday Breakfast program. Either pick up a White Gift Tag at the back of the sanctuary; make/select your own (please identify who the gift is for and indicate the size); or purchase $5 Tim Horton gift card(s). Tim Horton gift cards are very popular with our guests and this year, it is our hope that we will be able to give one $5 gift card to every guest.  This will increase equity and still enable guests to select a White Gift to open. Gifts can be brought to church for presentation as a White Gift on Sunday Dec. 15 or left at the church by Friday Dec. 20.  Gift cards may be given to Carol Smillie, Janet Copeland, Michelle Jensen, or Rev. Betsy Hogan.

Bake Cookies for Christmas Breakfast Dec. 22 – Donations of homemade cookies are requested to give to guests at the special Christmas breakfast on Dec. 22. Cookies can be dropped off at the church hall on Sat. Dec. 21 between 1-3 pm during set-up. Pick-up can be arranged if needed. If you have any questions, contact Michelle Jensen,

Advent Food Box for Feed Nova Scotia – Mark the December days leading to Christmas by gathering any of the following items that are especially needed: Soup, stew, canned meat and fish, canned vegetables and fruit, pasta and rice, pasta sauce, peanut butter, cereal, baby formula and food, powdered and canned milk. Bring your box to church on Dec. 22 and we will deliver them to Feed Nova Scotia for distribution to local families.

Wracking your brain for Christmas ideas? St. Matthew’s Earth Spirit Action team can help with a list of easy and helpful eco-friendly suggestions for Christmas. Whether decorating, gift giving, or gift wrapping, make this one even more environmentally friendly. Printed handouts and a small display are available at the rear of the sanctuary. Contact the church office or Stephen Mercer if you would like the information emailed to you.

Christmas Trees from Ecology Action CentreAre you are planning to have a natural Christmas tree this year? Why not order yours from The Ecology Action Centre?

The Ecology Action Center offers native balsam fir trees that are sustainably-grown without the use of chemical fertilizers or sprays. What a wonderful way to start off this Christmas season and celebrate your love for God's creation. Contact them online at or by phone, (902) 429-2202. Last day to order is Sat. Dec. 7. 

 Gifts with Vision The United Church of Canada offers a Gifts With Vision online and print catalogue for those who are looking for an alternative way of honoring friends, family, or any life occasion or season. Support initiatives that address poverty and hunger, education, wellness, leadership, safe spaces, and more. You can send a kid to camp, build a well, provide hot meals at homeless shelters, or adopt bees – whatever suits your interest -- and your gift can help change the world without buying stuff your friends and family neither need nor want. Gifts support the Mission and Service partners in Canada, Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Latin America, and the Middle East. The 2019 edition has been published and is available online at, and a few copies of the print catalogue are available in the sanctuary.


 Things you can donate to St. Matt's

Do you have extra MUGS? -- More mugs are needed for Sunday Breakfast. If you have any to donate, please mention to Carol Smillie in the choir OR just bring them on a Sunday morning.


Tim Horton's Gift Cards – These are used by both the Breakfast Program and the church office when people in need stop by. Cards valued at $10 are preferred.


Board games, jigsaw puzzles, art supplies, DVDs/VHS and machines to show movies on – St. Matt's will be an Extreme Weather Warming Centre for Halifax this winter, and it would be wonderful to have more fun things available to keep people occupied during inclement, cold, or unpleasant weather.


In the Community

Theatre Arts Guild’s annual pantomime: The Wizard of… OZ? – Until Sat. Dec. 7. Join us for the 20th anniversary of the TAG pantomime. This show celebrates the last 20 years of this tradition, as some of our favourite past panto characters journey along a brick road to the magical, mystical Land of Oz. Will any of these characters look like our own Jolene Pattison and Jocelyn Covert? Come to the show to find out! Tickets available at

Nova Voce Men's Choir and the Halifax Boys Honour Choir, "An Evening of Seasonal Music" – Fri. Dec. 6 at 7 pm at St. Andrew’s United Church, corner of Coburg and Robie. Doors open at 6:30 pm. This year the choirs will be joined by the Sackville Community Band Brass Quintet. Tickets are $20, $10 for children aged 10 and under. Tickets are available from choristers (see John Wallace in our choir) and online at Tickets sell very fast for this concert!  Call (902) 457-0920 for information.


Jubilate Singers and Friends 31st Festival of Carols – Sun. Dec. 8 from 7-9 pm at St. Marks' Church, 5522 Russell St. Jubilate is a 70-voice choir conducted by Terry Hurrell, this year accompanied by Robert Paddock on piano; Matthew Fraser on pipe organ; Allison Roe Smith, flute; and the Jubilate rhythm combo (Nathan Beeler, lead guitar; Robert Richmond, bass guitar; Patrick Ellis, percussion). Featured guests include Rhapsody Quintet, Ardyth & Jennifer with Pam Mason, the Halifax Horn Quartet, Elizabeth Beeler and Holly Arsenault. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Proceeds support Christmas food boxes for families in need. Tickets are $15 adult, $12 students/under-waged; under 12 free, and are available from or (902) 454-0207


7th annual “Christmas on the Grand Parade” – Mon. Dec. 9 at 7 pm (repeated on Dec. 24 at 7 pm) inside St. Paul’s Anglican Church, Barrington Street. A wonderful evening of choral music, carols, and readings featuring the St. Paul’s Senior Choir, Junior Choir, organ, and the Bedford Brass Quintet. Free admission.


Administrative Stuff

Church office: (902) 423-9209,  

Pastoral care: Rev. Betsy Hogan, (902) 423-9209,

Sunday Worship: 10:30 am

Minister of Music: Wayne Rogers, (902) 429-1680,

Student Organist: Matthew Fraser

On the web:


Ushering – Click this link to open the sign-up page


EarthSpiritAction Resources for Thinking About God's Green Earth:


Meeting Schedule 2019-20

Congregational Meeting       May 3, 2020 (budget)

Session, Stewards, Board       Jan. 12, Mar. 8, Apr. 26

Worship and Music                Feb. 2


Regular Activities

Sunday Free Breakfast  – Sundays 8:30 am

Thursday Noon Bible Study – TBA

Choir Practices – Thursdays – Handbells 6:15 pm, Sanctuary choir 7:30 pm

Lunch Bunch community choir – Fridays at 12:15 pm

St. Matthew’s Book Club  – Third Tuesday

Melville Heights Service – Third Sunday at 2 pm at Melville Heights retirement lodge

Potluck Church  -- Wed. Jan. 15


Enjoy St. Matthew’s United Church weekly bulletin. Contact the office to add your email or to unsubscribe: or (902) 423-9209