Vacation Bible School July 10-14

VBS – Hero Central — Discover Your Strength In God

 

VBS Camper Registration Online can be found here.    If you’d prefer, you can pick up registration forms in the Narthex or in the church office — just drop your completed form into the VBS box!

VBS 2017 will be held July 10-14, from 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.  
All children ages 4-10 (rising Pre-K through rising 5th grade) are invited to attend.
Cost is $15 per child until June 15, then the price becomes $20 per child.  (Payment is due on the first day of camp, or pay by check at the time of registration).
 VBS is a nut-free environment!

 

SPECIAL NEEDS VBS

Rising Pre-K through Rising 5th Grade (ages 4-10)
Tuesday & Thursday, July 11 & 13, 2017 — 9:30 a.m. – 12:00 noon

COST:$10/child before June 15; $15/child after June 15

For the second year in a row, we are please to announce a Special Needs Vacation Bible School, for part of the week during VBS.  It will happen concurrently with the VBS described above, but in a different space and with an abbreviated time and modified schedule. If you have experience with children on the Autism Spectrum or with physical handicaps and would like to help, please contact Amanda Livermont at 678-491-7457 or  alivermont81@gmail.com.

Special Needs Camper Registration can be found here.

 

Many volunteers are needed to make VBS happen for 80-100 children!  Helping with VBS is a fun way to spread God’s love, bless others and make new friends!  Youth, please contact Sally Ulrey at stmattsyouth@bellsouth.net and adults, please contact Kira Coats at kiracoats@gmail.com.  If you would like to work with the Special Needs group on Tuesday and Thursday, please contact Amanda Livermont at alivermont81@gmail.com, or sign up to volunteer here.

 



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Lenten Programs At St. Matthew’s

Sunday Small Groups—9:30-10:15 a.m., starting in the Parish Hall (Mar 5, 12, 19, 26)

For Lent, we will be forming many intentional small groups for discussion and encouragement to live out Lenten faith practices.  Each week, we will introduce a Lenten practice for the first 10 mins or so, and then participants will break out into small groups to discuss how it applies to our lives as Christians, and to care for one another and encourage each other.  Topics include:

March 5th—An introduction to Lent and The Practice of Fasting

March 12th—The Practice of Study: How to Read Scripture and get something out of it

March 19th—The Practice of Service and Giving

March 26th—The Practice of Prayer and Journaling

If you missed last week, not to worry!  You can still jump right into a small group, and we’d love to have you!

 

Wednesday “Just Eating”—6:00-7:00 p.m., Parish Hall (Mar 8, 15, 22, 29 and Apr 12)

“Just Eating” is a program about how our faith inspires reflection and intentionality when it comes to food.  “Just” can mean “only,” but it can also mean “right” or “fair.”  The     program explores how we can live out our faith through how we eat, including how food impacts our own bodies and our communities, both locally and globally. Each program will include a simple meal (Soup and Salad) that highlights the themes of justice around our food practices. Topics are below:

March 8th—Food as Sacramental (Eucharist)

March 15th—Food as Nutritional (Nurturing the Body)

March 22nd—Food as Global (World Hunger)

March 29th—Food as Environmental

April 5th—No programs due to Spring Break

April 12th—Food as Communal (Creating Community)

 



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Lenten Programs at St. Matthew’s Begin Sunday, March 5

1. Sunday Mornings Small Groups9:30-10:15 a.m., starting in the Parish Hall (Mar 5, 12, 19, 26) For Lent, we will be forming many intentional small groups for discussion and encouragement to live out Lenten faith practices. Each week, we will introduce a Lenten practice for the first 10 mins or so, and then participants will break out into small groups to discuss how it applies to our lives as Christians, and to care for one another and encourage each other. Topics of Lenten discipline will include service, study, fasting, and prayer practices like journaling, solitude, and confession. In order to intentionally create Christian community, participants will remain with their same small group throughout the 4-week Lenten program. To sign up to participate in a small group, please contact Sally Ulrey at stmattsyouth@bellsouth.net .

2. Wednesday Evenings “Just Eating”6:15-7:00 p.m., Parish Hall (Mar 8, 15, 22, 29 and Apr 12) “Just Eating” is a program about how our faith inspires reflection and intentionality when it comes to food. “Just” can mean “only,” but it can also mean “right” or “fair.” The program explores how we can live out our faith through how we eat, including how food impacts our own bodies and our communities, both locally and globally. Each program will include a simple meal (Soup and Salad) that highlights the themes of justice around our food practices. Interested? Email Sally Ulrey at stmattsyouth@bellsouth.net (this will help us know how many to prepare for).



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Adult Christian Education–Spring 2017

A new block of Adult Christian Education starts Jan 29th!  Classes listed below happen on Sunday mornings at 9:30-10:15 a.m. See what’s coming up below!

 

Spring Block 1

4 weeks: Jan 29, Feb 5, (NOT Feb 12 due to Annual Meeting), Feb 19, Feb 26

  • Scriptural Studies (Library): A small group study of Paul’s pastoral letters (1 & 2 Timothy and Titus), written to encourage some of the first pastors of early Christian congregations in their leadership.  What principles of leadership do they hold for us today?
  • Current Events (Canterbury Room): Discussion of controversial world events and our response as Christians.
  • Parenting Group (York Room): Support for parents of young children, as they seek to grow their own faith, as well as helping their children’s spiritual growth. This group will be working through the book “Parenting Beyond Your Capacity” which is available as an e-book through Amazon.

 

Lenten Series

4 weeks: March 5, March 12, March 19, March 26

Focusing on forming small groups of adults to help support each others walks in faith, this series will introduce Lenten faith practices in the large group, then, for the bulk of the time, break out into small groups, so participants can discuss living out their faith in a supportive Christian community.

 

April 2–NO PROGRAMS due to Spring Break; Family Service at 10:30 a.m. with Children’s Sermon

April 9–Forum on College Ministry

April 16–NO PROGRAMS due to Easter

 

Spring Block 2

4 weeks: April 23, April 30, May 7, May 14

Classes: Parenting Group, Scriptural Studies, Current Events

 

May 21–Reception for the Graduates & Graduation Sunday

 



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Cafe Theology Class Dates

The series of Café Theology continues on the following Saturdays from 10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. 
 
September 17th
October 1st & 29th
November 12th
December 3rd & 17th
The book we are using for these classes is Surprised by Hope” by N. T. Wright.
Information can be found on Amazon or Barnes and Noble website.



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Holy Eucharist Rite II, Sundays at 9:30 a.m. in July

++Summer Service Schedule:

9:30 a.m. One combined service Sundays in July: July 2, 9, 16, 23, & 30 only.

Regular schedule resumes August 6

 

Regular Sunday service schedule (August through June):

8:00 a.m. Holy Eucharist Rite II

9:00 a.m. Breakfast in the parish hall

9:30 a.m. Sunday School (ends May 14)

10:30 a.m. Holy Eucharist Rite II **

**Nursery available for ages 6 mos. – 4 years

 



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August, The Beginning of a New Adventure

The start of the school year brings such a sense of anticipation, doesn’t it?  I haven’t been in school for years, but STILL, every time things start gearing up for school, I can’t help but get excited.  It’s a new beginning, a blank canvas…like unmarked sand at the beach before anyone has walked upon it; we can make this year into whatever we want, start new habits, new traditions, have a new outlook, go in a totally new direction.  It’s a new adventure!

The Disciples’ Adventure

I sometimes wonder about what it would have been like when Jesus called his disciples.  Was there that sense of excitement at starting something new?  That sense of adventure?
Jesus’s purpose in calling the disciples was, indeed, to take them on a new adventure, the crazy awesome journey of learning to follow him and be more and more like him.  And that’s really our purpose this year with Christian Formation…figuring out how to follow Jesus in this day and age, and how to continue to be more and more like him…that certainly is an adventure!

Formation vs. Education

You’ll notice I say “Christian Formation,” not simply “Christian Education.” Education has to do with knowledge and intellect.  Formation has to do with so much more; it’s a person’s whole life: intellect, emotion, spiritual connection, actions.  It’s not just what we KNOW about God, but how we live it out in the world and in community.  It’s doing life together.  Education, the knowledge piece, is an important part of Formation, but it’s just one part.
When Jesus called his disciples, he definitely educated them. He taught them lots of things.  He sat around teaching them all kinds of parables and the Sermon on the Mount, among others.  But he didn’t stop there.  He did life with them.  He practiced living out those teachings in the real world.  Those disciples went everywhere with Jesus, watching him apply that knowledge and put it into action.
The Adventure of Our Formation
Formation was certainly an adventure for the disciples!  What a journey…retreating up to mountaintops, exploring God’s creation, meeting all kinds of people, witnessing miracles, and being part of God’s work in the world.  We hope that this year, our Formation into Christians who are more like Christ, will be that kind of an adventure for you, too!
And I hope you’ll join us on that adventure!



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Education for Ministry (EfM) — Words From a Graduate

There is an old adage that says, “You don’t go looking for something until you need it.” This can be applied to just about everything in our lives, from our car keys to Christ. Back in 2008, two life shattering events happened to me (the details need not be retold here); events that convinced me that I needed something. My search for that something led me first to St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church, which led me to EfM, which let me to this moment. Now, I cannot say with absolute certainty that I have found what I was looking for, but I can say that I’ve come to the conclusion that one’s walk with God is an everlasting journey, an eternal cycle of exploration and discovery.

My eyes, ears and spirit have been opened. EfM has enabled me to see, hear and feel with greater clarity and assurance the beauty, majesty and unity of God’s creation. It has made my on-going journey much more meaningful.

EfM is not just bible study. One does not come to EfM to learn how to quote bible verses, but through theological reflection, spiritual autobiographies, questions and discussions, and peer-led group worship, one learns not just to speak scripture, but to live and do scripture. As St. Francis of Assisi said, “Preach the gospel at all times, use words when necessary.” Besides, the last thing most non-seekers want to hear is a bunch of bible verses being thrown at them. Their shields go up and their defenses dig in. They have not yet seen the need, so they have not yet started looking. This is not to say that evangelism has no value or is pointless. Those people who know you, or know of you, may or may not know where you stand. But they have been observing you. They have noticed your actions and behavior. And more often than not, they will eventually ask you something similar to, “Hey, what makes you tick?” At that point, a doorway to dialogue has been opened. At that point, they have become a seeker. The spirit has moved!

EfM promotes dialogue and allows plenty of room for the spirit to move. Everyone is encouraged to offer their beliefs and opinions. We’ve all been places, done things, experienced things, heard and read things that perhaps no one else in the group has done. Everyone brings in something new and beneficial to the EfM table. Everything is respectfully listened to. When I came to EfM I dragged in behind me the Apocrypha and many pseudepigraphal writings. This atmosphere of safe, respectful, inclusiveness fosters a deep feeling of community. You feel very connected to the other members. It is difficult not to feel close to those who have bared their soul to you and you to them. I will always remember them and be eternally grateful for their presence in my life.

So, if you’ve ever wondered why we Christians believe some of the things we believe (and to be honest, some of our beliefs, on the surface, sound a little far-fetched; if not downright weird), if you’ve ever wondered how and why we worship the way we do, how our rituals came about and what some of the symbols mean, or if you are trying to work through and resolve your own personal doubts, (yes, it happens), then you are needing something and you are looking for answers. You are a seeker. And perhaps EfM would be a good place to start. Follow your heart, and come to that God-wrought decision. Pray about it, talk to God…and then go talk to Gini.[1]
And now the journey continues….

Philip Matteson
2016 EfM Graduate



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Adult Christian Formation–Fall 2016

There is such a sense of anticipation with the start of a new program year. It’s a new beginning.  We can make this year into whatever we want.  It’s a new adventure!

Jesus’s purpose in calling the disciples was, indeed, to take them on a new adventure, the crazy awesome journey of learning to follow him and be more and more like him.  And that’s really our purpose this year with Christian Formation…figuring out how to follow Jesus in this day and age, and how to continue to be more and more like him…that certainly is an adventure!

We hope you’ll join us on this adventure! Here’s what’s coming up this fall:

 

 



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