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!

Vacation Bible School!

JULY 13 – 16, 6:00 – 8:00 P.M.
Ages 4 years through completed 4th Graders
*Completed 5th Graders will help with the Nursery for volunteers. Sign up in the Narthex

Parish Profile

St Matthew’s has come a long way since Summer 1991 and its warehouse days. And our future looks brighter than ever because of you, our Church Family. We have been able to accomplish much over the past 24 years because we have gotten the word out on what it means to be part of St Matthew’s. This has been by word of mouth (Evangelism); our web site, and the Parish Profile. Our Evangelism and web sites evolve and stay current, but our 15 year old Parish Profile is now outdated, and your Vestry has decided it is time to update that Profile to reflect our growth and future needs.

The Parish Profile is a narrative description that has many useful purposes. It has usually been used in the in the search process for a new Priest. More recently however, Parishes find it is a useful supplement to their websites, because it provides demographic and community information about the Parish. Used effectively, it can aid those seeking a new church home by providing information that satisfies their needs and wants.

Typically, a Parish Profile includes:

  1. A summary of the profile that addresses who we are; what do we do; and how do we go about doing it.
  2. Information about the parish such as location; demographics; and uniqueness of the area.
  3. A picture of the Church: the size of the parish; available services; church activities; and various ministries

The Parish Profile belongs to all of us, and we all should be part of its development. How will we begin that process, you ask? At the heart of the Profile is an inward look by each member of the Parish through an anonymous survey. The survey will collect demographic data of the congregation, and ask you questions that will provide your perceptions of St Matthew’s. It is not a test as there are no right or wrong answers.

It the next several weeks Parishioners will develop the survey, and then disseminate it for you completion. While the Profile and Survey are still in the conceptual stage, please prayerfully think about this process.

Your Vestry

Musical Musings – June 2015

HYMN TUNES (RE)VISITED: First things first. Congratulations to John Charlton for correctly identifying last month’s mystery hymn, “When In Our Music God Is Glorified” (#420 in the 1982 Hymnal). Although the text may not immediately appear familiar to you, the melody of this hymn is also used with two other text settings in our hymnal. Can you name either (or both) of these hymns? [Boy, this one just will not die…]

Which leads us to the subject of hymn tunes. Hymns are unique in choral literature in that they may be readily identified by (and strongly associated with) either their lyrics, or their music, or both in conjunction. Not surprisingly, the bulk of our most beloved hymns consist of words penned by one person, with music composed by another. Sometimes the lyricist and composer were contemporaries, and collaborated on numerous hymns for specific events or publications, such as with Fanny J. Crosby and Phoebe Knapp. But more often than not, the two were separated by miles, years and/or ideologies, and never even met. Case in point: An obscure 1860 novel contained a poem by Anna Bartlett Warner, used to comfort a dying child. In 1862, composer William Batchelder Bradbury encountered Warner’s poem, added a fourth verse and a refrain, and incorporated music to create the well-known hymn Jesus Loves Me. One may argue convincingly that either the text, or the music, represents the most memorable aspect of this hymn; but most will agree that, through their association, the two are virtually inseparable.

Since hymn tunes are often composed apart from lyrics with which they are eventually paired, these tunes are given simple names to identify them. Frequently, tunes are named after geographic locations – don’t ask me why. For example, the hymn-tune name used for Jesus Loves Me is “China” (!). I imagine there would be great confusion if, at the end of a Eucharist, I asked everyone to stand and sing “New Britain”; but if I asked instead that you sing Amazing Grace, the familiar words and melody would immediately spring to mind. However, even these seemingly random hymn-tune names can prove useful. In the back of our 1982 Hymnal, there is a reference section titled “Index of Tune Names”, which documents each hymn based on its named tune, regardless of the words used with it. So if we sing Hymn #569, God The Omnipotent!, and you notice that in the fine print at the bottom of the page it identifies the hymn-tune name as “Russia”, then you can search for Russia in the Index of Tune Names, and find out what other texts in our hymnal are set to this same tune.

Now that you are armed with this information, go back and identify the two mystery hymns posed at the beginning of this column…

Welcome our Summer Intern!

Marilyn Lands is a Licensed Professional Counselor in the State of Alabama and provides private practice and contract mental health services in the Madison County Community. She serves clients in individual, family and group counseling in a private practice setting. She is also licensed as a Supervising Counselor and provides supervision for clinicians applying for State licensure. Marilyn holds a Master of Science degree in Counseling Psychology from Alabama A&M University; a Master of Science in Management and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, both from the University of Alabama in Huntsville.

Marilyn is a frequent lecturer on the subject of stress management and conducts specialized training seminars on parenting, stress management, coping with grief and mindfulness meditation. She recently launched her first website www.thinkwithlove.com. Marilyn is a member of the Church of the Nativity where she teaches a Social Justice Sunday School Class and serves on the Outreach Committee, Youth Council, Daughters of the King and as a Lay Eucharistic Minister and Intercessor.

Marilyn is active in Leadership Huntsville/Madison County (member Class 5) and serves on the leadership team of the Huntsville Area Inclusive Communities Initiative. She is a past festival chair of Panoply of the Arts and a past board chair of The Arts Council and Leadership Huntsville/Madison County. Marilyn is also a Veriditas Certified Labyrinth Instructor and is available to speak with groups and work with individuals interested in using the labyrinth as a spiritual tool. She is married to Robin Cozby and they have one son, Jordan, who is a junior at Bob Jones High School.

Ladies Bible Study

Ladies Bible Study will resume on June 11 and will meet every-other Thursday at 9:30am during the summer months. All ladies are invited to attend. Contact the church office for more information.

Wing and a Prayer Men’s Fellowship, June 2015

The men of St. Matthew’s meet every third Tuesday for wings & prayer. We will meet Tuesdays, June 9th and June 30th @ 6:00pm at Crickets in Madison.

For more information, contact the church office.

Youth Events – June 2015

June has arrived and we are about to embark on our fifth EYC Mission Trip. We will be returning to Copperhill, TN June 14- 20. I am asking that our St. Matthew’s family be in prayer for our EYC Mission Trip participants that week; pray for safety, and strength, and for a deepening of our relationship with Christ as we serve the people of Copperhill.

The EYC Mission Team would like to give our most sincere thanks to the ECW of St. Matthew’s for your generous donation to our trip! We appreciate the faith in our mission, and the love that this gift represents!

Remember, the EYC year begins in August so if you just graduated, we still want to see you at events this summer! If you just finished 8th grade, you will join the EYC in August, but until then, are still part of the PrEYC. If you just finished 6th grade, you will join the PrEYC in August.

EYC Calendar

  • June 14-20 …. Mission Trip to Copperhill, TN.
  • *No Second Sunday or activities Pizza With the Padre in June due to the Mission Trip.
From Fr. Steve – June 2015

This month begins our summer lay off. Episcopalians say, “God takes a vacation in the summer.” I get it that people need to get away, take the family on trips, visit family and friends and enjoy the warmer weather. I need to do that also. We do these things, but we also pay attention to responsibilities at home. We will make sure something is done about our mail, the newspaper, watering our parched plants, cutting our grass, and paying our bills.

We continue to have worship here in the summer. We continue to have pastoral needs in the summer. We continue to have to maintain our buildings and grounds, pay the bills and salaries, and do all the other things that makes our parish church work well.

The end of May is the end of the Easter season and the beginning of the long season of Pentecost. Pentecost is a wake up call. Easter is a 50-day celebration of the love and forgiveness shown in Jesus’ Resurrection. Pentecost is when the Church gets busy. WAKE UP! We are the Church!

Some of you have thoughtfully pointed out that Fr. Sam’s name is left off the prayers when we pray for our clergy. Some have interjected his name in, even though it isn’t printed in the intercessions. I appreciate the desire to do this, however there are some considerations that will help Fr. Sam and make us a better parish church. Fr. Sam is retired. He and Jane were led here when he retired to be close to grandchildren. Thanks be to God that God led them here to St. Matthew’s to worship. Sam wants to be mostly Sam here. He has graciously agreed to spell me some on Sundays that I might be free to travel or rest. He isn’t available for pastoral visits or any other function that falls on the parish priest. Thereby, he isn’t “our priest.” He is a retired priest who worships here and helps out on occasion.

There is a great truth to be learned here, and I hope many are reading this article. I am not “your priest” either. We are “God’s priests.” God called us to this special ministry to serve as God’s messengers to the world. Our primary role is to preach the Gospel and administer the sacraments. A good parish priest will become part of the fabric of the parish. However, God can put this priest in another venue in an instant. This is reality.

We read on the 3rd of May the story of Phillip and the Eunuch. Phillip teaches the Eunuch, and then baptizes the Eunuch; then he disappears. That will happen one day with Fr. Sam, with me, and with all the clergy that grace this place. We are on temporary assignment.

You are the Church! Get busy. This parish church wouldn’t be here, and won’t continue to be here unless you all figure this essential truth out. We are responsible for the parish success or failure. WAKE UP! There is work to be done. Stewardship is a 24/7, year in/year out reality. We all have a role to play in growing the Church. Get busy. Find someone in leadership and ask, “How can I help?” Look at your financial giving. Ask the question, “Is this the best I can do? Does this represent my love of God?” We can do more. Get busy and wake up. God will give you the resources to do whatever God calls you to do.

Fr. Steve+

Vacation Bible School

JULY 13 – 16, 6:00 – 8:00 P.M. Ages 4 years through completed 4th Graders (Completed 5th Graders will help with the Nursery for volunteers.)

Join us as we relive the nativity story from the angel Gabriel’s visit to Mary, to the arrival of the Wise Men. We will remember that the birth of the Christ Child shouldn’t be celebrated just once a year, but all year long! There will be Bible stories, arts and crafts, recreation and snacks. We’ll even be able to sing Christmas carols! *Sandwiches/fruit will be provided for any child who doesn’t have time to eat dinner first.

Support the St. Matthew’s Honduras Mission Team

Prayer support – please pray for your team members and team leaders as they prepare to go. Pray that the hearts and minds of those in Honduras would be open to the Word of God and to the Ministry of the St. Matthew’s Team.

Supply support- There is a donation box and a list of requested items in the Parish Hall. Please donate what you can by placing it in the box.

Financial support – Please contribute to the expense of the trip. Write your check payable to St. Matthew’s and write in the memo section “Honduras”.

Worship Schedule

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.

Parish Events

Holy EucharistTime: 8:30 am – 9:45 am
Christian EducationTime: 10:00 am – 10:45 am
Holy EucharistTime: 11:00 am – 12:15 pm
Holy EucharistTime: 5:00 pm – 6:15 pm
Men's Bible StudyTime: 6:15 am – 7:15 am
Bells' AngelsTime: 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Sewing SistersTime: 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Men's BreakfastTime: 7:00 am – 8:00 am
Holy EucharistTime: 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
ChoirTime: 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm
Ladies Bible StudyTime: 9:30 am – 11:00 am
EFMTime: 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Stephen MinistersTime: 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm
StewardshipTime: 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm

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