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New Government GuidelinesYesterday the Executive annonced new Covid-19 restrictions. We also received new guidelines from the Diocese of Down and Dromore. This is how it will affect us in St Mark’s parish: ·Church services (Sundays and mid-week): No changes. We can continue as have as long as we adhere to social distancing (2 m); hand-sanitising; and wear face coverings. ·Funerals: As of Friday the 16th of October, no more than 25 can attend a funeral. That applies both the the church service and the grave-side / crematorium. ·Weddings: As of Monday 19th of October, no more than 25 can attend. ·Baptism: No change as baptism is part of our services. ·Activites: We will continue with parish activities on Zoom. ·Sunday School: The children will meet on Sunday at 11.15 a.m. on Zoom. An email will be sent to Sunday School famillies with login details. For more information, please contact Emma Dale or Sarah Bass.
General Vestry Meeting - ElectionsOur General Vestry Meeting was held on Tuesday the 13th of October at which we received the Parish Accounts for 2019 and a Property Report. At the meeting, we elected a Select Vestry to serve from now until the next General Easter Vestry. In addition, we elected Parochial Nominators and Diocesan Synod Representatives, all who will service for three years. Sincere thanks to all of you who have agreed to serve our parish in these roles, may I encourage all of us to pray for them.
For the year 2020/2021 Rector’s Church Warden: Mr Robert MacBride People’s Church Warden: Mrs Joan Atkinson Rector’s Glebe Warden: Mrs Lynn Wilson People’s Glebe Warden: Miss Laura Hillis
Select Vestry members(in alphabetical order):
Mrs Eileen Anghel Dr Sarah Bass Mr John Campbell Mrs Ann Clark Ms Lesley Donaldson Mrs Emma Dale Mr Brian Kennedy Mr Ben Knox Miss Heather McKaig Mr Michael Newman. Mr Trevor White
Honorary Auditor: Mr Mark Eakin
Triennial appointments for the period 2020-2023
Parochial Nominators (In the order they were elected.): Sir Anthony Campbell, Mr Michael Newman, Dr Sarah Bass, Mrs Lynn Wilson. Supplemental Nominators(In the order they were elected.): Mrs Ann Clark, Mr Robert MacBride, Miss Joan Frame, Miss Fiona Hart.
Diocesan Synods Representatives Mrs Beth Aiken, Mr Christopher Steed, Mr John Campbell, Miss Fiona Hart. Under the age of 30: vacant. Supplemental Synods Representatives Vacant Under the age of 30: vacant.
Communion, a sacrament to celebrate – Study Group· Why do we use bread and wine? ·A stone cup or a silver chalice, does it matter what vessel we use? ·Some churches use bread, others wafers – why? ·What did Jesus say about holy communion? ·What does the Church say about holy communion? ·Holy Communion, the Lord’s Supper, Eucharist, Mass – many names for the same meal. What do they mean?
Over the next few Wednesdays we will discuss these and other questions about holy communion. The rector will give an introduction and together we will explore what is the meaning of holy communion.
The group will meet on Zoom on Wednesdays at 8.00 p.m. For more information, please contact the rector.
First meeting: Wednesday 21st of October at 8.00 p.m.
Handbell Workshop Our first handbell workshop will take place on Zoom on Saturday the 24th of October between 11.30 a.m. and 12.30 p.m. This session will be followed by additional gatherings when we will learn how to play Christmas Carols with the handbells. Login details to follow.
Parish Quiz Night on Zoom
Join us for our next quiz night and a bit of fun on Friday the 23rd of October at 8.00 p.m. The quiz masters for the evening are Stuart Adair and Barry Symmons.
Samaritan’s Purse, Operation Christmas Child Shoe Box Appeal 2020 When you turn on the news, it is easy to get discouraged with all the challenging things that are happening in the world. But God is still good, and He is still at work! Diane, who received a shoebox when she was 8 years old and said, “That day I felt loved because people who didn’t know me gave me a gift. It changed my life. It was a beautiful gift from God.” Last year, 35,000 boxes were sent from Northern Ireland and God used these simple shoebox gifts, packed with love and prayer, for children to discover Jesus and share Him with their friends and families in over 100 countries.
Local pastors across the globe are thankful for the opportunity these shoeboxes provide to spread the Gospel in their communities. We believe that God wants to use St Mark’s to send Operation Christmas Child boxes to children all over the world. We need you to support and join us as we pray, pack, and ship these gifts. Please stop on the way out of church and speak to either Lynda Bremner or Hilda Cave about how you can support this very worthwhile project and get more information on how to pack a shoebox with your family or make a donation.
This is also a great chance for us to grow in our faith and in our relationships as we work together and pray together. I believe that God wants us to be a small part of sharing His love with boys and girls in need and growing churches around the world. So, please go pack a shoebox! Here is how you can help and be involved:
1. Pack a Shoebox yourself – Shoeboxes and leaflets on How to Pack a Shoebox will be available at the back of the church from Sunday 20th September 2020. To cover project costs please place £5 in the envelope provided and put it in your shoebox.
2. Pack a Shoebox online – for those who are shielding or do not have time to make up a box, you can build a box online. It costs £20 and this includes the £5 for project costs. To do this go online to samaritans-purse.org.uk and click on Operation Christmas Child and select option ‘Shoebox Online’ and follow the 5 simple steps.
3. To make it even easier place £20 donation in the Operation Christmas Child envelope and we can build a shoebox for you.
4. Make a donation of your choice– Give a gift to support critical project costs by placing a donation in the leaflet/envelope provided.
5. Pray for the appeal and the children that will receive a box.
Please return your filled shoeboxes or donations to the Church on Sundays and place at the designated area at the back of the church or leave at the Church Office during office hours: Monday, Wednesday and Thursday between 9.00am and 12noon. All boxes and donations need to be returned by Sunday 25th October 2020 to enable us to let the boxes sit for a few days before delivering them to the drop off centre.
Celebrations of worship, teaching and ministry with Bishop Jill Duff
Three celebrations of worship, teaching and ministry with the Reverend Pete Hughes
Face Coverings in Churches The following statement has been issued by the Roman Catholic and Church of Ireland Primates of All Ireland, the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, and the President of the Methodist Church in Ireland:
At this time, both in Northern Ireland and in the Republic of Ireland, the governments have not formally made mandatory the wearing of face coverings at services of worship. This is, in part, due to the fact that as churches we are committed to maintaining 2 metre physical distancing between household groups and strict adherence to all government guidance on hand hygiene, cleaning, ventilation etc. It, however, remains our responsibility to ensure that our services of worship are safe places for all who join with us. It has become increasingly clear that the wearing of face coverings, in conjunction with hand washing etc., is likely to reduce the spread of coronavirus, thus helping to protect others. Their use is therefore one way in which we can evidence protection for the most vulnerable, support for our health workers, and practical love for our neighbours. Following further recent consultations with public health authorities, we join with Christian church leaders all over this island in formally recommending and encouraging the use of face coverings at all services of worship, along with the ongoing maintenance of 2 metre physical distancing, from Sunday 30th August 2020, and earlier if practicable. We understand that some people are exempted from the wearing of face coverings, as outlined in the two jurisdictions. We also recognise that whilst it may not be appropriate for those who are leading from the front during worship, including preaching, to wear face coverings, they should at all times continue to maintain at least 2 metre physical distancing from one another, and 4 metre physical distancing from the front row of the congregation. The Most Revd Eamon Martin Roman Catholic Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland
The Most Revd John McDowell Church of Ireland Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland
The Rt Revd Dr David Bruce Moderator of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland
The Revd Dr Tom McKnight President of the Methodist Church in Ireland
Advice on exemptions from the wearing of face coverings is available as follows:
Sunday Service At this time we are restricted to one service per week. This occurs at 10am each Sunday morning until further notice
Daily Prayers Every day at 11.00 a.m. a bell will chime in St Mark’s Church. As the bell rings, prayers will be said in the church, asking for God’s guidance and strength for His people and God’s blessing upon us, our neighbourhood and nation in this time of uncertainty. As you hear the bell or know that it is rung, join us wherever you are for a moment in prayer. This is powerful, especially as, at present, we do not gather for services but we, God’s people, are encouraged to pray wherever we are and whenever we can. We welcome others to join with us on Mondays at 11am for prayers.
Private Prayer The Church is open on Wednesday 2pm to 4pm for private prayer. At 3.45pm there is a Bible Reading and prayer. All welcome.
Weekly Email Every week we will send you an email, a prayer letter with readings and reflections, prayers and poems and other relevant information. This is a way for us to stay in touch with you, when we cannot meet face-to-face.
If you wish to receive this weekly letter, please email the Parish Office and you will be added to the list of recipients, you can do so by replying to this email by telephone or by sending an email to: email@example.com
Online Church Services Wednesday evening Late Evening office and Sunday Morning worship are available on our Facebook page. At 6.30pm on Sunday a Zoom service of compline is held. Logon details are available in the weekly newsletter.
Parish Office The Parish Office remains attended (Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, 9.00 a.m. to 12 noon). However, we are not open to visitors, but someone is at the other end of the phone and emails are read. Our letterbox, which is in the window, to the left of the entrance door of the Heyn Hall (St Mark’s Parish Hall), is checked daily, where you can leave any correspondence, Free Will Offering Envelopes or suggestions on how we can support each other. Thank you.
The Larder Thank you very much for your support and gifts to the local foodbank, The Larder. We will continue to receive donations, please bring them to the Heyn Hall (St Mark’s Parish Hall), during office hours and leave your donations by the door and we will pass on the donations.
Lastly If we do not have your email or phone number, please send it to us as it will help us to keep in contact with you. During this uncertain period, we will keep in contact with you through email, social media (Facebook and Instagram) and our website. We are here to support you and to listen. And we would love to hear from you; please share your ideas and words of encouragement so that we can pass them on to other parishioners. Thank you.
Sunday School and Creche: We meet during the 10.45 am Sunday service in the Music Room of the church. During the month of March the children will be following the CMSI Children’s Resource about life in Burundi, and learning the song ‘Every Blade of Grass’ to sing on Mothering Sunday. Contact: Yvonne McMaster 9042 2836
(CANCELLED) Youth Fellowship This meets on the second Sunday of each month, 7.30 pm in the Heyn Hall when we have fun learning about important themes in the Bible. The third Sunday is JAM night when we design the YF church service and practise some praise songs. On the fourth Sunday of each month the YF lead the 6.30 pm evening worship in the church, and chill out afterwards. 8 March The Bread Maker - use your loaf and learn how Jesus satisfies our needs. We’ll also bake some bread. 12 April Jesus is our team manager - what it means to be part of the best team ever. 10 May BFF - Jesus is our best friend forever, that’s really good news with exams looming.
The YF team enjoyed running their Christmas Film afternoon in December, when a number of kids made crafts, and watched Arthur Christmas. The event raised £140 which will be used to support two YF members as they embark on their visit to our mission partners in Kenya this summer. Well done