St. Matthew’s United Church eBulletin Dec 15, 2019   Advent III: Anticipation


  • What's coming up at St. Matt's
  • Lunch Bunch Open Rehearsal Friday at 12:30 pm
  • Christmas Breakfast Dec. 22: How you can help
  • Other ways to share Christmas (Calendars, gift ideas …)
  • Bethlehem@Barrington choir rehearsals
  • Keep in your prayers …
  • Thanks to …
  • Donating to St. Matthew's before Dec. 31
  • Volunteer Fellowship Time hosts needed
  • Things you can donate to St. Matt's
  • EarthSpiritAction Christmas and New Year ideas for Food and Water
  • Christmas Poinsettias


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

Fri. Dec. 20                              Lunch Bunch open rehearsal, Halifax Library, 12:30 pm *

Sun. Dec. 22  Advent IV         – Christmas Breakfast 8 am

-- Sunday School Christmas Service

                                                -- Collection of Advent Food Boxes for Feed Nova Scotia

                                                -- Choir rehearsal for Bethelehem@Barrington, after church *

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

                                                Candlelight Communion, 10 pm

Christmas Day                        Christmas morning Carol Service, 10:30 am



Lunch Bunch Open Rehearsal Friday at 12:30 pm

All are invited to Paul O'Regan Hall in the Halifax Central Public Library on Fri. Dec. 20 at 12:30 pm for an open rehearsal with the Lunch Bunch community choir, founded and directed by Wayne Rogers. The choir will share their love of singing in this festive public space. No admission fee, just come and enjoy the music.


Christmas Breakfast Dec. 22 – How you can help

Gifts of clothing – Each year our Sunday breakfast teams accept gifts from the congregation to give to the many guests who attend the special Christmas Breakfast on Dec. 22. If you shop for a Christmas gift for a guest, clothing is most welcome (socks, underwear, warm sweaters, coats, mitts, boots). Just make your own gift tag and identify who (m/f) the gift is for and indicate the size.

            Delivery deadline: Friday Dec. 20, church office closes at 1 pm


Coffee gift cards – In addition – or as an alternative – 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.

            Delivery deadline: Sat. Dec. 21 between 1-3 pm, during the set-up.

OR gift cards can be left at the church office during the week (use the mail slot in Dora's office door if necessary). Please don't leave these cards "unattended" as they have cash value.


Christmas Cookies -- Donations of homemade cookies are also requested to give to guests at the special Christmas breakfast. If you can't bring them to the church on Saturday, pick-up can be arranged. Contact Michelle Jensen,

            Delivery deadline: Sat. Dec. 21 between 1-3 pm during set-up


Other ways to share Christmas

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 if you would like the information emailed to you.


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.


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


Bethlehem@Barrington Choir Rehearsals

All are invited to join the ad hoc whoever-turns-up gang of singers who together provide the tunes to greet the Christ Child on Christmas Eve! The B@B songs are all iconic and fabulous Top 40 hits and it’s an uplifting way to begin your Christmas Eve celebrations. Next run-through: Sun. Dec. 22 at noon in the sanctuary.


Keep in your prayers …

  • Ted MacNeil and Dora McGrath and their family, mourning the death of Ted’s brother, Melvin, who shared their family home.
  • Students writing exams and all who are travelling this Christmas season
  • All for whom Christmas is difficult or sad, and especially those for whom this is a first Christmas without someone beloved


Thanks to …

  • Wayne Rogers, the St. Matthew's Choir, and members of the Maritime Brass Quintet for their wonderful music on Sunday. Thanks also to Matthew Fraser, organ/piano, and percussionists Trevor Brandenburg and Craig Reiner
  • AcabellA Handbell Choir and harpist Patricia De Méo for sharing their music at Keshen Goodman Public Library on Sunday afternoon, a popular annual presentation for the community
  • Members of St. Matthew's Choir and friends, who have paid a couple of visits Parkland at the Lakes in Dartmouth, to sing hymns and carols with residents. Karen Pearce, a member of our congregation who lives at Lewis Hall, has been our host.


Donating to St. Matthew's: Dec. 31 approaches

As Christmas and year-end approaches, all are encouraged to think about their annual giving to St. Matthew's. Your contributions are very important – this is how we pay the staff, keep the lights and heat on, run the Sunday breakfast program, offer worship services every week, support community groups like Alcoholics Anonymous and the circus.

            Please ensure you have made any donations by Tue. Dec. 31 to qualify for a tax receipt for 2019.  Supporters who are on PAR may wish to consider a special offering at Christmas to support the ministry at St. Matt's.


Fellowship Time hosts needed

Can you volunteer to host a Fellowship Time?  This important work to ensure a pleasant time of refreshment and conversation after worship services is coordinated by volunteers. Allow an extra half-hour before church for set-up, and after church for clean-up, and the work is done. More hands are needed! Contact Linda Campbell <> if you can take a turn.


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.


EarthSpiritAction Christmas and New Year Ideas:  FOOD AND WATER


Ÿ  Try Meatless Mondays and eat beans, not beef. If every Canadian swapped beans for beef ONCE A WEEK for a year it would keep 7.53 million metric tons of C02 out of the atmosphere.

Ÿ  Try Fish on Fridays (or any day): we have abundant local sources.

Ÿ  Why not try to have a Vegan night, make a casserole or try your hand at some vegan treats? Check out

Ÿ  Check out the new jargon, "flexitarian". Try being a flexitarian, if vegetarian
is too radical a change!

Ÿ  Want fresh greens in the winter months? Sprouts of all types can be grown at home year-round. Growing instructions are are available online.

Ÿ  Is there a local vegetable or meat market near you? The turkey may be more expensive, but can you reduce the size you need or cut some non-essentials to make it more affordable?

Ÿ  If you are a local food buyer, introduce a friend by giving a gift certificate or a product from your favourite local shop.

Ÿ  Check the local sections at Sobeys or Superstore. Be aware of where your food comes from.

Ÿ  Express your concern over packaging where possible as you shop for food.
Ÿ  Eating out? Check for restaurants that support NS farmers especially farmers trying eco-sustainable farming.

Ÿ  Avoid fast food if at all possible: most requires high energy to produce. If you do use fast food, look for changes in the menu. Some are trying to offer alternatives to the usual fare. It's worth researching where the meat comes from. How much does that hamburger REALLY cost?

Ÿ  If your dietary health allows for it consider reducing your intake to TWO meals a day. Check out David Suzuki's Queen of Green for more info.



We take our seemingly endless supply of fresh water for granted, but it is far too

precious and critical a resource for us to continue to do so. Here are some tips for Saving Water in our own homes:

Ÿ  Don't run the dishwasher until it's full, or the washer till you have a full load.

Ÿ  Use dishpans when doing dishes by hand.

Ÿ  Don't draw drinking water directly from tap: fill a container to keep in the fridge.

Ÿ  Don't leave the water running when you brush your teeth or are washing your

hands or face.

Ÿ  Take shorter showers, install low-flow shower heads.

Ÿ  Shut off all fixtures tightly, repair leaky faucets.

Ÿ  Consider a "WATER HOLIDAY" and have a bathless or shaveless day. In 1949 New York City had such a severe drought, rationing was threatened, swimming pools left empty, and stiff fines suggested for water wasters. With our current climate crisis we may soon have to look to such measures again.

Let's all do what we can today.


Christmas Flowers 2019

Thanks to all who purchased Christmas poinsettias, and to Shirley McInnes and Dora McGrath for coordinating this important initiative. Larger plants have been used to decorate the church; smaller plants were distributed to shut-ins and members/friends of the congregation who this Christmas are sadly remembering loved ones who are no longer with us.


In recognition of …

Betsy Hogan, Wayne Rogers, Dora McGrath, Wayne Lynch, and Matthew Fraser, with thanks from M&P Committee and the whole congregation


In loving memory of ….

Parents, B.J. & Pearl Abbott, by Carl Abbott

Dr. Karen Mann, by Carl Abbott

Douglas & Emma Arklie, and Joan Arklie, by Margaret Arklie

Jean Gregory, Phyllis Mitchell, & other deceased choir members, by Molly Austen

Mother, Alberta, by Deborah Baker

Sister, Becky, by Deborah Baker
Sister, Joanna, by Deborah Baker

Dr. Wilfred & Marjorie Bent and Mrs. Teresa Luck, by Greg and Catherine Bent

Parents, Douglas & Kathleen Avison, and husband, Fred, by Anne Black

Parents, John and Alice Bowlby and Kathryn and Thomas Dalton, by Paul Bowlby and Anne Marie Dalton

Father, William Sidney, by Linda Campbell

Parents, Gladys & Marshall Fraser, by Donna Fraser

Bob Hattie, by his sisters Joan MacKinnon, Jean Hattie and Judy Cowan

Rudd and Betty Hattie, by their daughters, Joan MacKinnon, Jean Hattie and Judy Cowan

James A. A. MacKinnon, a loving husband and father, by Joan and Heather

Parents, Knud & Birgit Jensen, and grandparents, David & Alice Henn and Robert, Margaret &
Laura Love
, by Michelle and Jan Jensen

Parents, Robert & Mabel Kent, and Reginald & Dorothy MacKay, by Gordon and Sue Kent

Carole Saunders, and Giles & Rosalie Jay by Saunders Jay and families

Mother, Aileen Metherall, by Sandra McCulloch

Brother Melvin, by Ted MacNeil and Dora McGrath

Robert A. Houlihan, by Dora McGrath and Ted MacNeil

Sandy Doucette & Susan Millard, by Dora McGrath and Ted MacNeil

Donald & Betty McInnes and Stewart McInnes, by Shirley, Sarah & Connie

Parents, Bob & Thelma Bowness, by Laureen Paget and Laurie Bowness

Helga Mills, by husband Bob and daughter Ingrid

  1. C. F. Moors & Marjorie Moors, love always from son, Ken

Rev. Bill "Fleet" Matthews, by the Moors family

Mrs. Florence Caddell, by the Moors family

Robert M. "Bob" & Vera Murray, by the Moors family

Brother Robert M. Murray, by the Moors family

Our parents, Willard & Margaret Nicholson, and brother, Donald, by Carolyn and Elizabeth Nicholson

Jean Morgan, by Carolyn and Elizabeth Nicholson

Jean & Doug Hemeon and Isabel & Chester Rafuse, by Jill Rafuse

Bill & Irene Partridge and Bill Partridge Jr., parents and brother of Carol Smillie

Mentor, Helga Mills, by Dora Stinson

Bill MacLennan, by Dora Stinson

Howard Wallace, by son John Wallace and family

Jean Morgan, by Brenda Wallace and family

Rev. David Morgan, by sister Brenda Wallace and family

Betty & Norman Gregory, by niece Brenda Wallace and family

Nancy & Carl Bowers and Dorothy & Irwin Morgan, by granddaughter Brenda Wallace and family

Helen Bowers & Walter (Bussie) Bowers, by grandniece Brenda Wallace and family

Frank & Laura Wellard, by Hilary Wellard

Jim Grant, by Janice Worthen

Hazel & Milton Worthen, by Janice Worthen

Rev. D.M., Jean, and David Grant, by Janice Worthen



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


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