‘The voice of the Lord is upon the waters‘
A very warm welcome to all
First Sunday after the Epiphany
The Baptism of the Lord
Readings: Isaiah 43: 1-7;Psalm 29; Acts 8: 14-171-12
Gospel: Luke 3: 15-17, 21-22
In today’s Gospel
Baptism does not eliminate our difficulties, fix our problems, take away the pain, or change the circumstances of our lives. Instead it changes us and offers a way through those difficulties, sorrows, problems, and circumstances and ultimately, a way through death. Baptism transcends our biological existence and offers us a vision of life as it might be. Baptism offers us a new way of being – one that is neither limited by nor suffers from our “createdness.” Through baptism we no longer live according to the biological laws of nature but by relationship with God, who through the Prophet Isaiah says, “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine” (Isaiah 43:1)
On Sunday the 23rd of January there will be a Service of Christian Unity, and it is the turn of the Scottish Episcopal Church to host this. The service, which will be an Evensong, will take place here at St Mary’s Pro-Cathedral at a time to be confirmed. It will be lead by Bishop Anne with representatives from the Roman Catholic and Church of Scotland Churches also contributing. There will hopefully be a substantial choir in place, which our Organist Matthew is currently arranging, and it is anticipated that there will be a fair number of visitors from all denominations in attendance. It is therefore important that we do our best to represent the Scottish Episcopal Church and to play a leading role in this most important of ecumenical gatherings.
There will be a Vestry meeting this coming Wednesday at 7.30 pm in the Choir Vestry. All apologies please, to our Vestry Secretary Ms Elizabeth Smyth, or myself.
On the subject of Vestry, we will experience a change of Vestry officers in key roles after the forthcoming AGM. Mr David Rose, who has been Rector’s Warden at St Mary’s for over 10 years, has decided to step back from this position. David has been, and continues to be, a dedicated and loyal servant to this church, whose counsel I value very much. David will continue in his role as our Webmaster and a member of both our Buildings Committee and Social Events Planning Committee. I am deeply grateful for David’s advice and unstinting support over the past 3 years I have been your Rector. As it is the choice of the Rector to appoint his Warden, I recently approached Mr John Cooke, who has been a Vestry officer for several years. I am delighted to reveal that John has very kindly accepted my invitation to become the Rector’s Warden, which will be effective after our AGM.
We also see the departure of Ms Elizabeth Smyth as our Vestry Secretary. Elizabeth has held this role for several years, and, like David, has been a great source of advice and support to me during my incumbency to date. Elizabeth will also relinquish her role as Alternate Lay Representative for General Synod which will therefore be advertised as vacant prior to our AGM. (See attached sheet) This therefore creates a vacancy for a Vestry Secretary and I appeal to anyone who might consider taking on this important post to contact me at your earliest opportunity.
Several Weeks ago, Mr Iain Stewart was co-opted onto our Vestry Committee and we are fortunate to have Iain contributing to the welfare of this Church. Iain has also offered to be our People’s Warden, a role that has been vacant for several months. The process for this position is open to anyone who wishes to be considered. Should there be more than one name submitted, it will be put to a ballot on the day of the AGM. If no-one else comes forward then it will be proposed that Iain becomes the new People’s Warden. (See attached sheet)
The position of Lay representative at General Synod, which is currently held by Dr Nicola Mills, will also be put to a ballot should there be more than one name submitted. Dr Mills has agreed to continue in the role and will abide by a ballot should that be necessary. (See attached sheet)
Readers / Intercessions
Iain Stewart has asked me to put out a call for more people to consider volunteering to read scripture and intercede at our worship. Should you feel so inclined, I encourage anyone who is considering this valuable ministry to approach Ian in the first instance.
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: https://stmaryscardenplace.org.uk/notices/st-marys-pro-cathedral-fundraising-and-social-events/ covering the next several months. We will also place a few of these event calendars around the church for your perusal and diaries.
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 9th January 2022
Sunday 9th January 2022 at 8am – Holy Communion (Cn Terry – 1970)
Sunday 9th January at 10 am 1st Sunday after the Epiphany – Baptism of the Lord Sung Eucharist (Cn Terry – 1982)
Monday 10th January – Cn Terry – Day off
Tuesday 11th January at 10 am – Morning Prayer (Cn Terry)
Wednesday 12th January at 10 am – Said Eucharist (1970- Cn Terry)
Wednesday 12th January at 7.30pm – Vestry meeting
Sunday 16th January at 8 am – Holy Communion (1970 – Cn Terry)
Sunday 16th January at 10 am – 2nd Sunday after Epiphany – Sung Eucharist (1982 – Cn Terry)
“The Lord bless you and keep you, the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you, the Lord lift up his face toward you and give you peace”
Rev Canon Terry Taggart