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The Episcopal Church in West Tennessee invites all people, as God’s beloved, into communities of Christian faith, love and service.


We M AT w e l c o m e yo 303 THEW u! ’S S Cov . Munf EPISC ord ingt O PA S o L t n, T BIB N 3 reet LE 805 S 8 9:15 TUDY A.M . WO R 10:3 SHIP 0 A. M. S T.

Nov/Dec 2011

Issue No. One

Bishop makes annual visit, stewardship focus for next year

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever. Psalm 107:1


On Sunday, Oct. 2, The Rt. Rev. Don Johnson made his annual visit to St. Matthew’s, sharing with the congregation the diocese’s strategic vision and plans for the future. Continued on Page 2 The bishop invites the children to lie their hands upon John Cross as he’s confirmed.


St. Matthew’s has several adult and youth education programs in process, programs we hope are aiding in transformation and encouraging discipleship. Continued on Page 5


During its regular monthly meeting on Sunday, Oct. 9, the vestry discussed and implemented new ministry and outreach programs to help strengthen St. Matthew’s. Continued on Page 7

The bishop poses for a photo with the children.

Kenny & the kids ring the bells.

Now, our God, we give you thanks, and praise your glorious name. 1 Chronicles 29:13

The Episcopalian | 303 S. Munford Street, Covington, TN 38019 | 901.476.6577 |




The Cross, Denmark and Wines children visited Project Play and the Tipton County Veterans Museum and Nature Center on Friday, Oct. 14.

Bishop shares diocesan strategic plan Six priorities change focus for the governing body During his annual visit Oct. 2, The Rt. Rev. Don E. Johnson, bishop of the Diocese of West Tennessee, shared the diocese has placed a priority on six items: ‣ Know and proclaim our identity as Christians, building on common foundations that shape us as Episcopalians ‣ Honor diverse expressions of our common mission ‣ Promote the understanding of each parish and mission is the diocese serving in their community ‣ Identify, develop and sustain lay and clergy leaders ‣ Build and strengthen relationships through communications and collaborations ‣ Invite and include all people into community where all may be transformed by the Gospel The church’s vision, said Johnson, is a welcoming community of believers with many voices, yet one faith in Jesus Christ, united in the Book of Common Prayer, nurtured by the sacraments and empowered

by the Word of God for our ministry in the world. “The first priority is key to how we live and move and have our being as a diocese,” he said. “In knowing and proclaiming our identity as Christians, we must strive to assure that we all know the Christian narrative, our place in it and how to share it with others via word and deed.” Honoring the diverse expressions of our common missions serves as a priority because it recognizes and celebrates the richness of our diversity and the foundational commonality of our mission as the Episcopal Church. “Our service to others flows through and from our worship ... we believe that we can all be enriched and grow by virtue of the very existence of diverse expressions of our common mission.” These expressions can range from style of worship services offered to the many creative and invaluable outreach ministries throughout the diocese. Third, through promoting the understanding that each parish represents the diocese working in its community, Johnson said the priority shows the unity between parish and diocese.

“Our decision to ‘change one thing’ has brought a focus to everything else we do. In this way, we are being made into a new diocese.” - The Rt. Rev. Don E. Johnson, “Change one thing, change everything,” Between the Rivers, October 2011

Continued on page 7

The Episcopalian | 303 S. Munford Street, Covington, TN 38019 | 901.476.6577 |





Working together, walking through a season of stewardship Dear Friends in Christ,    I hope everyone enjoyed having the Bishop with us recently.   His words and ministry were both timely and right on point.  I especially enjoyed his inviting the children to “lay hands” on John during the moment of his confirmation.  I had never witnessed a bishop sharing his ministry in such a way, and it gave me a new and deeper appreciation for the concept of “doing ministry together.”     The strength of any parish is how well you and I work together in ministering to community, family and one another.   There are always individual opportunities for you and I to be a witness for the Gospel and to share Christ’s love to those we meet. However those ministries that we do together take a little more thought, planning and prayer. Fr. Ryan and the St. Matthew’s youth during the children’s sermon. Recently the parish applied for funding from the Church Home to supplement our Matthew 25 ministry; hopefully we will receive a grant which allow us to develop further our relationship with the Carl Perkins Center and provide a new level of ministry to those who depend upon that wonderful place for care and support.   As we walk through this “season of stewardship” together, I hope that you will prayerfully consider your commitment of time, talent and treasure to St. Matthew’s. Specifically, to what areas of ministry would you be willing to devote your gifts, so that these “The strength in ministries might be nurtured and developed? And what are some ways that we can deepen any parish is how and strengthen the ministries currently ongoing at St. Matthew’s; ministries like Matthew well you and I work 25. together in Continue, please, to pray for me, that I will ministry with you according to the will of ministering to God.  And pray for one another, that our lives together may always be an example of community, family Godly living.

and one another.” In Christ, Bill+

- Fr. Bill Ryan


During October we have asked you to consider your tithes and talents that you will offer in service to the church and community. Since we are such a small congregation we all need to chip in to sustain our ministry.  Please be prepared to turn in your pledge card (tithes, time and talents) on All Saints Day Nov. 6.  If you need to know the status of your 2010 pledge call Tim at 901-476-7079. Food for thought:  The best things are not things at all.” The Episcopalian | 303 S. Munford Street, Covington, TN 38019 | 901.476.6577 |


New ministries, review discussed Meeting date: Oct. 9, 2011 Opening Prayer 11:36 a.m Attendance: Tommy Hill, Fr. Ryan, Angie Martin, Emmett Hartsfield, Christa Cross, Echo Day and Tim Sloan. Excused: John Shoaf and Mary Dell Boyd Secretary Report Minutes from last meeting approved, all in favor. Sr. Warden Report: No report. Jr. Warden Report: No report. Treasurer Report: Peter Fyfe’s gift, discussion on current status of expenses, explanation of current reserve funds status, need for increased pledges and members to support congregation. Discussion about new St. Matthew’s banner, Tim presented designs that have been sent in to create a final mock-up; he will report back with final design at a later date. OLD BUSINESS

Bishop Visit: Discussion - consensus was that visit went well. Newsletter: Discussion - Echo will be working in the next week to finalize ideas/design/content for first newsletter. Fr Ryan, Angie, Christa and Tim will submit information to Echo for use in the newsletter. EMC: (Every Member Canvas) still in process, Fr. Ryan will report back at a later time. Christian Education Update: Studies are going well, plans will continue through the end of 2011.

Matthew 25/Church Home Grant: church has applied. Application process ongoing more information to follow… NEW BUSINESS

Rose of Sharon Recovery Center: Church to develop new ministry. Plan and develop a linens drive to support this ministry-they need twin bed linens, towels, etc. Tipton Volunteer Chaplains: Fr. Ryan will begin volunteering at Baptist-Tipton in the near future. Church Directory: Echo presented idea to design pictorial church directory, Tim supports the idea and has been hoping/planning to organize a similar directory. Echo and Tim will work on further plans. Book Ministry: Echo presented idea for ministry of giving books to disadvantaged children at Christmastime. Her idea is to fill a tote bag with a book that has been donated by church members. More to follow… Advent Program: Fr. Ryan will present a weekly Advent program in December; dates, times and further plans to be announced. Joint Service with Collins Chapel CME: Fr. Ryan will communicate with their Reverend to try and coordinate a convenient time to combine services. Possibly 5th Sundays? More to follow. Invitations to join us for worship: to be presented to Carl Perkins members at the next Matthew 25 dinner. Echo will work on design and printing. Six-month Mutual Ministry Review: The following notes are based on consensus among vestry members present. 1. What areas of ministry are being adequately addressed and supported?



Christian Education, outreach and loaves and fishes are being adequately    addressed. 2. What areas of ministry need more attention and support? Visitation of lapsed members, hospital ministry (improvements in the works already), inviting Carl Perkins members, reaching out to unchurched, communication within congregation (need for email directory) are areas of ministry that need to be addressed. 3. What areas of ministry need more effective clergy or lay leadership? Christian Education needs further development; mutual weaknesses     between clergy and congregation need to be addressed. 4. What areas of ministry need increased reasonable funding? None. Further communication of needs for funds may be necessary. Need to host outreach planning meeting. 5. What are your greatest areas of concern for St. Matthew’s, and how might these concerns be addressed?      Lack of membership and especially new members, congregation is two     dependent on older members.     Additional items discussed: Advertising for new members, organization for reaching out to new and existing members, new prayer book drive, bulletin and welcome packet for visitors. Upcoming events: Next vestry meeting after church November 13, 2011 Diocesan Conventions November 19, 2011 Adjournment: 12:38 p.m.

The Episcopalian | 303 S. Munford Street, Covington, TN 38019 | 901.476.6577 |





Why, Bible mysteries and the fruits of the spirit In September, St. Matthew’s began its second year of continuous Christian education for both its youth and adult parishioners. Last year, the church recommitted to providing educational opportunities for its members, allowing for fellowship in the process. This fall, the adult class has been studying two books: Why? Making Sense of God’s Will by Adam Hamilton and Old Testament Stories from the Backside by J. Ellsworth Kalas. In Why?, led by Fr. Bill Ryan, Hamilton, a best-selling author, brings fresh insight to the age-old question of how to understand the will of God. Rejecting simplistic answers and unexamined assumptions, he addresses how we can comprehend God’s plan for the world and for ourselves. This discussion takes place on the second, fourth and fifth Sundays of the month.

Tim Sloan is leading Old Testament Stories from the Backside, the videocompanion series by Pastor Kalas which brings a new perspective to selected Old Testament stories by approaching them from a unique starting point, a creative retelling, a new lens or through the eyes of a minor or unsympathetic character. Kalas also wrote Parables from the Backside, another study we have completed. Once the Kalas series concludes on Sunday, Nov. 5, Sloan will begin leading the adult class through the book Inside the Mysteries of the Bible: New Perspectives on Ancient Truths by the American Bible Society. The class will cover mysteries such as the story of creation, the location of the Garden of Eden and what ever happened to Sodom and Gomorrah and will take place on the first and third Sundays of each month.


Since September, the ninemember youth class has studied the fruits of the spirit. This program is a 13-week Scripture-based discovery of how God's Spirit helps us express God's love to others through caring actions and healthy attitudes. The children will explore how to be strong in the decisions they make and live out the Fruit of the Spirit in their daily lives. The youth class, which currently regularly involves children from 3-12 from three different families, meets every Sunday from 10:30 a.m. until the congregation confesses its faith (the children join their families in the sanctuary during the peace). This program is set to last into January 2012.


Adult Sunday School - 9:15 a.m. Youth Sunday School - 10:30 a.m.

A study on Why? Making Sense of God’s Will by the Rev. Adam Hamilton takes places the second, fourth and fifth Sundays and is led by Fr. Ryan.

Continuing through Dec. 11

Beginning Nov. 20

The Episcopalian | 303 S. Munford Street, Covington, TN 38019 | 901.476.6577 |





UPCOMING EVENTS Sunday, Oct. 30 ‣ Sunday School: Why? Making Sense of God’s Will, led by Fr. Ryan, 9:15 a.m. ‣ Worship, Proper 26, 10:30 a.m. ‣ Loaves and Fishes potluck after worship Sunday, Nov. 6 ‣ Sunday School: Old Testament: Stories from the Backside, led by Tim Sloan, 9:15 a.m. ‣ Worship, Proper 27, 10:30 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 13 ‣ Sunday School: Why? Making Sense of God’s Will, led by Fr. Ryan, 9:15 a.m. ‣ Worship, Proper 28, 10:30 a.m. ‣ Vestry meeting following service Thursday, Nov. 17 ‣ Turkey and BBQ fundraiser; food ready on Friday, Nov. 18 ‣ Matthew 25 supper Saturday, Nov. 19 Diocesan convention Sunday, Nov. 20 ‣Sunday School: Mysteries of the Bible, led by Tim Sloan, 9:15 a.m. ‣ Worship, Proper 29, 10:30 a.m.

Thursday, Nov. 24 Thanksgiving Day Sunday, Nov. 27 Advent begins ‣ Sunday School: Why? Making Sense of God’s Will, led by Fr. Ryan, 9:15 a.m. ‣ Worship, Advent 1, 10:30 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 4 ‣Sunday School: Mysteries of the Bible, led by Tim Sloan, 9:15 a.m. ‣ Worship, Advent 2, 10:30 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 11 ‣ Sunday School: Why? Making Sense of God’s Will, led by Fr. Ryan, 9:15 a.m. ‣ Worship, Advent 3, 10:30 a.m.

Currently on our prayer list ... Loretta Byrd

Jared Knight

Bobby and Barbara Cash

Steve & Wanda Knight

Suzanne Conley

Marilyn Matthews

Kenny Gray

Jean Turbeville

Bruce Kelly

Dean Shoaf

Marsha King


James Harold Love and Theresa (Boyd) Jackson ADDING TO THE PRAYER LIST

To add someone to our prayer list, please submit your request to Father Bill Ryan by phone, email ( or in person prior to the service. PRAYING ON YOUR OWN

If you prefer not to add to the prayer list there are several times during our worship service in which you may interject your own petitions. Additionally, you may also use the Prayers and Thanksgivings found in the Book of Common Prayer (page 809).

Thursday, Dec. 15 Matthew 25 supper Sunday, Dec. 18 ‣Sunday School: Mysteries of the Bible, led by Tim Sloan, 9:15 a.m. ‣ Worship, Advent 2, 10:30 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 25 Christmas Day No classes *A weekly Advent program will be held during the Advent season; times and dates TBA

Birthdays & Anniversaries NOVEMBER



4 Lakeesha Turner 13 Zachary Cross 19 Angie Martin 24 Mary Alice McCall, Kenny Young 25 Christi Hill 27 Jackson Sloan 30 Emma Day

2 Suzanne Conley 3 Diane Fletcher 6 Echo Day, Doris Glosson 7 Robbie Roach 9 Christa Cross 12 Emily Cross 20 Cole Turner 23 Jaylen Denmark 27 Mary Vinson

5 James Boyd 6 Randy & Angie Martin 10 Gera Dacus 24 Dean Shoaf 29 Richard & Diane Fletcher

The Episcopalian | 303 S. Munford Street, Covington, TN 38019 | 901.476.6577 |


Basket, book and linens ministries to begin Outreach is an important part of St. Matthew’s and to our walk in faith. As a congregation, we will soon begin new outreach ministries, collecting items for a variety of charitable causes: BASKET MINISTRY Angie Martin

After a few years break we would like to begin our basket ministry again. Each month we will collect a specific type of donation for those in need in our community. Just drop your donations in the baskets in the parish hall. On the last Sunday of the month we will have our children bring the basket(s) into church as part of our offering and Loaves & Fishes Sunday. After this our baskets will be taken to a local food pantry. November is beans & cornbread month. Beans can be canned or dry. Cornbread? Boxed or packets works well. Our goal is at least one item for each family member to be given as part of our gifts to God and our community. Please prayerfully consider giving to this part of our outreach. BOOKS AND LINENS

In the coming weeks we will also announce more information regarding books and linens ministries. We will begin collecting gently-loved and new books, as well as seeking leftovers from the Dolly Parton Imagination Library, to donate to children during the Christmas season. We also intend to purchase tote bags with the goal of donating 2-3 books inside each bag. The church is asking for your support in donating children’s and young adult books, board books and chapter books, for this ministry. Additionally, we would like to begin a linens drive for the Rose of Sharon Recovery Center in Burlison. Pastor Carlton Rose, who operates the facility, said twin-sized sheet sets, bath towels and washcloths for clients are always in need. We intend to help by being able to provide the facility with a donation. If you would like to help with either ministry, please approach a member of the vestry; any and all help is greatly appreciated.





“The diocese is not a separate entity, but one body with interconnected communities of faith, love and service. As in Corinthians 12:12-37, we are one body with many members.” Identifying, developing and sustaining lay and clergy leaders is the repeated call for leadership. The call is expressed many ways, including the need for innovated clergy recruitment, the need for more diverse clergy, the need to nurture and continue to equip present clergy, the need to encourage and support youth leaders, the need to identify young people in our churches who might be called to ordained ministry, the need to equip and empower the laity via training and sharing of resources and more. “Strong leaders are vital to the health of the diocese,” he said. “Only with strong leaders in place and provided with on-going support can we all pursue and fulfill the priorities identified by the vision committee as articulated by members of the diocese. The refrain continually expressed for greater communication and collaboration is the rationale that prompted the priority to increase both aspects. The call, said Johnson, is two-fold: within the diocese

with each other and without the diocese with others. “There is a clear call for true relationship with one another,” he said, noting a great desire for connection between parishes as well as a way to better publicize and utilize the resources available to help one another. Finally, the invitation of all people into a community where they may be transformed by the Gospel is a priority at any time, but especially now. “With a greater focus on ‘inviting and including all people,’ we attempt to address the stated concerns many identified as missing critical demographics such as youth, young families, the LGBT community, AfricanAmericans, Hispanics, etc.” However, said the bishop, the priority extends beyond “inviting and including” because implicit in transformation is discipleship. These six priorities, which have changed the order of meetings on the diocesan level, have many potential effects with the overall goal being growth for our churches. “Our decision to ‘change one thing’ has brought a focus to everything else we do. In this way we are being made into a new diocese.”

THE NEXT ISSUE OF THE NEWSLETTER WILL BE PUBLISHED IN JANUARY 2012 If you have a news item you’d like submitted, please see Echo Day or email

The Episcopalian | 303 S. Munford Street, Covington, TN 38019 | 901.476.6577 |

You belong here. Now, more than ever before, we welcome and invite you to join us regardless of your age, status or denomination. Adult Bible study begins at 9:15 a.m. Worship begins each Sunday at 10:30 a.m. (nursery available). We invite you to worship with us! We are located in Covington, at the corner of Washington and Munford streets (across from City Hall). Just look for the red door; you can’t miss us!

St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church

WELCOMES YOU. FR O M : ST . M A T T H E W ’S E PI SC O PA L CHURC H 3 0 3 S. M un fo rd St re et C ov in gt on , TN 3801 9

Nov/Dec 2011

Issue No. One


The Episcopalian  

Issue One - Nov/Dec 2011

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