St, Matthew's Episcopal Church

This month's meeting was held on Monday night January 9 th .  Most all Vestry members were present along with Sally Ulrey, Mother Liz and, our recording secretary, Susan Carson. 

We opened the meeting at 7:04 with prayer. Mother Liz asked the Vestry to read Psalm 40 and a reflection on the Psalm followed.

Fellowship Committee members asked to come to the Vestry meeting and brought some of their concerns to the attention of the Vestry.
The first was their concern for the Sunday morning breakfast and the participation of the parish in signing up to serve. The sign ups have been fewer in number and there is some confusion about the expectation of those who volunteer. The discussion centered around the cost of breakfast, the procedures for kitchen prep and clean up, and the paper supplies.   The Vestry made suggestions to re-instate a kitchen guild and develop guidelines for serving breakfast and the use of the kitchen. It was further suggested that the committee has the power to design their own guidelines and develop a plan for breakfast sign ups that is workable.  Oscar said that he would try to determine which Sundays would be busier that others so that volunteers wouldn't feel pressured to spend more than they could afford.
The question was asked if the coffee expense comes out of the Fellowship Budget.  Jack indicated he would check with the Treasurer to verify where the funds are pulled from so that it would not directly affect the budget.

The Global Mission Ministry has decided to postpone the 2017 Reading Camp in Grenada due to logistical and scheduling issues, and the absence of lead teachers available as trainers on the date chosen by Grenada.

The Long Range Planning Committee announced that they have over 150 completed surveys with the possibility of more coming in prior to the January 20th deadline. They will meet on the 24th to tabulate the results and determine the 6 priority areas that the parish identified as important to them for the coming year.  More on this to come at the annual meeting.

To date we have three nominees for the Vestry with the possibility of an additional 3 more.  We charged the nominating committee to develop a spread sheet of those who had been asked so that there would be no overlap. The spreadsheet also includes those who declined and those who have currently accepted.

Mother Liz indicated that the 5:00 service on Christmas Eve set a record with 220 in attendance.

Three versions of a draft 2017 budget were presented to the Vestry for discussion.  After much discussions of the pros and cons of the three budget versions and a desire to be good stewards of the pledges we have to date, and while still stepping out in faith to do what God is calling us to do, it was decided to postpone the approval of the budget until after the results of the surveys come through and we have the real input from the parish from those surveys.  We scheduled a follow up budget meeting for January 29th after the 10:30 service.

We adjourned the meeting at 9:23 PM.

Jack Denton
Sr. Warden



You're invited to help the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta bring home the win from a challenge we've been issued by Episcopal Church bishops in New England.

Leading up to this Sunday's Super Bowl game, they want to see who - Falcons' fans or Patriots' fans - can raise the most money for Episcopal Relief & Development (ERD) by game time.
Show your team pride and click here to make a donation on behalf of Team Atlanta.
You'll find the red "Donate" button on the left-hand side of the page.
You can also share the link with family and friends and encourage them to take the challenge as well.
Regardless of whether the Atlanta Falcons or New England Patriots come out on top in the big game or this challenge, the true winner will be Episcopal Relief & Development and those they assist. ERD provides disaster relief, public health, and economic development ministries in an effort to heal a hurting world.
Bishop Robert Wright invites everyone to participate: "Let's harness our Atlanta pride to advance toward the goal of compassion and health for all God's children!"

#RiseUp          #EpiscopalShowdown

Please join us this Sunday, February 5, 2017 

8:00 a.m. - Holy Eucharist 
9:00 a.m. - Continental Breakfast 
9:30 a.m. - Sunday School Classes for all ages 
10:30 a.m. - Holy Eucharist 

We will welcome new members to St. Matthew's at both services.

I saiah 58:1-12
            Psalm 112:1-10             
1 Corinthians 2:1-16
Matthew 5:13-20

A new block of Adult Christian Education started on Jan 29th!  Classes listed below are for this Sunday, Feb 5, from 9:30-10:15 a.m., continues  Feb 19, Feb 26. ( due to the Annual Meeting there will be no Christian Ed on Feb 12).

  Scriptural Studies--Pastoral Letters  (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?

NOTE: Current Events (Due to overwhelming response this class will now meet in the Undercroft): 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.
NEW MEMBERS Those wishing to join St. Matthew's will be welcomed during both the 8:00 &10:30 services today, February 5 . If you are new to St. Matthew's and would like to be recognized during one of the services today, please let an usher know. You do not need to have attended newcomer classes to be welcomed as a new member.

Called to Lead is a day of lay leadership development designed for parish vestries, wardens and treasurers. All lay leaders, including members of finance and stewardship committees, are invited to this workshop. Bishop Wright teaches the model of adaptive leadership and will focus on Purpose and Vision. Participants will also be equipped with tools for effective stewardship of people and other resources. This opportunity for Called to Lead will be held on Saturday, February 11th at St. David's, in Roswell from 9 am to 3 pm. Click  here to register. 

Bishop Wright will also teach at The Youth Leadership Retreat June 2-4 at the Lutheran Coastal Retreat Center in South Carolina, located on the Isle of Palms. The purpose of the retreat is to equip the next generation of young leaders to go out into the world and lead like Jesus. The deadline to apply for participation is March 12. Click  Steps to Lead for the application. For more information, contact Youth and Young Adult Missioner, Easton Davis


It's Not Too Late to Join -  New Book continues on February 11th 

Looking to explore your faith with like-minded individuals over breakfast on Saturdays? If so, Cafe Theology may be for you. Cafe Theology is a group book study on alternating Saturday mornings from 10-11:30. We explore our faith and our view(s) of God together through books. On January 14, we finish our current book study, "Surprised by Hope", by N.T. Wright.

The next topic for Cafe Theology is early church history.  
  • Did Jesus intend to found a church separate from Judaism? 
  • Who were the very first followers of Jesus? 
  • Was Peter the leader of the early church or was it James, the Lord's brother? 
  • What was the conflict between James and Paul? 
 The book that will guide us in finding answers is "From Jesus to the Church", by Craig A. Evans. The book covers the 40 year period from Jesus' entry into Jerusalem to the destruction of the temple in AD70. This book may be purchase from Barnes & Noble or on amazon. It is available in hardback and on kindle. This book study will started on January 28. Come and be part of the discussion! 

DOK (Daughters of the King)
The next DOK meeting is scheduled for February 5th in The Undercroft immediately following the 10:30 a.m. service.  For further information please contact Val Biggs via email:

                                                    FEBRUARY 11, 2017
7:00 - 10:00 P.M.
 in the Parish Hall

  This will be a Family Friendly Event
Heavy hors d'oevures will be served
Tickets are $1.00
 (Plus a donation of a pair of adult socks per person)

                                                                Casual attire suggested

                               Bring Your Dancing Shoes


Mark your calendars now for the Annual Parish meeting on February 12!  We will be electing new vestry members and reviewing the budget for 2017, but we will also be hearing from our Long-Range Planning Committee about the results of the recent survey.  At last count, there had been 211 surveys completed.  Come hear how your rankings compared with others in the parish! 

We will begin with:
Voting registration with coffee at 9:00 AM
Parish meeting begins at 9:30 A.M. followed by a combined service
Followed by the Annual Fish Fry hosted by The Brotherhood
NOTE: Childcare will be provided for school aged children for the meeting.

Leaders and Vestry liaisons of each Committee and Ministry reports on 2016 activities were due by January 31. If you still have a report to submit, please send it to by Monday evening, February 6 to be included in the annual meeting packet.

Vestry and Diocesan Council Representatives will be elected NEXT SUNDAY, February 12, at the Annual Parish Meeting, beginning at 9:30 a.m. Registration and sign-in begins at 9:00 a.m. Your vote is important! All confirmed members of the parish over the age of sixteen are eligible to vote. A big THANK YOU to all candidates for being willing to serve!


Cynthia (Cindi) Bateman  has been attending St. Matthew's since 2004 with her husband, John.  Both Cindi and John grew up in Gwinnett County and now reside in Monroe with their two children (Mallory - 16, Angus - 13), two dogs, two turtles, and one fish.  From 2011 through 2013, Cindi served on Vestry, including two years as Junior Warden.  She has taught first and second grade Sunday School in addition to serving as director of the children's Sunday School program. She is pleased to offer her time to Vestry service again and would like to work towards continued growth and renewed vibrancy for children, youth, and adults of all ages at St. Matthew's.  

  Althea Benton  has been a member here at St. Matthew's for the past 17 years. Althea writes: "This parish community opened its arms to me and my family as we transitioned here after living in another state. Almost immediately I became active in various parish ministries: ECW, Sanctuary Choir, Daughters of the King, Stewardship Committee, and most recently the Snellville Reading Camp Steering Committee. It has been my delight to volunteer with VBS, New Beginnings, and the ring bells with the Bell Choir. Another area that I have found very fulfilling has been teaching Sunday School and helping with confirmation classes. I am a graduate of the Education for Ministry program and co-mentored an EfM group for several years. Having completed a term on the Vestry and represented St. Matthew's at four Annual Councils, I am a committed and dependable parishioner. I believe that serving on the Vestry is both an honor and privilege as it provides an opportunity to serve the parish not only in the business of the parish, but spiritually as well. It will be an honor to represent the members of St. Matthew's in this position. I understand the responsibilities of this very important ministry of the Church. Thank you."
Steven (Steve) Charron  was born and raised in New Jersey as a Roman Catholic along with his four sisters. He and his wife Nancy moved to Lilburn, starting a swimming pool/spa business in 1986. During those first few years in Georgia, the family joined St. Matthew's when Father Edward was here, however left to attend St.Michael's after he was relocated to another congregation. They returned to St. Matthew's in 2015, discovering a new connection to the church and are now ready to help lead this church down God's path for us. 
When not driving a special needs bus for GCPS, he plays a part time role of Mr. Fixit for his three married children and six grandchildren.

Mark Franke:  Mark writes: "Thirty-four years ago I was blessed enough to marry my soul mate, Julie Franke. We have been fortunate to have raised two wonderful daughters, both of whom attended St. Matthew's as they grew up (Lauren & Catherine). Julie and I have been members here for nineteen years. I have been able to serve at St. Matthew's as a Youth Group Sunday School teacher in various classes including Confirmation Class, Pilgrimage volunteer, Youth Conference volunteer, Long Range Planning Committee leader, serving breakfasts, LEM, Greeter and other activities. I especially enjoy working with our teenagers.
Professionally, I am an Assistant Vice President/Claim Director for Old Republic Construction Program Group. I have worked in the industry for twenty-nine years. I oversee liability construction claim handling for specific accounts. Some accounts I have worked with include Walt Disney, Brasfield & Gorrie, Hardin Construction, and W.G. Yates & Sons Construction.
My hobbies include reading and running. I am an avid runner and have completed thirty-nine marathon or longer races. They include three 100 mile length races. I primarily run trail races as I love the outdoors and find the woods & people to be restorative. 
My vision for St. Matthews is what keeps bringing me back to the Episcopal Church. It is the sharing in God's ever encompassing love. We are so fortunate to be so loved and I want to help others participate as well."
  Scott McEvoy has been a parishioner at St. Matthews for approximately five years.  He was born in St. Louis and spent most of his childhood in Bloomfield Hills, MI where he was raised in the Episcopal Church.  
From Scott: "I graduated from the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA.  I was a first string member of the soccer team and we played for the State Championship and lost to UVA our senior year.  I was also very involved in Intra-Mural sports and our fraternity, SIgma Phi Epsilon won the intra-mural sports trophy two years in a row.   
After graduation I moved to Florida where I worked as a licensed nursing home administrator and received an MBA from Stetson University.   In 1971, I joined the Florida Air National Guard and earned my pilot's wings at Moody AFB in Georgia and received my combat crew training at Ellington AFB, Texas, accumulating approximately 3,500 hours of flying time flying the F-102, F-106 and F-16, .   After September 11, I was assigned to Tyndall AFB, where I served as Vice Commander of the Southeast Air Defense Sector (SEADS).  I attained the rank of Colonel and retired from the Air Guard July 1, 2002 after serving over 30 years.    In addition to my military career, I was employed by National and Pan American World Airways as a Training Captain and co-pilot on the B-727, and flew for Braniff III and for United Airlines.  I rose to co-pilot on the B-737 and then the DC-10 and became a Captain on the B737, B-757, and the B-767. 
In January, 2008, I suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury during a home invasion and this ended my flying career.  I am now retired and spend my time volunteering with the Shepherd Center, Shepherd Pathways, Eastside Hospital Nursing Home and the Stone Mountain Brain Injury Clubhouse in Stone Mountain, GA.  I am also a member of the Stone Mountain Rotary Club and sing in the choir here at St. Matthews.  
I am interested in serving on the Vestry here at St. Matthew's Church because I have come to love the people, choir and friendships and I feel that I can contribute and make a difference."
Samantha (Sam) Renfro: Sam writes: "I have been an Episcopalian since early childhood serving in numerous parishes as our family moved around the country. I taught Children's Sunday school, as well as vacation bible school, headed up the Youth group as my children became teenagers. Was a member of Alter Guild and numerous stewardship committees. Most recently, before becoming a member of St. Matthew's in 2013 I was a member of St. Simon's Episcopal church in Conyers. I served as an adult Sunday school teacher, a member of the Vestry as the Stewardship Liaison, an usher, Eucharist Minister and a Lector. I also served on the long range planning committee. Since coming to St. Matthew's, I have served as secretary of the Health and Wellness Committee, on the Steering Committee for Reading Camp, as a part of St. Luke's' Ministry,  as a Eucharist Minister and an Usher. I am also a third year member of EFM.
I came to St. Matthew's because of the many opportunities to be nurtured. Now, I would like to give back to the church by using my talents to help achieve the long term goals of the Parish. I am especially interested in outreach to those in need as well as in-reach in order that we remain and grow as an inclusive parish. Before I retired, I worked as the Director of Alumni Relations for Emory University's Business School. My extensive work with volunteers in my job would help me to be an effective member of the vestry."

  Gregory Andrews: Greg writes: I have been a member of St Matthew's since 2003. I have served on the Vestry from 2008- 2011 I am currently director of the Brotherhood of St Andrew. I am a member of the Outreach  Committee.  I am the Coordinator for the One Congregation One Precinct Program. I am on the Worship Committee. I am the scheduler for lay readers, ushers and vergers. I look forward to working in this new arena.
  John Dock (Jay) Jones: Jay writes: "Family: Amy, spouse; daughters, Katie, 13, and Ellie, 9. We live in Rockdale County just inside the Loganville Zip Code.
We came to St. Matthew's in 2013 from St. Alban's Episcopal in Monroe where I had served on the Vestry and helped restart the Acolyte ministry. I succeeded Lynne Kiker as leader of St. Matthew's Acolyte Ministry after Holy Week last year. I also serve on the church's communication committee, and I am currently heading an ad hoc committee of the Vestry to update and codify ministry descriptions for the church bylaws. I recently served as the clerk of the Vestry for two years.
We are thankful to have found a church home at St. Matthew's. As we worship here, Amy and I have learned that walking with Christ goes beyond just attending church. St. Matthew's has provided us with opportunities to use our talents to serve within the church and through its ministries in the community. Amy plays violin with the Choir. Katie enjoys the youth program and is an acolyte. Ellie became an acolyte this past fall. She also enjoys making new friends at St. Matthew's.
I recently graduated from Georgia Gwinnett College with a B.S. in history and minor in Information Technology. I work as a freelance editor and writer. My current projects include assisting in the launching of a community news Web site in Conyers and write blog entries for the city of Conyers' Convention and Visitors Bureau."
Amanda Livermont  is a  cradle Episcopalian to fellow parishioners, Jack and Pam Denton.  She came to St. Matthews as a 5 year old when her family moved to Snellville from Texas.  In 2004, she married Levi after a 10 year relationship where they met at St. Matthews youth group.  Their children, Denton and Hannah were baptized at St. Matthews as well.  They are currently active in Sunday School, Junior Worship and Cherub Choir.
Amanda works for a family owned company selling mannequins, fixtures and decoratives to department stores.  She graduated from Reinhardt University with a Bachelors of Fine Arts and an Associates in Business Administration.  She is currently the co-leader of parenting group, lay director for New Beginnings (middle school renewal movement) in the Diocese of Atlanta, and a board member for Camp Mikell (the diocesan camp).  She has previously served as the  nursery director, on the Vestry (2007-2010), and on Diocesan Council (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016).
She envisions growth in terms of school age programs through the vibrant parenting group.  New technology, involving current and new families, and providing a safe place to raise young faithful families are important in her ministries.  Attending Council helps strengthen these opportunities by learning about other current programs around the diocese.  Annual Council is also an excellent place to network with similar leaders in the diocese.

  Terri Hurst: A life-long Episcopalian, Terri and her family came to St. Matthew's through the Preschool over a decade ago.  In fact, even though her children are now in middle school and high school, she is still involved in the Preschool as the Chief Financial Officer.  She serves the parish in a variety of ministries, including the Communion Bread Guild, Vacation Bible School and the Communications Committee.  She's heavily involved in the Youth program, from organizing Sunday evening meals, to serving with New Beginnings as a sponsor and adult Team member.  She serves on the YST (Youth Support Team) as vestry liaison to Youth.  With her three year vestry term nearing an end, Terri is thankful for the opportunity to serve the parish in such a fulfilling, yet challenging, capacity.  Having attended the Annual Council in November 2016 as an alternate, she would be honored to represent St. Matthew's as a delegate in 2017. 

 Janis Williams:  Janis writes: "I am an Atlanta native and was "born a Baptist'. We attended church regularly and I was active at my church, Moreland Avenue Baptist Church in Southeast Atlanta from childhood through high school. I found my new home in the Episcopal church in late 1998 and St Matthew's in 1999. I attended Cursillo and was confirmed in September of 2000, and have been faithful in attendance since that time. Involved in ECW, Building and Grounds Committee, and Flower Guild, I found an outlet for my passion for gardening, which keeps me very busy in my retirement. I am interested to learn more about the goals and changes for the Episcopal church."

Wednesday with the Word

Join us on Wednesdays at 11:00 a.m. immediately following the healing Eucharist, for fellowship and bible study.  The group is currently exploring the psalms and each class looks at a particular group of psalms then invites reflection on one or more psalms.  There is always room for one more!

   St. Matthew's Restaurant Fellowships       

Join your fellow parishioners on the third Friday of every month for some adult fellowship! We will be meeting at different restaurants in Gwinnett County on the third  Friday at 7:00 p.m. 

Our first gathering will be at Three Blind Mice located at 1066 Killian Hill Road, Lilburn, GA. Please call Becky Olbon at 678-464-8273 or email at
by Wednesday, February 15. 

  February 12, 2017
An installation of new acolytes will take place during the service on February 12.  Congratulations to Krista Byron, Anna Couch, Lily Couch, Emelia Furman, Liam Furman and Ellie Jones, who will be installed on that day.


MANY THANKS to Jim Renfro for sharpening all the knives in our kitchen and placing them in protective sleeves! If you have occasion to work in the kitchen, please be aware that the knives are now VERY SHARP. Please use caution when handling the knives, and replace them in the sleeve when finished. Thanks!

St. Matthew's Preschool 2017/2018 Registration now open!

The following classes are available for the upcoming school year:
    • T/Th Toddlers ($170/month)
    • T/Th Twos ($170/month)
    • MWF Twos ($190/month)
    • MWF Threes ($190/month)
    • M-F Threes ($240/Month)
    • T-F Fours ($210/month)
    • M-F Fours ($240/month)
    • Kindergarten ($285/month)
  Registration fee: 2 & 3 days, $170;   4 & 5 days, $210
School Tours are available Monday - Friday, 10:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.  
Contact Jennifer at 770-978-1323 to schedule a tour!

Calendar of Activities
Week of 
February 5, 2017

Sunday, February 5:
  8:00 am  Holy Eucharist 
  9:00 am  Breakfast
  9:30 am  Christian Education
10:30 am  Holy Eucharist  w/ Handbells
12:00 pm  DOK quarterly meeting
12:30 pm  EfM Class in the Library
  6:00  pm  Youth Group
Monday, February 6:
  6:30 pm  Reading Camp Meeting
  7:00 pm  Boy Scout Troop 553
Tuesday, February 7:
   6:00 pm Centering Prayer
   7:00 pm Al-Anon
   7:30 pm AA
Wednesday, February 8:
9:45 am   Children's  Chapel
10:00 am Healing Service
11:00 am WWW Bible Study
3:30 pm   Staff Meeting
5:30 pm   Handbell Rehearsal
6:00 pm  DIVE Bible Study
6:30 pm  Cherub Choir Practice
7:00 pm  Sanctuary Choir
7:00 pm  Communications Cmt. Mtg.
Thursday, February 9:
 6:30 pm  Long Range Planning Meeting
Friday, February 10:
   7:00 pm NAMI Meeting
  7:00 pm  Al-Anon  
  7:30 pm  AA
  8:00 pm Girl Scout Troup  
Saturday, February 11:
  9:00 am  Altar Guild
  9:00 am  Bishop's Called To Lead (Cathedral)
10:00 am  Flower Guild
10:00 am  CafĂ© Theology
  7:00  pm  Sweetheart Dance

St. Matthew's  Episcopal Church
1520 Oak Rd.
Snellville, GA 30078

South East
Gwinnett Co-op News

February Food Drive continues with  focus on collecting specific items for the Southeast Gwinnett Cooperative Ministries. 
We will be collecting canned chicken and boxes of cereal (all kinds)
Beginning on Sunday, January 8th, the Outreach Committee will be handing out bags with attached food list after both services, so please fill bag and return to barrel outside of the Parish Hall.  All items will be promptly delivered to the Coop.

Please also note this message from the co-op: "The co-op will be closed until January 4th. We anticipate a busy day, with a full week of being closed and not being able to assist clients.
Thank you for your continued support of this critical source of help in our community. For more information on this ministry, click here.

SE Gwinnett Cooperative Ministry
55 Grayson Industrial Pkwy
Grayson, GA 30017


SUN, FEB 12: 
9:30 am Annual Parish Meeting & Combined Single Service followed by The Annual Fish Fry, hosted by The Brotherhood. Meals will be $10 for adults, $5 for children and $25 for families. All funds collected will go into the Brotherhood account which provides service to the church.

6:00 pm Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper

Prayer and Meditation Links:

Episcopal Church Links:

Connecting , and Bishop Wright's Weekly  For Faith