Weekly notices – 28 August 2016

This week’s Rector’s reflection:  Honour and Love

I’ve just returned from the memorial for my doctoral supervisor. Professor John Webster passed away on the 25th of May, two days after and one year younger than my father. One of the statements repeated throughout the service and in the various memorials was that, although he was perhaps the greatest theologian of our time, John had little interest in his reputation or exploiting it against others. John enjoyed the study of God, and he enjoyed the company of those who were serious about it rather than their prestige. For John, using theology as a method of self-promotion not only missed the point; it was contrary to the very purpose of theology: honouring God. In today’s Gospel, we read of people so focused on their own honour that they could not see the most honourable person, Jesus Christ. He tells us that whoever exalts themselves will be humbled. Elsewhere he tells us that the meek shall inherit the earth. The only honour that is genuine, that satisfies is the honour of those who honour God.

Services and Activities in the coming week:

  • Tuesday 30 August:
    • 12:30pm: Lunchtime Fellowship
  • Wednesday 31 August:
    • 10:00am:  Holy Communion
  • Sunday 4 September:
    • 8:00am: Holy Communsion
    • 10:15am: Sung Eucharist

Upcoming events: 

Flower Rota: the new rota is available in the back to sign up and donate flowers through February 2017

Bottle in the Box: there are 3 bottles this time. Pop your £2 in the envelope and write your name next to the bottle you hope to win.

Spree Books are available. £20, £5 of which goes to St Mary’s. See Mary Allardyce

Organ Recital: 1 October at 8pm by John Riley of Edinburgh: Musical Discoveries and Conjectures. Chauvet; Gigout; Linke; Wachs; J. S. Bach in East London; Brahms and a Lady on a Bicycle; Postman Pat’s Bad Day; Improvisations on submitted themes. Free entry, donations welcome.

Harvest Sunday: on the 2nd of October, we will celebrate Harvest Sunday. There will be a bring and share lunch after service. Please come along!

10er Challenge Save £10/week for one year, to help with the cost of replacing our failing heating system.

You can contact the office by email using office@stmaryscardenplace.org.uk. Please send any material for the website to website@stmaryscardenplace.org.uk

Posted in Weekly Notices

Weekly notices – 21 August 2016

This week’s Rector’s reflection:  Honouring Mary

Who was Mary? A strong, courageous woman? A caring and compassionate mother? An incredible person of faith? All of the above, and much, much more. But for Christians, Mary is given three titles: the New Eve, the Mother of God and the Queen of Heaven. The Protestant reformers worried that honouring Mary detracted from Christ’s singularity. Yet traditionally, regard for Mary was a consequence of worshipping Christ. If Jesus was truly the Son of God incarnate of the Virgin Mary, then Mary must be honoured as God honoured her. Indeed, the scriptures themselves honour Mary. Luke 1.42 states of Mary: ‘Of all women you are the most blessed.’ Our reading from Revelation 12 depicts Mary as enthroned, the Queen of heaven. But honouring Mary is also quintessential to properly honouring what God wants to do in us. Minimisation of Mary is always linked to a minimisation of the need for us to change. As we read in today’s lesson in Galatians, God does not simply want to make us his servants but his children. We have been given the power of God’s family, the power of the Spirit. We are made heirs with Christ and our inheritance is heaven. Like Mary, we need to act like God’s children and be joyful and thankful for God’s gifts, like the church and its sacraments. Like Mary, we need let the Spirit bear heavenly fruit in our loves rather than be enticed by the fruit of this world. Like Mary we need to eagerly respond with ‘Let it be!’ when we hear God’d Word, not make excuses or presume forgiveness.

Services and Activities in the coming week:

  • Wednesday 24 August:
    • 10:00am:  Holy Communion
  • Sunday 28 August:
    • 8:00am: Holy Communsion
    • 10:15am: Sung Eucharist

Upcoming events: 

Confirmation Course The course began last week. The material is available on our YouTube Channel (St Mary’s Episcopal Church Aberdeen). If you email the Rector, he will send you an accompanying worksheet that will be the basis for assessment and conversation.

Flower Rota: the new rota is available in the back to sign up and donate flowers through February 2017

Lunchtime Fellowship: Tuesday, 30 August at 12.30pm

Bottle in the Box: there are 3 bottles this time. Pop your £2 in the envelope and write your name next to the bottle you hope to win.

Spree Books are available. £20, £5 of which goes to St Mary’s. See Mary Allardyce

Organ Recital: 1 October at 8pm by John Riley of Edinburgh: Musical Discoveries and Conjectures. Chauvet; Gigout; Linke; Wachs; J. S. Bach in East London; Brahms and a Lady on a Bicycle; Postman Pat’s Bad Day; Improvisations on submitted themes. Free entry, donations welcome.

Harvest Sunday: on the 2nd of October, we will celebrate Harvest Sunday. There will be a bring and share lunch after service. Please come along!

10er Challenge Save £10/week for one year, to help with the cost of replacing our failing heating system.

You can contact the office by email using office@stmaryscardenplace.org.uk. Please send any material for the website to website@stmaryscardenplace.org.uk

Posted in Weekly Notices

Weekly notices – 14 August 2016

This week’s Rector’s reflection:  Mission at St Mary’s

In early May, the Vestry visited Aberdeen Christian Fellowship (ACF) as part of its ongoing conversation on developing our mission at St Mary’s. ACF has experienced much growth and has numerous outreach programmes for local people. Although our approach to worship is very different from theirs, we thought we could learn from them. Two things came out of our last Vestry meeting that were inspired by our visit to ACF: (1) attempt to make our worship booklets more accessible and understandable to visitors; and (2) a monthly family service to attract local families. The Rector hopes to present a prototype of a new service booklet to the Vestry at the next meeting. But this Sunday, thanks to the hard work of Tiffany Forth, we are going to try out a family service. Many thanks to the Vestry for their discernment and for all those who helped prepare this service. Let us pray that it will be the start of a great ministry to those in our area.

Services and Activities in the coming week:

  • Wednesday 17 August:
    • 10:00am:  Holy Communion
  • Sunday 21 August:
    • 8:00am: Holy Communsion
    • 10:15am: Sung Eucharist

Upcoming events: 

Wayfarers Concert: nine centuries of choral music on 18th August at 5pm. The repertoire for this group consists of early music (Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque pieces for both unaccompanied voices and voices with period instruments) and contemporary choral music by living Australian and Taiwanese composers, as well as some other 20th and 21st century compositions. They will also present Judy’s new music theatre work based on Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s Le Petit Prince.

Confirmation Course The course begins this week. The material is available on our YouTube Channel (St Mary’s Episcopal Church Aberdeen). If you email the Rector, he will send you an accompanying worksheet that will be the basis for assessment and conversation.

Lunchtime Fellowship: Tuesday, 30 August at 12.30pm

Bottle in the Box: there are 3 bottles this time. Pop your £2 in the envelope and write your name next to the bottle you hope to win.

Spree Books are available. £20, £5 of which goes to St Mary’s. See Mary Allardyce

Organ Recital: 1 October at 8pm by John Riley of Edinburgh: Musical Discoveries and Conjectures. Chauvet; Gigout; Linke; Wachs; J. S. Bach in East London; Brahms and a Lady on a Bicycle; Postman Pat’s Bad Day; Improvisations on submitted themes. Free entry, donations welcome.

Harvest Sunday: on the 2nd of October, we will celebrate Harvest Sunday. There will be a bring and share lunch after service. Please come along!

10er Challenge Save £10/week for one year, to help with the cost of replacing our failing heating system.

You can contact the office by email using office@stmaryscardenplace.org.uk. Please send any material for the website to website@stmaryscardenplace.org.uk

Posted in Weekly Notices

Weekly notices – 8 August 2016

This week’s Rector’s reflection:  What do you see?

It is so very easy to live our lives based on what’s right in front of us. It is so very easy to take every issue, task or problem as urgent and important. It is so easy to live on the surface of life, moving from problem to pleasure without really reflecting on the deeper things. The readings this morning speak about faith as seeing the world as God sees it. To have faith in God is to live in the world according to what it is becoming through the work of God rather than according to what the world is now through the work of humanity. Are we able to see the unseen activity of God beyond the immediate concerns of our own daily life? Or are we too distracted by or fixated upon our own agenda? Do we, like Abraham, see that we are part of a much larger story than just our own biography? What do you see when you look out at the world? Look at Jesus Christ! Seek his kingdom. Allow his life, death and resurrection to reveal your true destiny. Live accordingly!

Services and Activities in the coming week:

  • Wednesday 10 August:
    • 10:00am:  Holy Communion
  • Sunday 14 August:
    • 8:00am: Holy Communsion
    • 10:15am: Sung Eucharist

Upcoming events: 

Gallowgate Fair: Well done to all who contributed to our stall at the Gallowgate Fair. We raised £350! There are plenty of left over delights available for purchase in the Choir Vestry.

Confirmation Course The course begins next week. The material is available on our YouTube Channel (St Mary’s Episcopal Church Aberdeen). If you email the Rector, he will send you an accompanying worksheet that will be the basis for assessment and conversation.

Bottle in the Box: there are 3 bottles this time. Pop your £2 in the envelope and write your name next to the bottle you hope to win.

Spree Books are available. £20, £5 of which goes to St Mary’s. See Mary Allardyce Wayfarers Concert, nine centuries of choral music on 18th August at 5pm.

St Mary’s Stamps: during the Edinburgh Festival there is an exhibition of the work of EMMS International (to whom we send our used stamps) open daily free entry at the Edinburgh Central library George IV Bridge

Support St Mary’s by using easyfundraising.org.uk every time you shop online. You can buy the exact same stock and pay the exact same price, but this organisation donates a percentage of your purchase to St Mary’s. Here’s the link https://www.easyfundraising.org.uk/causes/stmarysepiscopalchurch

10er Challenge Save £10/week for one year, to help with the cost of replacing our failing heating system

You can contact the office by email using office@stmaryscardenplace.org.uk. Please send any material for the website to website@stmaryscardenplace.org.uk

Posted in Weekly Notices

Weekly notices – 3 July 2016

This week’s Rector’s reflection:  The motherly comfort of God

In Isaiah 66.10-14, we read a divine promise: ‘As a mother comforts her children, so I will comfort you.’ This promise envisions God coming, like a mother, to her anxious and helpless children and offering them consolation. In the Gospel, we read of Christ, the ‘consolation of Israel’, sending his disciples to announce that God has indeed drawn near. The comforting presence of God, the mothering nurture of God comes to us in the form of the church, those who would help us see that God is near. We know what a tremendous blessing and consolation it can be to have someone present to us in difficult times. But do we take seriously our role in the church? Do we see our presence to others in church as an extension of God’s motherly presence? Do we recognise that it is by our presence in the church that our neighbours are consoled and aided in their commitment to God?

Services and Activities in the coming week:

  • Wednesday 6 July:
    • 10:00am:  Holy Communion
  • Sunday 10 July:
    • 8:00am: Holy Communsion
    • 10:15am: Sung Eucharist

Upcoming events: 

Congratulations Graduates! Congratulations to Mikey and Alex Christides and Katie Rose upon their graduation from the University of Edinburgh this week!

Confirmation Course the Rector has been asked to prepare confirmands from St Andrew’s Cathedral and St John’s, Crown Terrace. It will be conducted electronically and we will have discussion meetings on Sunday evenings. If you are interested in being confirmed or joining for a refresh, please let the Rector know. The outline is as follows: (1) God, Trinity and Creation; (2) Humanity and Sin; (3) Jesus Christ and Salvation; (4) the Church, Liturgy and Sacraments; (5) The Holy Spirit, Prayer and the Virtues; and (6) the Scottish Episcopal Church.

Bottle in the Box: there are 3 bottles this time. Pop your £2 in the envelope and write your name next to the bottle you hope to win.

Spree Books are available. £20, £5 of which goes to St Mary’s

Gallowgate Fair Last year we set a record, let’s do it again this year! Speak with Mary Allardyce about baking goods for the Fair in August.

Wayfarers Concert, nine centuries of choral music on 18th August at 5pm.

Support St Mary’s by using easyfundraising.org.uk every time you shop online. You can buy the exact same stock and pay the exact same price, but this organisation donates a percentage of your purchase to St Mary’s. Here’s the link https://www.easyfundraising.org.uk/causes/stmarysepiscopalchurch

10er Challenge Save £10/week for one year, to help with the cost of replacing our failing heating system

You can contact the office by email using office@stmaryscardenplace.org.uk. Please send any material for the website to website@stmaryscardenplace.org.uk

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Weekly notices – 5 June 2016

 

Services and Activities in the coming week:

  • Wednesday 8 June:
    • 10:00am:  Holy Communion
  • Sunday 12 June:
    • 8:00am: Holy Communsion
    • 10:15am: Sung Eucharist

Upcoming events: 

 

Summer Bible Study: starting in June, we will have a fortnightly Bible study. If you are interested, please sign up at the back, indicating what days and times work best and whether you would be willing to host the group in your home.

Like shopping? Love St Mary’s? Support St Mary’s by shopping at John Lewis, Amazon.co.uk, Ebay, Argos, and Debenhams through Easyfundraising.org.uk. You can buy the exact same stock and pay the exact same price, but this organisation donates a percentage of your purchase to St Mary’s. Here’s the link

10er Challenge If you can, save £10/week for one year, to help with the cost of replacing our failing heating system.

You can contact the office by email using office@stmaryscardenplace.org.uk. Please send any material for the website to website@stmaryscardenplace.org.uk

Posted in Weekly Notices

Lunchtime Fellowship reflection – Visit of Mary to Elizabeth

The following reflection was given at the Lunchtime Fellowship service by Mary McKinnell:

 

LUNCHTIME FELLOWSHIP REFLECTION
TUESDAY 31 MAY, 2016  
THE VISIT OF MARY TO ELIZABETH

READINGS
Luke 1:39-45
Romans 12:9-16

 

So Mary’s pregnant.

She’s young, betrothed but not yet married.  And she’s probably no more than 14 years old – in our society today, we would still consider her a child.  Let’s face it – even today, young teenage pregnancies can still cause a stir in our communities, no matter what the circumstances.

The scandal.  For Mary, for Joseph, for their families and for the community!

And the consequences for Mary, could have been severe.  If Joseph had divorced her, as he had originally intended, with adultery the reason, her future prospects looked bleak.  Even if Joseph had managed to avoid exposing her to public disgrace, she would have been a young, unmarried mother, possibly shunned by her family and her community, with no way to support herself, or her child.  At worst, she could have become the victim of an honour killing.

Mary goes away for a bit to stay with her Cousin Elizabeth in another town about 100 miles away.  She may well have been sent by her family before news of the pregnancy became public knowledge, to be hidden from sight of all who knew her until a solution could be found to save her from disgrace, or in the worse-case scenario, death.

And yet, when I hear the story we’ve just heard from Luke’s Gospel, I can’t help feeling that Mary’s arrival at Elizabeth’s home is a moment more like that shown on the front cover of our order of service – a happy moment for the two women as they share the joy of both their pregnancies.  For Elizabeth, despite old age and in disgrace amongst her community because she was thought barren, is also pregnant.

Not only does Elizabeth recognise Mary’s new status as the “Mother of my Lord”, but her unborn child also reacts to Mary’s greeting as she arrives.

It must have come as some relief to Mary that Elizabeth accepts and believes what has happened to her.  To have someone else who has also been blessed with the conception of a child by God.  In that moment, she is not alone, she has a companion.  Someone who she can share with, who can support her and encourage her.  And it releases, and gives Mary space and opportunity, to say the words of the Magnificat, in thanks and praise of what God has done for her.

Thinking about this story in this way gives me a lot of respect for Elizabeth.  She does not condemn Mary, but rejoices in the good news of the life that is growing within her.  She has refused to let the norms and the expectations of society reflect how she reacts to Mary, and in doing that, she is a safe person, someone who can help Mary prepare for what is ahead of her.

Elizabeth is an example for us to follow.  An example of how we can care for those in need around us.  An example of how we can love our neighbour unconditionally.  An example on how we can bear witness to the events in the lives of our friends and family, or even to the strangers in our community.  An example that getting the simple things right, even just a greeting, can make a difference to those around us.

 

If we can follow Elizabeth’s example, we might just be giving the people around us the strength they need to carry on, just as Elizabeth did for Mary.

Amen

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Weekly notices – 22 May

This week’s Rector’s reflection: Trinity 

The doctrine of the Trinity teaches that God eternally exists as three persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. There were several reasons why the church came to officially articulate this doctrine in the Nicene Creed in 325. First, the scriptures discuss Father, Son and Spirit as distinct agents. For example, notices the gospel reading appointed for this morning. Yet, these three agents are equally involved in work only God can do: forgiving sin, saving the world and, most importantly, creating the world. In the second place, the apostles taught Christians to worship Jesus. Given the Old Testament prohibition of worshipping anything other than God, if Christians worship Jesus, then Jesus must be God. Finally, there were a host of significant passages like John 1.1, Philippians 2.6 and 1 Corinthians 8.6 that indicated the equality of Jesus with the Father. Although the most mysterious of Christian teachings, it is the most significant. For what the doctrine of the Trinity allows Christians to say is that God is love. Love makes no sense without at least two persons, the lover and the beloved. Because Christianity says God exists eternally as three persons, it can say God has always been loving. Therefore, God creates out of love.

  • Wednesday 25 May:
    • 10:00am:  Holy Communion
  • Saturday 28 May:
    • 7:30pm: Con Anima Concert
  • Sunday 29 May:
    • 8:00am: Holy Communsion
    • 10:15am: Sung Eucharist

Upcoming events: 

Lunchtime Fellowship (Open4Prayer): 31st of May at 12.30pm.

Learig Orchestra supporting ANCHOR charity will be performing at St Machar’s Cathedral on 4 June at 7.30pm.

Summer Bible Study: starting in June, we will have a fortnightly Bible study. If you are interested, please sign up at the back, indicating what days and times work best and whether you would be willing to host the group in your home.

Like shopping? Love St Mary’s? Support St Mary’s by shopping at John Lewis, Amazon.co.uk, Ebay, Argos, and Debenhams through Easyfundraising.org.uk. You can buy the exact same stock and pay the exact same price, but this organisation donates a percentage of your purchase to St Mary’s. Here’s the link

10er Challenge If you can, save £10/week for one year, to help with the cost of replacing our failing heating system.

You can contact the office by email using office@stmaryscardenplace.org.uk. Please send any material for the website to website@stmaryscardenplace.org.uk

Posted in Weekly Notices

Weekly notices 15 May

This week’s Rector’s reflection: Pentecost 

Originally, Pentecost commemorated the giving of the Ten Commandments. The story about the giving of the Holy Spirit on the Feast of Pentecost was written in a way to recall and fulfil this original event. The rush of wind and the fire in the upper room alludes to the storm atop Mt Sinai. And, whereas when Moses brought the Ten Commandments down to the people, 3,000 died, we read that when the Spirit descends upon the church, 3,000 are saved. We are meant to understand that the Spirit helps us obey the Law. That everyone heard the message in their own native tongue is also significant. It recalls the myth of the Tower of Babel, which is about the perennial human attempt to create heaven on earth. In the story, God thwarts human utopia by giving different languages. At the time of Pentecost, there was a real human attempt at utopia. Alexander the Great had conquered the ancient world and forced everyone to speak Greek. That people hear the Gospel in their native tongue not create reveals that the unity God intends for humans is not found in cultural conformity but in common connection to Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit.

  • Wednesday 18 May:
    • 10:00am:  Holy Communion
  • Sunday 22 May:
    • 8:00am: Holy Communsion
    • 9:00am: Bishop Sitemble ministy talk (over breaksfast)
    • 10:15am: Sung Eucharist

Upcoming events: 

 

 

Con Anima Concert on the 28th of May at 7.30pm.

Lunchtime Fellowship (Open4Prayer): 31st of May at 12.30pm.

Make £50! Brigham Young University is coming to Aberdeen between 4-7th June to research faith and families in the UK. They are looking for parents and grandparents for a 60-90 minute interview. You will be compensated £50 for participating. If you are interested in participating, please contact them at ukfamiliesresearch@byu.edu and please mention that James Merrick at St Mary’s referred you.

Learig Orchestra supporting ANCHOR charity will be performing at St Machar’s Cathedral on 4 June at 7.30pm.

Summer Bible Study: starting in June, we will have a fortnightly Bible study. If you are interested, please sign up at the back, indicating what days and times work best and whether you would be willing to host the group in your home.

Like shopping? Love St Mary’s? Support St Mary’s by shopping at John Lewis, Amazon.co.uk, Ebay, Argos, and Debenhams through Easyfundraising.org.uk. You can buy the exact same stock and pay the exact same price, but this organisation donates a percentage of your purchase to St Mary’s. Here’s the link

10er Challenge If you can, save £10/week for one year, to help with the cost of replacing our failing heating system.

You can contact the office by email using office@stmaryscardenplace.org.uk. Please send any material for the website to website@stmaryscardenplace.org.uk

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Weekly Notices Sunday 1 May

This week’s Rector’s reflection: Do You Love Me?

When I leave the room, Rowan and Evie start fighting or getting into trouble. When I leave, they forget my instructions. In the gospel reading for this morning, Jesus speaks of leaving to go to be with the Father and instructs his disciples that if they loved him, they would keep his word. Like Rowan and Evie, like the first disciples, we have been left in the world. The question is, how will we behave? How will we handle Christ’s absence? Will we keep his word?

  • Wednesday 4 May:
    • 10:00am:  Holy Communion
  • Saturday 7 May:
  • Sunday 8 May:
    • 8:00am: Holy Communsion
    • 10:15am: Sung Eucharist
    • 5:00pm: Easter Study

Upcoming events: 

Easter Study: Tonight! At 5pm. ‘The God Who Speaks Life’, led by the Revd Andrew Errington. No preparation necessary.

 

Choral Evensong with Queen’s Cross on the 15th of May at 6.30pm. Reception to follow.

Visit from Bp Sitembele of Mthatha (South Africa) on the 22nd of May. He will preside at the 8am service, discuss over breakfast his ministry at 9am and preside and preach at the 10.15am service. Let’s make sure he has a warm welcome.

Con Anima Concert on the 28th of May at 7.30pm.

Sing on Thursdays at 7.30pm. Learn hymns and service music. No experience or musical ability necessary

Like shopping? Love St Mary’s? Support St Mary’s by shopping at John Lewis, Amazon.co.uk, Ebay, Argos, and Debenhams through Easyfundraising.org.uk. You can buy the exact same stock and pay the exact same price, but this organisation donates a percentage of your purchase to St Mary’s. Here’s the link

10er Challenge If you can, save £10/week for one year, to help with the cost of replacing our failing heating system.

You can contact the office by email using office@stmaryscardenplace.org.uk. Please send any material for the website to website@stmaryscardenplace.org.uk

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