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!
- Sunday, March 29 – PALM SUNDAY (services as usual)
- Monday, March 30 – Holy Eucharist 7:00am
- Tuesday, March 31 – Holy Eucharist 7:00am
- Wednesday, April 1 – Holy Eucharist 7:00am & Noon
- Thursday, April 2 – MAUNDY THURSDAY – Holy Eucharist & footwashing 7:00pm
- Friday, April 3 – GOOD FRIDAY – Stations of the Cross at NOON, Holy Eucharist at 7:00pm
- Saturday, April 4 – HOLY SATURDAY – Easter Vigil, Holy Eucharist & Baptisms at 8:00pm
- Sunday, April 5 – EASTER DAY – Holy Eucharist at 8:30am & 11:00am (no 5pm service)
We’re busily putting the final touches on Italian Night! The ECW sponsors two fundraisers per year – Italian Night and the Rummage Sale. The money raised from these two events allows St. Matthews to support many different mission projects, both inside our parish family and in the community at large: our Parish (Inside/Outside Ministry, Karios, EYC); the Diocese (Bethany Village, the Scholarship fund, Camp McDowell); and throughout our Madison Community (the Food Bank, Home Bound Meal Program, Habitat for Humanity). (Only a few groups are listed; there are many others that have benefited from ECW funds.)
Yes, finally, Italian Night is upon us. Saturday, May 2nd is the date and plans are coming along swimmingly! Ticket sales on April 5th and 12th are set aside for parishioners only; after that date, tickets will be sold to non-St. Matthew’s parishioners who know “good food, good wine, great company” along with a Silent Auction with GREAT things to bid on!
It seems each year the Silent Auction gets bigger and better! Our chairs have been “hard at work” — and looking forward to seeing what items our Parishioners are going to donate this year. Our Silent Auction and raffle brought in $6681 last year. It was successful because of your talents and your donated treasures. In fact, the most unique & outstanding items were provided by “we the people!”
The Art Angels meet every 4th Thursday. This month our meeting is on Thursday, April 23rd at 7:00pm at St. Matthew’s. Anyone with an artistic talent or an interest in art is welcome to attend.
The kids playgroup will meet at Kid’s Kingdom on Saturday, April 18th at 10:00am. We will meet again on Sunday, April 26th at 2:30pm at KidVenture. All kids and parents are invited to attend.
(BORROWED) THOUGHTS ON HYMN SINGING: Sometimes in the hectic “busy-ness” of selecting, scheduling, preparing and rehearsing anthems for the choir to present on Sunday mornings, I momentarily forget that our primary responsibility is to support congregational singing. At such times, I find it helpful to turn to the words of Debbie Skillman,the organist/choirmaster at St. Philip’s Episcopal Church in Southport, North Carolina, whose wisdom has been quoted in this column on other occasions. In a recent newsletter article, Debbie writes:
Do you ever stop to think that hymns are a common thread that binds believers together? Thecongregation is bound in real time as they breathe and then sing together. They are bound together by the rhythm, the pitches, and the hymn texts. Not only are they bound together with those present in the sanctuary; they are also connected with those who have gone before. There are few opportunities nowadays where large groups of individuals actually join in recreating an opus that has brought beauty and peace to thousands across the years. [As reflected in] part of the hymn text of “O God Our Help in Ages Past”:
Time like an ever-rolling stream bears all our years away; They fly forgotten as a dream dies at the opening day.
The words to that hymn were written by Isaac Watts who died in 1748, a paraphrase of Psalm 90, verses 1-5. So the ideas paraphrased by Watts were those expressed by David thousands of years ago? This succinct poetic expression about the life of man is as true now as it was then. If you asked the average churchgoer of the last 60 years if they could quote or paraphrase Psalm 90, I doubt they would say, why yes. If you asked them if they could sing or quote some part of “O God Our Help in Ages Past”, I am sure they could. I am positive my grandmother and my great-grandmother sang this hymn at church, my parents and siblings sang it, my husband and I have sung it, as have my children. This hymn and many others are a common thread that joins the generations in expressing the Christian faith and truths about our journey here on earth. Personally, I find this musical faith heritage a gift, both touching and beautiful in its interconnectedness.
So has the Church, in liturgy and song,
In faith and love, through centuries of wrong,
Borne witness to the truth in every tongue. Alleluia!
DOK members mark your calendars for the Spring Retreat, April 10th – April 12th, at Camp McDowell. The theme this year is: “Nurturing a Servant Heart”. Elna and Liz have planned a fun filled weekend, which includes learning how to make prayer beads. This is great way to relax, refresh your spirit, and get to know other daughters. Contact the church office for more information.
Our EYC Lock-In and Road Rally is finally happening! We were run out of our last date due to weather, but it looks like smooth sailing for this one. The Lock-In and Road Rally, which is for Sr. High only, will be held on Friday, April 10. Meet at the church at 7:00 pm, having already eaten dinner. Once everyone arrives, you will go out in teams on the exciting Road Rally. Each team will have an adult driver and will solve clues taking them all around town on an adventure! After the road rally, everyone will hang out at the church playing games, watching movies, having snacks, and enjoying a great time together! The Lock-In will end at 8:00 am on Saturday, April 11.
On May 2nd, the EYC will be helping out at the ECW Italian Night! Everyone who can help, should be at church by 5PM, dressed in black pants and a white shirt. You will be done for the evening by around 11PM. We will be helping with set-up, serving, and clean-up. This is a great way to help the ECW, which has been so supportive of our EYC.
The St. Matthew’s EYC Spring Retreat is right around the corner! Mark your calendars now for Friday, May 8th. We will gather at St. Matthew’s at 5PM, have dinner on the way down and be at Camp McDowell in time for a hayride and bonfire. On Saturday (5/9), after breakfast and morning prayer, we will hike, canoe and swim (if warm enough) before having a cookout lunch! We will return to St. Matthew’s by approximately 5PM. This event is open to both PrEYC and EYC members. Cost is $20 per person plus money for dinner on the way down and a possible milkshake stop on the way home!This trip is always a blast so plan on being a part of the fun!
EYC Calendar of Events
- April 10 …. LOCK-IN/ROAD RALLY. (See article above for details) There will be no Second Sunday this month, due to the Lock-In.
- April 20 …. Pizza With the Padre, 6:00-7:15PM. Jr. High EYC are invited to join in for pizza and conversation in the Jr. High classroom. This is a great opportunity to build relationships and have some fun!
- May 2 …. EYC serving at the ECW Italian Night Dinner. (See article above for details)
- May 8-9 …. EYC Spring Retreat at Camp McDowell. (See article above for details)
- June 14-20 …. Mission Trip
The men of St. Matthew’s meet every third Tuesday for wings & prayer. This month, we will meet on Tuesdays, APRIL 7th & 28th @ 6:00pm at Crickets in Madison. All men are invited to attend.
Tom Killian likes to tell the congregation on Christmas Eve that “The First Noel” is my favorite hymn. I do like to hit that high tenor note when we sing this, but “Welcome Happy Morning” is right up there among my favorites. It is number 179 in our hymnal. We sing this on Easter morning as we recess from worship.
“Loose the souls long prisoned, bound with Satan’s chain; all that now is fallen raise to life again; show thy face in brightness, bid the nations see; bring again our daylight: day returns with thee! Welcome Happy Morning! Age to age shall say.” This last verse speaks to me. Wehave lots of chains that bind us. The stories of our lives often weigh us down to the point of despair.
The Easter story is filled with joy – Welcome Happy Morning! Joy is the by-product of a life lived in God’s way. This is God’s promise. Joy is the spirit that spills forth when we sing “Welcome Happy Morning!” It feels better than any feeling – joy. I want to live my life in joy, but often find it difficult.
The cares of the world, negotiating the feelings of others, and the day-to-day tasks of living often get in the way. “Don’t let them steal your joy, Steve,” I find myself repeating often. Wouldn’t it be great if people focused on joy? One of the great parts I get to play (in my role as priest) is to be with people when they are dying. It does my heart good to be with people that find joy when they are dying. It gives me hope.
Some of us are struggling with many things. We have loved ones in trouble. We struggle with financial issues. We struggle with children in difficulty. We struggle with parents aging and dying. We struggle with our jobs or neighbors or friends, or family, or just making it through the day. We often use copping mechanisms that are destructive to our bodies and souls.
In A.A., the participants have sponsors. These are called when the challenge to remain sober becomes great. Christians believe that we can go to Jesus when the challenges become great – how about a sponsor? What if we go to each other, finding someone who exudes joy? What if we become that person?
Welcome Happy Morning! Age to age shall sing… difference in each other’s lives.
8:30am - Holy Eucharist, Traditional
11:00am - Holy Eucharist, Traditional
5:00pm - Holy Eucharist, Contemporary
12:00pm - Holy Eucharist, Traditional
Visit our worship page for more information.