Isaiah 21: 8-21; Psalm 86: 1-10 &16-end Romans 6: 1b-11
Gospel: Matthew 10: 24-39
‘Who would you be if you ever became fully yourself?’
‘Who would you be if you ever became fully yourself?’ (Adapted from Chittester ‘Between the Dark and the Daylight’ p.123) What new possibilities might arise? How would your relationships change? What fears would disappear? How do you imagine your life would be different? I’m not talking about a selfish attitude towards others and the world. I am talking about living into our better and truer selves, being real and authentic, experiencing wholeness and integrity within ourselves; and then taking all of that, all that we are and all that we have, and offering it to our relationships, to the world, to Christ. So I ask you again, who would you be if you ever became fully yourself? I think that is the question that lies beneath today’s Gospel, and I think it points to something we all long for and struggle with.
Pro-Cathedral for the Diocese
During the past seven days, I have had several meetings concerning the recent announcement that St Mary’s will become the Pro Cathedral for this Diocese. I have met with Bishop Anne, the Provost, The Very Rev’d Isaac Poobalan and the Dean, The Very Rev’d Dennis Berk. I have also been involved in a meeting with the combined Warden(s), Treasurers, Secretaries and PVG Officers of both St Mary’s Vestry and Trustees of the Cathedral Church of St Andrew’s. This second meeting was held in order to open up lines of communication between those who hold particular roles within both of our Churches and to initially get to know each other and to share any concerns that may well arise as we move forward. I was absolutely delighted to hear the contribution made by all concerned regarding both of our futures and I can confirm that the ground work has now begun in earnest as we work together to do God’s bidding in an atmosphere of love and harmony. As time moves forward, we hope to widen this circle and invite many others to become involved in assisting with the task ahead. I have also begun sharing our newsletter with Fr Isaac in order that he can be regularly appraised of what we at St Mary’s are praying for and offering to do.
During the next seven days, I will be making a round of telephone calls to as many of you as possible in order to see if anyone would like a Pastoral visit. Obviously we would need to observe all of the criteria set out to do this (facemasks/social distancing) and I hope I can come and see some of you. The current amended guidelines released last week by the Province will only allow me to visit one household per day, and this meeting must take place outdoors, so it could be a fairly lengthy process. Nevertheless, it is clearly progress and I am deeply thankful for that.
Our Zoom breakfasts continue each Sunday at 10am and it is nice to see more and more people join us for a chat and a catch-up. Should any of you wish to join us by either telephone or via the Zoom application on your computer/phone, please let me know by contacting me on any of the details below and I will provide you with the login information required.
In last Sunday’s newsletter I referred to some digital recordings I received from Mr Colin Simpson, son of the late Mr Brian Simpson, whose funeral I mistakenly stated I officiated at last year at St Mary’s. It was of course Mr George Simpson, Brian’s brother, whose funeral I took. I have been in touch with Brian’s wife Mrs Sylvia Simpson who has very graciously forgiven me for this error.
Statement from Bishop Mark Strange
The following is a Statement from Bishop Mark Strange, Primus, on behalf of the College of Bishops of the Scottish Episcopal Church (18 June, 2020):
Today the First Minister of Scotland has announced moving the communities of Scotland into Phase 2 of the Route Map out of Lockdown, with aspects of easing taking place on different dates .There are many things which people will now need to work on to ensure that these changes are carried through carefully and safely. It is good to be moving forward. The Scottish Episcopal Church can now plan for some of its churches to open for Individual prayer following the guidelines carefully worked out by our own Advisory Group. Our Phase 2 Guidance, issued last week, now takes effect from Monday 22 June 2020. We also recognise that in Phase 2 for various reasons some faith groups will still not be able to use any of their places of worship and we will continue to work and walk alongside them at this time. We move forward today in the knowledge that we will together continue to have opportunities to discuss and shape the route back towards the full re-opening of the places of worship of all faith communities in Scotland. It is also important to recognise the work that has been done throughout the lockdown by the regular meetings of the Scottish Government with faith leaders and the various faith group secretariats. We thank the Government for its commitment to working together with the faith communities of Scotland. The Advisory Group will continue its work towards the preparation of Phase 3 guidance.Bishop Mark Strange, Primus, on behalf of the College of Bishops of the Scottish Episcopal Church
Vacancies on the Vestry Committee
As I 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 am absolutely delighted to announce that Mrs Jenny Cruickshank will fill that spot. I look forward to working with Jenny, particularly as we all experience the changes ahead.
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.
Take us and use us
to love and serve you, and all people,
in the power of your Spirit
and in the name of your Son,
Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Fr Terry Taggart