You Helped! St. Matt’s raises over $5,000 for SE Gwinnett CoOp

St. Matthews Episcopal Church for SE Gwinnett CoOp Hunger Walk Team

On Sunday afternoon, March 5, 2017, thousands of people came together to raise awareness and funds to help fight hunger in our community. Our team was there!

Hunger Walk/Run is one of the most important hunger relief efforts of the year. The money raised feeds hope for the 1 in 5 people who face hunger in our community.

You can still help!

  • Donate and spread the word! Even if you weren’t able to join the Walk/Run on you can still be an integral part of the fight against hunger in our community. Donate online at and then send the link to a few friends to do the same. Our team goal raised over  $5,000 for the Southeast Gwinnett CoOp!

Together, we can make sure that a child in our community doesn’t go to bed hungry tonight. We can offer a glimmer of hope to struggling parents desperately trying to make ends meet for their family. We can ensure another senior citizen isn’t forced to choose between paying for medicine or food.

Thank you, for your support!  

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Annual Parish Meeting and Single Combined Service February 12

Election of four vestry members and two diocesan council members, discussion of 2017 parish events. Written ministry and committee reports for 2016 will be available.

Registration and sign-in begins at 9:00 a.m. during the Coffee Hour. The meeting begins at 9:30 a.m.  and will be followed immediately by a single combined Eucharist in the sanctuary (ONE service only this day).

Don’t miss this important event in the life of St. Matthew’s. Your voice is important!

NOTE: Committee and ministry annual reports should be submitted to no later than January 30, 2017.

The meeting and service will be followed by our own Brotherhood of St. Andrew’s Annual Fish Fry. Don’t miss it!

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Christmas Light Program 2016

Christmas Light 2016

December 8th and 10th, 9am to 3pm, both days, Southeast Gwinnett Cooperative Ministry

The primary focus of this program is to restore pride and integrity into the parents.  200 children will participate this year.  Each family spends its own money, with a $20 total limit, and a limit of three gifts per child.  Each gift will cost the parents $2.  Each family will receive a Christmas Dinner Box, a cookie making kit, along with socks, underwear, toothpaste and books.

DONATIONS: You may help by providing gifts or cash donations. All donations are needed by NOVEMBER 30! This program prefers a quality gift or two over many less quality, “dollar store” type gifts. Individuals from the parish may team up and buy one quality gift. Suggested price range is $25 to $100 per gift.

A gift tag board will be in the Narthex.  Please return gifts to the old narthex (parish hall vestibule), and they will be promptly delivered.  Gift cards should be placed in the collection container in the church office, or given to Becky Olbon, Cheryl Wheeler, and Michael or Mindy Barringer.

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES:   Many volunteer are needed for this program.  Please go to to see opportunities and to sign up.  Sign up will be available Nov. 14.  If assistance is needed, please contact Becky Olbon.

NOTE: You must be 14 or older to volunteer and attend the store. No children under this age allowed.

Contact:  Michael or Mindy Barringer

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Rosebud Warmth

In the past two years the Knit Purl & Pray, Outreach, and Global Missions committee sponsored Rosebud Warmth, a ministry to send hats, mittens, and scarves to the children of the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota. There is a container in the parish hall foyer for your donations. If you have any questions or would like more information about this ministry, please contact Beth Still at

What is Needed:

Hat, scarf and mitten sets for elementary aged children K-6th grade, with tight weave for warmth. They do not need to be wool; any yarn material, color or style, handmade or purchased, are welcome.

Please pin together with a piece of paper indicating what size (age 4-6, 8-10, etc) and put in the container in the parish hall foyer.

Point of interest: tribal colors are red, black, white and yellow.

Thank you for caring for these children!

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Spotlight on Ministry — Flower Guild

The St. Matthew’s Flower Guild Ministry has been happily adding life, beauty, and a deeper meaning to our worship at the altar each week for about 2 1/2 years. The use of flowers in the church is our expression of joy and love for the Lord. We arrange in accordance with the Church calendar, coordinating with Mother Liz and getting input from the Worship committee to better comprehend the Liturgy and the direction of the Seasons. After Sunday services, the flower arrangements are disassembled to take on Eucharistic visits, to share with the weekly donors of the flowers, and to beautify the church spaces for weekly activities. Also, we have occasional demonstrations by guest speakers that are open to interested members of the Parish. These thoughts from Flower Guild member Tammy Pearson:

“Participation in the Flower Guild has been a gift to me in so many ways. Not only have I felt able to make a contribution to our worship service, it has enabled fellowship with many wonderful members of the parish I may not have gotten to know otherwise. The Flower Guild is such a positive and uplifting group. I encourage anyone who is interested to check it out. We all have different styles and gifts; this is a ministry that is very inclusive and only requires a willing spirit!”

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Massive Louisiana Flooding — How You Can Help

You may have seen on the news that massive flooding has swept through Louisiana and the surrounding area-and the government has officially declared it a disaster zone.

Please make an emergency gift right now to help us aid in the relief efforts. (Click the link.)

Louisiana has already seen tremendous damage. Over two feet of rain have fallen… schools and churches are flooded… houses are completely underwater… and more than 30,000 people have been evacuated from their homes.

Some of them have lost everything.

While many areas have been hit hard by this terrible storm, some of the poorest neighborhoods are seeing the most damage because they’re located in low-lying flood areas.

We are working around the clock with local clergy members, organizations and churches to distribute funds and gift cards to help families buy supplies, but more is needed.

Please make an urgent gift to Episcopal Relief & Development today. Your generosity will go directly toward our US Disaster Fund-and help people whose lives have been turned upside down by this devastating flood. May the Lord be with them in their time of need.

Thank you in advance for your prayers and support.

Yours faithfully,

Robert W. Radtke
Episcopal Relief & Development

P.S. This is just the beginning of a long recovery. In addition to your prayers, we are asking for financial support to help families and communities recover. Please make an urgent gift to Episcopal Relief & Development today. You’ll help us provide food, basic supplies, emergency housing, building materials and more to the affected areas right away.

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Hiking Club to Hike Appalachian Trail

Appalachian Trail Hike March 26th
Are you an experienced hiker who would enjoy the fellowship of fellow parishioners on the trail? If so, consider joining the St Matthew’s hiking group for a seven mile day hike on the Appalachian Trail on Saturday, March 26. Thousands of hikers from all over the world head north from Springer Mountain at this time of the year, determined to make it all the way to Maine. Our group will be handing out little bags of snacks to encourage these hardy folks. Please email to to find out more about our “Trail Magic” hike.

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Is Vestry For Me?

In January, we’ll be having our annual Vestry election at our Parish Meeting, and nomination forms will soon be available.
Four new members will be elected to replace Mallard Benton, Steven Donavon, Waylee George and Levi Livermont., who are rotating off.  Do you feel called to consider Vestry service but are perhaps intimidated because you’re not sure what to expect?  We asked our outgoing Vestry members to share their thoughts and experiences.
Why would I want to serve?
  •  “For me it was a way of getting more involved.  I didn’t sit on any committees and at the time this was a way to learn more about several aspects of the church.  Little did I realize that I would learn so much more with the entire Search process for our new Rector.” – Steven
  •  “I wanted the opportunity to serve our parish at the highest level.” – Waylee
 What qualifications or skills do I need?
Canon 21, Section 6 states vestry qualification as “Any confirmed communicant of the Parish in good and regular standing who is not less than 18 years of age, a regular attendant upon the services in the year preceding the election, and known by the Treasurer to have made and fulfilled a stated financial commitment for church support in the year preceding the election.”
Aside from the canonical qualification requirements above, the most important qualification is an openness to letting the Holy Spirit to work through you! The vestry is, in many respects, the spiritual leadership of the church.
  • Willingness to go outside your comfort zone and “see the church in a larger framework.  There is a component of Vestry service that is getting away from yourself.”  – Mallard
  • “I didn’t bring anything except my faith and my commitment to my pledged amounts. Those thinking they are not qualified for Vestry need to know that they are welcome to serve.  St. Matthew’s has strength in our diversity (and I am not just referring to race) of people, in ideas, and more.”  – Steven
  • “When I was elected, I didn’t really understand all the intricacies of what makes the church function.  I realized the challenges the church has, as well as the opportunities that the church brings to the community.  It takes everyone participating to really make a church work.”  — Waylee
 What is the time commitment?
Vestry members serve a three-year term.  Our monthly meetings, which last around 2 hours, are held on the second Monday of the month.  We also have an annual Vestry retreat on a Saturday during the spring.  Each vestry member serves as liaison to a specific ministry committee, and attends those meetings then reports back to the rest of the Vestry each month.  We also have a rotation for Vestry Person of the Day duties on Sundays; working in pairs, we take two months during the year.
What will I get out of it?
  • “I was surprised at the amount of spiritual growth I have experienced while on Vestry. Not so much the Bible study at the meetings, but the small daily pieces that come with being on Vestry. The chances to help shepherd others in their own spiritual journeys.” – Steven
  •  “The best part was being part of the team that called our new Rector.  Vestry is a ministry.  We put in motion God’s work.  That fills us up spiritually.”  – Waylee
  • “Every decision is made after collective thought, debate and discussion.” – Mallard
 Any words of advice?
  • “Don’t let fear hold you back if you have never served on a Vestry. This ministry for me has been very fulfilling. In Vestry, no one’s vote weighs more than another.” – Steven
  •  “Look really deeply into the questions about your vision for the future and what you can bring to the Vestry.  Reflect and prayerfully consider your answers.  Talk to people who have served and ask any specific questions you might have.”  – Mallard
Take some time.  Pray for discernment.  Talk to anyone who has served on Vestry about their own experiences.  Pray some more.  And let the Holy Spirit direct you.  Who knows?  Perhaps it will guide you onto the 2016 Vestry!
Feeling Called to Vestry Service?
Join Sr. Warden Mallard Benton in the choir loft @ 9:30 a.m. this Sunday and throughout November to have your questions answered.

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