‘Let my cry come before you O Lord‘
A very warm welcome to all
First Sunday After Christmas – St Stephen: Deacon and Martyr
Readings: Jeremiah 26: 1-9, 12-15; Psalm 119: 161-168; Acts 7: 1-2a, 51-60
Gospel: Matthew 10: 16-22
In today’s Gospel
In our Gospel reading today, there is a swift change in tone from yesterday, as we celebrate the death of St. Stephen. This is an example of the non-acceptance of Jesus and his message. Being prophetic as Jesus was, evoked extreme reaction to Stephen. His death is portrayed like that of Jesus, forgiving his executioners and commending his spirit to the Lord (Acts 5:57-60). We are called to rely on the Lord who remains faithful to us in all situations. Accepting Jesus and becoming a follower has its cost , but it is the way to life. Stephen gives us a profound message about forgiveness in the spirit of the teaching and example of Jesus. I pray that the Lord may give us wisdom and strength in the challenging situations that we encounter. It can seem strange to celebrate St Stephen, who was martyred, right after Christmas Day when our dominant emotion is joy in the birth of Christ. The point, however, is that this is why Christ came on earth, to save us from our sins by his death on the Cross.
Is it over?
Today (Sunday) is the first Sunday after Christmas and sadly, many people will have already ‘put away’ the story for another year. There is still so much going on and so much more to do. Yes, a lot of people will begin to remove their decors (if not already done), some will wait until the traditional twelfth night, some might even leave theirs up for a wee while longer. Some will even complain that Christmas is over and we should move on to whatever happens next. Sadly, the commercial aspect of this season is all too prevalent and this becomes an overwhelming distraction if we are not too careful
I would like to thank Bishop Anne for Presiding and Preaching at our Midnight Mass service on Christmas Eve. I would also like to thank Matthew McVey for his hard work in the preparation of musical arrangements for both the pre-mass carol service and the main service itself.
Selection Boxes Appeal
We were able to donate over 70 selection boxes to the Aberdeen Cyrenians, with whom we have a long-standing association. They were very grateful for this wonderful generosity which ensured that this will be such a welcome gift for many children (and adults) who would otherwise go without this little treat over Christmas. Thank you to everyone who gave so freely to this appeal..
St Mary’s Calendars
St Mary’s Calendars are still available and offered for sale at £8 each. I hope you will consider them as an ideal Christmas/New Year present to a friend or a loved one. You can find them on the pew at the rear of the Church, the foyer, and in the Choir vestry. Please consider purchasing one (or more).
The quarterly Magazine is now available and can be viewed online by clicking on the following link to our website. https://stmaryscardenplace.org.uk/st-marys-magazine-christmas-2021/ Some hardcopies will be made available for those who do not use a computer. There is also a short Christmas message from myself which can be viewed by clicking on the following link. https://stmaryscardenplace.org.uk/notices/a-short-christmas-message-from-the-rectory/
I would like to draw you attention to our proposals for the Peace/Therapy Garden at the front of the Church. We have obtained some samples of ideas re what the garden could look like, and we (The Vestry) would value your opinion on what your preference might be. Please take some time to click on the following link where all will be revealed.https://stmaryscardenplace.org.uk/notices/west-end-garden-project/
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
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.
St Mary’s AGM and Constitution Change
St Mary’s AGM will take place on Sunday the 6th of February 2022 and we are proposing to make a change to our Constitution. St Mary’s Constitution states that we must hold our AGM within three months of our financial year end, which is the 30th of September. We would like to extend this period to six months which effectively brings the Constitution line with what we have been doing for a number of years. The result of this is that we would be required to hold our AGM by 31st March as opposed to 31st December.
Services/Events at St Mary’s Pro-Cathedral w/c Sunday the 26th of December 2021
Sunday 26th December at 8am – Holy Communion (Cn Terry – 1970)
Sunday 26th December at 10 am – St Stephen the Martyr – 1st Sunday After Christmas Sung Eucharist (Cn Terry – 1982)
Monday 27th December- Thursday 30th December – Cn Terry – Time off
Friday 31st December Cn Terry – Admin day
Sunday 2nd January at 8 am – Holy Communion (1970 – Cn Terry)
Sunday 2nd January at 10 am – 2nd Sunday after Christmas – Sung Eucharist (1982 – Cn Terry)
“And then, just when everything is bearing down on us to such an extent that we can scarcely withstand it, the Christmas message comes to
“Faith is to believe what you do not see; the reward of this faith is to see what you believe..”
Rev Canon Terry Taggart