Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018 -- Advent 1


  • Dec. 9: White Gift Sunday ...The Christmas Cookie Challenge ... Zatoun sale
  • Donate on Sun. Dec. 9 for Nigerian music student if you can't go to the concert
  • Christmas Tea and Carol Sing for seniors Wed. Dec. 12
  • Sharing the Christmas Spirit at St. Matthew's

- Poinsettias on sale for $20

- White Gifts for Sunday Breakfast Dec. 9

- Bake Cookies for Christmas Breakfast

- Advent Food Box for Feed Nova Scotia

- Gifts with Vision

  • Thanks to ...
  • Congratulations to ...
  • St. Matthew's Book Club Dec. 18
  • How you can help the Out of the Cold Shelter
  • In the Community
  • St. Matthew's activities

December Calendar

Thu. Dec. 6       Service of Remembrance & Action Against Violence Against Women, 12 noon

Sun. Dec. 9        Advent 2, White Gift Sunday, 10:30 am

  -  The Best Christmas Cookie challenge, after church

Tue. Dec. 11       Fundraising concert for Ogo-Oluwa Emmanuel Sobukola, 7 pm

Wed. Dec. 12     Seniors' Christmas Tea and Carol Sing at Summer Gardens, 1 pm

Sun. Dec. 16      Advent 3, Music Service led by Choir and AcabellA Handbells, 10:30 am

Tue. Dec. 18       St. Matthew's Book Club, 2 pm, Summer Gardens

Fri. Dec. 21         Deadline to bring White Gifts for Sunday breakfast

Sun. Dec. 23      Christmas Breakfast, 7:30 am 

 - Advent 4, Sunday School interpretation of the nativity, 10:30 am

Christmas Eve               Bethlehem@Barrington Live Nativity Service, 6:30 pm

                         - Christmas Eve Candlelight Service, 10 pm

Christmas Day               Christmas Carol Service, 10:30 am

Dec. 9 – White Gift Sunday ... The Christmas Cookie Challenge ... and Zatoun sale

White Gift Sunday – During the service we will offer and present gifts for the guests of the Sunday Breakfast program. Pick up a White Gift Tag at the back of the sanctuary or make your own – just identify who the gift is for (man or woman) and indicate the size. Gifts can be brought to church for presentation as a White Gift on Sun. Dec. 9 or left at the church by Fri. Dec. 21 so they can be given out on Dec. 23. Ideas: Warm clothing, underwear, socks, hats and gloves, sweatpants, sweaters, bus tickets, Tim Horton's gift cards.

Christmas Cookie Challenge – After church there will be a fun-filled baking challenge with "proceeds" – i.e., a lot of Christmas cookies – being donated to the Out of the Cold Shelter. Last year's chocolate chip contest was won by Jean Hattie, baker extraordinaire, who along with Craig Reiner has been named one of the official judges for this year's competition, but the wares will be available for audience sampling too. Categories are appearance and taste. Thanks to Gordon and Elaine Murray for organizing this.

Zatoun products -- Also on Dec. 9 during coffee time, there will be a sale of Zatoun products, olive oil ($18), za ‘atar spice blend ($5) and soap ($4). These make wonderful gifts for others or for yourself. Since 2004, Zatoun has offered fair trade olive oil from Palestine to connect people in North America to the history, culture and challenges of the Palestinian people and the land of Palestine. It creates awareness while supporting the livelihoods of Palestinian farmers and artisans. Janet Copeland will be coordinating this sale.

Contribute to fundraising for Nigerian student this Sunday

On Tuesday, Dec. 11 at 7 pm St. Matthew's will be the venue for a fundraising recital by a young flute student from Nigeria. Ogo-Oluwa Emmanuel Sobukola, 23, attends Dalhousie University where he studies with Symphony Nova Scotia flutist Patricia Creighton. His financial position is precarious, so St. Matthew's is offering him a recital venue with a freewill offering to help him raise money for basic expenses like tuition, housing, and food.

Featured artists are Ogo-Oluwa Sobukola, flute; Mark Lee, Assistant Concertmaster, Symphony Nova Scotia; Danbee Ko, collaborative pianist, and friends.

Come and support this dedicated, talented, and deserving young musician. But if you can't attend, Jill Rafuse will accept donations on Sunday. Dec. 9 from the congregation and ensure that they get to Ogo-Oluwa.

Christmas Tea and Carol Sing for seniors Wed. Dec. 12

Seniors from the congregation are invited to Summer Gardens, 1470 Summer St., for a Christmas Tea and Carol Sing organized by the Pastoral Care Committee. Sandwiches, treats, coffee and tea will be provided. If you need transportation, contact Jill Rafuse (902) 492-4523.

Sharing the Christmas Spirit at St. Matthew’s


Remember or honour your loved ones at Christmas by purchasing ($20) poinsettias at the church. Some plants will be used to decorate the sanctuary, and smaller plants will be taken to seniors and shut-ins from the congregation. Shirley McInnes, (902) 423-4320, will be at church on Sunday to take your order. A memorial bulletin will appear later in December.

White Gifts for Sunday Breakfast   Shop for a Christmas gift for a guest of the Sunday Breakfast program. Pick up a White Gift Tag at the back of the sanctuary or make your own – just identify who the gift is for (man or woman) and indicate the size. Gifts can be brought to church for presentation as a White Gift on Sun. Dec. 9 or left at the church by Fri. Dec. 21 so they can be given out on Dec. 23. 

Ideas: Warm clothing, underwear, socks, hats and gloves, sweatpants, sweaters, bus tickets, Tim Horton's gift cards   

Bake Cookies for Christmas Breakfast Dec. 23  Donations of homemade cookies are requested to give to our breakfast guests at the special Christmas breakfast on Dec. 23. Cookies can be dropped off at the church hall on Sat. Dec. 22 between 1-3 pm, during set-up. Pick-up can be arranged as necessary. 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. You can bring your box to church on Dec. 23 and we will deliver them to Feed Nova Scotia for distribution to local families.

Gifts with Vision   Each fall the United Church of Canada produces a giving catalogue with ideas of gifts to give a loved one that benefits others. Send a kid to camp, build a well, provide hot meals at homeless shelters, or adopt bees – whatever suits your interest – and while your gift can help change the world, you solve your gift-giving dilemma. Gifts support Mission and Service partners in Canada, Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Latin America, and the Middle East. Copies of the catalogue are available in the sanctuary, but it is also online at

 Thanks to ...

  • Wayne Rogers, for coordinating the Come to the Stable display of nativity scenes last week.
  • Members of the Worship and Music Committee and others who helped with the greening of the sanctuary last weekend


Congratulations to ...

  • Matthew Fraser, who co-organized the 2018 Carol Service of the Royal Canadian College of Organists on Dec. 3, accompanied many hymns and an anthem, and then played the postlude. Wayne Rogers, members of our choir, and Rev. Betsy Hogan also participated in the festive service that marks the beginning of Advent.

 St. Matthews’ Book Club
The Book Club meets on Tue., Dec. 18 at 2 pm in the community room, 1470 Summer Street. Our book is The Cat’s Table by Michael Ondaatje, the coming-of-age story of an 11-year-old boy who takes a 21-day sea journey in the 1950s.  For more information contact Elaine Murray ( or Janet Copeland (902-445-5906,

How you can help the Out of the Cold Shelter

The Out of the Cold Shelter is open nightly in the Sunday school area of St. Matthew's. The Shelter offers 15 beds for those who need a place to stay, and proviodes hot meals, sandwiches, and some necessities to guests and others who drop by.

Here's how you can help

Financial Support to St. Matthew's – St. Matthew`s provides space, heat, lights, washroom facilities, etc. for guests. Your donations help cover the operating costs that allow the shelter to stay open all winter long.

Sandwiches – Members of our congregation make sandwiches every Thursday for the Shelter. Jean Hattie, who coordinates the schedule, is available after church on Sundays to provide more information. Please consider whether you can assist with this initiative. Information about casseroles and other ways to support the Shelter will be forthcoming.

Requested items – OTCS lists current requirements on its website, and on its Facebook page. Donations can be dropped off on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at the lower level of the church between 8:30 am and 5 pm. OTCS is a peanut-free zone and cannot accept donations of mouthwash, aftershave, or hand sanitizer.

            This week OTCS is asking for underwear (especially men's); t-shirts and sweaters (esp. men's sizes M and XL, women's size L); winter jackets (men's); pants and jeans (all sizes) and winter boots for men and women; waterproof gloves; women's hygiene products; toothbrushes, razors, and shaving cream; lip chap; hand and foot warmer packs; reusable bags and backpacks.  Guests also need bus tickets; $5-$10 gift cards for fast food restaurants; coffee, decaf and regular; juice boxes; granola bars.

In the Community

Contemporary Art Society’s Christmas Show and Sale – Thu. Nov. 29 to Sat. Dec. 15, at the far end of the Food Court, First Floor, at Scotia Square Mall, Barrington at Duke Street. Pick up that special Christmas gift between 9:30 am and 6 pm any day except Sunday. For information call (902) 457-0920. 

Nova Voce: An Evening of Seasonal Music – Fri. Dec. 7 at 7 pm, St. Andrew's United Church, Coburg/Robie. With the Halifax Boys Honour Choir and Bedford Brass Quintet. Tickets $10-$20, available at

Jubilate Singers 30th annual Festival of Carols – Sun. Dec. 9 at 7 pm, St. Marks' Anglican Church, 5522 Russell Street. The 80-voice choir is conducted by Terry Hurrell, and accompanied by Louise Grinstead, piano; Matthew Fraser, organ; and the Jubilate Rhythm combo. Special guests are Rhapsody Quintet and Ardyth and Jennifer. Tickets available from choir members or the church office. For more information see "Jubilate Singers and Friends" on Facebook.

Christmas on the Grand Parade – Mon. Dec. 10 at 7 pm at St. Paul's Anglican Church, 1749 Argyle St. A free evening of choral music, singing and readings with one of Halifax’s most historic buildings as a backdrop. Featuring the St. Paul’s Senior Choir and Junior Choir, as well as the Bedford Brass Quintet. Storm date Dec. 11.

Bereavement Support Contact the Hospice Society of Greater Halifax at 902-446-0929.

St. Matthew’s Activities


Sunday Free Breakfast  – Sundays 8:30 am (If you are interested in joining a Breakfast Team, please email Carol Smillie at

Thursday Noon Bible Study in the Parlour (enter by glass doors). This fall we are studying the gospel of Matthew.

Choir Practices – AcabellA handbells Thursday 6:15 pm; Sanctuary choir Thursday 7:30 pm

Lunch Bunch community choir – Fridays at noon

St. Matthew’s Book Club  Dec. 18

Potluck Church  Jan. 23, Mar. 5, Apr. 16 (Seder)


Caritas Service – Second Sunday at 2:30 pm for Victoria Hall Residence for Senior Women, now at the Caritas Building, Mount St. Vincent

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


Congregational Meeting      May 26

Session, Stewards, Board     Jan. 20, May 12

Executive                                 Dec. 16, Feb. 24, Mar. 24, Apr. 28

Worship and Music               Jan. 13


Administrative Stuff

Church office: or  (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:


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