St. Matthew’s United Church eBulletin June 2, 2019


  • What's coming up
  • Bluenose Marathon June 9
  • Welcome of new members June 16
  • Congregational meeting report
  • Book Club June 18
  • In the Community
  • St. Matthew's activities


What's coming up at St. Matthew's

Thu. June 4        Bible study in the sanctuary, 12 noon

Sun. June 9        Bluenose Marathon Sunday, no Sunday School

Sun. June 16      Welcome of new members

Tue. June 18       Book Club, 2 pm

Sun. July 14        Jazz Festival Service

Sat. July 20         Pride Parade, 1 pm. If you would like to join other St. Matthew's folks

   in parade-ing together as Affirming United Churches, please speak to Betsy

                              or Wayne Rogers

Sun. July 21        Pride Service


Bluenose Marathon June 9

Sunday June 9 is Bluenose Marathon Sunday. We don't really observe it at St. Matthew's, except to caution folks that it may take extra time to get to church and find parking for the 10:30 am service. Sunday school is cancelled this week.


Welcome of new members Sun. June 16

If you have been attending St. Matthew's and you would like to transfer your membership from a past congregation, please email Betsy ( and include the name and location of your former congregation (it does not have to be a United Church congregation). We will welcome new members by transfer during the June 16 service.

If you have been attending St. Matthew's as part of a new exploration of faith – either with no past congregation, or none since baptism in infancy – and you would like to talk about being baptized or reaffirming your baptism as an adult, please email Betsy to begin this conversation.

The United Church of Canada recognizes very little difference between "members" and "adherents" (those who are not official members on paper). The St. Matthew's congregation includes many adherents who are active in the life and work of our church. However, only official members can be elders or vote for a new minister. In all other ways, adherents and members are the same.

 Congregational meeting report

Our Annual Budget Meeting was held Sun. June 2 after church, with a potluck lunch. Many thanks to the Fellowship Team who made our lunch possible, and to Tim Matthews, meeting chair, and Dora Stinson, recorder.

 Board of Stewards – The congregation received and approved a budget which maintained previous years' program, staff, and property commitments with little change – moderate increases were noted to cover rises in pay for non-clergy staff, attention to the organ, and higher fuel costs. The congregation received an anonymous donation last year to enable a full assessment of our structure, and this report is expected in late June. This is the report that will give us a sense of what our building requires for full restoration, and the anonymous donation will allow us the time to make wise decisions in response. Example: the congregation agreed in principle last year with the installation of solar panels, but we must first receive this report from the structural engineers before final decisions are made.


Kirk Session of Elders – The Session now includes a Climate Change Team, who are interested in promoting and supporting individual and community actions to respond to climate change. Elaine Murray reported on behalf of this team, and asked the congregation to brainstorm ideas in table-groups and to indicate personal interest in participating in this work. As a beginning, the hope is that we can inspire and encourage one another with ways in which we're deliberately reducing our own plastic use, buying local produce, repairing rather than replacing, and depending less on fuel.


Nominations – The congregation approved with pleasure the nominations of Joan MacKinnon as membership chair (maintaining the Historic Record) and Shirley McInnes as our representative to Brunswick Street Mission. We received with pleasure the news from the Board of Stewards that Allan Mills has been appointed treasurer. The chair expressed deep appreciation for the long and exemplary service of Margaret Arklie as our treasurer, and will write to her on the congregation's behalf. The congregation unanimously affirmed our gratitude to Marg for her service, and our great pleasure at her restored health.


Construction at Maritime Centre – The Chair reported that negotiations continue with the Maritime Centre (Slate REIT) and with the city regarding the request to use our North Lawn for their crane during upcoming 20-30 weeks of construction, as well as the street/sidewalk closures involved. No final agreement for remediation has been achieved as yet. Our Task Group (Tim Matthews, Steve Toohey, Jill Rafuse, Greg Bent, Dan Campbell, Ken Moors) is seeking reasonable recompense and remediation, not only in the event of Slate's use of the North Lawn but also recognizing that the mature trees at the property line are at risk regardless of how Slate proceeds. The Task Group will continue to keep the congregation informed as negotiations continue. No start date as yet for this construction, which is inching its way through the approval process at the City.


Out of the Cold Shelter – This has been a difficult year for and with the Shelter, as the difficulty of covering all the financial duties during our treasurer's illness caused delays in reporting that were unavoidable but very frustrating. At the same time, past issues with accountability by Shelter Staff for adhering to property-use and expense-accounting rules (our own and Canada Revenue Agency's) were particularly pronounced this year. Although the Shelter operates technically as a program of the church, we have had little capacity to enforce even basic accountability for daily building-presence, quite apart from broader accountability for the health and security standards maintained in the Shelter itself as it operates. The Board has therefore written to the Shelter Board informing them that their return in the fall will be contingent on this accountability. We expect to hear from them in the near future, and will go from there. This is separate from the Emergency Weather Warming Centre, which is operated by the City, and which we expect will continue along as usual in past years when winter storms inspire the need for daytime shelter.


St. Matthew’s Book Club

St Matthews Book Club will meet on Tue. June 18 at 2 pm at 1470 Summer St. Our book this month is The Power of Kindness by Brian Goldman, host of CBC Radio’s White Coat, Black Art program. “Powerful and engaging, The Power of Kindness takes us far from the theatre of medicine and into the world at large, investigating why kindness is so vital to our existence.”  For more information contact Elaine Murray,


St. Matthew’s Activities

Sunday Free Breakfast  – Sundays 8:30 am

Thursday Noon Bible Study – Come to the Sanctuary doors at noon

Choir Practices – Sanctuary choir Thursday at 7:30 pm; Handbells ON VACATION

Lunch Bunch community choir – Fridays at noon

St. Matthew’s Book Club  – Third Tuesday

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

Potluck Church  -- Fall