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The following PDF files are available:
1 - Sunday Bulletin -- March 19, 2017
3 - The Vestry's "3 Year Strategic Plan"

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Church Staff

Introducing our Interim Rector:
The Reverend Liz Simmons

Hi everyone! I will write more to you as we go, but I wanted to get a little information to those of you who are wondering. I have been a priest for 21 years, after attending The General Theological Seminary in New York City (Chelsea Square). After graduating in 1994, I was called to be the curate at Trinity Church in Buffalo, NY for two years.  

My next call was to St. Philip’s in the Hills, Tucson, Arizona, a huge corporate-sized parish with 3,000 members and four full-time clergy. It was in Tucson that I met my husband, Ernie, and we had a wedding to which all of the parish and our AA friends were invited. It was a fairy tale marriage for the most part until he died of colon cancer 2 ½ years later, a year after I had started serving as rector of St. Stephen’s, Phoenix.

St. Stephen’s had a lot of similar ministries as St. Matthew’s, including being a central place for much of the community to meet, and a place where many unchurched folks came for funerals, weddings and baptisms (but not in that order).

I served there seven years before being encouraged to apply at Church of the Apostles, a new church that had been started as a progressive, alternative parish in Oro Valley, Arizona. Unfortunately, the parish wanted more of an administrator than a pastor, so I thought maybe I should look into being an associate rector again, because I had so much fun working as part of a team in my last three parishes. That led me to St. John’s, Boulder, where I served a year before the stock market took a hit and I was let go abruptly because of finances.

Two of the last three parishes I have served have been struggling financially, as the Episcopal church and all mainline churches struggle to re-define themselves during a time when financial stewardship is at a low, and people aren’t sure about committing themselves to the institutional church. I decided to attend interim training in 2012, and served at St. Luke’s in Jamestown, NY. This was a great experience, and so, when I was leaving St. James the Fisherman in Kodiak, I began looking for interim parishes. The bishop heard this, and said he would like for me to consider serving at St. Matthew’s.

Next time I write to you, it may be by email, outlining some of my vision for church in general, but especially what ideas I have for our work together in this transition ministry over the next year. Please call me for coffee or lunch or dinner. My cell phone number is 654-7787 (unfortunately, a long distance call from a land line!). I want to hear your ideas about what is needed during this transition time at St. Matthew’s.

God’s Peace,

Rev. Bella Jean Savino
Deacon, 2006, Ordained Priest 5-27-2012, the Daughters of the King

As a deacon, I am a servant of God and I serve others. In my ministry of course I help with the worship service on Sunday, help with funeral services, and other services when I am able to assist. I do a lot of one-to-one counseling, or just listening to others and praying with them. Every other Sunday, with the help of my friend Bernice Aragon, I go to Denali Center (and sometimes to the Hospital) and give them Communion, which is a blissful ministry in itself. If anyone is interested in doing private home Eucharists, I would love to have you come along and learn about it.
I was selected as a delegate to the Interior Deanery meeting, which was held here at St. Matthew’s June 2-4, 2006; and was elected there as a Member-at-Large to the Deanery Council, representing the Tanana Valley Region (which includes Fairbanks).
Daughters of the King meet the 2nd Sunday of each month here at St. Matthew’s. We do a lot of praying for the family of St. Matthew’s, the community of Fairbanks, the Bishop and his family and staff. We pray for military troops and their families, and our country.

We are keeping you all in our prayer and Love.

- The Rev. Bella Jean Savino

The Rev. Lee Davis
A Calling

Thank you St. Matthew’s for your continued love, support, and encouragement as I slowing progress, step by step, toward ordination to the priesthood. A calling that arose from ministering to our incarcerated brothers and sisters and which continues to lead me into a future known only to God, I was ordained to the transitional deaconate July 23, 2006, and have now completed the canonically required six month period as a deacon. A letter has been sent to Bishop Mark, requesting ordination to the priesthood. A letter of support from the Vestry of St. Matthew’s has been requested and must be sent to Bishop Mark and then the Standing Committee and Commission on Ministry make their recommendations. A long and holy process that seems to go on and on but a good process opens to the working of the Holy Spirit and the will of God.

What next? While I wait, I will continue ministering to the incarcerated and assisting at St. Matthew’s when in Fairbanks. February 12, 2007 Mary Margaret and I leave for Arizona where I will work with the Chaplain at Red Rock Correctional Center, Eloy, Arizona, as a Volunteer Chaplain to more than 1200 Alaskan inmates. We plan to remain in Arizona until the latter part of April, 2007 with occasional trips back to Fairbanks whenever necessary. Please keep all of our incarcerated brothers and sisters in your prayers.

Yours in Christ,

Lee +


Scott Fisher -- Retired Rector of St. Matthew's Episcopal Church

The Rev. Scott Fisher served as Rector of St. Matthew's Episcopal Church (6/91 - 11/28/15). He arrived in Alaska, through Bishop Gordon, as a volunteer layworker in  October 1970; and lived in the Interior villages of Chalkitsik, Stevens Village, and Beaver before leaving for seminary, under Bishop Gordon's direction, in the Summer of 1973. Receiving his Master of Divinity from the Episcopal Theological Seminary of the Southwest (Austin, Texas) he returned to the Interior of Alaska, working for the Church in Fort Yukon and Beaver, before moving into the Diocesan Office. Serving under Bishops' Cochran, Harris, and Charleston, he was an Assistant to the Bishop, traveling and working extensively throughout the Interior and Arctic Coast, before coming to St. Matthew's in the Summer of '91. He has three children, Charleen, Shane (+9/21/00), and Rebecca; and five grandchildren and one great grand child. He is married to Elisabeth Hill of Minnesota. After much thought and prayer, Scott declared that he would "retire" (effective November 28, 2015) from St. Matthews and will continue to chat with God as to where his journey will take him next. sfisher mosquitonet.com) http://www.facebook.com/#!/scott.fisher2

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OUR MISSION: We the people of St. Matthew's Episcopal Church, Fairbanks, Alaska receive God's love and are becoming a warm and loving community who share that love with ALL God's Children.

Sunday Services: 8:00 am & 10:30 am  --- Wednesday Services 9:30 am & 7:00 pm

Office Hours:  Monday through Friday 10 am to 3 pm

St. Matthew's Episcopal Church
1030 Second Avenue
Fairbanks, Alaska  99701
Phone# 907-456-5235

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