eBulletin - Sunday, Jan. 21, 2018


  • Calendar and Events
  • Potluck Church Wednesday
  • Refugee Family update
  • Anonymous Couple campaign update
  • Please keep in your prayers …
  • Cooking on site Feb. 1 for the Shelter
  • United Church Observer 2018
  • Calendars, envelopes available
  • Donate Loblaw grocery cards to St. Matthew’s
  • Minute for St. Matthew’s Mission: Ushering and Fellowship
  • In the Community

St. Matthew’s Calendar and Events

  • Wed. Jan. 24 – 5:30 pm, Potluck Church in the sanctuary
  • Thu. Jan. 25 – 6 pm, Cooking for the Out of the Cold Shelter, church kitchen
  • Sun. Jan. 28 – 10:30 am, worship service
  • Thursdays – 12 noon, Bible study in the parlour

Potluck Church Wednesday – Postponed from last week

Join others in the congregation for a Potluck Church Supper in the sanctuary. Bring something to share, either bought or home-made, and arrive at 5:30 pm for this informal meal and fellowship time. The guest speaker is Marjorie Lewis of the St. Matthew’s choir; Marjorie is a minister in the United Church of Jamaica and Cayman Islands.

Refugee Family Update

Paul Bowlby has received a brief letter from our Syrian friends Masan and Saeed, who are continuing to settle into life in Halifax since being sponsored as refugees by St. Matthew’s, St. David’s, Fort Massey, and friends:

“We are fine and we try to adapt our new life.

Judy doing well at her school she is at grade 10 in Citadel high.Sedra and Besher are very happy at their school, Saint Mary’s elementary, and they get their report and it was very good.

Maysan has been going to ISANS everyday and she will help now at Saint Mary’s school in the lunch time every Monday and Wednesday. She got her R driving licence, sohave I.

I have applied to Saint Mary’s university for language classes since 3 months and now they accepted me. I started at the university yesterday so I cannot attend in ISANS any more because my new schedule at the University from 9.00am until 3.30pm.

At the morning all of us go to school at 8.45am.On Wednesday Maysan and I have a conversation class in the Library for 2 hours. Every Thursday Maysan takes the children after the school to the Library where there are some activities for them and I meet Ray for one hour for more conversation practice. On Friday after my class I used to go the mosque.

On Saturday and Sunday we take Sedra and Besher to the soccer club, and we go sometimes shopping either on weekends or after the classes.

All of my family is very grateful and all of us want to say thank you so much for everyone and for everything. Special thank for :Susan& Mike, Shelley& Jim, Claudia, Ray& Judy, Leonard, Barbara, Carol, Paul, Janet, Tim and please forgive me because I don’t remember all names.

Best wishes, Maysan & Saeed

Anonymous Couple campaign update

Greg Bent, Chair of the Board of Stewards, advises that the 2017 Anonymous Couple campaign was successful. The Anonymous Couple pledged to match new donations up to $15,000, and we achieved that goal as 2017 drew to a close. The congregation was commended for this generosity, particularly after responding so positively to the appeal to help sponsor the Explosion Concert in December—another venture that exceeded the objective. Thanks to all who have contributed.

Please keep in your prayers …

  • Barbara Bickle, recovering from elective surgery
  • The family of the late Stu Clarke, who died at home on the weekend. His lengthy career in Maritime Conference ministry included chaplaincies, pastoral care, church ministry, and mentorship. He leaves many friends and a loving family.

Cooking on site Feb. 1 for Out of the Cold Shelter

St. Matthew’s is providing a hot meal for the Out of the Cold Shelter on Thursdays. We are alternating cooking on site (Thursday from 6-7 pm) and providing casseroles cooked at home from provided recipes. The next date for cooking on site is Thu. Feb. 1.

  • Cooking in –Meet in the church kitchen at 6 pm to prepare the hot supper, which we will leave it baking/warming in the kitchen for Shelter volunteers to serve.
  • Make at home – On the alternate Thursdays (Jan. 25, Feb. 8 & 22, Mar. 8 & 22), Jean Hattie is coordinating volunteers to make an assigned casserole (recipe provided) at home and bring it to the church.

Calendars, Offering envelopes

  • Canadian church calendars ($5) are available in the office or from Marg Arklie in the choir.
  • 2018 Offering Envelopes are available at the church entrance for those who use them.
  • If you would like to arrange for Pre-Authorized Remittance (PAR)— weekly donations received directly from your bank (the blue cards many place in the offering plate)—or for weekly envelopes, please contact the church office, stmatts@ns.sympatico.ca or 902-423-9209.

United Church Observer 2018

The Observer keeps members and friends of the United Church of Canada aware of activities in the church regionally, nationally, and globally. It is published 11 times a year and delivered to your home or office. It consistently wins awards for the quality of the writing, layout, and photography. In order to control costs and reduce irritation, St. Matthew’s asks everyone to complete the following form and return it to the church office.

  • I wish to begin or continue a subscription
  • I wish to cancel my current subscription.


If you are able, we ask you to enclose a contribution of $25 to cover your subscription. Cheques should be made payable to St. Matthew’s United Church and marked “Observer”.

Donate Loblaw grocery cards to St. Matt’s

You will have heard on the news that Loblaws (Atlantic Superstore) is making $25 grocery cards available as reparation for alleged complicity in price-fixing of certain common brands of bread.

Canadians who purchased the listed brands of bread between 2002–2015 can register online to receive a $25 grocery card. This does not preclude participation in a class-action lawsuit, though any award would be decreased by $25. It does require providing an accurate name, address, date-of-birth, and email address, but Loblaws asserts that these will not be reused or resold.

Registration opened last week. Some of us registered immediately, and it was a very quick and straightforward process. Our gift cards will be mailed in 6-12 weeks.

If you are planning to apply for this gift card, you are invited to donate the card to St. Matthew’s. These cards will buy food for Out of the Cold Emergency Shelter and our Sunday Breakfast, and can also be given directly to those who come to the church in urgent need of food. This will make a HUGE difference in the number of people that we’re able to help, particularly during this winter season. All our food purchases for emergency and benevolent programs happens via our established relationship with the Barrington Street Superstore. If we can anticipate receiving these donated cards, we can also better meet the needs.

So if you purchased one of these common brands of bread noted, please consider applying for a card. Here is the link: https://www.loblawcard.ca/

When it arrives, bring it to church, bring it to the church office any weekday morning. Tell your friends. Challenge your co-workers. Help us to accumulate as many grocery cards as we can to feed our neighbors most in need.

Minute for St. Matthew’s Mission: Fellowship and ushering

Have you ever wondered how the ushers and Fellowship time hosts are arranged for each week?

For quite a while these duties have mostly rotated around the members of various committees. But before that, they were actually committees themselves. The Ushers, who rotated that duty, greeted at the door on Sunday mornings. And The United Church Women, who looked after Fellowship time each week, presided over the Church Kitchen with firmness of purpose and unwavering gentility.

But times have changed. Many of us get to church as often as we can, and for many that’s not week-after-week-after-week. When we’re here, what we really want is just to be here—to be able to focus on the service, taking this one sacred hour in the midst of a busy week.

Those on whom ushering and Fellowship hosting falls (quite regularly, at present) are also yearning for that chance to just focus on the service now and then—and not always to have an extra duty.

This past fall we began the process of involving anyone who is physically able in the duties of ushering and hosting Fellowship time. With a rotation that includes everyone, none of us would have to do these things very often. It would just be a few times a year. And that would make quite a bit of difference for everyone.

In the next few weeks, we’ll be talking more about this: about shifting to an everyone-rotation for these two weekly duties. It’s a good way to share the very basic tasks that make a service happen—“doing our bit”, as it were.

In the Community

Seven Deadly Sins – Gluttony: Food for Thought – Wed. Jan. 24 at 7 pm, Paul O’Regan Hall, Halifax Central Library. A panel of experts will examine the historical notion of the sin of Gluttony and how it is reflected in current approaches to the complexities of obesity. Panelists include Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s Chief Public Health Officer; Dr. David Deane, Atlantic School of Theology; Dr. Sara Kirk, Health and Human Performance, Dalhousie; and Dr. Michael Vallis, Dalhousie/QEII Health Sciences. Free admission or watch online at www.ccepa.ca The Seven Deadly Sins isa seven-part series exploring the personaland collective consequences of our thoughts and actions as we continue to grapple with age-old temptations.

Bereavement Support – Bereavement counselling is offered every Saturday from 10–11:30 a.m. at the temporary offices of Halifax Hospice, 1471 Carlton St, near the Just Us! Coffee location on Spring Garden Road. Anyone is welcome on a drop-in basis; there is no need to sign up. Sessions are peer-led, with counsellors present to help guide discussion as the participants desire. If you are interested in a bereavement support group but cannot attend on Saturday mornings, call the Hospice Society of Greater Halifax at 902-446-0929.

St. Matthew’s Activities


  • Sunday Free Breakfast – Sundays 8 am (If you are interested in joining a Breakfast Team, please email Carol Smillie at carolsmillie@hfx.eastlink.ca)
  • Caritas Service – Second Sunday at 2 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
  • Choirs Practice on Thursdays – Handbells at 6:15 pm, Church Choir 7:30 pm
  • Daytime Bible Study – Thursdays at noon, church parlour
  • St. Matthew’s Book Club – Second Tuesday in the afternoon, private homes
  • Lunch Bunch Choir – Fridays at noon
  • Potluck Church – Wed. Jan. 17, 2018; Thu. Mar 29, 2018 (Seder)


All meetings are held after the Sunday service. Bring a lunch! Clerk of Session Dr. Dora Stinson encourages everyone involved in these quarterly meetings to note the dates in their calendars.

Kirk Session/Stewards/Official Board Mar. 18, June 3

Executive of Official Board Feb. 18, Apr. 22, May 20

Worship and Music Committee TBA

Congregational Meeting (budget) June 10

Administrative Stuff

Church office: stmatts@ns.sympatico.ca or (902) 423-9209

Pastoral care: Rev. Betsy Hogan, (902) 423-9209, stmatts.betsy@ns.sympatico.ca

Sunday Worship: 10:30 am

Minister of Music: Wayne Rogers, (902) 429-1680, humber@ns.sympatico.ca

On the web: www.stmatts.ns.ca

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