The Bishop is Coming Palm Sunday!

Phot Bishop Don WmberlyWe are pleased to announce that Bishop Don A. Wimberly will be with us on March 20, Palm Sunday.  He will preside and preach at both the 8:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. services and lead a forum at 9:30 a.m. Please note that the bishop encourages children and youth to attend this forum

Breakfast will be at 9:00 a.m., hosted by Daughters of the King.  At the 10:30 a.m. service, we will also have the Palm Sunday procession around the church campus led by our youth (weather permitting), music from the Cherub Choir and the dramatization of the Passion narrative by our youth.

This will be a festive day for all of us, and we encourage you to come to this special service, a great start to Holy Week!

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St. Matthew’s Choir and String Ensemble Perform Fauré Requiem

The St. Matthew’s Sanctuary Choir and String Ensemble performed Fauré Requiem on Good Friday, March 25, at 7:30 p.m., incorporated into a service of readings and prayers for Good Friday. Soloists included Althea Benton, Soprano, and Bob Ferrell, Bass.  Julie Mitchell Smith, Organist. Dan Mitchell, Conductor.

Faure’s best known work and performed in Latin, Requiem is based upon the Catholic Mass for the Dead.

Photos from the Requiem will be published as soon as they become available.  Messiah 2015 (Advent and Christmas portion) are included in this gallery.

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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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Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper

Many thanks to those adults who worked in the kitchen and to the Youth of St. Matthew’s for serving pancakes, sausage, bacon, and all the trimmings at the annual Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper February 9. This traditional feast prior to Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent is a favorite fellowship event for the parish, and brings in a love offering that goes towards Youth ministry activities in the parish. Well done!      


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Ash Wednesday Services

7:00  — 12:00 noon  —  7:30 p.m. 

Holy Eucharist and Imposition of Ashes all three services

(7:30 p.m. service includes Sanctuary Choir)

There will be no 10:00 a.m. healing service on Ash Wednesday.

Wednesday With the Word (Bible Study) will be held from 10:30 – 11:30 a.m.

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Lenten Mission Project — Book Collection for SPCK

Q. What on earth is SPCK?

A. SPCK or the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge is a very old mission organization in the Anglican Communion. Begun in England, SPCK/USA has its headquarters at The School of Theology at The University of the South at Sewanee.

Q. What type of books are needed?
A. Bibles (any translation or language), Books of Common Prayer (any edition or language) and any other religious texts are welcomed.

Q. How are they used?
A. Books collected and donated to SPCK are redistributed, free of charge, to churches, schools, universities and individuals who request them. Many are sent to other countries and to parishes in the United States that are hungry for the GOOD NEWS.

Q. Where can I leave my books for SPCK?
A. During Lent, a bin will be in the old Narthex clearly marked for SPCK donations. Your donations will be taken to SPCK’s headquarters after Easter Sunday.

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SE Gwinnett Cooperative Ministry Starts A New Program

The “Give a Meal – Get a Meal” Program, Fondly Known As GAMGAM”

cannedfoodYou have the opportunity to bless a family by purchasing all the needed ingredients for the “Recipes of the Month”.You would purchase all nonperishable ingredients on the list, bagging a complete set of all the non-perishable ingredients together. You can purchase the perishable ingredients, bagging them separately, if you will be delivering directly to the co-op. If not, you can make a donation to St. Matt’s Outreach for the perishable items, and we will either purchase and deliver them or send the money to the co-op. The co-op will then offer these bagged ingredients, along with the recipe, to their clients. “This process is a great way to learn to cook economic and healthier meals.”
This program is being introduced via Sunny’s Kids and Youth Sunday School as a great Lenten family opportunity if they should choose to take it on. If you don’t have children/youth in the Sunday School program but find this interesting the current ingredients list can be found on the Outreach bulletin board.


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From the Rector

Mother Liz & PJMarking Sacred Time: Changes for Lent

As we approach March, we have entered into the season of Lent.  Our journey is based on the gospel accounts of Christ’s forty days in the wilderness.  At last Sunday’s confirmation service at the cathedral (Congratulations, Sharon Ferrell!), Bishop Whitmore said that in ancient Jewish thought, the wilderness represented the place where the demons lived.  Jesus spent time facing the demons and temptations that could get in the way of his ministry, and he overcame them.  So we are called also to look deeply into ourselves and to identify the demons that keep us from fully living into the life God has for us.   This discipline is not so much about us chastising ourselves, but realizing the ways in which we fall short of the glory of God and then asking God to help us have victory over them.

In order to create space in which to fully embrace this season, we have made changes in the space in which we worship and also in how we worship.  Janis Williams and the Flower Guild have done an amazing job of creating wilderness in the way they used sand, stone and branches in the sanctuary.  You will notice that the baptismal font is covered.  We have created a quiet space in the narthex, so that persons entering can have a sense of moving from the world of the everyday into the space of the sacred.  This change has also created quiet in the nave for persons who wish to meditate or pray before the service.  The service is subdued, with silent processions at the beginning and at the end of the service. We are altering the way we share the Peace, to recapture the sense of “shalom” or our prayer to the other person for health, wholeness, and completeness in God.  In order to provide an alternative place to allow us to show visitors our warm Southern hospitality, we have reinstituted coffee hour in the Parish Hall after the 10:30 service.  And beginning March 15, we will offer “Coffee with the Rector” after the 10:30 service on the third Sunday of the month.  (Coffee with the Rector will begin after the 8 a.m. service on the third Sunday in April).

We have returned to the booklet form for the service bulletin, in order to allow space to put in new music or allow approved changes in the liturgy that may not be in the prayer book.  This change also provides increased space for announcements, so that we might better communicate the variety of activities and ministry opportunities available at St. Matthew’s.

If one of your Lenten disciplines is to volunteer for service, we have at least three opportunities where you can participate during Lent.  For the Gwinnett Cooperative, we are focusing on a program called Give a Meal, Get a Meal, where we shop for ingredients for specific recipes.  We are also providing the list and a shopping bag to children in Sunday School.  It is our hope that you will take your children shopping for one or more of these items, letting them know that the food is for someone who does not always have enough to eat.  Each Sunday during Lent, the children are invited to bring the food to a basket in the chancel.  All children are invited to come forward, whether they have food to offer or not, because all of the children will help me bless the donated food before they go to Sunday school.  A second option for service is the Hunger Walk on March 15 – sign-up information is on the link or on the bulletin board in the hallway leading to the Parish Hall.  And the third option is a parish workday, scheduled for March 28.

It is my prayer that these offerings in worship and service will deepen your journey through Lent and heighten your joy at Easter.  These changes are experimental for Lent, but some changes may be kept if we find it improves our collective worship.  I would enjoy hearing your comments as to whether you like them or not.  You can write me, or speak with me after the service.

With prayers for a Holy Lent,



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