St Mary Magdalene is an inclusive, open Christian community. Being the only church on Mayne Island, we welcome and celebrate people from all traditions, styles and practices.
Church News: St. Mary Magdalene Anglican Church
As the month of December rolls around one realizes how quickly we are approaching the Christmas season. Where has the time gone? Like many of you, I’ve noticed the increased energy around our lovely little island of Mayne. People seem to be preparing for this festive time in a number of ways; extra social gatherings, getting the house ready for friends and company to visit from the mainland, decorating the home, and of course the endless off- island shopping trips that have to be made. It sure seems to be a busy, if not hectic, time. Someone said to me the other day, ‘the count-down has started for the mad rush till Christmas’.
WEEKLY SERVERS LIST
Each week, many people joyfully take on roles to assist in the liturgy of the worship service. These roles include Lay Liturgical Assistant, Readers, Prayers of the People and Usher. The rota of those roles is found here:
At St Mary Magdalene, we meet most Fridays throughout the year at 10:30 am to 11:30 am to discuss a wide variety of spiritual topics. (Please see the “events” tab on this website for the calendar postings of Spiritual Reflections). It is a discussion where there is no expectation that anyone has the “correct” answer; rather, we share and open ourselves to new ways of thinking about these topics.
People from all faith traditions and from no faith tradition are invited and we often have quite a lovely cross-section of the island community. Discussions have included such topics as ethics, death and views on life after death, forgiveness, hope, justice, mercy, wisdom and many more. Each week a different topic is chosen and we launch into our experience and thoughts about that particular one.
There is no need to prepare for these discussion sessions, and as it is a drop-in format, there is no commitment to attending for a specific number of times– come as you are able and interested!
Look here for a few of our recent Spiritual Reflections, to get an idea of the types of things we discuss:
To see when the next Spiritual Reflections will occur, check the Events pages.
RIDE TO CHURCH
If you require a ride to church on Sunday morning or know of someone who does, please contact Pat Gasston (250-539-5519, email@example.com) who will make arrangements for transportation.
The roles and responsibilities of our rector (priest), our wardens, Parish Council and its committees and our various other teams of volunteers are set out in the following document:
For Committee Contacts see the Contact page.
DONATIONS BY PRE-AUTHORIZED DEBIT (PAD)
Safe, easy way to make your offerings!
If you wish to make donations by Pre-Authorized Debit (PAD) to St Mary Magdalene Church, Mayne Island, the Form to use is available here in Word format: PAD_Agreemt SMM
The forms can be handed to Mary Jane Tiller Weeks or to a church warden – see the Contact page.
Meeting minutes attached here:
“Behold I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is Christ
the Lord”. (St. Luke 2:10-11)
Dear Parish Family,
This is the first Christmas letter I have the privilege of writing since Jerryann and I moved to Mayne Island, and it is with the knowledge that we have found a true home in this lovely community. We feel so blessed to be here. We have encountered warmth and generosity from so many. We have shared
countless meals in people’s homes, many of which include families from the summer residents of our parish as well as those who live here year round. We have experienced so much kindness and good will from the plethora of social groups on Mayne. Even our dog Muppet’s tail hasn’t stopped wagging since we’ve arrived.
I find however that drawing close to the Christmas season, one is certainly mindful of things that have happened during the past year. The realization comes that for many this season can also be very difficult. Having made some acquaintance with our community, my sense is that some people’s lives have been fraught with uncertainly and sadness. I was amazed, for example, to discover just how many people here struggle with day to day needs, and who are trying their best just to put food on the table.
There are some in our community who have experienced major health changes which have added
tremendous stress on family and loved ones. Some have had to move reluctantly off the
island in order to receive a necessary new level of care. We are also mindful of those who have lost loved ones this past year, and where for some the feelings of loss may only be exacerbated by a world that wants to celebrate and be festive.
Where might Christmas be in these worlds?
Perhaps the declaration from the archangel to those early shepherds has something to say to this. To be sure, the angels were declaring a message that would be heard over the generations, of a Divine light which had finally come into the world. A light that has the power to banish darkness. Perhaps also those words were reminding the simple shepherds that God was going to be with them no matter what. Their lives, after all, were a humble day to day existence where there was very little support to meet the challenges before them. They didn’t know what might be coming around the corner. They had very
little sense of the future. All they had was the care of their sheep. Perhaps when that quiet song of ‘joy’ was heard, for the first time they finally knew that their lives were being taken care of, and no matter what challenges lay ahead – it was with the affirmation that the long awaited Messiah was choosing to dwell with the people God loved.
Yet is so much of our own story, isn’t it? There are endless challenges before us. They never seem to stop. There are endings of things that are familiar and beginnings of things unknown. But in Jesus Christ,
God-incarnate – we allow these endings and beginnings to take on a much wider definition of our own meaning and purpose in lives which celebrate a love that is ultimate and everlasting. This is Christmas.
Jerryann and I, have felt this love in a wonderful way through this church and community family. I believe this has been the guiding force for us, and I have every sense that this is the same love that will carry us all into new places and into new futures. It is in this promise that ‘Jesus abides’ revealing once more the deeper meaning of this blessed season.
May God’s blessing and joy be upon us all during this sacred time and let is all be mindful of the needs of others. Behold I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord.
We pray that amidst the clamour, you will find the deep and quiet sustaining joy of Christmas in your heart
Love and Blessings,
Blair and Jerryann
If you are able, please join us for our worship celebrations this year. For those of our church family who live off Island during the winter, may you have a Blessed Christmas and thank you for your continued generosity.
We are looking forward to celebrating many traditions that have been fostered here at St. Mary’s over the years. They include:
Sunday, December 17th, 10:00 am, Lessons and Carols, followed by Parish Bake Sale
Sunday, December 24th, 7:30 pm, Christmas Eve Service
Monday, December 25th, 10:00 am, Christmas Day Service
Text: Deuteronomy 30:15-20, Psalm 119:1-8, 1 Corinthians 3:1-9, St. Matthew 5:21-27
Prayer…O Lord, uphold me that I might uplift thee…And may the words of my mouth, and the meditations of all our hearts, be now and always acceptable in your sight…Oh Lord, our Strength and our Redeemer…Amen…
Have you heard the story about the three kids who were bragging one day about how good their fathers were – in their respective professions?…They were going on and on…One kid started out by saying, “my dad’s a lawyer – and he can talk for a good half an hour on any topic in the court room that you can give him…He’s a real whiz at what he does”…The next one pipes up and says, ‘oh that’s nothing – my dad’s a teacher –he can stand up in front of a class room and go on for forty minutes on a given topic”…Finally the last kid gets up and say’s I’ve got you all beat… He says, “my dad’s a minister …he can get up on Sunday, in front of the whole congregation and go on for an hour on any subject and say nothing at all”
In 1971, an obscure rock group had a song that hit the top 10 for a few weeks. It was called “Signs”. The chorus was:
Sign, sign, everywhere a sign
Blockin’ out the scenery, breakin’ my mind
Do this, don’t do that, can’t you read the sign?
The song was all about the rules we impose on the world and on each other- whether you have to have a shirt and tie to be served, who can park where, what the fines would be for littering; yield signs, stop signs, all kinds of signs telling us what’s acceptable and what isn’t; what the rules are. This week’s Gospel is about keeping rules- and about when it’s right not to keep them.
Why do we have rules? I think they’re usually put in place either for a good reason-(like driving on the correct side of the road, and like not allowing children to play with matches), or they’re put in place to control others and maintain a position of power (like having rules about which drinking fountain a person could drink from, or limiting voting rights to just men, or earlier, to just men who owned land). You may recall the time when the law said that margarine had to be left uncoloured (so it was the original colour of margarine: white, not yellow, like butter). The dairy industry pushed for that law to protect their market. Read more
For those of you who have winced each time I’ve used a sports analogy to make a point, you may want to head over to Church House, now. But, as you heard in our reading from Hebrews this morning, the Epistle, itself, uses a sports analogy, so I feel I am on good ground to go there this morning. Incidentally, I won’t be mentioning a particular professional team, so Pat, you can relax. (The last time I mentioned her favourite team, they lost terribly). I’m not sure what that says about my preaching, but in the interests of parish unity, I won’t go there.
There weren’t a lot of believers in the early Church- they were outnumbered by all those around them, but they knew that they were surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses to faith and they felt uplifted by that fact.
In some ways, I think, there’s nothing more intimate and personal than faith. But I wonder if it isn’t also true that in some ways we believe because others believed before us? I’ve spoken before about the Anglican three-legged stool: scripture, tradition and reason. As you’ll recall, the second leg of the stool is tradition, which means the understanding and faith of all the great minds who’ve gone before us- the great cloud of witnesses. Their faith helps to form our faith, often in ways of which we may only be dimly aware. Read more