St, Matthew's Episcopal Church

Vestry Voice
This month's meeting was held on Monday night December 12 th held at Provino's. Most all Vestry members were present along with Sally Ulrey, Mother Liz and, our    recording secretary, Susan Carson.
This was our first Organic Vestry meeting.  Bishop Whitmore had suggested that we should, from time to time, have an Organic Vestry meeting, which could be held at a different location or even at a different time from our regular meetings.  It should be a more relaxed environment and the format would be more spiritual and less about the day to day business of the church. It should create an environment for spiritual     bonding within all Vestry members and should focus on topics that would invite input from all members. We chose Provino's so we could have a meaningful discussion and break bread together.
Ralph NeSmith was challenged to create a series of questions that would stimulate conversation on areas that are meaningful to the leadership of the church and are   focused on invitational ministry. The questions were as follows. Some of the comments are listed below:

  1. Why did you serve on the Vestry?
Some of the responses were to be a good steward, some felt it was important to get a new perspective, some felt a responsibility to speak out and take part in a leadership role, and some felt called to leadership. Some members had served on the Search committee and wanted to follow through and hear Mother Liz's perspective.
2. How do we get 12people to run for Vestry?
Ask and then point out the gifts you have seen that the person has to offer,   invitational ministry is important, be prepared to tell your own story, let folks know that they are needed, Vestry is team building-a good way to get to know others, discipleship-spiritual gifts and matching people to their gifts, encourage diversity that reflects the parish, and to form an intentional/invitational      nominating committee who can keep track of who is asked and who has agreed to serve.  Vestry is a calling and candidates should prayerfully consider their decision.
3. What ministry could we add to invite outside community to participate?
Don't add one-invite others to take part in what we already have, participate in          community events, wearing SMEC t-shirts, possibly, give people a place to    connect with God, join other area churches to participate in a group activity, the possibility of SMEC being a Warming Center in times of cold weather, and if the question was asked "if St. Matthews wasn't here, what would be missed?"     answers included were Outreach  activities and the Preschool to name a couple.
Next, we also discussed some business:
The Vestry was asked to look over the financial report and advised that we would be   presented the 2017 budget for approval at our January meeting.
Becky Olbon suggested to the Vestry to attend the Church of the Common Ground in  Atlanta possibly for a bible study that is done on Thursdays. As an Outreach, SMEC could provide a lunch for those attending that day. The Vestry was in favor of this so she will investigate and bring back information at a later date.
A motion was made to allocate 50% of Mother Liz's salary toward housing in 2017, this was seconded and carried unanimously. This is a routine action which allows the Cleric to decide the amount of his or her compensation to be designated as housing allowance.
Prayer concerns were shared and the first Organic meeting of the Vestry was adjourned at 9:45 PM.


Sunday, January 15, 2017 

The Second Sunday After The Epiphany

    • Holy Eucharist 8:00 a.m.
    • Continental Breakfast 9:00 a.m.
    • Sunday School Classes Resume All Ages 9:30 a.m.
    • Holy Eucharist With Baptisms 10:30 a.m


Adult Christian Education
Jan 15 --Nick Donavon will share about his summer mission experience, which St. Matthew's helped support him on
Jan 22 --One Congregation One Precinct.  Learn about how our congregation is teaming up with our local police precinct to promote education and unity
NEWCOMERS CLASS :   ( Jan 15th, 22nd, 29th ) New to St. Matthew's? Or want to learn more about the church community here? Newcomer classes will meet from 9:30 - 10:15  a.m. in the Canterbury Room (the room next door to the parish hall) for the next three Sundays: January 15, January 22, and January 29. 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 ministry  leaders and     parishioners here. New members wishing to take part will be welcomed during both the 8:00 and 10:30 services on Sunday, February 5.

Flower Guild Sale and Final Pick Up of Christmas Flowers 

Beautiful Poinsettias and some great Christmas cacti are still available for pick up this Sunday, Jan 15 after each service. First come - first serve; please be patient and kind to one another.  
Our Flower Guild Sale was postponed last Sunday. We will be selling a few decorations no longer being used this Sunday, Jan 15, in the Parish Hall between services. We will also sell some flower seeds that were harvested from the Moonflowers grown in our garden! Supply is very limited, so please bring your one dollar bills for this fun little sale!  

Thank you for your support,
Your St. Matthew's Flower Guild

Cafe Theology: New Topic begins January 28

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. We will explore the following questions: Did Jesus intend to found a church separate from Judaism? Who were the very first followers of Jesus? How did a clash between two families-the family of Jesus on one hand and the family of high priest Annas and their aristocratic allies on the other-eventually lead to the formation of Christianity? 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 start on January 28. Come join us!

Wednesday with the Word Continued Study of the Psalms
Beginning last Wednesday, January 11, the Wednesday bible study will continue the 8 week study of the psalms. Join us in the library from 11 am-12 noon to learn more about these scriptures so fundamental to both Jewish and Christian worship. 

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 12, 2017
Krista Byron
Anna Couch
Lily Couch
Emelia Furman
Liam Furman
Ellie Jones

Parish Annual Meeting 

Sunday, February 12th beginning 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

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.
End of the year pledge statements will be prepared soon. Please be sure your mailing address is up to date in our database, especially if you have moved in the last year. Once printed, statements will initially be available to be picked up at the church to save on mailing costs.

Please join the group on
Thursday January 18th
At 7:00 p.m.
McCraw's Tavern
100 North Perry Street
Lawrenceville, GA 30046
Contact: Levi Livermont

ECW Chili Cook-off
Monday, January 23, 6:30 p.m.

Parish Hall

EVERYONE is invited  (Men & Women)

Bring YOUR favorite Chili

Everyone votes on the best chili--PRIZES for the winners, plus you get best-chili-bragging rights!

   SE Gwinnett Co-op News

Thank you for your generous support of this important project.

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.

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

Calendar of Activities
week of 
January 15, 2017

Sunday, January 15:
  8:00 am Holy Eucharist 
  9:00 am  Breakfast
  9:30 am  Christian Education
10:30 am Holy Eucharist 
12:30 pm EfM Class in the Library
  6:00 pm Youth Group Laser Tag
Monday, January 16:
     7:00   pm Boy Scout Troop 553
Tuesday, January 17:
     6:00   pm   Centering Prayer
   7:00 pm Al-Anon
   7:30 p.m.   AA

Wednesday, January 18:
9:45 am Children's  Chapel
10:00 am Healing Service
11:00 am WWW Bible Study
4:00 pm Staff Meeting
5:30 pm Handbell Rehearsal
    6:00 pm DIVE Bible Study
  6:00 pm Fellowship Cmt. Mtg
   6:45 pm  Cherub Choir Practice
   7:00 pm  Sanctuary Choir

Thursday, January 19:
 10:00 pm  Knit, Purl & Pray
   6:30 pm  Girl Scouts Unit Mtg

Friday, January 20:
   7 :00 pm Al-Anon  
   7:30 p.m.   AA
Saturday, January 21:
  8:00 am Brotherhood 
  9:00   am Altar Guild
10:00 am Flower Guild
10:00 am New Beginning Team Training


WED, JAN 18 :
7:00 pm Guy's Night Out 
5:00 pm Youth Laser Tag MON, JAN 23:
 6:30 pm ECW Chili Cook-off SUN, FEB 12: 
9:30 am Annual Parish Meeting & Combined Single Service 
6:00 pm Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper

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