St. Matthew’s Team – Hunger Walk

Registrations and donations now accepted online. On Sunday, March 15, 2015, thousands of people will come together to raise awareness and funds to help fight hunger in our community. A St. Matthew’s team will be there – and we need your support!

Last year, the St. Matthew’s Hunger Walk/Run team raised over $2,000 to benefit the Southeast Gwinnett Cooperative Ministry, our local food bank ministry. This year, with your help, we hope to double that amount with a goal of $4,000.

 Ways to participate:

Benefits of participating in the Walk/Run:

  • you raise awareness about the crisis of hunger in our community.
  • You help your neighbors in need through your registration fees and by collecting sponsorships.
  • It’s fun! Before the run/walk event you can enjoy live music, food trucks, checking out sponsor booths, or just enjoy some fellowship time with other walkers and runners.
  • You get a snazzy new t-shirt!

To join the St. Matthews team, or to sponsor the team or a team member with a donation, see Jennifer Papadatos or go to

Online registration is encouraged.





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Easter Baskets for Gwinnett Children — Outreach

Easter Baskets For Children Under Care of Gwinnett DFCS

easter_baskets_2014By popular demand the Outreach Committee will have Easter baskets available to pick up after the services beginning February 22nd to generously fill with your blessings, love and goodies.  They will include instructions, a cellophane bag, ribbon, tag & suggestions. There are always many baskets filled for younger children and teen girls so maybe this year you can consider filling a basket for a teen boy.

We almost met our goal last year to deliver 100 baskets so we have set our goal for 100 again and will distribute enough baskets with bags and tags to meet this goal. Of course we can exceed our goal if you still have a basket from last year or want to add one of your own.

Please bring the baskets you so generously fill back to the entrance to Parish Hall by Sunday March 8th for delivery.

If you want to get started earlier than the 22nd and need suggestions or you just want more information you can check the Outreach bulletin board or contact Cheryl Wheeler

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Birthday Bags for Seniors — February Outreach

SE_COOP_LOGOIn February, the Outreach committee will be collecting items for the Senior Birthday bags for the Southeast Gwinnett Cooperative Ministry. The birthday bags are for clients over the age of 65 who have a birthday during the current month. Please place your items in the Birthday bin in the Old Narthex (vestibule to the parish hall). If you have any questions, please contact Becky Olbon or Diane Eberhart.

Ideas of items that could go in Senior Birthday Bags:

  • New Fleece Blankets or throws
  • New Lap blankets/quilts
  • Blank note card sets
  • Postage stamps
  • Toiletries
  • Flash light
  • Manicure kits
  • Small bags of ground Coffee
  • Small boxes Tea bags
  • Hard candies
  • Small boxes of chocolates
  • Crosswords or Word searches- Large print
  • Nice pens
  • $10.00 gift cards
  • Kleenex tissue (individual size)
  • Playing cards
  • Chapstick
  • Lotion-Men and Women
  • Jigsaw puzzles
  • Bibles or Devotional books- Large print
  • Seasonal items

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From the Senior Warden

MallardBentonThank you to all who attended St. Matthew’s Annual Meeting.  Special thanks to: The Brotherhood of St. Andrew for setting up, breaking down and resetting the parish hall and for preparing the fish fry, retiring vestry members for serving as tellers, Bonnie Klinect for preparing agendas and ballots, Susan Carson and vestry members for registering attendees, Sally Ulrey for technical and parliamentary support, vestry and council candidates for putting themselves forward, and to our presenters, Mtr. Liz, Susan Carson, Diane Eberhart, Susan Jung, Janis Williams, Mark Allen, Mark DiGiovanni, and Chuck Marsh.


Here’s to 2015!

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A Note From the Rector

“I invite you therefore, in the name of the Church, to observance of a Holy Lent” (BCP 265)

Mother Liz & PJThese familiar words, spoken on Ash Wednesday, begins a 40 day period of penance, usually practiced by abstaining from certain things (we give up something for Lent), by almsgiving (the practice of giving to others, usually the less fortunate, either by donating money or goods, or in donating time or skills), and by spending more time in prayer or devotions.   This season, I invite the whole family to get involved, as we practice ways of connecting more intentionally to God.  You may have your own ideas of how to do this, but if you would benefit by suggestions, I have a couple of ideas:

Begin the season by coming to Ash Wednesday services.  This year, St. Matthew’s will offer services, with the imposition of ashes, at 7 a.m., 10 a.m. (during the weekly healing Eucharist), 12:15 p.m. (for those who want to come during lunch) and 7:00 p.m.

Join us on Wednesday nights for a quiet Eucharist, followed by soup and salad supper and Lenten book study.  The book we will be reading for Lent is “Following Jesus in a Culture of Fear” by Scott Bader-Sayer.  For a description, click on this link.

Even if you cannot participate in the book study on Wednesday nights, we are scheduling the supper so that those who have other Wednesday night activities at Church (i.e., choir) can join us for Eucharist and/or supper before their regular activities.  NOTE:  The Lenten book study on Following Jesus in a Culture of Fear will also occur as a Sunday forum series during Lent.

Commit more time to meditation and reflection.  Consider joining the Centering Prayer group on Tuesday at 6:00 p.m. in the sanctuary.  If your schedule does not allow for an hour commitment, consider setting aside some time for reading and meditation.  Some publications you could consider include:

  • Forward Day by Day – a small booklet, containing a scripture passage and written reflection that can be a good way to either start or end the day.  Booklets are available in the narthex or you can download the “Forward Day by Day” link.
  • 2015 Lenten Reflections, published by Episcopal Relief and Development, contains a scripture passage and reflection for each day of Lent.  The focus of the reflections calls attention to the work of ERD and how we are called to help feed, clothe and shelter those in need. Booklets are available in the narthex.
  • Bread and Wine, Readings for Lent and Easter – a wonderful book of thoughtful reflections by various authors, from Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Meister Eckhart, Soren Kierkegaard, Thomas Merton and others.  A link to more information on can be found here.
  • If you would be interested in other book recommendations for Lent, I am happy to help – send me an email!

Participate as a family to support the Southeast Gwinnett Cooperative Ministry’s Program, Give a Meal, Get a Meal.  For detailed information, check the St. Matthew’s web site or the check the bulletin board outside the parish office.

  • Consider taking your children shopping for these items, and explain that they will be giving this food to others who do not have enough to eat.  During Lent, at the beginning of the service, we will invite all children to bring forward their food donations and place them in a basket in front of the altar.  We will then say a prayer to bless these gifts.
  • If you would like ideas for involving your children in Lent, or participating in Lent as a family, check out

Commit to spending some time each day in prayer.  You can use the prayer book, or one of the reflection books mentioned above, but you can also download apps for your smart phone.   Two apps that I can recommend are:

  • The Daily Office from Mission St. Clare – offers both morning prayer and evening prayer for each day, including the scripture readings, in a format that is easy to follow – it even includes hymns!
  • Pray as You Go (PAYG) – a great tool that offers music, scripture, a reflection question and time for meditation in a concise format that you can download and listen to on your phone.  Average time is about 11 minutes.

Consider volunteering for a new ministry or group, such as Knit, Purl and Pray, or Wednesday with the Word, or Brotherhood of St. Andrew, or the Parish Workday on March 28.  For a full list of opportunities, click on this link.

I encourage you to adopt a new practice for Lent, either one you design or one of these.  It can not only enrich the time of Lent, but it can also lead to an Easter of deep joy and celebration.

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Wednesday Nights in Lent

February 25–March 25

 6:00 p.m. Holy Eucharist

 6:30 p.m. Soup/Salad/Bread Supper

Please sign up here or on the bulletin board in the hallway across from the office, by the Monday before. 

A love offering will be taken.

 7:00 p.m.

Lenten Study

Adult Choir Practice

Cherub Choir

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Vestry and Council Elections

Congratulations to our newly elected!

Vestry for 2015-2017

Mindy Barringer

Jack Denton

Ralph NeSmith

Becky Olbon

2015 Annual Council Delegates

Althea Benton

Amanda Livermont

Eric Prichard

Do you like the new format of the annual meeting? Tell us your thoughts here.

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First Fridays 2015 Schedule

First Fridays is an adult fellowship group that meets at various establishments in the Gwinnett area on the first Friday of every month at 7:00 P.M.

Please email Becky Olbon at no later than the Wednesday before so that we can make reservations. Be sure to put the dates on your calendar!

Follow this FirstFridays link to see the scheduled locations through May 2015.

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Youth Outing — Laser Tag

Our youth enjoyed some team bonding over MLK weekend, playing Laser Tag.  Several invited guests!  We love making new friends!

2015-01-18--Laser Tag 02

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