Welcome to St. Matthew’s!

St. Matthew’s is a vibrant, welcoming parish of the Episcopal tradition located in Madison, Alabama. We love welcoming guests to our church, whether you’re just in town for the weekend or are looking for a new church home. We hope you will enjoy your visit with us!

St. Matthew’s 25th Anniversary Celebration

Friday, September 9th 6:00 – 9:00 PM

Open House, Reminiscing, Pictures, Food and Drink. A casual Reception with finger foods and drinks, video presentation, & sharing of memories. Casual attire.

Saturday September 10th 2:00 – 9:00 PM

Celebration Activities. Casual attire for all event.

  • 2:30 PM Confirmation Services with Bishop Kee Sloan.
  • 4:00 – 6:00 PM Pig Roast, Picnic, Fun & Fellowship, Inflatable’s for the kids (parental supervision required), Music by Black Market Haggis (4-6).
  • 5:30 New Building Consecration. Immediately following, Time Capsule Burial in Prayer Garden.
  • 5:30 Music Performance begins in the Nave with singer, Beverly Owen.
  • 6:15 – 7:30 Celebrate The Rev. Steve Gruman in the Nave, featuring the Five O’clock Band.
  • 7:30 – 9:00 Fr. Steve’s Retirement Party in Gruman Hall, Tommy Perdue Band, food & drink, dancing.

Sunday, September 11

Services as usual:

  • 8:30 Holy Eucharist
  • 10:00 Sunday School
  • 11:00 Holy Eucharist
  • 5:00 Holy Eucharist
Musical Musings – September 2016

“ADVENT IN AUGUST,” PART II:

On Sunday, August 21, St. Matthew’s Choir sponsored a kick-off luncheon/rehearsal for the 2016 Service of Lessons and Carols. While this is an annual event for us, new this year was the venue: the rehearsal (which normally takes place in our usual spot in the north transept of the church) was held in our newly appointed “Music Room” (a/k/a the handbell rehearsal room and your music director’s office).

While this room will not support weekly choir rehearsals, it nonetheless proved an acceptably-intimate space for auditioning recordings of the nine carols (anthems), and for discussing the finer details of this year’s service. I am happy to report that some two dozen singers attended the rehearsal; and all seemed enthused about the musical selections.

But the even better news is that it isn’t too late for you to get involved. I can always use additional singers (particularly sopranos); and if this means ordering more copies of the music, or even getting more choir robes, we’re prepared to do that as well. The rehearsal schedule is low-impact: we meet each Wednesday evening at 6:30 PM for about thirty minutes; and there are additional rehearsal opportunities available once each month on Sunday afternoons in September, October and November. If you’d like to participate in this special event, contact the church office or talk to me in person at the church. But please, do it soon!

Bunco Fun Night

Have you ever wondered what the game Bunco is? Would you like to have a laughter filled evening as you learn to play a social dice game involving 100% luck and NO skill!

ECW is sponsoring an adult game night for all men and women to play a fun new game while socializing with other St. Matthews members. If you know how to play Bunco, we need you to help “teach” the newbys how to play.

We will begin the mayhem in Gruman Hall on Friday Sept 16th at 7:00. Bring $5.00, and beverage of your choice, and join in the fun!

ECW News – September 2016

Ahhh, the sweet sounds of summer are soon to be over… Bring on the leaves and cooler temperatures please. Your ECW has many great opportunities coming our way…

In September, our annual pig roast this year will also include our 25th celebration and the retirement of Father Steve. All hands on deck will be needed to fulfill this memorable celebration. Father Steve, your encouragement and support have been truly inspirational. Thank you for the giving of self to so many.

ECW Fall Conference will be September 29th and 30th. Camp McDowell will be our host and the themes is ‘Girls just want to have fun”! Registration has started, please note the bulletin board or go to the Alabama ECW website to register. See you there!

Save your gently used items because the rummage sale is coming November 4th and 5th and the sheds are coming Sept. 13th. Thank each and every one of you for your time, your talents, and belief in our ministry. The ECW is doing wonderful things.

Youth News – September 2016

We are excited to have started a new school year and for all that brings in youth ministry. Updates will be sent to parents, youth and volunteers weekly via email and/or text updates from Remind.com. If you should be receiving emails from Sara and you are not please contact her.

There are instructions on how to join the Remind.com text groups on the EYC bulletin board, along with additional information on when Pr-EYC and EYC will meet this month.

As the school year gets underway I encourage all of us to seek out ways to support our students in their lives outside of St Matthew’s. Many of our students are in band, play sports, or are in other clubs and groups. Ask them about what they do, go to a game or a recital, you may not think students value your interest, but it is more valuable than you may ever know.

From Fr. Steve – September 2016

This is my last missive to you as your rector. Our lives have been intertwined for almost sixteen years. It seems like yesterday that I showed up for interviews. We have seen many come and go over these years. We have succeeded to add to our physical space, add to our staff, work on numerous Habitat houses, go on a few mission trips, helped one of our own graduate from seminary, held an ordination, and much more.

Give the glory to God for all of this.

My retirement feels like a death to some. I know, you have told me. It does somewhat to me. I cleaned out my desk and emptied my shelves. Every memento, every file, every picture, and little reminders of the past made me happy and sad all at once. I remembered cleaning out my father’s office when he died. It felt like that at times.

I hope to live on for many years, and after your new rector gets acclimated, I hope I can come back and continue to be a part of the story of St. Matthew’s. I won’t be your rector, I’ll be resurrected with a new role. I’m thinking about joining the choir.

Here are some last words to you all. Read Joshua 24 and try to live into the scene that the author creates for the reader. These are Joshua’s last words to the people before he dies.

Love one another. That’s straight out of the gospels. Give and forgive. These two words are the essence of Godliness. Find points of agreement. You can’t always get what you want (Rolling Stones). Honor one another enough to listen to each other. If you disagree, let it be for a season, not an eternity. The new day will bring new ideas. If you really believe in God, then believe that God will keep God’s promises. God says over and over that if you put your trust in God first, all that you ask for will be yours.

Sadly, we fail to recognize that God works these miracles out in today’s church through leading people to us. These people may not come up and say, “I hear you are looking to start a ministry to the homeless. I have been creating homeless ministry for years.” You may not know that you wanted to do this. You may pray for a sense of peace, or God’s will. We pray often without knowing what would be the most ideal situation for our health and happiness. God knows.

When people walk through the doorway to join you in worship, make an effort to find out something about them that will help you to remember them. Maybe their name is Jack. Jack rhymes with tack, and Jack and the beanstalk comes to mind. Jack is from Wisconsin, and you find out Jack has a love of baseball. Jack can restart our softball team. Try it. It works. Jack may become your new best friend.

Lastly, Christian giving isn’t an option. If you are a Christian, you will be part of a gathered community. When people were first called Christians at Antioch, they were called this because of being a part of an extraordinary community of faith, focused on Christ. To call oneself a Christian without being a part of a gathered community of faith is a stretch. We have a responsibility to each other in community as well. This is why we give.

Certainly, there will be all sorts of people coming together for worship. Some will just want a private devotional time with Jesus. There isn’t anything wrong with this; it is just not what Jesus means when he talks about disciples in community – the church.

Our form of Christian Community has Bishops, Priests, and Deacons. All of these have certain roles. The Holy Spirit of God will lead the Rector that you will call to this parish. This person won’t look like me, won’t talk like me, won’t have the same gifts as I do, and this is all a good thing. When I was a layperson, I didn’t always think of my rector as the “ideal” rector. I had several that stood out to me as people who gave me inspiration. But, every rector I had was someone I respected, and I worked hard to help him or her in his or her ministry. That is our job as lay people.

So, I charge you with a sacred responsibility. Whomever God sends to you is a key to your salvation. These might come as laypeople, or as clergy. Love them. You will find much happiness in doing this, and your faith will grow.

Peace,
Fr. Steve+

Come See Fr. Mike!

As we kick off our 25th anniversary celebration, Rev. Mike Cleckler, St. Matthew’s first Rector, will be here to preach on August 28th at both morning services. You will want to be present to hear him revisit St. Matthew’s earliest days.

Interim Rector Selected

The St. Matthew’s Vestry is pleased to announce the selection of The Rev. James (Jim) Pappas as Interim Rector. Father Jim will assume the pulpit on Sunday, 18 September.

The Rev. Jim Pappas was born and raised in Belleville, IL (just across the river from St. Louis, MO) and moved to Sewanee, TN in 2002 to attend seminary at the University of the South. He is married to Professor Jennifer Michael, the Chair of the English Department at the University. Together they have one son, Jamie, who is 4 years old.

Fr. Jim has been a priest since 2010. He currently serves as an assisting priest at St. Mary’s Convent in Sewanee (a non-stipendiary ministry that he will be continuing while at St. Matthew’s). His most recent full-time ministry was as the Interim Rector of St. Mary Magdalene Episcopal Church in Fayetteville, TN.

In his free time, Fr. Jim enjoys cooking, fishing, gardening, reading, and hiking. He also plays the timpani with the Sewanee Symphony Orchestra. His special interests in ministry include liturgy, church music, spirituality, and outreach ministries.

Parish Pig Roast is right around the corner!

On Friday, September 9th, the pig will arrive and be put on the grill; the briskets will be wrapped and smoked; and the whoppers and other “true” stories will be told through the day and night. On Saturday, September 10th, the now roasted pork and beef will be pulled and shredded, the chicken will be grilled; the potluck salads and desserts will arrive; and the picnic feast will be enjoyed by one and all.

Since this is a slight change to the past many years – a Friday-Saturday event instead of Saturday-Sunday – It’s not too soon to volunteer to help with the organization. We need volunteers to arrange shifts for cooking the pig, purchase supplies for the grill and pig roast, pig roasters, and guys who just want to hang out. If you feel called to help with this annual rite of roasting and toasting, please contact

Musical Musings

“ADVENT IN AUGUST”: No, I don’t actually propose that our Advent celebration begin in the heat of summer. However, this is the tagline, which announces the inaugural rehearsal for our annual Service of Lessons and Carols, sponsored by St. Matthew’s Choir. This year’s Service will be held on Sunday evening, December 11, at 5:00 PM (that’s the “Advent” part). But the kick-off luncheon/read-through/listen-to event is scheduled for Sunday, August 21, immediately following the 11:00 AM morning worship service.

We will begin with finger foods provided by the choir, with enough to share so that no one has to skip lunch. This will be followed, beginning about 1:00 PM, with distribution of music for the Lessons and Carols’ service, and an opportunity to listen to recordings of that music as we read along. We should be finished with this initial rehearsal around 3:00 PM. Thereafter, regular Lessons and Carols’ rehearsals will be held on Wednesday
evenings beginning at 6:30 PM, for about thirty minutes or so. As always, we welcome additional singers to join us for this once-a-year program of readings, anthems and hymns.

We particularly are in need of additional sopranos; but singers of all voice ranges are encouraged to attend. Please let me know if you would like to be a part of this wonderful experience. Contact the church office for more information.

Worship Schedule

Sunday:
8:30am - Holy Eucharist, Traditional
11:00am - Holy Eucharist, Traditional
5:00pm - Holy Eucharist, Contemporary

Wednesday:
12:00pm - Holy Eucharist, Traditional

Visit our worship page for more information.

Parish Events

11Dec
Holy EucharistTime: 8:30 am – 9:45 am
11Dec
Christian EdTime: 10:00 am – 11:00 am
11Dec
Holy EucharistTime: 11:00 am – 12:15 pm
11Dec
LESSONS & CAROLSTime: 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm
12Dec
Bells' AngelsTime: 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm
13Dec
Men's BreakfastTime: 7:00 am – 8:00 am
13Dec
ECW Christmas PartyTime: 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
13Dec
Stephen MinistersTime: 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm
14Dec
Holy EucharistTime: 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
14Dec
Advent Dinner & ProgramTime: 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
14Dec
ChoirTime: 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm
15Dec
Ladies Bible StudyTime: 9:30 am – 11:00 am
16Dec
STAFF/VESTRY Wine & CheeseTime: 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
17Dec
PrEYC & EYC Christmas PartyTime: 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm

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