Exodus 1: 8-2-10: Psalm 124; Romans 12: 1-8
Gospel: Matthew 16: 13-20
In today’s Gospel, Jesus is asking questions. “But who do you say that I am” Let me tell you some of the answers I’ve heard or read. My personal Lord and Saviour. The Son of God. God incarnate. He’s my life, the song I sing, my. My pal, brother, friend. Rock, comforter, Manager. Teacher. Example. The co-pilot next to me. The list could go on and on. At some point or another we’ve probably all been told who Jesus is. Maybe you heard it from priests, teachers, parents, friends, or prayer groups. Maybe you read it in books, Sunday school lessons, or the rear windscreen of someone’s car. Maybe you saw it on Face-book, read it on the internet, or heard it in a song. Some of the answers may have been helpful. Some were not. Some were just plain silly and some may have even been hurtful and destructive. Regardless, the question remains. By now most of you know me well enough to know that I don’t intend to answer that question for you. I can’t. Each of us must answer it for ourselves. It is not, however, a theology or Bible exam. If anything it is an examination of our own lives. But as you bear it in mind, just recall what (Simon) Peter says “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God”.
Our Vestry Committee continues to liaise with the Trustees of the Cathedral Church of St Andrew’s as the date of us worshipping under one roof at St Mary’s draws ever near.There is much work yet to be done by both groups, but we should spare a thought, and a prayer, for our brothers and sisters at St Andrew’s who are dealing with the monumental task of moving so much stuff into storage whilst at the same time trying outwardly to maintain some sort of status quo during the current circumstances we experience. I know that when the time comes, we shall welcome them with open arms with the love and affection we extend to everyone who crosses our doorstep. Please remember in your prayers, Provost Isaac and the Trustees of St Andrew’s as they negotiate the weeks ahead for what will be for their congregation, a journey of trepidation, but one we hope will be met with support and reassurance along the way.
Our ‘Zoom Brunch’ continues at 12.30pm every Sunday, and it would be lovely to see those who haven’t yet joined us, for a catch up. I fully understand that not everyone has broadband or even a computer, and I have been calling around again by telephone this week to see if everyone is ok. I tend not to call those whom I have spoken with on Zoom or during meetings, but concentrate more on those with whom I see or hear very little of during the current pandemic. If you would like the link to our Zoom Brunch, please get in touch on either of the details below and I can send you the necessary information required.
A warm St Mary’s welcome
I would like to extend a warm St Mary’s welcome to Air Commodore (ret’d) Reg and Mrs Moy Whittaker who have joined us, if not yet in person, as new members of our congregation. Mr and Mrs Whittaker live close to St Mary’s and we hope to see them soon when the current restrictions are relaxed. I know you will make them feel at home when the time comes. During the intervening period, I intend keeping in touch via this newsletter and the occasional telephone call.
Flower Arranger in –Chief
You might recall a couple of weeks ago that I informed you that Mrs Irene Pratt, who oversees the purchase of, and organisation of our flowers at St Mary’s, is stepping back from this role. I was hoping that there may be someone out there who would consider taking on the responsibility of being our ‘Flower Arranger in –Chief’. This would entail being responsible for overseeing donations made towards flowers and for managing some form of rota for flower arrangements during the liturgical year. If you would like to know more about this essential role or you are interested in volunteering for it, please contact me on the details below.
Last week we remembered the following individuals:
- St Bernard (of Clairvaux) 1153, and William and Catherine Booth, Founders of the Salvation Army 1912 – both celebrated on Thursday the 20th of August.
Officially re-open our Church
I mentioned a few weeks ago that my Wife and I were hoping to travel south to visit family for a few days. Due to the current local lockdown in Aberdeen City and the five mile restriction on travel, we are currently unable to do that. At the time of writing this I suspect that we will not be able to travel until Wednesday the 26th at the earliest. In recent correspondence from Bishop Anne, it is anticipated that we may be able to officially re-open our Church from Thursday the 27th of August onwards (whilst obviously observing all the necessary precautions). If that becomes the case, and the restrictions have been relaxed, I still intend to travel south to visit family as outlined above. This would mean that the first service at St Mary’s would take place at 1015 am on Sunday the 6th of September.
As I have mentioned in previous newsletters, St Mary’s still has to attend to its many financial obligations despite the Church being closed, and it is more important than ever to ensure we have the resources to honour those commitments. Some of you have sent me cheques/envelopes for your weekly giving donations and for that I am extremely grateful. I would encourage those who may be saving their envelopes up until a full return to normal Sunday services, to consider making a direct payment into St Mary’s Church bank account. I can provide the necessary information if you contact me on the details below. It is my utmost desire to ensure that we are able to observe all opportunities to cut down the risk of infection. However, if that method is not suitable and you would still like to contribute your envelopes, or make a donation, again, just contact me and I can make alternative arrangements to pick it up. Your continued support is so very much appreciated in these trying times.
Vestry Zoom Meetings
The St Mary’s Vestry will meet via Zoom on Wednesday the 26th of August at 7.30. Previous minutes/Agenda/Rector’s Report will be circulated accordingly before the meeting.
For those involved with the St Mary’s and St Andrew’s Steering Group, there will be a Zoom meeting on Thursday the 27th of August, commencing at 7.30pm.
‘May the grace of God’s protection
And His great love abide
within your home-within the hearts
of all who dwell inside’.
(An Irish Blessing)
Fr Terry Taggart