St. Matthew’s United Church eBulletin Nov. 24, 2019 Anniversary Sunday


  • What's coming up at St. Matt's
  • Anniversary Sunday – 270 years!
  • Funeral Tuesday for the late Calvin Mayo
  • Please keep in your prayers …
  • 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)

Sat. Nov. 30 at 10 am             Greening of the church, all hands welcome to deck the halls

Sun. Dec. 1    Advent I            Beginning an Advent of Hope, Peace, Love, Joy

                                                – Fair trade products available after church *

Sun. Dec. 8    Advent II           Service with AcabellA Handbells and Patricia De Meo, 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


Anniversary Sunday – 270 years!

St. Matthew's celebrated 270 years of ministry on Nov. 24. Our Anniversary speaker was Dr. Greg Hirsch, a cardiac surgeon at the QEII and senior administrator with the Nova Scotia Health Authority for perioperative/surgical services.

Dr. Hirsch was born in New Jersey, and educated at University of Pennsylvania (BA); Mount Sinai School of Medicine (MD), and surgery, cardiac surgery, and research training at Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School. Dr. Hirsch came to Halifax in 1995, and is the father of five wonderful kids.

He reconnected with his Jewish roots (dad Jewish, mom Catholic) in the early 2000s and became involved with the Jewish Community in Halifax. Recently he took on a role in establishing a Tikkun Olam Committee (Healing the World) to do some outward-facing social justice work. This led to engagement with the Muslim and Christian Communities at the times of the recent mosque and church attacks. Dr. Hirsch is keen to see the faith communities of Halifax (and the world) learn to see one another as brothers and sisters and to work together to improve our society.


Funeral Tuesday for the late Calvin Mayo

A celebration of the life of Calvin Mayo (1931-2019) will be held at St. Matthew's on Tue. Nov. 26 at 11 am. Calvin died peacefully on Nov. 18 in Halifax after several years of living at Arborstone Nursing Home. He will be remembered fondly as the white-haired gentleman who rode his bicycle to church on Sundays in years past.

Born in Burin, NL, he completed high school in 1948 and moved to Halifax, where he worked at MT&T while attending the Maritime Business College. In 1951 he enrolled at Memorial University of Newfoundland and became a member of the Royal Canadian Navy Reserves Naval Training Division. In May 1959 Calvin earned his LLB Degree from Dalhousie University and in 1962 he was admitted as a solicitor of the Supreme Court of Newfoundland.

Calvin was a gentle, kind man who embraced life to the fullest. Among other activities, he treasured swimming, cycling, music and the arts, debating politics, and socializing with his friends and family. He was a constant advocate for his home province of Newfoundland and believed education was a key to the future, always encouraging this pursuit in others.

Calvin grew up as the eighth son in a family of 12 children. He was predeceased by his parents, Alfred and Elizabeth; and his brothers, Roland, Samual, Gerald, Lohnes, Alfred, Lester and Fletcher. Calvin is lovingly remembered by his beloved sisters, Vermuda and Shirley (Eric); his brothers, Alfred (Jean) and Russel (Elizabeth); as well as four generations of nieces and nephews and a large circle of friends. The family would like to give special thanks to Calvin's dearest friend, Heather.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Souls Harbour Rescue Mission or St. Matthew's Outreach Program.


Please keep in your prayers

  • The family of Glennis Farquhar, a friend of St. Matthew’s and wife of Rev. Alec Farquhar, who served our congregation as minister from 1959-1964. Funeral service will be held at St. Matthew’s on Sat. Dec. 7.
  • The family of Calvin Mayo, whose funeral is being held at St. Matthew's on Nov. 26


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,

 Christmas Trees from Ecology Action CentreChristmas is on its way and St. Matthew’s Earth Spirit Action team is mobilizing to help make it even more eco-friendly this year. In the coming weeks this bulletin will include helpful tips and suggestions for the Christmas season. Here’s one to start us off. Are 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 $5 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

Musical Kaleidoscope Fundraiser for Nigerian flautist Ogo-Oluwa Sobukola – Sun. Dec. 1 at 7 pm, Victorian Lounge, Sherriff Hall, Dalhousie University. Sponsored by the Dalhousie Women's Division, with admission by freewill donation. This exceptional musician has been studying at Dalhousie University for three years and is in dire need of financial support. He has been helping to pay his tuition through concerts and special fundraising activities. He will be joined in performance by Patricia Creighton, Symphony NS principal flautist; Gabe Azzie, SNS principal bassoonist; Mark Lee, SNS assistant concertmaster; and Danbe Ko, collaborative pianist.

 Royal Canadian College of Organists CarolFest – Mon. Dec. 2 at 7:30 pm, Cathedral Church of All Saints (musical preludes begin at 7 pm). Join the RCCO Halifax Centre for its annual CarolFest -- a service of lessons and carols that features sacred poetry and readings, choral anthems, and joyous congregational carols telling the story of the Nativity.

Featured guests are Blue Engine Strong Quartet, Rev. Betsy Hogan (reader), soloists, a massed choir, and local organists. A freewill offering will be received. String quartet and organ preludes begin at 7 pm. 

If you would like to sing, come to the Cathedral on Sat. Nov. 30 from 1-3 pm for a massed choir rehearsal (no RSVP, sign-up or audition required – just show up.) Music will be provided. For more information, contact Matthew Fraser,

 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; and the Jubilate rhythm combo (Nathan Beeler, lead guitar; Robert Richmond, bass guitar; Patrick Ellis, percussion). Featured guests include Rhapsody Quintet, Ardyth & Jennifer, the Halifax Horn Quartet and Elizabeth Beeler, with Holly Arsenault. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Proceeds support Christmas food boxes for families in need. St. Tickets are $15 adult, $12 students/under-waged, 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                TBA


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  -- TBA


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