‘Shout aloud and sing for joy, for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel‘
A very warm welcome to all
Advent 3 – Gaudete Sunday
Readings: 1 Kings 19: 1-18; Canticle: Isaiah 12: 2-6; Philippians 4: 4-7
Gospel: Luke 3: 7-18
In today’s Gospel
Things about John the Baptist that both draw me to him and push me away. “You brood of vipers.” Those words leave a bad taste in my mouth. “You are children of the snake that tempted Adam and Eve in the garden.” If John was a teenager in our house, and he said that to me, he would be grounded forever. John, of course, is using figures of speech to alert the crowd to the coming of the last great judgment. A moment in life when the evil that people in the world do catches up with them, and they suffer the consequences. Not everyone today, believes that there will be such a single, dramatic moment of judgment. Nor does everyone today believe in a punishment of unquenchable fire. But buried deep at the centre of John’s preaching is a conviction that is as true today as when John spoke it: Our attitudes and behaviours bear consequences. If we go along with dishonesty, injustice, exploitation, violence, and death, we can expect our personal lives, and our social worlds to be stained by dishonesty, injustice, exploitation, violence, and death.
Today we are blessed that Dr Ferdinand von Prondzynski will preach for us. This is to fulfil one of the modules of Ferdinand’s Theology course, which is now for him, in its second year. This is being recorded, however this recording will not impact on any member of the congregation and will feature only on Ferdinand in order that his lecturers at the Scottish Episcopal Institute can assess his performance. I am absolutely sure that Ferdinand will be happy to chat after the service about any points relating to his sermon should you have questions, or indeed compliments for him.
The funeral service for Ms Millie Rose Dyer took place here at St Marys Carden Place on Friday the 10th of December. Bishop Anne and Father Roger have asked me to convey their dearest appreciation for all of the support, condolences and cards etc during this extremely difficult and sad time for their family. I would like to express my own gratitude to those people who worked so hard to make the day run as smoothly as it did: Mrs Anne Farquhar, Mr Iain Stewart, Mrs Lynn Geldart, Mr Athol Jermieson, Mr Matthew McVey (and choristers), Mr Malcolm Hay, and Mrs Nicola Mills for the beautiful flowers.
Another Thank You
I would like to thank all who attended at Mary’s on Saturday to help put up our Christmas tree and other assorted decors. Many hands always make the task so much easier and enjoyable. Thank you all!
On the 18th of December at 3 pm, we will hold a Christingle Carol Service. This service is always appreciated by children, so those of you who have children (or grandchildren) why not consider bringing them along
St Mary’s Christmas Magazine
The St Mary’s Christmas Magazine is currently being put together by Dr Nicola Mills. You have until the 13th of December to submit an article to be published therein. This can be about anything, a favourite Advent / Christmas poem, a story that makes you happy at Christmas, a favourite Christmas recipe; use your imagination and Nicola will ensure it is printed.
The raffle draw will make place next Sunday the 19th, there is still time to buy some raffle tickets, and they consist of books of five tickets, priced at £1 per ticket. Envelopes of raffle ticket books are in a box next to the font. Please take what you wish and return the stubs together with the relevant amount of payment.
Selection Box Appeal
The collection of confectionary selection boxes in the lead up to Christmas continues. When you are next out shopping, please consider buying a selection box to donate towards this appeal. We shall continue to accept donations up until Sunday the 19th of December, after which we shall ensure that they are distributed to an appropriate charity organisation who can help brighten up a child’s Christmas, who may have otherwise missed out on such a small treat.
You will find a calendar of events on our website at www.stmaryscardenplace.org.uk covering the next several months. We will also place a few of these event calendars around the church for your perusal and diaries.
As I have been mentioning recently, there’s no time like the present to prepare for Christmas. With that in mind, the St Mary’s Pro-Cathedral Christmas cards are now available. You will find them at the rear of the Church as you leave and also in the Choir Vestry if you are joining us for a cuppa after the service. All we ask is the same as last year; £1 per card, or £5 for a pack of six. They are lovely cards, professionally designed by Mr Stuart Smith at Alt 10 Interactive, the local company who built our website.
Advent to Epiphany Course
You are invited to participate in an Advent to Epiphany course from the Diocese of Aberdeen and Orkney this Season. The course is called; “Waiting, Watching, Wondering”. Material to be used each day will be posted on the Diocesan website, beginning on Advent Sunday and running through to Epiphany. For each day there will be a mixture of Scripture, prayers, art, music links and activities. The material can be used as individuals, or by groups reflecting together. The materials will be posted daily on the website, available from https://aoepiscopal.scot/ under the Other News and Resources part of the front page, and the daily materials will remain available throughout the season.
Service of Memorial and Thanksgiving
I am looking at providing a service of memorial and thanksgiving for those who suffered loss during the height of the Corona Virus pandemic, and also to give thanks to the wonderful and dedicated members of our NHS who worked, and continue to do so, in the battle to keep on top of this devastating virus. I am hoping that it can be an ecumenical event with contributions from different faiths and denominations. Please watch this space.
Due to a personal commitment, the Said Eucharist service on Christmas Day, originally scheduled for 10 am, will now take place at 9 am. I apologise for the short notice and any inconvenience this might cause. Services on the 26th of December remain unaltered.
St Mary’s Pro-Cathedral AGM
St Mary’s AGM will take place on Sunday the 6th of February 2022. I also inform you that our Vestry Committee have proposed that we bring our current Constitution in line with other Churches within the SEC concerning the future dates of AGM’s, in that in future years we would like to see this meeting being held in the November (or latest, December). There is a process we must legally adhere to and I shall endeavour to ensure everyone is kept appraised accordingly.
Services/Events at St Mary’s Pro-Cathedral w/c Sunday the 12th of December 2021
Sunday 12th December at 8 am – Said Eucharist (1970 – Cn Terry)
Sunday 12th December at 10 am – Sun Eucharist – Advent 3 (1982-Cn Terry)
Monday 13th December – Cn Terry – Admin Working Day
Tuesday 14th December at 10 am – Morning Prayer
Wednesday 15th December at 10 am Holy Communion (Cn Terry-1970) Followed by Tea and Coffee
Saturday 18th December at 3 pm – Christingle Service
Sunday 19th December at 8 am – Holy Communion (1970 – Cn Terry)
Sunday 19th December at 10.00 am – 4th Sunday of Advent Sung Eucharist (1982 – Cn Terry) Followed by Teas and Coffee and Raffle Draw
“For outlandish creatures like us, on our way to a heart, a brain, and courage, Bethlehem is not the end of our journey but only the beginning – not home but the place through which we must pass if ever we are to reach home at last.”
Frederick Buechner, The Magnificent Defeat
Rev Canon Terry Taggart