Annual Parish Meeting — Updated

Vestry and Council Election Results

Sunday January 25, 2015 

9:30 a.m. in the Parish Hall

No 8:00 a.m. Service

To be in compliance with Diocesan policy and our bylaws updated in 2008, you must be a confirmed communicant in good standing to vote beginning with the 2016 Annual Meeting.
Section 3.5 “Members Entitled to Vote. All Members who are confirmed communicants in good standing not less than sixteen (16) years of age, as certified by the Rector, Vicar or Vestry and present at the meeting shall be entitled to vote on all issues that come before such meeting.”
We encourage you to watch your bulletin and newsletter for an opportunity in 2015 to become a confirmed member of this parish.

In order that our Sunday school teachers and nursery workers can attend the meeting, there will be

 No Sunday School

There will be nursery and childcare for children through 5th grade.

The morning will include:

Joint worship after the meeting

Election of Vestry and Council Delegates (see bulletin board in office hallway)

2014 in review

Presentation of the 2015 budget

Focus on ministry opportunities

Followed by…


(immediately following joint worship on January 25)

The Oren Morris Chapter of The Brotherhood of St. Andrew invites you to celebrate the Annual Parish Meeting!

Cost:  Children under three free, $5 for children ages three-12, Adults $7, or $20 per family.

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January Is Food Drive Month

FOOD_DRIVE_logoSoutheast Gwinnett Food Co-op

January is designated as one of the months for St Matthew’s to hold a food drive for the Southeast Gwinnett Food Co-op. There will be grocery bags available with the list of the most current needs attached to the bags in the entrance to the Parish Hall. In January you will either see people dispersing the bags after the services or you can pick them up in the Parish Hall or Parish Hall Vestibule. Please leave your items for the Co-op in the Parish Hall Vestibule anytime between now and the end of January. If you prefer not to shop but would like to help with the drive, you can make a check payable to St Matthew’s and indicate in the memo “SE Co-op Food Drive,” and the Outreach committee will be glad to shop for you.

Although there are many donations in December, the Co-op will start experiencing a shortage of items in January. Once again, our January food drive will make a big difference to the Co-op and to the people they serve.


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Health and Wellness — Building Resiliency

Have you ever wondered how some people can just sail through crisis after crisis and appear “all together?”  Other folks may “fall apart” at the slightest change in schedule.

Resiliency is defined as “a stable personality trait or ability which protects the individual from the negative effects of risk and adversity (Griffith, 2011).”  Resilient people take responsibility for their actions, understand and accept their strengths and weaknesses, and are goal directed and realistic. 

 For a long time, we thought that resilience was genetic – you were just “wired that way.”  Recent findings are that resilience can actually be taught and practiced.

Here are some ways to improve and build your resiliency:

  1. Make health a way of life – pay attention to your diet, exercise and sleep habits.
  2. Make goal setting a way of life – visualize your goals and make a plan of action to work towards realization of them.
  3. Make problem solving a way of life -explore different proven models for problem solving and consistently use a method that works for you.
  4. Make insight into your feelings a way of life – learn to identify feelings in yourself and express them appropriately.
  5. Make stress management a way of life – identify your stressors and call on your support system to help manage those overwhelming times.
  6. Make personal competency a way of life – make a list of your skills and believe in yourself.
  7. Make friendship a way of life – make a friend, be a friend seems too simple, but it does take effort and commitment.
  8. Make positive outlook a way of life – is the glass half empty or half full?  Do we have a 40% chance of rain or a 60% chance of sunshine?  Having an optimistic attitude certainly affects our environment and the way we see things.  A positive outlook is something we can choose!

Practicing these core elements of resiliency can help us live healthier, more fulfilling lives.  It is not about what happens to us, but what we think about those not so wonderful times.  Changing our thoughts can change our world.  God wants us to be happy, joyful, loving.  Being resilient in the face of adversity helps fulfil God’s desire for us.

What is Resilency?

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From The Rector

Mother Liz & PJFirst and foremost, I would like to offer profound thanks for the warm welcome I have received from the St. Matthew’s community.  So many of you have contributed to making my arrival go smoothly, from stocking my larder and refrigerator to a gift certificate to Bed, Bath and Beyond (greatly needed and appreciated!).  I have received cards and emails of welcome, a beautiful coffee mug, flowers, baked goods and there have been those who even offered the loan of a vehicle. My dog PJ has also felt welcomed, as he has been at work with me several times.  He was very impressed with his card of welcome and he looks forward to getting to know some of his “new friends” better.  A special thanks to Mallard Benton, who guided me through the intricacies of starting life in the diocese and who worked with my family to keep their surprise visit a secret; to John and Diane Eberhart who have worked diligently on making my new house feel warm and welcome even before I arrived; and to Bonnie Klinect, who so graciously guided me through the first days of my time at St. Matthew’s.

 Have you ever thought about how and why we worship the way we do?  Worship is one of the most important things a Christian community has to offer.  In the catechism of the church as found in the Book of Common Prayer, the duty of all Christians is to follow Christ; to come together week by week for corporate worship; and to work, pray, and give for the spread of the kingdom of God (BCP 856).  For those of you who come from or have visited other Christian traditions, you know that styles of worship can be very different. As Christopher Webber states in his book on Worship, “in some churches, worship[ consists of hearing a sermon, singing hymns, listening to prayers, and putting money in the collection plate; in others it is an outpouring of gospel hymns and speaking in tongues; in still others it is watching a priest at a distant altar.”[1] You may notice that in our Sunday worship, we incorporate some of these things but not others.  But why is that?

 Over the next several months, this column will look at the Episcopal style of worship and why we do what we do.  We will explore various aspects of worship, from the design of the building to the rationale behind the liturgy we use on Sunday.  My hope in offering this is that the more we learn about why we do what we do, the richer it will become for us on Sundays.  I pray that this will be good information, not only for those who come to the Episcopal Church from other traditions, but also for many long time Episcopalians who might need a refresher in this area.

 As we explore the design and purpose of our corporate worship together, please feel free to send me questions.  I will try and answer, either by return email or by including the explanation in one of the monthly news columns.

 It is wonderful to be with you as your new rector, and I look forward with enthusiasm to our life together, as we enter a new year!

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