Get ready for Messy Easter Saturday 31 March 2018 2pm - 3.15pm Heyn Hall
Lent and Holy week in St Marks
Jesus said: ‘What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?’ Mark 8:36
This Lent we are encouraged to focus on that invisible part of our being known as our soul. Jesus’ rhetorical question is penetrating and forces us to contemplate: how do we tend to our souls? Our soul is of greatest importance in how we relate to God and how we relate to each other. Our soul, like everything that is living, needs nurture and care. Daily, it needs to be attended to and built up. And hence we grow in faith.
Lent, its 40 days and nights, provides an excellent opportunity for concentrated soul-care and soul-keeping. On Wednesdays in Lent we seek inspiration from what Jesus did and how his actions inspire us. Starting with his entry into Jerusalem, we follow what he did and how his approach can inspire us in our daily lives and benefit our souls.
These faith explorations take place on Wednesdays in St Mark’s Church. We gather in the choir stalls for an act of worship at 11.00 a.m. (Holy Communion) and again at 7.30 p.m. (Lenten service). In addition, during three Wednesday evenings in Lent, (28th of February, 14th and 28th of March), we have the opportunity to join the Study Group and deepen our exploration of what the soul is and how we can nurture it through the practice of grace, gratitude and growth. These sessions start at 8.00 p.m. and last for an hour, followed by refreshments.
On Palm Sunday, (also known as ‘Passion Sunday’), St Mark’s Players will participate in the 10.30 a.m. service, and they will dramatize the last few days of Jesus’ life. This year, the Passion Play follows the Gospel according to Mark. Do join us for this remarkable and poignant experience.
During Holy Week we continue to nurture our souls through prayer, singing and silence. The week opens with three opportunities for Spiritual Singing – Singing Spirituals. Singing, as a way of being closer to God, should never be underestimated. On the slave plantation of the New World, men, women and children sang Christian spirituals. Their singing, amid suffering we cannot comprehend, brought them closer to God, one another and provided comfort. As we again walk with Christ on his Via Dolorosa, watching his suffering, we may grow in faith as we sing spirituals on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday at 6.30 p.m. to 7.15 p.m. in the Church.
At the 7.30 p.m. evening services during Holy Week, we focus on Judas, exploring his role and influence.
On Maundy Thursday after participating in Holy Communion we watch with Christ in Gethsemane, as we pray in silence after the service.
Good Friday offers several opportunities to contemplate the meaning of the cross. This is a three-hour devotion between 12 noon and 3.00 p.m. (worshippers can come and leave at anytime during the three hours), as well as an evening service at the foot of the cross.
Be encouraged to prioritise your soul this Lent.
‘To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.’ Psalm 25:1
The Soul The essence of the human mind With body and spirit intertwined; Spirit which can compassion show And endurance undergo As it is held in God’s embrace Fit for redemption through his grace. The soul will not rest beneath the sod But return to its creator God. Of our being it is the kernel To rise at death to life eternal.
Revision of the Register of Vestry Members and General Easter Vestry Meeting This year’s General Easter Vestry meeting will be held on Tuesday the 20th of March 2018 in the Heyn Hall at 7.30 p.m. The Easter Vestry meeting can be described as the annual general meeting for the parish and they are open for all parishioners, not only for Select Vestry members. Please note that only those that are on the Register of Vestry Members have voting rights and can stand for office. The current Register of Vestry Members is now available for inspection at the back of the church. Parishioners, over the age of 18, in St Mark’s that are not on the list, may fill in a form of declaration and hence be included on the list. There is a Diocesan requirement that all, registered or those claiming to be registered, must subscribe to the funds of the parish in an identifiable manner. The Register is now open and will close on Sunday the 18th of February 2018 and the Formal Revision will take place at a review meeting on Monday the 19th of February at 7.15 p.m. in the Rectory. Please see the Church Wardens for more information and/or relevant forms.
Study Group Our next sessions are as follows: Session 5: the practice of gratitude, 14th of March Session 6: The practice of growth, 28th of March
All of these sessions involve video, talk and discussion. They are an excellent way to reflect over the period of lent as we look forward to Easter Morning. Don’t worry if you have not been able to attend some or all the previous weeks. Each session does not assume any prior knowledge. Due to the ever-increasing numbers of participants we will hold the remaining sessions in the Parlour. Hopefully our numbers will continue to increase and someday we can move to the main hall! It is really encouraging to see so many people enjoying the course and growing in their faith. All sessions end with a cup of tea or coffee and an opportunity for chat. Hope to see you there.