St, Matthew's Episcopal Church




"For behold, I am bringing you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.  For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord."
(Luke 2:10-11, KJV)

We hear these words every Christmas, and so it is expected that their impact may become dull over time. But read them again, slowly; read them several times, each time emphasizing a different word.

For US, God came down.  For all the people - not some, but ALL.   For all the people, God sent a Savior; a Messiah, the Jews would call him.  We know him as Jesus the Christ, or anointed one.  And it is good news that we need to hear and celebrate every year.  Because each year comes with its own challenges and this year is no different.  As it was in the days of Herod, and Caesar Augustus and Pontius Pilate and Mary and Joseph, so it is today.  There is still war, and oppression and unimaginable levels of poverty.  There are still those who migrate to other countries, seeking relief from regimes that enslave.  If we have learned anything in the two thousand years since the birth of Christ, it is that we humans are not able to resolve all the problems on our own.  We need a savior.  We need a light who comes, and comes, and comes again, dispelling darkness and scattering seeds of hope.  We need God.

And out of love, God empties himself into a newborn baby. For a while, God dwells with us in Jesus, God's son - to show us the grace of God in the face of God.  And we are called to remember, and to share both the story of God's salvation for all, and the love that pours forth from that act.

It is good news.  It is the best news.  Christ is born!  God's love reigns!  And nothing will ever be the same again.

Blessed Christmas.
Liz+      

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Christmas Eve, Christmas Day
& New Year's Day
 
Services Schedule
 
Christmas Eve - Saturday,  December 24, 2016
 
  •    5:00 p.m. - Family Service with the Cherubs
  •    7:30 p.m. - Family Service (with light incense)
  •  10:30 p.m. - Carol Sing
  •  11:00 p.m. - Festive Holy Eucharist (with incense)          
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Christmas Day - Sunday, December 25, 2016
  •  One service at 10:00 a.m.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
New Year's Day - Sunday, January 1, 2017
  •  One service at 10:00 a.m.

  Note: The Nursery will be closed during these services, but children of all ages are welcome in church

*****


  
St. Matthew's Long Range Planning -- Vision and Mission  

The Long Range Planning Committee encourages everyone 14 years and older to complete the Vision Survey.  Click on this link ( https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/phqls7n ) or you can find a printed copy in the church office during the week.  On the weekends, it will be available in the Narthex.  Circle your calendar for the Annual Meeting on Feb 12, when we will develop action plans for our next steps.


                                  
Feeling Called to Vestry Service? 

Vestry elections will be held during the  Annual Parish Meeting on February 12, 2017. Nominations are now open for both Vestry and Diocesan  Council. Four vestry members are rolling off their three year term. If you are interested in learning more about vestry service, please contact Jack Denton, Sr. Warden, or any current vestry member. Nomination forms are available on the main bulletin board in the hallway. 
The requirements for vestry service are as follows:

"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." .    
  


2017 pledge envelopes have arrived and are on a table in the parish hall. If you use or have ordered envelopes for your yearly giving, please pick them up.
 
PLEDGE STATEMENTS
All pledge statements were mailed out at the end of last week. Please check them carefully for accuracy. Also, please be reminded that the final day for 2016 Pledge and gifts to be in for 2016, is next Sunday, December 31st.

GLOBAL MISSION / READING CAMP
The Global Mission Committee is looking for a lead teacher who has taken part in Reading Camp centers in the past who might be interested in the mission trip being planned for Grenada. Please see Cicely Simon, Pamella Coard or Gini Peterson for more information.

 
 SE Gwinnett Co-op News

Thank you for your generous support of this important project.

Please note:

Perishable:
Milk

Non-Perishable:
canned vegetables: potatoes, carrots, beets, tomatoes, mixed vegetables
canned beans: lima/butter, black-eyed peas, chili bean, refried, vegeterian baked bean
canned fruit: pineapple
dry beans: chick pea,black-eyed pea, black, cranberry, red, mixed, navy 
soup: beef, seafood, vegetable
protein: canned chicken, canned chili
Misc. spaghetti sauce, seasoned rice mixes, seasoned pasta mixes

Non-Food:
Deodorant
Toothbrushes
Feminine Products
Shaving Cream
Lotion
Dish Soap

May you all have a Merry Christmas and enjoy time with your families.

***
January Food Drive - January is the month in which St. Matthew's focuses 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.
 
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
770-985-5229





The office staff at St. Matthew's would like to wish everyone a joyful and blessed Christmas season and a happy New Year.

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PLEASE NOTE HOLIDAY OFFICE HOURS
 
The parish office will be closed
from 1:00 p.m. Friday, December 23
through Monday, January 2
It will reopen on Tuesday, January 3
 
In case of emergency, please call 770-979-4210 and leave a message for Mother  Liz.

ST. MATTHEW'S
Calendar of Activities
week of 
December 25, 2016

Sunday, December 25:
10:00 am    Holy Eucharist    
 
 
Monday, December 26:   
   Parish Office Closed 
 
T uesday , December 27:
Parish Office Closed
6:00  pm    NO Centering Prayer
    7:00  pm    Al-Anon
    7:30  pm    AA
Wednesday , December 28:
Parish Office Closed
NO WWW Bible Study
 
 
Friday, December 30:
     Parish Office Closed 
     7:00 pm   Al-Anon
     7:00 pm   NAMI
     7:30 pm   AA
Saturday, December 31 
New Year's Eve:
     9:00 am    Altar Guild
   10:00 am   Flower Guild
Sunday, January 1
New Year's Day
    10:00 am   Holy Eucharist
Monday, January 2
   Parish Office Closed  

Prayer and Meditation Links:





Episcopal Church Links:

Connecting , and Bishop Wright's Weekly  For Faith




St. Matthew's  Episcopal Church
1520 Oak Rd.
Snellville, GA 30078
770-979-4210