5th Sunday after Epiphany
The 2nd Sunday before Lent
St Mary’s and St Andrew’s Worshipping Together
A very warm welcome to all
Isaiah 40: 21-31; Psalm 147: 1-12; 1 Corinthians 9: 16-23; Gospel: Mark 1: 29-39
Our Gospel reading today
Our Gospel reading today challenges us not to treat Jesus as the ‘Genie in the lamp’; there to be summoned and used when we need it. As Christians, we would all claim to be a follower of Jesus and we would all claim to be in a relationship with Him. But what are our expectations of how He might impact our lives? As with any relationship, it is something we grow into, and our expectations change over the years as we gain more experience together. But it is far too easy to get stuck with a fairly naive, perhaps even immature expectation of Jesus’ activity in our lives. For many people, they never move beyond treating Jesus a little like the ‘Genie in the Lamp’: if I pray to Him and ask Him for things, then I expect Him to respond to me and give me what I ask for and I will get angry with him if he doesn’t deliver and maybe even stop coming to worship him altogether. That mentality doesn’t represent the fullness of relationship that we are called to enjoy with Jesus. But it is very common amongst many people, and it was particularly prevalent amongst the people who first knew Jesus when he began his ministry in Palestine 2,000 years ago. Read and listen to today’s Gospel, you’ll see what I mean.
St Mary’s Pro-Cathedral Annual General Meeting
St Mary’s Pro- Cathedral Annual General Meeting (AGM) will commence at 1230 pm sharp today via Zoom. The Zoom link is included within the email to which this newsletter is attached. It also includes a telephone link number should you be unable to connect to the zoom video function.
No Pre-Recorded Service from St Mary’s this Sunday
There will be no pre-recorded service from St Mary’s available this Sunday as I have a personal pastoral matter to attend to. However, I would direct you to the Provincial Service being broadcast at 11 am, which is coming from our own Diocese, with Bishop Anne presiding. This can be accessed by referring to the diocesan website at https://aoepiscopal.scot
Second Sunday before Lent
Today is the second Sunday before Lent and as we approach this season I hope that you are preparing for the sacrifices and rewards that it will bring. Lent will be even more focussed this year due to the restrictions we are currently living under. You will see on the home page of our website at https://stmaryscardenplace.org.uk/ that we have been displaying desert scenes. This is meant to give us a taste of the remoteness of what the 40 days and nights of Lent can bring, and how Jesus, our Saviour, dealt with it, out there in the wilderness. I intend to broadcast a short devotion each evening throughout Lent. I will publish the time frame for this in next Sunday’s newsletter.
The Diocesan Newsletter is now available and can be accessed via the following link: https://aoepiscopal.scot/diocesan-newsletter-wednesday-3-february-2021/ I would like to draw your particular attention to the Lent Course ‘Through the Lenten Door’, that 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.
Scottish Parliament Elections
The Scottish Parliament Elections will take place on Thursday the 6th of May. As in previous occasions, St Mary’s will be a Polling Station for the whole of that day. However, due to the necessity for social distancing etc, there will be a one-way in – one way out system in place. Entry via the side door and exit via the main west doors. The Choir Vestry will therefore not be used. It has been decided that the polling booths and tables will be located within the aisle in the main body of the Church. This will entail the need to move a few pews to accommodate this and should not be too labour intensive. I have met with the Polling Official organising, and I have a plan of requirements that look fairly straightforward to implement. This will need to be done on the days before the Polling Station opens. I will require one or two people to assist and no more, closer to the time.
Dates for your diary
Provincial & Diocesan Worship Sunday 7 February – 5th after Epiphany 11am: A celebration of the Eucharist led by the Rt Revd Anne Dyer at St Mary’s Pro-Cathedral, Aberdeen.
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. Link to this service from the Diocesan Website and Facebook pages.
11am: A celebration of the Eucharist led by Rt Revd Andrew Swift from Dundee.
Services week commencing Sunday the 7th February 2021
Sunday 7th February at 11 am, Holy Eucharist Provincial Service – Presiding – Bishop Anne
“Seek a relationship when you pray, not answers. You won’t always find answers, but you will always find Jesus.”
(Fr Mike Schmitz)
Rev’d Canon Terry Taggart