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!

Christmas Schedule 2014
  • December 7th at 5pm – Lessons and Carols
  • December 24th at 5:30pm – Holy Eucharist with Children’s Christmas Pageant
  • December 24th at 10:30pm – Holy Eucharist

Please note that there will be no noon Holy Eucharist on Christmas Eve (December 24th).

October 24-26, 2014 for CAMP DAY at Camp McDowell!

Come enjoy the day, or come for the entire weekend. There will be many opportunities to explore Camp McDowell and the wonderful programs and resources “God’s Backyard” has to offer. Stay tuned for more information and how to sign up–it will be fun for the whole parish!

Fall Newcomer’s Meet and Greet

This event has been updated! Please note the new date!

The St Matthews Newcomers’ Committee is hosting the Fall Newcomer’s Meet n Greet get-together on Sunday, October 19, 2014, from 6:15-8:15PM. This is a special time for St Matthew’s Newcomers and those that have been visiting St. Matthew’s to meet in a relaxed setting and get to meet and know some of St Matthews’ parishioners and some newcomers that are also new to St. Matthew’s.

This event is for full families, so please bring adults, children, and babies alike. There will be babysitting provided and we are sure that it will be a special time for all in attendance. Father Steve and Father Rick will also be there, so you will get a chance to get to know them a little better. Newcomers are only allowed to bring “themselves”, as our parish family will provide the food, dessert and drinks! We look forward to meeting “all” newcomers and all of those who have come to St Matthew’s this past year or so. This will also be a special time for members to meet members, as we are all so busy at this time of year that this affords us a special opportunity to get together.

If you have any questions, please contact the church office. Please plan on attending this special event, for we know the importance of looking for and finding a new church family, and how special it is to have a place to worship and grow spiritually.
We surely believe that St. Mathew’s is a very special place, and we all have stories we can share about the love and attention that we have received as members of the St. Matthew’s family.

Blessings and Love,
Newcomers Committee

About Stephen Ministry

Those are great questions, especially if you’re relatively new to St. Matthew’s. Our ministry is modeled after Stephen, the first deacon selected. As described in Acts 6, he was a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit. We don’t picture ourselves as being Stephen reincarnated, but we do try to emulate his dedication and service to others. Stephen Ministers assist Fathers Steve and Rick by ministering, on a long-term basis, to folks who have suffered a life challenge and need a bit of help seeing their way through it. One can think of a Stephen Minister in a couple of different ways. If Fathers Steve and Rick are the first responders in a parishioner’s crisis, then the Stephen Minister assists them by meeting with the parishioner regularly until the crisis has passed and Christ’s healing is complete. From a different but related perspective, we’re the folks who will walk with you during those times when you literally question all that’s holy. During those times we’re not going to beat you over the head with a Bible (that’s assault, not ministering); rather we simply will be with you and try to be a reminder of Christ’s love for you during those times of doubt.

No, we’re not super Christians – we’re just your brothers and sisters who seek to love others as Christ loves us. Each of us has had a minimum of 70 hours of training in the ministry, as well as attending Continuing Education sessions twice monthly. We are not mental health professionals and do not purport ourselves to be, but we are pretty good listeners who can occasionally offer helpful insights that will enable you move to a new sense of normal. As important as anything else, everything remains confidential – no one except your Stephen Minister, the Ministry Leaders and Fathers Rick and Steve will know that you have a Stephen Minister. By the by, your Stephen Minister will be someone of your gender.

If you feel you’re at a point where things are getting to be too much, simply mention to either Father Steve or Father Rick, or talk to one of the Stephen Leaders (Chuck Vickers, Lorna Vickers or Debbie Heckler), and we’ll get you set up with a Stephen Minister with whom you can share your burden. Similarly, if you just have questions, feel free to contact one of the Stephen Leaders or Ministers – we’re the guys with the blue nametags.

Confirmation, Parish Pig Roast, and Groundbreaking!

Bishop Sloan will visit and we will celebrate CONFIRMATIONS & BAPTISMS on Sunday, October 5th. Confirmation will be followed by our annual PIG ROAST and PARISH PICNIC on the church grounds.

Also we will be breaking ground for the construction of our new Mission Building!

There will be food and fun for everyone! Sign up in Gruman Hall to bring food to go with the meat that we will be roasting.

Parish Clean-up Day!

WE ARE PLANNING A CHURCH GROUNDS CLEAN-UP DAY. The church grounds need some general cleanup & maintenance, trimming & grooming. Please join the effort on Saturday, Sept. 20th, 8:30am – Noon.

We need everyone’s help in getting our grounds ready for the parish picnic & Bishop’s visit! Please bring your lawn & garden tools and a “can do” spirit.

Change is Coming!

The changes expected with the construction of the new Mission Building are already beginning. As you are all well aware, we have already lost our “temporary classrooms” when the Adult Sunday School trailer was donated to help another church to accommodate the growth of its children’s programs. We’ve had to find a temporary home for some of the props and equipment that used to be stored in the classrooms. If you watch our construction site you will notice that the playground equipment has been removed and stored for reinstallation when the new building is complete. The old garden shed will be moved or replaced in the very near future and finally, we will be saying farewell to the old hickory tree. The bulldozers will be here soon after that.

We can expect to deal with other inconveniences, which I think are a part of the adventure of expanding God’s Kingdom here in Madison. We can expect some minimal parking disruption at the north end of the parking lot next to the construction site and there could be temporary drainage problems as the site is excavated and prepared for construction. Temporarily parking in the grassy areas may become a more frequent occurrence over the next year. You may find the driveway temporarily blocked with equipment and materials awaiting delivery. We can expect temporary disruptions to utilities, especially during the week. I’m sure we can expect some mud, dust, debris and possibly a few other obstacles yet to be discovered that are all temporary in nature as we progress toward a better future.

In short, be prepared for small changes and minor inconveniences each day you visit the church for the coming year as we progress toward a better future. There is definitely a little sacrifice of personal comfort and convenience in this endeavor. But the result will be 10 classrooms instead of the two we lost and a building of which we can be very proud. But most importantly, we need to remember we are doing this for Jesus, in His name, for the future of His church, and for all those who will come into his presence, especially here at St. Matthew’s.

Welcome Back Sunday School!

Welcome back to Sunday school as we kick off our 2014 – 2015 year! Our first classes meet on September 7th, at 10:00 a.m. Great things are happening in the world of Christian Education. A big “shout out” goes to those who are teaching this year! A special thanks also goes to the teachers who are taking a break. They are appreciated for all that they
have done to make the St. Matthew’s Christian Formation Program so strong.

If you are not already attending Sunday school, now is the time! It’s never too late to introduce your child to these classes or to attend them yourself.

Due to the removal of the old Christian Ed. trailer, if you attend Fr. Rick’s or Andy Williams’ Adult Sunday school classes, you will now meet in the Parish Hall. New partitions have been ordered to give these classes their own spaces until the new Mission Building is complete.

Quilter’s Meeting

If you are a quilter or enjoy other sewing, the St. Matthew’s Quilters Group invite you to join us the first Monday of the month at 6:30 in Gruman Hall. We help each other by offering hints and support, and the fellowship is priceless. Come and join us. Please contact the church office if you have questions.

(NOTE: Due to the Labor Day Holiday, the Quilters will meet on Monday, September 8th this month, Gruman Hall, 6:30pm.)

From Fr. Steve – September 2014

We had a “meet the teacher” event on Sunday (Aug 24) and many were in attendance. Lee Ann did a great job of cleaning the classrooms and providing refreshments for those that came. I went by all the classrooms and told all the students the same thing. I said, “You have great teachers that have committed themselves to you. Will you make a commitment to them and be here each week?”

Commitment is one of those ideas that we are losing in our culture. We commit ourselves to something that we think we will benefit from. Some of our commitments are like insurance. We commit to lessons for our children to insure they have the tools necessary to make it in the world. We commit to setting aside money for retirement, etc. Rarely do we commit to anything without some belief that “this will benefit me.”

Vacations are called Holiday (think holy time) in other parts of the world. Time away from the business and bother of everyday life is important and has great benefit. We need to get away sometimes to get a different perspective. I find that when I return from these, I am often exhausted. Then I look at what I have to do to catch up from my time off and

“Yikes!” We need to return from vacation eventually however.

Vacation is over at St. Matthew’s. Children are back in school, Sunday School has begun, we are getting ready for the bishop’s visit, stewardship season is back, and there are lots of “life issues” affecting our people. How can we possibly get all of this done?

The answer is to call on Jesus. We can’t do it ourselves. I often get the idea that there are some that think the weight of the church is my concern – Not! This is your church, this is our church, and this is Christ’s Church. The ultimate commitment has been made for us already. We can be a part of this Church if we choose, or we can opt out. Will we benefit from being a part of this Church?

A question arose recently (and has many times before) about the importance of a Christian perspective on stewardship. Is money the main focus here? I hope not. Stewardship isn’t about money exactly, although it does give the leadership some idea of what they are able to do in the way of ministry when we have pledges of money. Stewardship is about us. It is about recognizing that God has given us a gift. God gives us each other. God gives us a community that is together for one reason – Jesus Christ, and Jesus asks us to “love one another.” We are able to be the Church when we recognize this as a gift.

I am committed to you. During the course of a year in the life of a clergy person, we deal with many things – hospitalizations, death, job loss, divorce, sickness, babies being born, marriages, baptisms, teaching, etc. We need the support of a loving community to pull this off. We are committed to you. Will you make some decisions this year that will show your commitment? Perhaps more consistent participation in worship would be a start. Consistent giving to the support of the mission and ministries here would help as well. Joining one of the many ministry teams and following through on the assignments given would benefit.

If we all pull together, we will be rewarded. How will we benefit? We won’t know unless we commit ourselves to finding out. Vacation over. Commitment begins anew. What we give will be blessed. Thank you for all you do.

Peace,
Fr. Steve+

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

19Dec
Staff/Vestry PartyTime: 6:00 pm – 8:30 pm
21Dec
Holy EucharistTime: 8:30 am – 9:45 am
21Dec
Holy EucharistTime: 11:00 am – 12:15 pm
21Dec
Holy EucharistTime: 5:00 pm – 6:15 pm
22Dec
Advent ProgramTime: 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm
22Dec
Bells' AngelsTime: 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm
23Dec
Wing & A PrayerTime: 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm
24Dec
Christmas Eve - Children's PageantTime: 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm
24Dec
Christmas Eve HETime: 10:30 pm – 12:00 am
28Dec
Holy EucharistTime: 8:30 am – 9:45 am
28Dec
Holy EucharistTime: 11:00 am – 12:15 pm

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