Genesis 18: 1-15; Psalm 116: 10-17; Romans 5: 1-8
Gospel – 9: 35-10:8
The parallel pattern of behaviour between Jesus and his apostles is nowhere more striking than in Matthew’s Gospel.In this passage the narration focuses in, first on Jesus himself (9:35-36), then on the disciples in general (9:37-38), then the twelve apostles by name and vocation (10:1-8). With the movement from Jesus’ own ministry of teaching, preaching, and healing (9:35) to that of his followers, we might expect a thick line to be drawn between him and his “apostles” (the only occurrence of this word in Matthew). There is only one Jesus, after all, and even his closest followers are but a pale reflection.
Emerging from Lockdown
I have received the latest update (phase 2) from the Province titled ‘Emerging from Lockdown’. This is initially addressed to Clergy/ Lay Clergy and Vestry Officers. You can find the full update on the Scottish Episcopal Church Website at www.scotland.anglican.org I urge you all to read it if you can. It essentially outlines what we as a Church can and should not do as we move forward. It does allow the possibility for pastoral visiting, but only one person/family per day, with everyone involved exercising the proper safeguards (masks/gloves/hand wash) Of course, I would never arrive unannounced, therefore, a telephone call would be the first mode of contact to ensure availability and practicality. The choice however, would be yours, and yours alone as to whether you would like a pastoral visit from me, but that is something we can discuss. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you feel your need is urgent. The new guideline also allows the possibility of ‘private prayer’ in Church buildings. This is essentially for Churches that would normally be open for such a process and not for the general public to wander in. As this was not normally the case at St Mary’s, I intend to hold this in abeyance until there is a further relaxation of restrictions.
Pro-Cathedral for the Diocese
By now the news that St Mary’s will become Pro-Cathedral for the Diocese at the end of September this year is, I hope, beginning to seep in. I would be interested to hear your comments about it. It is important that everyone is kept fully informed of what is exactly taking place and that nothing comes as a surprise to anyone. If you want to get in touch about any of this, please contact me using any of the details at the bottom of this newsletter.
St Mary’s and St Andrew’s
There continue to be meetings with Vestry and Clergy who are working hard to ensure the merger between St Mary’s and St Andrew’s can happen as smoothly as possible. Early next week there will be a meeting between myself, Bishop Anne, The Provost, The Very Rev’d Isaac Poobalan and the Dean, The Very Rev’d Dennis Berk, where we discuss and share ideas as we gauge where we hope to be in three months time. There will also be a meeting later in the week between the key vestry members of St Mary’s and Trustees from St Andrew’s in order to initially introduce ourselves, but also to begin to make working links and plans for the future. Please remember everyone concerned in your prayers.
As I mentioned last week, we as a church, still have financial commitments to honour and therefore our stream of income needs to continue. Many of you give by way of standing order / direct debit and I am extremely thankful for this. Many of you have increased your giving as a result of our recent stewardship campaign for which I am eternally grateful. I would urge those who have not responded to my mail drop of several weeks ago, to give consideration to this, only if you are able. Many of you donate by envelope, and should you wish these to be collected, please get in touch with me and I will arrange an opportunity to do so soon. My details are at the bottom of this newsletter. There is however, one alternative you might wish to consider and that is, making your payments direct to our Church account. Should you wish to do that, particularly during this period, let me know and I can provide the necessary bank details required. This could be considered should you not wish to give by envelope during the restrictions.
Vacancies on the Vestry Committee
I also mentioned last week about vacancies on the Vestry Committee. We now have one vacancy, that of Peoples Warden, the role recently vacated by Mr Graham Thomson. Should anyone wish to put themselves forward for this or would like to explore what the post requires, please contact me and I will endeavour to assist. The ordinary Vestry member vacancy has now been filled and I will make a formal announcement next week.
Digitised audio recordings of services
I have recently taken ownership (on behalf of St Mary’s) of some digitised audio recordings of services and choir music at St Mary’s dating back to 1957. There is also a film of a TV broadcast of Morning Service Sung Eucharist dated 1979, where I have no doubt some of you might be able to recognise yourselves and others. The material, transferred from a ‘reel to reel’ system, was recorded by Mr Brian Simpson, late of St Mary’s, whose funeral I officiated at last year. His son Colin contacted me to find out if I would be interested in them and I was deeply honoured to accept this kind offer on your behalf.
If there is righteousness in the heart,
there will be beauty in the character.
If there is beauty in the character,
there will be harmony in the home.
If there is harmony in the home,
there will be order in the nation.
If there is order in the nation,
there will be peace in the world.
So let it be.
(A Scottish Blessing)
Fr Terry Taggart