Youth Sunday 2018–Real vs Counterfeit

Youth Sunday! With sermon about Real vs Counterfeit and how to discern the REAL voice of the Good Shepherd: (look for love…that’s a big clue)!

Many thanks to all the youth who participated (and one mannequin…thanks, Esmeralda) in Youth Sunday by leading songs with gusto, chalice bearing, acolyting, ushering, greeting, imitating voices, playing instruments, announcing the Pilgrimage, and offering readings and prayers and sermons! Y’all rock!

Sermon will be posted soon!

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9 To 99 Sunday School Class “Expressions of Faith” Workshop

Many thanks to all who attended the 9 to 99 Sunday School, where parishioners ages 9 and up participated, learning ways to express their faith.  Special thanks to all who facilitated a workshop: Sylvia Campbell for Communion Bread, Nancy Piechowiak and the Knit, Crochet & ray group for “Crochet and Pray”, Beth DiGiovanni and Janis Williams for Altar Flower Arranging, Sally Ulrey for Praying in Color, and Diane Eberhart for Easter Stories!  Everyone had a great time, and it was a chance to get to know each other across generations!


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The Great 50 Days of Easter

I have had questions each year about some of the changes in the worship service that take place immediately after Lent.
The time from the Great Vigil through the Sunday celebration of the Feast of Pentecost is known in the Church as the Great Fifty Days. As with many Christian celebrations, it takes its roots from Jewish tradition. The feast we call Pentecost is drawn from the Jewish celebrations of Passover and Shavuot. The time between Passover and Shavuot is known as the Feast of Weeks, which counted a week of weeks, or 49 days, with Shavuot occurring on the 50th day. Shavuot was originally an agricultural festival, but it came to be celebrated as the giving of the Law to Moses on Mount Sinai.

Pentecost, also known as Whitsunday, is the eighth and last Sunday of Easter. Since Easter is not just one day, but a season, there are practices the church does to mark this time as a special time of celebration:

  • The Paschal candle is lighted during all services.
  • The Easter acclimation is used at Eucharist and at the daily offices.
  • “Alleluia, alleluia” is added to the dismissal at Eucharist celebrations and the daily offices; fraction anthems including Alleluias are chosen, as are hymns with multiple Alleluias.
  • The Confession of sin may be omitted entirely during the 50 days.
  • Some churches follow the prohibition made during the Council of Nicea in the fourth century that prohibited kneeling during the great 50 days, whether during the Eucharistic prayer or when receiving communion at the altar.
  • A lesson from the Acts of the Apostles is appointed for every day during the Great 50 Days, and is used as the first reading on Sunday, in place of the Old Testament lesson.
  • Since the entire season is a celebration, the vestments and altar colors are white.

Since it helps us to remember that Easter is a season and not ust a Sunday St. Matthew’s follows most of these changes during the Great 50 Days. See how many you notice this Sunday!

The Lord is Risen indeed, Alleluia, alleluia!!

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Stephen Ministry Sunday April 15

April 15 has been designated as Stephen Ministry Sunday to celebrate the commissioning of two long time members of St. Matthew’s, Gini Peterson and Bernie Waller! We also welcome Dona Sue Cool, a newcomer to St. Matthew’s, who is commissioned as both a Stephen Minister and Stephen Leader.
Come celebrate with us and pray for our Stephen Ministers, Leaders and program. Our purpose is, with the grace of the Holy Spirit, to offer Christ-centered care for those hurting from life’s challenges.

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New Director of Music Announcement

Mr. Kyle Osborne is St. Matthew’s New Director of Music

I am pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. Kyle Osborne as St. Matthew’s Director of Music, effective April 16, 2018.

Kyle comes to us from St. Joseph’s Episcopal Church in McDonough, where he served as Director of Music and organist since 2016. He has over ten years’ experience in  Episcopal churches but has also served in Catholic, Presbyterian, Baptist and Christian churches. He holds a Bachelor of Music degree in organ performance from Stetson University in Florida and has done post-graduate work at the University of Tennessee and the University of Texas.

Kyle received enthusiastic approval from every member of the Music Search  Committee. David Chandler, chair of the Search Committee, described Kyle as a virtuoso organist who embraces a diversity of musical styles and cultures; who has  experience in working not only with adult choirs, but with children and youth, and who has the capability to build a music program.

Kyle will be on campus the week of April 16, and will play at the 8 a.m. service on April 22. Please join me in welcoming him to St. Matthew’s.

I would like to thank David Chandler and members of the Music Search Committee for a job well done, not only in finding excellent candidates for our next Director of Music, but also for creating a Vision for the music Program.

I would also like to thank Russell Meyer for a wonderful job as our interim organist and choir director over the past several months. Russell came on board in the aftermath of the flood with the music library in storage and no rehearsal hall. Yet he made it work and led the choir capably during this transitional time. Russell, we are grateful for your leadership and talent.

Peace, Liz+

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April 22 is Youth Sunday


April 22nd is Youth Sunday, where the Youth run the service, pick the music, help with the sermon, act as EMs, read the readings and lead the psalm.  It’s a great time to allow the youth to practice living into their ministries, and to offer their  services to the church  and to  God. And, even though  it may be a  little different,the energy and enthusiasm of our youth is refreshing and you might be surprised, but they have a lot to teach us older folks as well.  You can learn a lot from our youth!  Please come learn, worship and participate with us on Youth Sunday!

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St. Matthew’s 1st Annual Family and Ministry Spring Fair

St. Matthew’s Fellowship Ministry invites you to the

1st Annual St. Matthew’s Family and Ministry Spring Fair.

A day of fun and fellowship outside while learning about the different ministries in our parish.

An event for the whole family taking place on

Saturday, April 21st from 10am to 3pm.

Find exciting ministry information, enjoy products and services from local vendors, music, bouncy houses and much more.

If you are interested in being a Vendor or volunteer please contact Oscar De Leon at 770-841-5902 or at

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St. Matthew’s Annual Easter Eggstravaganza



Saturday March 31st – 10:00 a.m. to 12 noon

for children up to age 10

The event starts at 10 a.m. with the Easter story engaging all of the children. The hunt times are

Ages 4 and under at 10:15 a.m., followed by

Ages 5, 6 & 7 at 10:45, and ending with

Ages 8, 9 & 10 at 11:15 am.

The eggcitement will include:

Balloon clowns, bounce house, games, egg coloring and tattoos.

So bring your children, their basket, and your camera and join in a morning of fun for children up to age 10.

**Easter Eggstravaganza Help Needed**

—Youth & Adult Volunteers Needed

To Help With This Morning of Fun For The Children.

Just to name a few….

Set Up * Decorating * Hunt * Snacks * Egg Coloring

Bounce House/Games * Clean Up

You will find the signup sheet on the bulletin board in front of the office.

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Holy Week and Easter Services at St. Matthew’s

PALM SUNDAY — SUNDAY, March 25, 8:00 a.m. AND 10:30 a.m. (with incense)

Blessing of the Palms and Palm Procession both services


Monday, March 26, at 7:30 p.m.


HEALING EUCHARIST   WEDNESDAY, March 28, at 10:00 a.m.


MAUNDY THURSDAY THURSDAY, March 29, at 7:30 p.m.


9:00 p.m. Thursday—11:30 a.m. Friday.

Sign up on the sheet in the narthex at church to watch and pray overnight.


11:30 A.M. Stations of the Cross

12:00 NOON Good Friday Service with music

6:45 P.M. Stations of the Cross

7:30 P.M. Good Friday Service with music


EASTER VIGIL SATURDAY, March 31 (with incense)

AT 7:30 P.M. Bring bells to ring during the service


EASTER DAY SUNDAY, April 1, 8:00 A.M. AND 10:30 A.M. (with incense at both services)

Flowering of the Cross at both services–bring flowers from  home or use those provided

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Dismantling Racism Youth Retreat

Exploring the Damages caused by Racism, and Taking Steps toward Healing.

On Feb 16-18, 2018, our youth had the opportunity to take part in a retreat to begin a life-long process of learning how to dismantle racism.  They learned about the damages that racism has caused and is still causing in our society, and about steps we can take toward healing, the first of which is being willing to participate in uncomfortable conversations with an open mind and open heart, which they did with compassion and respect, an example for us all!

The Youth at St. Matthew’s are piloting this curriculum for the Diocese of Atlanta so that it can be released nationally in collaboration with the Absalom Jones Center for Racial Healing (formerly the Diocese of Atlanta’s Beloved Community: Commission on Dismantling Racism).


Here is what the participants had to say about their experience:


“On this weekend journey to dismantle racism, I’ve learned more about our nation’s history than at school.  But this experience wasn’t bad, nor negative.  We talked about racism in a transformative way, shining light on old wounds and finding different ways to heal them…I learned about so many different cultures and how they are all beautiful in their own way. But we were also informed about how deeply ingrained racism, oppression, and inequality is in our day to day society…This program will open up the doors to my and future generations of white children and children of color for a perfectly equal society, and knowing how to make a difference.”  ~Nadine


“This experience has really helped me realize what I can do to help this world grow and heal.  There is so much pain still in the world, and covering up our history will only prolong our sentence to that pain.  Racism is not a thing of the past, and the stories of young black girls, biased Google searches, and charted history lessons only accentuate this fact.  I now know how to respond to racism, and have the courage to confront everyday prejudice.  The entire world need to know about discriminatory messages sent to young kids that have not stopped.  We can no longer ignore our past, and I now have the tools to make my contribution to the world.  We are the generation that will change things.  We will see ALL of the beauty around us.” ~Murphy


“This weekend was very inspiring to me. I learned so many things that I didn’t even know before… There were so many instances where the brutality of the world just shocked me, and baffled me….What stuck with me the most was probably the fact that even some 3 year old girls/boys saw themselves as bad because of the subtle messages being absorbed by them from TV, and movies, and things like that.  Overall, this was one of the best experiences of my life, especially seeing love and compassion being shown through customs and traditions, and I love this group so much and I cannot wait for the next retreat.” ~Nadira


“The retreat was an eye opener. We tackled the complicated issue of racism.  Even though slavery and segregation have stopped, racism, as a whole, has not.  It does not affect me that much in everyday life, it was both interesting and devastating to realize how it affected people of different races.  Although I will never know exactly how it feels, I now realize how it really affects some people. What is one to do about it? Dedication and teamwork.  People need to work together to solve this problem, no matter what race.  Realization [that it’s an issue] is half the battle.  Without this retreat, I wouldn’t have known what I know now. I wouldn’t have made friends of people from all different cultures or backgrounds.  The retreat was amazing, and I will do all I can to fix this problem.” ~Liz


“This has been very transformative.  I learned that racism is still common today.  We need to bring these issues to the light.  Our community can’t turn a blind eye to the injustices around us.  I’ve learned that I need to look for the truth and stand up for what is right, even if it is “not my problem.” God made everyone in His image; discriminating against one race would be an insult to God.  We just need to love our neighbor as ourselves.”  ~Katie


“Over the course of this weekend, I experience so much learning, and I heard personal stories that were powerful and painful.  I also gained a lot of knowledge about systems that have been set up and maintained for decades to disadvantage people of color.  From now on, I will be able to recognize these systems and identify any personal prejudices I have myself.” ~CJ


“During this retreat I have learned how much racism still affects society today and that society is feeding us so many messages affecting us even if we don’t realize. I will try now to go against society and follow my own morals/beliefs. I also won’t give in to internalized oppression.” ~Nailah


“I came to, mostly, hang out with my friends, but I came out realizing how much a problem this actually is  According to a study we saw, about 72% of [young] black kids believe that being white is better.  Because I learned facts like these, I’m going to look for opportunities to educate/inform people about the severity of the situation and sharing my knowledge on how to deal with it!” ~Derek


“On Friday, we made a covenant to God which is basically a promise.  In our covenant, we thought up ways to show love to God, others, and ourselves.  Making this covenant has helped me learn more about the people around me and myself. I have learned that not everything is my fault and it’s ok to mess up as long as you have good intentions.  I will no longer put so much pressure on myself.” ~Neema


“My experience of this weekend was full of friendship, laughs and learning. At the start of this weekend, I was hesitant about how it would go; after all, this is as sensitive topic.  As the first day progressed, I learned about how people of color had been cheated since the beginning, and how stereotyping has not helped their case.  This has convinced me to try to be open and accepting of everyone, and ignoring initial assumptions, and try to get to know them.  At the close of this weekend, I feel I have a better sense of myself and the world, and what I need to do to help.” ~Andrew


“This weekend I was a part of a Dismantling Racism Youth Retreat. We sat and talked about some really hard/ painful topics such as internalized oppression, white privilege, systematic oppression, what it means to be white in America, what it means to be a person of color in America (just to name a few). We looked at how the church has often been on the wrong side of this issue and how as the church of today we are to be a part of the Beloved Community! We created a safe place to share and be heard, it was one of the most beautiful things I have ever been a part of. Everyone spoke to each other with dignity and respect. We laughed, cried, hugged each other a little tighter than usual, and we left empowered! I feel hopeful for our future, because we have young ambassadors going out into the world informed and ready to right the wrongs of a broken history. We choose to walk in compassion and not fear. We choose to love as Jesus loves and fight for social justice. We choose to be kind to everyone, no matter the consequences. We choose to walk in the Truth and do it in the name of Love. I am grateful we serve a God who is a reconciler and calls us all to be reconcilers wherever we go. So, take notes from these inspiring middle and high schoolers willing to have these conversations, so that we can be the change. Thank you Sally for creating an awesome curriculum that I fully believe will change the world.” ~Crystal (Leader)

The chains represented all the damages caused by racism, but our youth took steps to break chains. “A little child will lead them”

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