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!

Art Angels Meeting

Instead of a regular meeting, this month, the Art Angels will go on a field trip to the Huntsville Museum of Art. On Thursday, June 26th, meet at the church parking lot at 6pm and we will carpool to the museum. We are going to see the Janet Fish: Master of Light & Shadow exhibit. Thursday is half price night for museum non-members. We invite anyone interested, to join us. For more information, contact the church office.

Growth Committee Update

Great things are happening! Exciting times are ahead for all us! Thanks to everyone that has made a pledge of time, talents or treasure to the building effort things are now moving forward. Our architects are fully engaged in putting together the final plans, which we will put out for bid later this summer. The Growth Committee is working on the final project documentation to take the Diocese for approval to begin construction on the Mission Building. Our banker, with faith in the demonstrated financial strength of our Parish has already issued us an approval letter for a construction loan to ease our Diocesan approval process. If all goes according to plan, we will break ground during the annual parish picnic in early October fulfilling the next steps of the Master’s Master Plan and enhance our ability to serve God in the heart of Madison. If you would like to be part of this growth, it’s not too late to submit a pledge.

Los Proyectos el Hogar, Honduras

Please bring donations to St. Matthew’s by June 11, 2014. For information, contact Fr. Rick. We are in particular need of un-inflated soccer balls. Also needed are:

CLOTHING – flip-flops, jeans/sweatpants (boys sizes 6-14), jeans (men’s sizes 28, 30, 32, 24, 36), jeans (girls sizes 6-14), socks (any size/color), boys underwear (sizes 10-16), bath size towels, sheets (single size).

SCHOOL SUPPLIES – scotch tape, masking tape, whiteboard markers/erasers, white lined paper, construction paper, envelopes (size 10), blackboard erasers, file folders, sharpeners.

TOILETRIES – hand lotion & shampoo (close tightly or place in zip lock bag), razors/shaving cream. RECREATION – embroidery string or yarn (to make bracelets), gimp (plastic string for bracelets), board
games, playing cards and cards games.

FUNDS – make checks payable to St. Matthew’s and note “Honduras” in the memo section of the check. You gift will appear as a contribution on your year-end giving statement.

PLEASE DO NOT SEND – beads, chalk, colored pencils, crayons English books, flash cards, legos, markers, pencils, pens, roller blades, stickers, sweaters, white shirts, baby clothes, stained or ripped clothes, winter clothes, women’s clothes, men’s XL or XXL items.

Vacation Bible School

Heʼs Got the Whole World in His Hands: The Creation Story, developed and presented by the Sr. High Sunday school class. June 9 – 12, 9:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m for children 4 years old – rising 5th grade. Featuring Bible stories, music, recreation, arts & crafts, and snacks. Fun for everyone!

From Fr. Steve, June 2014

There are countless books on happiness. Plato said the “end of man” or goal is happiness. Aristotle moved from this to posit that happiness is achieved by finding “the mean between excess and defect.” Aristotle went on to say that we could achieve this reality by practicing “excellence/virtue.” Jesus “sermon on the mount” (Mt. 5-7) begins with ten beatitudes (Blessed are…). If Jesus had spoken English, he would have said “Happiness is…).

What does it take to be happy? Do people have to behave a certain way toward us to make us happy? Do we need more than enough to be happy? Perhaps a nicer house or car will make us happy. This couple I knew once had one child (a daughter). This child was the couple’s life. They competed for her affection by showering her with whatever she wanted – when she wanted it. When she graduated from college, she wanted a new Ford Mustang. She had lots of requirements for this vehicle. It had to be a particular color, have leather seats, a certain kind of CD player, etc.

The couple searched all over and had to drive to another state to get the car exactly like she wanted. Did this make her happy? Of course, it did not. I once taught a class on relationships. I still have it if enough would like to do it with me. The class was to bring in newspaper reports of wedding announcements for one of the sessions. I had saved one for this particular class. After everyone presented, I brought mine out. It was a two whole page report of the reception. The wedding got about a paragraph.

Two pages of details about the reception followed. It was unbelievable. After reading it, we were all exhausted. The honeymoon to follow was equally unbelievable. I asked the question, “Where do they go from there?” Given the expectations, could you imagine that the marriage would have some large difficulties due to unrealistic expectations?

One thing that leads to unhappiness is unmet expectations. The church is not about filling our social calendar, paying our bills, building a moral compass, nor filling up our Rolodex (i.e. Contact list). If this is our expectation, we will always be disappointed. The church is a group of believers in Jesus Christ. When we step out on the journey of discipleship (following Jesus), we must be prepared to go where the Spirit leads, with no expectations of where this might take us. The reward is a life of surprise and grace. Extraordinary results will be the end – and happiness.

From Fr. Rick, June 2014

In the Jungian lexicon, the Shadow is an Archetype residing in the Personal Unconscious (vis-a-vis the Collective Unconscious). Simply put the Shadow is a composite of all that stuff we don’t want to admit or know about ourselves. Bob Haden, founder of the Haden Institute has taught me that there is both a Bright and a Dark Shadow. Think a minute about someone you just loath. That’s a projection of your Dark Shadow. Now, think of someone who is a hero/heroine of yours. That’s a projection of your Bright Shadow. Say, “Hello” and shake his/her hand, or offer a hug. In so doing you’re embracing an unconscious Shadow part of yourself.

Unrecognized and unaccepted the Shadow takes on a power disproportional to its actual psychic status. So strongly does he/she desire the embrace of consciousness that he/she will eventually burst forth from your Personal Unconscious an attach his/herself to someone in the conscious realm. Projection!

As I’ve said so often, one of the most important things I learned in seminary was an affirmation of a childhood maxim: “It takes one to know one!” This simple statement is the best definition of Shadow Projection I know. How else can we recognize something in another unless we first knew it in ourselves?! It’s that old “speck” and “log” thing.

Shadow Projection is bad only in so far as we’re unconscious of it. Think of Nazi Germany’s Shadow Projection onto the Jews and others they deemed undesirable for a superior Arian Nation. Think of all the racial slurs and epithets we so easily cast on those we wish to dominate. This is evil Shadow Projection.

When we see something in someone else that we dislike or even abhor, if we can emotionally step back and ask ourselves, “What does this tell me about me?” and respond honestly, that’s a positive Shadow Projection. Another way to go about this is to start with an assumption of “good intent.” In other words, don’t automatically assume that someone’s out to get you (negative Shadow Projection), rather assume that person is really doing his/her best, but simply falling short (positive Shadow Projection).

Parish Retreat is Next Weekend!

It’s that time of the year! Time to spend a weekend with your fellow St. Matthew’s members at our beautiful Camp McDowell. Enjoy hiking, swimming, canoeing, nature walks, etc. There is so much to see and do and a most beautiful environment. Spend one night or the entire weekend with us. It’s a great place for our new members to meet the St. Matthew’s family. Look for the Parish Retreat poster & photos in Gruman Hall. We look forward to having a great time this year, as always! Sign up has officially ended, but if you find you can go, contact the church office to see if any spots have become available.

Church Cleanup Day

Spring and Easter are fast approaching and with Spring comes “Spring Cleaning”. We have a clean up day scheduled for Saturday, April 5th, beginning at 8:30am. I invite everyone to help and we will make it a day of fellowship along with the cleaning.

Calling All Acolyptes!

April 26 from 9am-4pm, the Cathedral Church of the Advent in Birmingham will be hosting the inaugural Acolyte Festival for the Alabama Diocese. We will be celebrating all things Acolyte. There will be fun & games in the Acolyte Olympics with the winning Church bringing home the coveted Lavabo Bowl! Lunch will also be served. If you are interested please contact the church office can have a head count so we know how many want to attend. We will try to plan a carpool and logistics for getting all who want to attend there.

Italian Night Is Coming!

It’s March and we’re one month closer to Italian Night. Your new ECW board has been VERY busy planning for a wonderful evening of food, fun and fellowship. We’ll be selling tickets for $25 each starting Sunday, April 6 after each service and will continue to sell them every Sunday until we’re sold out. Remember, we only have room for about 80 people in Gruman Hall, so plan to purchase your tickets early!

For those of you who haven’t yet been to Italian Night, you may be wondering what all the fuss is about. So let me tell you. Starting at 6:00pm on Saturday, April 26, you’ll stroll through the lovely Gardens of St. Matthew’s, sipping your wine or fruited water and nibbling on tasty aperitivo. You can stroll among the twinkling lights or find a wooden panca to sit and chat. Around 7:00pm, your luscious Italian dinner will be served by the finest waiters in the provincia, our own EYC youth. (And be sure to give them a big tip!!) During all this time, there will be a plentiful display of silent auction items upon which you may bid; a range of offerings to fit every pocketbook, big or small. At the end of the evening, the winners of each item will be announced and you may pay for and take home the lovely item, which you have won. (And I’m told there is some pretty stiff competition out there!)

Please make plans to join us as we transform St. Matthew’s into an Italian villa for the evening. If you’ve ever said “Mi piacerebbe visitare l’Italia un giorno di questi!” (I’d like to see Italy for one day!), this is your chance!

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: 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
ChoirTime: 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm
Ladies Bible StudyTime: 9:30 am – 11:00 am
Holy EucharistTime: 8:30 am – 9:45 am
Pig Roast PlanningTime: 10:00 am – 10:30 am
Holy EucharistTime: 11:00 am – 12:15 pm
Holy EucharistTime: 5:00 pm – 6:15 pm
Seamstress GroupTime: 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Holy EucharistTime: 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
ChoirTime: 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm
Ladies Bible StudyTime: 9:30 am – 11:00 am
Holy EucharistTime: 8:30 am – 9:45 am
Holy EucharistTime: 11:00 am – 12:15 pm

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