Upcoming Christian Education Classes and Updates

Due to the overwhelming response to Fr. John Ray’s Forum on World Religions, we are restructuring the next Spring Block to take advantage of his being with us for another two weeks.

  • On Feb 21 and Feb 28, we will have two more Forums with Fr. John on World Religions in the Parish Hall.  For info on his forum on Feb 14th, see here.
  • The Newcomers class will still meet for 4 weeks as planned (Feb 21-Mar 13)
  • The classes on Aging, Parenting, Marks of Mission, and a follow-up World Religions class will be offered on March 6 & 13 only.

Also, please take advantage of the day-long Saturday Seminar on Aging we are offering on March 5th, led by Wally Kelleman and others!

Upcoming Seminar:
“Aging is Risky Business: What you Don’t Know Can Hurt You! Don’t go it Alone”
March 5th, 8:30 am-3:00 pm
This seminar is designed to address issues facing the Aging Population! Mark your Calendars!
Topics include Scripture & Aging, the Financials of Aging, the Dynamics of Aging, Final Arrangements and Leaving a Legacy. Speakers include attorneys, nurses, our priest and financial advisors.
Register by emailing Sally Ulrey at stmattsyouth@bellsouth.net. The cost is $12 which includes lunch. Well worth your time and money!

Upcoming Classes
Newcomers Class (Feb 21-Mar 13)
Location: Canterbury Room
Facilitators: Mother Liz and parishioners from various ministries
Description: New to St. Matthew’s? Or want to learn more about the church community here? We will walk you through the history of the Episcopal Church and this parish. You’ll get a chance to learn about the ministries of St. Matthew’s, and meet some of the leaders here.

World Religions Class (Mar 6 & 13)
Location: Library
Description: A follow up to the World Religions Forums with more information on Islam, these two classes will show and discuss the documentary film “Inside Islam: What a Billion Muslims Really Think,” which presents the data gathered in a Gallup opinion and beliefs poll about what Muslims really say they believe. The film is a total of 55 minutes, and will be shown in two parts with discussion following.

Parenting Class (Mar 6 & 13)
Facilitator: Sharon Ferrell
Location: York Room
Description: This class provides a space for parents to work on their own spiritual growth, using a devotional book study.

Aging is Risky Business Class (Mar 6 & 13)
Teachers: Wally Kelleman
Location: Coil Chapel
Description: Building on the session last fall and as a follow up to the Saturday Seminar (March 5th), this block of classes will cover Advanced Directives, Competency, Guardianship, and Final Affairs.

Marks of Mission (Mar 6 & 13)
Facilitator: Waylee George
Location: Undercroft Classroom
Description: The 5 Marks of Mission are descriptions of what the Church should be doing in the world, based on Jesus’s teaching about mission. By using these characteristics of mission to engage our neighbors in the world, we will grow our church.

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We Welcome Fr. John Ray for Forums on World Religions

Many thanks to Fr. John Ray for lending his expertise, personal experience, and loving heart when it comes to the topic of other religions.

The objectives of this study of other religions is two-fold:
1) To strengthen our faith in order to communicate more effectively
2) To learn more about world religions so that we may learn to love our neighbors

Fr. John’s first session was on February 14th, but two more sessions will follow on February 21st and February 28th. He welcomes questions about what YOU would like to learn. Please email him at johnsewakray@aol.com

See below for selected resources on world religions:










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New Class During Lent — Cafè Theology With Mother Liz

Mother Liz invites you to join her in a new program beginning this Lenten season.
The program is titled, Café Theology, and the plan is to offer three times per year on a series of Saturday mornings, a study in the area of Christian Theology. 
The location of the study will be dependent on the number of participants, but could be held in one of the local restaurants that offers breakfast. This first study will be offered on Saturdays during Lent, beginning Saturday, February 20 from 10:00-11:30 in the Parish Hall. The topic will be “Did God Kill Jesus?” and we will be reading a book by the same title by Tony Jones. Information about this book can be found on Amazon or the Barnes and Noble website.   To sign up for this class, please click here.

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Adult Christian Education Classes, Spring Block 2 (February 14 – March 13



Feb 14th–Adult Forum World Religions

Fr. John Ray will walk us through an introduction to religion and faith, including stories of his personal history, and give an overview of the religions that willl be covered in the World Religions class.

2nd Spring Block Classes (4 weeks: Feb 21, Feb 28, Mar 6, Mar 13)

1. World Religions
Facilitator: Fr. John Ray
Description: An overview of Islam and Hinduism, with the intention of helping us understand our faith and other world religions, so that we may love our neighbors as ourselves.  Sign up here.
2. Parenting–Spiritual Growth of Parents
Facilitator: Sharon Ferrell
Description: This class provides a space for parents to work on their own spiritual growth, using a devotional book study. Sign up here.
3. Legal Issues in the Aging Population–Aging is Risky Business
Facilitator: Wally Kellerman
Description: Building on the session last fall, this block of classes will cover Advanced Directives, Competency, Guardianship, and Final Affairs.  This will be in conjunction with a weekend seminar in Lent which will include similar topics (more details on that seminar TBD).  Sign up for the class here.
4. Newcomers
Facilitator: Mother Liz and various parishioners from various ministries
Description:  New to St. Matthew’s? Or want to learn more about the church community here? We will walk you through the history of the Episcopal Church and this parish. You’ll get a chance to learn about the ministries of St. Matthew’s, and meet some of the leaders here.  Sign up here.
5. Marks of Mission
Description: The 5 Marks of Mission are descriptions of what the Church should be doing in the world, based on Jesus’s teaching about mission.  By using these characteristics of mission to engage our neighbors in the world, we will grow our church. Sign up here.


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St. Matthew’s Makes Rosaries for Vicar of ATL

Donna Mote--rosariesSt. Matthew’s made 100 Anglican rosaries for use in the ministry of Atlanta Airport Chaplain, Rev. Dr. Donna Mote.  Rev. Donna blessed them during the services at St. Matthew’s on December 6th, and they will be given away to travelers at the Atlanta Airport.

Read more below about her ministry and how you can help further the work of God at the Atlanta Airport.  If you missed the Forum where we showed the video about what she does, click here for an excellent and encouraging overview by filmmaker Anne Hopewell Graner, a parishioner from St. Paul’s, Newnan.

The Episcopal Chaplaincy at ATL

Rev. Donna Mote was commissioned by Bishop Robert Wright as Episcopal Chaplain to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport beginning November 1, 2013. Her assignment is to be an active, visible, positive presence at the world’s busiest airport, representing the Diocese of Atlanta, the Episcopal Church, and the Head of the Church, Jesus Christ our Savior.

Chaplain Mote collaborates with other chaplains, currently representing nine Christian denominations, Conservative Judaism, and Sunni Islam, through the Interfaith Airport Chaplaincy (IAC). ATL chaplains work with airport and airline employees (over 63,000 in number), passengers (an average of 265,000 daily), and service members and respond to urgent and emergent situations on the 4,700 acres of the airport. They staff three chapels (in the atrium outside security and on Concourses E and F), and they make regular rounds on all seven concourses (T-F) in the nearly 10 million indoor square feet at ATL.

You can read more about Chaplain Mote’s work in the article, “The Airport Chaplain, Now Offering Earthly Aid,” which appeared on the front page of The New York Times print edition on March 3, 2014.

Since January 2014 Barbara Pendergrast, a parishioner at the Cathedral of St Philip and a board-certified chaplain endorsed by the Episcopal Church, has brought her gifts to the ministry of the Diocese of Atlanta at ATL by volunteering two days each week. Bishop Wright visited in December 2013 and in September 2014 and enthusiastically supports this “winsome Anglican witness” in the world’s busiest airport. Two newly trained lay people in the diocese have joined the corps of chaplains at ATL in 2015, and three Sewanee seminarians completed ten weeks of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) at the airport in summer 2014, supervised by Chaplain Mote. The Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta was ably represented at the airport for some twenty-five years by Peggy and the late George Beal, founding members of St Augustine’s, Morrow. Jackie Berlin, a Delta retiree and matriarch of St John’s, College Park, serves an afternoon each week staffing the chaplains’ office.

The Episcopal Chaplaincy @ ATL: 12-minute intro from D S Mote on Vimeo.

How YOU can help

This ministry receives no funding through the diocesan budget. (A motion that that the ten convocations of the diocese support the chaplaincy at ATL as convocations was tabled at diocesan council in 2014.) Chaplain Mote itinerates around the diocese to promote the airport ministry and solicit the financial, prayer, and in-kind support of laity and clergy in each parish. In addition she promotes and encourages other innovations in ministry in the Diocese of Atlanta.

The Reverend Mote reports directly to Bishop Wright, and the majority of financial support for this work in its initial two years has come through the Bishop of Atlanta’s Trust Fund (not the same as the diocese or diocesan budget).

The number one need of the ministry besides financial is ongoing prayer support. Other ways to be involved include financial contributions to support purchase of prayer books and Bibles made available to service members, employees, and travelers who request them, financial contributions to cover personnel and training costs, making Anglican rosaries for distribution, and identifying individuals and groups that wish to sponsor a certain aspect of the airport ministry.

Financial contributions may be made in two ways: 1) by check payable to the Episcopal Bishop of Atlanta and sent directly to the Office of the Bishop, Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta, 2744 Peachtree Road, Atlanta, GA 30305 (Please indicate “ATL Chaplaincy” in the memo line of your check.) 2) through the diocesan web site here 

Stay Connected and Learn More

You can follow the work of the Episcopal Chaplaincy at ATL on Chaplain Mote’s Facebook page Vicar Of ATL and on Twitter @VicarOfATL. You can contact Chaplain Mote directly at dsmote@mac.com or by direct message on Facebook or Twitter.

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This Sunday is SS Registration Sunday

9:30 a.m. in the Parish Hall

For all ages, Nursery through Adult

Tables will be set up around the perimeter of the parish hall for the class sign-up. Sign up for Nursery, Cherub Choir, Junior Worship, Parenting Group, Inquirer’s Class and other classes and activities.
Registration forms will be available Sunday, or you can print one out and bring the completed form with you.  click here for 5th grade and below,   click here for 6th – 12th grade.
Sunday School classes will begin NEXT Sunday, August 23 at 9:30 a.m.
Christian Education brochures can be found here:


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Blessing of Backpacks, Students, and Teachers Mark Family Services August 9

Blessing of Back Packs, Sunday August 9

Mother Liz asked students from pre-school to college to join her in front of the altar to bless their backpacks as they prepare to start a new school year Monday. In her blessing, Mother Liz hoped the school year offers a place of enlightenment and learning for all students. Children brought about twenty backpacks to the front of the church for a blessing. Teachers also received a blessing.

Mother Liz tailored her children’s sermon to the first day of school for the children and talked to them about fresh starts. As the children move on to the next grade and meet new teachers, Mother Liz asked them to consider how baptism provides a fresh start for each of us. As the water cleans us on the outside, the Holy Spirit cleans us on the inside.

The children marked the start of this first day of school by first facing west (towards the nave). Mother Liz explained that we praise God by how we act towards one another, and asked the children to give up sins to make room for the good things. The children called out one-by-one, “stealing”, “saying bad things”, and “being unkind.” Mother Liz then asked the children to face east (toward the altar), and promise to offer good things in the coming year: “sharing”, “forgiveness”, “saying nice things to make people feel better”, “tell the truth”, and “offer love.”

In closing, Mother Liz asked the children to walk past the baptismal font as they returned to their seats. She then blessed the children with the blessed water from the font on their heads as they walked by.

-Jay Jones

For more photos, click here.

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New To St. Matthew’s? Let’s Get Acquainted!

stained_window_webNEW OR RETURNING MEMBERS ARE INVITED to attend a series of Newcomer Orientation classes with Mother Liz on Sunday, August 16, August 23, and August 30 from 4:00p.m. – 5:30p.m. in the parish hall. Come get acquainted—or reacquainted— with the Episcopal Church and with St. Matthew’s.

New and returning members will be welcomed into the church on September 13. Sign up on the bulletin board in the main hall, or call the church office at 770-979-4210.

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Inquirer’s Class To Begin September 13

toolchestAll interested in being confirmed, received or reaffirmed in the Episcopal Church  or anyone who wants a refresher on the Episcopal faith should attend the Inquirers’ class.  Topics include the basic tenets of Christianity, history of the Episcopal church, the prayer book and sacraments.  
**By Canon Law, confirmation is required for all church members wishing to serve on the vestry or vote in parish elections.**
This class will run 10 weeks: Sep 13th-Nov 15th at 9:00 am (except Sep 13th, which will be 11:00 am due to the one service that day).
Confirmation/Reaffirmation/Reception will be at the Cathedral on Dec 13th at 4:00 pm.
You can sign up for this class one of three ways: 1) on the bulletin board in the main hallway, 2) during Sunday School registration on August 16, or 3) by calling the church office at 770-979-4210.

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