The Sunday before Lent
St Mary’s and St Andrew’s Worshipping Together
A very warm welcome to all
2 Kings 2: 1-12; Psalm 50: 1-6; 2 Corinthians 4: 3-6; Gospel: Mark 9: 2-9
In our Gospel today
In Mark’s Gospel today we hear about Christ’s Transfiguration. Inherent in the story of the Transfiguration is the promise of a kind of life beyond what is apparent to earthly eyes most of the time. Both Moses and Elijah, two figures whose passing’s were mysterious, were believed by many Jews to be God’s precursors of the end times. Because Elijah went bodily into heaven (included in today’s Old Testament reading) and Moses’ grave was never found (he was buried by God himself in Deuteronomy 34:4-7), these two men of the faith were thought to be available for God to send back. God would send them to inform humankind that God’s reign was at hand. It is no accident that these two appear with Jesus on the mountain. They discuss that change already prophesied by Jesus (Mark 1:15) and as the two messengers disappear into the cloud (a sign of God’s presence, Exodus 40:34-38), the word comes to “Listen to Jesus,” the only one left. Now Jesus becomes the divinely chosen precursor of the turn of the age.
Wednesday the 17th of February is Ash Wednesday, which marks the beginning of Lent. It seems a bit over the top to expect people of faith to even consider making sacrifices for 40 days and nights given the circumstances we currently experience. However, that, in some way is the point. If we observe Lent in a wholly orthodox Christian fashion, we understand the need to step back and re-assess our lives and to test ourselves as Jesus tested Himself. If we, however, observe Lent with a more secular approach, it can be seen as a bit of fun, or simply a challenge, which, if unsuccessfully applied, will make no difference in any case. How someone chooses to understand and apply Lent is purely a matter for the individual, but we must not lose sight of why it exists in the first place. Even in these times, where many questions and demands are being asked of us, it is imperative that we, in our own personal wilderness, do not succumb to those influences that can easily divert our journey from that path to salvation.
‘Through the Lenten Door’
As per my comments in last week’s Newsletter, I would like to draw your attention to the Lent Course ‘Through the Lenten Door’, which has been put together by Bishop Anne and the Rev’d Dr Jenny Holden. There are several options to join the course on various days, and I hope that some of you will consider taking part in this wonderful opportunity. Please refer to the Diocesan Newsletter at https://aoepiscopal.scot/diocesan-newsletter-wednesday-3-february-2021/ where you will find full details on how to take part. Or alternatively via Through the Lenten Door – a Lent Course for lockdown. Details of on-line material to come, and how to register…https://aoepiscopal.scot/through-the-lenten-door…/
Thank you for joining the St Mary’s AGM
I would like to thank everyone who joined us last Sunday for our AGM. The challenges continue as we consistently adapt to how we gather and discuss our Church business. There was some very good discourse to be had and some very pertinent questions put to our Vestry members. I sincerely hope that we will be able to gather in person for our next AGM, as nothing equals the personal interaction that meetings of this nature can bring. Until then, Diocesan and General Synods, together with Vestry meetings and other group discussions, continue to be held using the Zoom facility.
Vacancy on St Mary’s Vestry
As mentioned at the AGM, there is a vacancy on St Mary’s Vestry which is currently being covered by Mrs Freddie Stephens (who has come to the end of her tenure but has agreed to remain in situ until a new member can be identified). Should anyone from St Mary’s wish to be considered for this post, and would like to discuss it, please contact me using the usual details, and I would be delighted to have a chat.
Donation link on website
We will hopefully soon have a ‘Donation’ button option on our website for anyone who wishes to make a donation to St Mary’s. As soon as it is up and running I will let you know. Meanwhile, if you haven’t already had a look, why not check out our website at www.stmaryscardenplace.org.uk If you think it would benefit from some extra content or if you have any ideas on how we could make improvements, please let us know using the messaging function on the site.
A note about my calendar
The circumstances relating to the personal pastoral matter I referred to last week have changed slightly, in that I will not yet be travelling south in the immediate future. However, Sam and I may need to do so if circumstances dictate. If that is the case I will inform Bishop Anne, and my Rector’s Warden, Mr David Rose.
In need of any help?
The snow and ice has curtailed even further, any ventures outside, especially for those with decreased mobility. Please do not suffer in silence if you need anything important delivered to your doorstep. Call or email me and if I can help I will endeavour to do so. This applies to members of both St Mary’s and St Andrew’s congregations.
As previously mentioned, I will be live broadcasting a short evening Lent devotion/prayer, every evening at 7 pm, via Face Book throughout the season of Lent.
Dates for your diary
Sunday 14 February – Last before Lent 11am: A celebration of the Eucharist led by Rt Revd Kevin Pearson from Glasgow.
Ash Wednesday – 17 February 10am: A celebration of the Eucharist, including litany and ashing, led by Rt Revd Anne Dyer, from St Mary’s Pro-cathedral, Aberdeen. Links to this service are available from the Diocesan Website at https://aoepiscopal.scot
11am: A celebration of the Eucharist led by Rt Revd Andrew Swift from Dundee.
Services week commencing Sunday the 14th February 2021
Sunday 14th February at 10 am, Pre-Recorded Holy Communion service from St Mary’s Pro-Cathedral (Cn Terry Taggart)
Wednesday 17th February at 10 am, Pre-Recorded Holy Communion / Ashing service from St Mary’s Pro-Cathedral (Rt Rev’d Anne Dyer)
Wednesday 17th February at 7pm, Evening Devotion/Prayer live broadcast via Facebook throughout the season of Lent (Cn Terry Taggart)
Sunday 21st February (1st Sunday of Lent) at 10 am. Pre-Recorded Holy Communion Service from St Mary’s Pro-Cathedral (Cn Terry Taggart)
“When higher beings allow us to see them, that’s the very moment we begin to be one of them.”
(Toba Beta, Betelgeuse Incident: Insiden Bait Al-Jauza)
Rev’d Canon Terry Taggart