Outreach News June & July


• Month of June – Food Drive
• June 17th to July 15th  –  School Supply Drive
• July 15th – Pack a Backpack
• July 28th – Delmar Gardens
• July 29th – Prepare Food for Co-op Monday Night Dinner

JUNE FOOD DRIVE – The Semi-Annual drive in June is the month in which St. Matthew’s focuses on collecting additional items for the Southeast Gwinnett Cooperative Ministries.  In addition to collecting our usual items of dried beans, jelly, and shampoo, the coop is asking for donations of canned pineapple. The pineapple is always in high demand and just seems to fly off the shelves.

SCHOOL SUPPLIES DRIVE – Mid-June through July 15th we will be collecting school supplies for the clients of Seven Springs. You will find a list of supplies on the Outreach bulletin board and a link to the Amazon Wish List below.   On Sunday, 7/15, after the service we will fill backpacks with the school supplies.

Purchase from the Amazon Wish List



Come join musicians from St Matthew’s to sing Christian songs or help serve cake, ice cream and punch and mingle with the clients at the nursing home in Lawrenceville. For more information please contact Heather Pratt, Mindy Barringer or Chuck Marsh.


After the service on 7/29 we will prepare sandwiches, cut and package watermelon, and package cookies that will be served at the co-op on Monday evening, 7/30.

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Welcoming the Stranger — Our Refugee Family Update

Refugee family: Zeba P. and her three children, Judith , age 13,  Arron, age 10, and Jason, age 7, are from Pakistan, and arrived here June 7.

Their apartment is fully furnished (Thanks to all who donated!) They could use a washer and dryer, so if you have a working used one or know someone who does, let Mark DiGiovanni know: 678 227-8142.

If you want to help Zeba and her family, you can offer to take her and the children to parks, museums, shopping, etc. as they don’t have a car (or a driver’s license) yet. And dropping a gift card in the mail will always be helpful – and greatly appreciated. For information on contacting or visiting Zeba and the family please contact the church office, or see this Sunday’s bulletin announcements.

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Stephen Ministers Look A Gift Horse In the Mouth

Using a little horse sense, Stephen Ministers from First United Methodist Church (Lawrenceville) and St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church (Snellville) came to Winning Strides for a unique continuing education experience.

In equine assisted learning, we often use metaphors to reach our objective. Each Stephen Minister was asked to choose an item in the arena that represented a spiritual gift or strength they use in their care giving as a Stephen Minister. Some examples included being a good listener, having compassion, being trustworthy, skilled, and full of faith. Then, with the horse representing a care receiver, the group had to move the horse from one end of the arena to the other without touching it.

This was a harder task than they thought, since care receivers (and horses) often have a “mind of their own.” But in the end, they learned:
·     sometimes you have to lead and sometimes you have to gently push
·     care receivers get “stuck” on their journey
·     patience is always required
·     you never give up and always stick with your care receiver.

Even with torrential rains, an earlier tornado warning, and cool weather, spirits were high and laughter abundant.


Stephen Ministers are trained care givers, who are sometimes called the After People.

They are ready to come alongside anyone who has suffered a crises in their life and provide comfort and support for as long after as needed.

Stephen Ministry was started 40+ years ago and is active in 13,000 congregations.

For more information, visit their website at www.stephenministry.org.

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Reading Camp at Snellville

Sponsored by St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church

Reading Camp at Snellville, held annually since 2013, will be up and running again this year from June 18-22. It is modeled after the Reading Camp program begun by the Episcopal Diocese of Lexington, Kentucky.

A non- religious, no-fee camp, the camp focuses on campers who are rising 3rd, 4th and 5th graders and who demonstrate a deficit in reading skills. Campers participate in morning learning centers and afternoon traditional camping experiences. Nutritious meals- breakfast, lunch and two snacks are provided.

The 2018 camp, whose theme is “Alone and Brave”, is an all day camp Monday to Friday, June 18th- 22nd. The morning focus will revolve around “The Island of the Blue Dolphins”. The afternoon programing will include a guest children’s author and book signing, gardening, crafts, soda straw rocket making, yoga, cabin reading and a program presented by the Gwinnett Co. Public Library.

Our campers come primarily from the greater metro area, including public, parochial, and home schools. Although the campers are English speakers, many languages are spoken in their homes including Korean, Chinese, Amharic, French, and Creole. Many qualify for free and reduced meal programs.

For the 2018 camp we have an adult volunteer staff of 30+ and 6 teen counselors, five of whom are former campers. We are fired up and ready to enjoy a fun week with our 20 campers!

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2018 Pilgrimage

Many thanks to our congregation who gave our youth the gift of time and space to explore their relationships with God.  We spent the better part of a week hiking in the woods, contemplating the beauty of God in creation, and learning about our faith in depth in preparation for one of the biggest decisions of life: Confirmation!

Here’s what the Pilgrims had to say about what your gift meant to them:

“I left for the Pilgrimage excited for what was to occur. Within the next five days, my eyes, mind, and heart were opened to a whole new understanding of who God is and how God has shaped the world. I also grew closer to my friends who have now become family. Leaving the Pilgrimage, I now have a firmer faith in God. While I still have some questions, but I feel I know how to seek out and find the answers.” ~Andrew Byron

“For the past two years, I’ve been so excited for the Pilgrimage. I’m so happy that I went, and I got to enjoy this experience. This will probably be the highlight of my summer. There were funny moments and serious moments. Moments for laughter, and moments for lessons. I have memories now that I will never forget. I recommend the Pilgrimage for everyone. I am so incredibly happy I went on it; I can’t say it enough. I was excited for confirmation before, but now I’m even more excited for it, and I can’t wait to begin Confirmation Classes and become confirmed.” ~Liz Colinger

“I am so grateful to have been able to go on this Pilgrimage. Before the trip, I knew some aspects of Christianity and its beliefs, but this trip took it to a new level. I feel as though my eyes have been opened to new possibilities with Christianity. I feel as though my faith has a firmer foundation. This trip gave me time to process new information about Christ and gave me time to ask questions. I’ve learned about the Trinity, Jesus, and evangelism. I’ve also learned that Jesus’ death gave me and everyone else freedom from ourselves and from the world. I’m so glad I had the chance to go on the Pilgrimage, and this trip has given me relief and a sense of firmness with my faith.” ~Nailah Desamu-Thorpe

“This week with nothing but God, nature, and (now) family has colored the picture of Christ I had before, giving it depth and me a clearer understanding of what it means to be a Christian. I aim to let the Christlight and hope shine so bright that my faith is displayed with pride and is a beacon for those that seek the Lord.” ~Jessie Hurst

“To be able to go on this trip was incredibly changing. Before I had so many questions and worries. I still have questions, but so many have been answered, and those answers have given me more to think about. My worries were soothed with overwhelming love. My faith has definitely grown. I am ready to learn more and become more involved with my faith. Thank you to everyone who supported us pilgrims on this step in our journey. It means the world to us pilgrims who just want to grow closer to God and those who love us.” ~Katie Jones

“This trip really taught me what it meant to be a Christian. It made me begin to understand the importance of community in the body of Christ and what the Trinity is. I now know of the grace that is provided to children of Christ. I hope this trip really helps me become a part of the Christian community. Furthermore, many of the questions I had were answered, and that was extremely helpful and enlightening. This week has given me so many opportunities.” ~CJ Jordan

“I am so blessed that the fellow pilgrims and I are able to explore and gain knowledge about our faith. Before I went on this trip I was conflicted about my faith. Daily life at school and in the world would sway my opinion and try to convince me to believe something else. But after the pilgrimage retreat I feel like my faith has grown and strengthened. Because of the Pilgrimage, I am assured in my faith and I am forever blessed and thankful to grow up in a community so thoughtful and loving.” ~Nadine Kumbu-Smart

“The world is definitely a strange, insane, scary, and wonder-filled place. Whether we like it or not it’s going to hurt, but it will also feel amazing. Before the Pilgrimage, life was just “life,” nothing much to it. Life is hard, and I just dealt with it. But after, the world kind of changed. People began to understand me and my thoughts. An opening to God, I guess I would call it. During the Pilgrimage, I got to know friends better, know how they think, what they feel, etc. But most importantly, I learned more about what being a Christian is. How God loves everyone no matter their actions, thoughts, ideas, beliefs, reasonings, issues, or even the things we like to call ‘flaws’. That…that means the universe to me.” ~Stephen Prichard

Sally and the Pilgrims would also especially like to thank the other chaperones, Mara DiGiovanni, Ed Witek, and Shelley Witek, who sacrificed so much, including their time, to make this trip possible!


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A Thank You Note From Mother Liz+

This last Sunday’s service of Pentecost was a great celebration – of the coming of the Spirit, of the reflection of the Holy Spirit as seen in baptism of three new children into the body of Christ, and in the welcome of new families to membership at St. Matthew’s at both the 8 and 10:30am services. AND we celebrated graduation of six high school seniors!

I would like to thank all of those who worked to make the Sunday so special: the altar guild, the flower guild, the great decorations, the choir, the children’s participation, Tammy Pearson’s altar flowers – there are so many more people I could list – it just goes to prove our motto – it REALLY is the people! Thank you! Mother Liz+

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Episcopal Church Women (ECW) Is Back!

ECW (Episcopal Church Women) is BACK! All women of the church are automatically members, and are invited to attend a Salad Social and Organizational Meeting on Sunday, June 10th at 12:15. Please bring any kind of salad to share with your fellow sisters. Drop your salad off before church and we will keep it in the refrigerator until it’s time to serve. We will hold a short organizational meeting to ask for volunteers to be on our board and we are looking for a treasurer and a scribe. Please call Rebecca Bowen 404-808-6408 or Nancy Drury 678-779-3482 with any questions.

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June Food Drive for SE Gwinnett Cooperative Ministries

JUNE FOOD DRIVE- June is the month in which St. Matthew’s focuses on collecting additional items for the Southeast Gwinnett Cooperative Ministries.
In addition to collecting our usual items of dried beans, jelly, and shampoo, the coop is asking for donations of canned pineapple. The pineapple is always in high demand and just seems to fly off the shelves.

Beginning on Sunday, June 3rd, the Outreach Committee will be handing out bags with attached food list after both services, so please fill bag and return to barrel outside of the Parish Hall.  All items will be promptly delivered to the Coop.

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Police Appreciation Week

St. Matthew’s partnered with Snellville Police Department as part of the One Congregation One Precinct (1C1P) initiative started by Movement Forward. The program is designed to foster better communication and cooperation between law enforcement and local congregations. Part of the program is showing appreciation for the Snellville Police Department, but during Police Appreciation week (May 13-19), we decided we would honor two of our very own parishioners who are police officers! Dennis Doane is an officer with the Gwinnett County Police Department and John Hansen is an officer with Dekalb County Police Department. On Sunday, May 13, Mother Liz presented both of them with a police car box filled with a gift card, candy, St. Michael medal, and donuts!

On the same day Mother Liz blessed the thin blue line prayer blankets made by the Knit, Crochet and Pray ministry to be given to police officers who are injured or are sick.

St. Matthew’s showered the Snellville department with love throughout the week with Chick-fil-A biscuits on Tuesday morning, home cooked dinners on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday nights, donations of donuts, chips, candy and police car treat boxes filled with all kinds of goodies! We were even able to donate treat bags to the Lilburn Police department on Wednesday because of your generosity.

While Police Appreciation week may be over you can still make our Snellville Police department feel the St Matthew’s love by making a homemade birthday treat for an officer’s birthday. If you would like more information about this wonderful outreach ministry, please contact Becky Olbon at beckyolbon@yahoo.com or by calling 770-923-9186. We so appreciate all our police do to keep our communities safe. God’s blessing on all who serve this or other communities.

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St. Matthew’s Big Summer Kick Off Pot Luck –Thank You!

The Fellowship Committee would like to thank everyone for bringing food to share for the Summer Kick-Off Potluck last week. Everything was   delicious! Congratulations to Kay MacAllen and Susan Larson for best summer outfit, and to Mona Livermont for her Cowboy Baked Beans. Debbie Lott won best casserole, and Gabe Papadatos won the children’s Candy Jar Guessing Game. Thank You also to all the people who helped with set-up and clean-up!  We were all finished by 2:00, quite a feat for feeding 126 hungry  parishioners!  Save the Date for July 1st for our God Bless  America  Family    Picnic right after church at 9:30. True Picnic food will be on the menu.



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