I have to say I’m excited. I’m feeling a lot of good energy from the congregation here at the beginning of October. While it is true that we have some financial concerns that you’ll hear about in an update from the Board soon, my excitement stems from the new things that we are getting involved in, and new opportunities for ministry in our community are beginning to happen naturally. We are in the midst of our congregational check-up using the Natural Church Development (NCD) survey process which will give us some more concrete information to work with, but there are two main things I wanted to give an extra highlight today that are signs of the Holy Spirit moving in the congregation.
The first is the Secret Friends that Mary Spooner is spearheading. The idea is that we sign up for this so that we can have someone in the congregation that we can provide notes for encouragement and offer our support, and in turn, someone will also provide us with the same type of encouragement and prayer. We would like to get some more people signed up for this to build our pool of people, so watch for the information sheets on the tables at coffee time. This is potentially a powerful way to provide spiritual care to one another, and I would encourage each of you to either sign up during our coffee time or to contact Mary directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The second piece I wanted to highlight today is our upcoming work with Brenda’s House, which is part of the Children’s Cottage Society. Did you know that Brenda’s House provides emergency family shelter for families experiencing homelessness? At Brenda’s House, families find a safe environment where they receive the support they need to find permanent housing.
Last year 120 children from 59 families received shelter. (Fourteen families can be housed at one time; there is always a waiting list.) The average length of stay at Brenda’s House is 101 days. Without the support of Brenda’s House, children are at risk of poor health, developmental delays and so much more. If you would like more information about Brenda’s House, please email us and we can forward their most recent newsletter.
St. Matthew’s United Church is pleased to be working with Brenda’s House to deliver its Treasure Trunk program on the second Wednesday of each month beginning in November (9th). The Treasure Trunk program is a themed activity evening for children and their parents. One evening focuses on Friends where babies are singing and being read to, young children are dabbling in drama and older teens are making friendship bracelets. At the end of each evening, we join together and share.
If you have gifts (singing, crafting, holding babies, reading etc.) to share and are available from 6-830pm on the second Wednesday of each month or would like to help with this initiative by buying or preparing the evening snack, please email us or contact myself, Wendy or Shaundra Carvey. We need to confirm volunteers by October 11th and paperwork must be completed for each volunteer.
- Thanksgiving at the Sundial Apartments for Calgary Drop-in Centre – Wednesday, October 5th
- We have received a request from Scott Hofstetter who is the coordinator for the Supported Living Sundial. We are in need of 5-6 volunteers to help with the final food preparation (such as mashing potatoes), setting tables, eating with the guests, and cleanup.
- The time commitment will be from 4pm to approximately 7-7:30pm.
- Please contact myself or Scott at ScottH@CalgaryDropIn.ca if you would like to volunteer.
- This is a one-shot outreach event that we have been invited to participate in and help with, we will need volunteers to commit in helping out with this soon.
- Richard the Third
- Wayne Valleau is once again offering a course on one of Shakespeare’s plays. This time, he leans historical, offering to take us through Richard III starting Monday, September 19th at 10:00am.
- Christianity, the First 1000 years.
- Starting October 17th, this course will explore the first 1000 years of Christianity, from its formation as a sect of Judaism to the circumstances leading up to the infamous Crusades.
- Brenda’s House – Treasure Trunk outreach.
- Starting on November 12th, we are beginning an ongoing outreach program with the nearby Brenda’s House.
- It is a social outreach for interaction and play with the residents and children of Brenda’s House
- We are in need of 6-8 volunteers to help run the program from 6:30-8:30 on the second Wednesday of the month.
- If you’re interested, please contact myself, Wendy, or Shaundra Carvey and we can provide additional details.
- Congregational Membership Classes
- If you or someone you know would like to formalize membership with St. Matthew’s, I am hoping to run a membership class in the next few months. If you are interested, please email me, call me at the church, or speak with me directly on Sunday mornings.
Church Office Hours
- Wendy’s regular office hours are Mondays, 11am-3pm, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Friday from 9am-3pm.
- My regular office hours during the day are Sunday through Thursdays from 9:00am to 3:00pm. Pastoral care visits and community meetings sometimes require that I be out of the office from time to time during those hours.