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!
Stephen Ministers are trained and ready to assist you should a need arise. If you’ve reached a point in your life where you feel like the answers are just beyond your reach, your Stephens Ministers are ready to serve you. No, they don’t have all the answers, but they are ready to accompany you on your search for them in a confidential, Christ-filled way. Contact the church office for more information.
This past July, a group of St. Matthew’s parishioners went on a mission trip to Honduras. There was excitement and energy in all of the team members during the team meetings leading up to the trip and even more excitement and energy among the team members during the mission trip. What sparked all of this excitement and energy in a group of parishioners from an Episcopal Church in Madison, Alabama?
- The anticipation of visiting a beautiful Central American country?
- The chance to learn a little Spanish?
- A means to brush up on your farming skills?
- A way to meet new people and make friends that live in a different environment with a culture that is unfamiliar to us living in the United States?
- The ability to take on a project during the course of a week that will improve the lives of teenage boys?
- The opportunity to spread God’s love and the good news we hear in church every Sunday?
- The journey towards a God filled experience in which memories will be made that will last a lifetime?
The answer to all of the above questions is a simple “yes”. However, one must be cautious when performing mission work. Your intentions during a mission trip are to complete the assigned projects while spreading the gifts God has given us to others, in other words, giving a blessing. Then out of nowhere while working on this project comes a blessing from God you were not expecting that changes your life. The blessing could be from the adults and children in Honduras, a fellow parishioner, a sunset over the lush green mountains, the birth of a baby calf, or viewing the very bright constellations in the night sky of the southern hemisphere.
Are you interested in both giving and receiving God’s blessings? We are in the process of recruiting a team to
travel to Honduras during July 3 – 10, 2015 for a mission trip. The trip will be similar to the one St. Matthew’s
parishioners participated in during this past summer. We will be assigned a project to complete on a school/farm for teenage boys known as Escuela Agricola Hogar de Amor y Esperanza (El Hogar Agricultural School) that is part of the El Hogar Ministires Inc. The details about the El Hogar Ministires are located on their website at http://www.elhogar.org/. The mission of El Hogar is:
“…to transform and empower abandoned and hopelessly poor children in Honduras by providing a loving home and education. Our goal is for them to fulfill their ultimate potential as productive, caring and independent Honduran citizens.”
You will hear a testimonial during a Service in December and January from team members that participated on the previous trip. We will also hold an information session about the trip during January that will explain the details of the trip. The mission team will be selected by the end of January and team meetings will be held once a month until the departure date of July 3, 2015. If you are interested in attending the mission trip to Honduras, please contact the church office. There will also be opportunities to support the mission trip such as praying for the team and children in Honduras, as well as donating funds, clothes, school supplies and card games. Stay tuned for additional information on posters and in future newsletters.
The Art Angels meet on the 4th Thursday of every month. Our January meeting will be Thursday, January 22nd, at 7pm. Anyone with a talent or an interest in art is welcome. For more information, please contact the church office for more information.
Are you interested in hockey or have you never been to a game and don’t know what all the fuss is about? Either way, your opportunity to attend a game is here! On SATURDAY, January 17, 2015 the UAH Chargers are playing the Anchorage, Alaska Seawolves at Von Braun Center and Rick and I are getting a group together to attend the game. The ticket price will depend on how many people we get to attend, but it will be less than $11.00 per person and kids 12 & under get in free. Please contact the church office for more information
The men of St. Matthew’s meet every third Tuesday for wings & prayer. This month, we will meet on Tuesday, January 13th @ 6:00pm at Crickets in Madison. All men are invited to attend. Contact the church office for more information.
Happy New Year to one and all! 2015 is going to be such an exciting year. Your ECW Board has lots in mind for you over the coming year, starting with a Potluck Supper for our January meeting.
Our January ECW meeting will be held on Tuesday, Jan. 13 at 6:00pm. We want to invite all to participate in our January “Warm Your Soul” potluck meeting. There will be no 10:00am meeting on this day, so dig out your favorite recipe and come along to share great food and warm fellowship with your friends. Please contact the church office for more information.
After our tummies are full, we will be voting on where our monies will be distributed. Our Rummage Sale last November was a huge success! We made over $6,000.00. Thanks so much to all the ‘worker bees’ who made this possible and allowed us to have so much money to pay it forward. We Shined! Shined! Shined!
Looking forward to February, we’ll have a guest speaker at our 6:00pm meeting, so watch your email for further announcements. As always, all women of St. Matthew’s are automatically members of the Episcopal Church Women, so you don’t need a special invitation to attend our meetings. We’re looking for fresh perspectives and new ideas all the time, so please come share yours with us!
Happy New Year, Everyone! Here’s looking forward to an exciting 2015 for the St. Matthew’s EYC! Mark your calendars now so you don’t miss a thing.
We will have our first Mission Trip 2015 meeting on January 14th at 7:00 PM in Gruman Hall. This meeting is for both youth and their parents. The EYC Mission Trip is open to all EYC members who will be in the Sr. High EYC in the Fall of 2015 (that is, anyone who will be in 9th grade and up). EYC alumni are welcome to join in as well. We will be returning to Copperhill, TN after having taken a year off of our mission trips. We are ready to rev things up again now and are excited to see what God has in store for us on this year’s adventure! We are looking at dates in early June but, as of the release of this article, have not yet gotten our specific dates. The exact date will be announced at the meeting on January 14th. Please attend this informational meeting if you are interested in going on the mission trip.
We are having an EYC Skate Night on Friday, January 16th. Both PrEYC and EYC will meet at the church at 6:00 and carpool to the Wilcoxon Ice Complex on Leeman Ferry Rd. We will have a private party room and pizza! We will return to the church at approximately 9:00 PM. Parents, please let me know if you can help with this event.
- January 14 …. Mission Trip Meeting. See above for details
- January 11 …. Second Sunday. The EYC (all Sr. High) will meet at church for the 5PM service to worship together in a more contemporary environment. Afterwards, we will go to the West home for dinner and a movie!
- January 16 …. Ice Skating. See above for details.
- January 19 …. Pizza With the Padre, 6-7:15PM. PrEYC meet in the Jr. High classroom to hang out and enjoy pizza and good conversation!
If you have not yet turned in a pledge card for 2015, you can find the cards on the table in the Narthex. Building pledge cards are located there as well. Both can be dropped in the offering plate or in the designated box in the Narthex. We record giving of those who have turned in cards, and we provide end of year contribution statements for all pledging families. If you have questions regarding your contributions, please contact the church office.
Sunday school will be starting back on January 11, at 10:00. We have room for anyone that wants to attend. Come join us and learn what the gift of the Christ child is all about. And relax!
Ladies” Bible Study – we will start back on January 8th, at 9:30. WE will be studying Adam Hamilton’s “Not a Silent Night: Mary Looks Back to Bethlehem. This will be a 5 week study, although feel free to come at anytime.
At the end of the year, many news sources will give a list of all those really important people that died during the year. Famous people, actors, politicians, and such will make this list. I suppose that the families of these enjoy the recognition. Pictures of the Grim Reaper or Father Time are found everywhere.
I read some of the obits from time to time. I like to read the really long ones. I am curious about what the author of these thinks important. At the end of my life, I want whomever to write, “He had fun.” That’s all I really care to have anyone remember, I’ve had a few accomplishments, but there are many that have achieved much more. I’ve messed up a whole lot more than I’ve achieved, but I had fun in the moments of life.
The bishop that sent me to seminary was one of the greatest bishop’s of his era. He left behind a significant sum of money for a party for clergy and spouses following his funeral. Bp. Stough would often say that when one dies, God will ask of this one two questions, “Did you have fun?,” and “How did you love?”
We all will die. Many in our parish experienced a death or two this year. Some lost a grandparent, some parents, some a spouse, and some lost children. When this happens, there is a loss, and with each loss we grieve. Some face death as the enemy. We want to avoid all enemies until we are forced into a confrontation. Death is not the enemy. God created us for life. Death is another part of life. A Christian believes that death is only a stage taking us to eternal life.
We are going to face death often in our lives. Those that are left behind are often shocked by the death. No matter how long someone lingers, when they die, someone will say, “I miss her,” or “He died too soon.” Yes, we do miss our loved ones, and yes, we always want more time.
One phenomenon of the grieving experience is to lay blame. We get mad at God for taking our loved one. We get mad at others that say something, or at those that say nothing. We get mad at a society that keeps moving forward while we grieve. We get mad at the Church or our pastor for not responding exactly like we think they should. This is natural, and part of the grief experience.
As your rector, I have some responsibility to teach you about the Christian response to death. My wife says often, “Life is short and unpredictable,” so talk about dying now. Plan your funeral. Make a will. Sign Advanced Directives. Make every day the best day of your life. Bless others every day. Tell your loved ones you love and appreciate them every chance you get. Be accepting of whatever life brings you, and have fun!
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.