At the time of writing this, we have already had three services today. Palm Sunday is the first day of Holy Week, a season that is the most important for all of Christianity.
As our week progresses we travel the journey with Jesus on his road to Golgotha after which we rejoice when the tomb is found to be empty. We all know the story well enough, so why do we get so emotionally involved in it every year?
Some may say that it is because we just still cannot comprehend, after all the time that has elapsed since Jesus’ crucifixion, that a human (and divine) man was betrayed and treated so badly by the very people he was trying to save.
Some may say that it is just how Christianity gets its message across; regular and repetitive.
Some may even say that because Christianity relies so much on the reality of the Easter story, it must be re-enacted every year to feel vindicated.
There are many ideas, opinions and downright nonsense about Easter, so much so that I tend to steer away from it. Don’t get me wrong here, I am not averse to a bit of controversy in my choice of reading material. I have read practically everything that Christopher Hitchins has published and if you don’t know who Christopher ‘Hitch’ Hitchins is, then I suggest you google his name and maybe listen to/watch one of his presentations, you’ll get my drift.
But enough about negativity. Once again, our Easter Egg appeal was a huge success, with all of the eggs being donated to the local Charity, Home Start. It never ceases to amaze me how generous people can be again and again, every year, with so many appeals for this, that, and the other. I often think I ask too much of everyone, but I am always proved wrong each year, and for that, I am eternally grateful.
We had an amazing curry night at St Mary’s a few weeks ago, so much so that I was asked if we could do something similar again as soon as possible. I must say that the food and company were certainly exceptional on the evening and I am sure that all who attended had a thoroughly good time. I think that this type of event is so useful as a community outreach as well as a bonding session for our congregation.
It gave me great pleasure on Palm Sunday, to formally announce that Mr Ferdinand von Prondzynski will serve his Curacy at St Mary’s Pro-Cathedral after he is ordained Deacon in September of this year. We will be very fortunate to have Ferdinand on board as he has a wealth of knowledge that all of us will, I have absolutely no doubt, benefit from. I look forward very much to working with Ferdinand after he is ordained.
On the Subject of Ordination, we shall, unfortunately, be losing Godwin and Faustina Chimara and the three children. When Godwin is Ordained Deacon in September, he will serve his curacy at St John’s Crown Street. We shall miss them all dearly as the whole family have been such an important part of our community here at St Mary’s.
I am in regular touch with Fr Jason and Fr Roger, both of whom are sharing their individual and wonderful ministries with St Clement’s and St John’s respectively. Aberdeen is so lucky to have two Priests of such calibre and I know that you will join me in remembering both in your prayers.
I am hoping to take a few days off after Easter. I will probably stay at home as there is a plan to travel South for a few days nearer the end of the month.
The construction of the West-End Peace Garden will hopefully commence in May, and we have been assured that when it starts, the work will continue, apart from weekend breaks, to its conclusion, weather permitting. The estimated time from beginning to end is given as three weeks, so all being well, it will be in place for the summer months, when we, and the outlying community, can enjoy it. It will limit the parking footprint, but there will still be sufficient space for a few cars at the front and plenty down the side of the building. When the work is complete I will arrange a special service to have it blessed.
Bishop Anne remains suspended from her post as our Diocesan Bishop and I ask you to keep both her and Fr Roger in your prayers during this difficult time. I also ask you to remember Bishop John as he balances the demands of two dioceses in his role as our temporary Bishop.
So, by the time you read this, Easter will have happened. I hope that all of you were able to spend some quality time with your family and friends during the period and you were able to get to some of the many services available throughout the diocese.
We are Easter people, we are the people of God. Let us just enjoy being so lucky in the here and now.