St. Mary’s Family,
Our Sacristan, Justin Smith, has accepted a job out-of-state and will be moving shortly after Easter. Justin has written a letter to the congregation which can be found below.
Justin, thank you for your ministry at St. Mary’s. We are very sad to see you go, and will miss your creativity and hard work around here. We will pray for your happiness and success in this next phase of your life!
As many of you know or have heard by now, I will be leaving St. Mary's to go to Oshkosh, Wisconsin. I have been offered a great opportunity with an event company that I cannot refuse. This was a decision I did not make easily, considering my involvement with St. Mary's and how much each and every one of you mean to me. It has weighed heavily on my chest in how to address this matter with all of you since I cannot come to each of you personally in this short amount of time.
I want you all to know how much you and this church mean to me. I came here 4 years ago lost and without a family or a support system. You welcomed me in as a stranger and a friend and loved me in all the ways I needed to be loved. I have grown significantly because of the care and affection you have shown me. I have made many lifelong friendships that I will forever cherish.
St. Mary's is a beacon of hope and light in a world searching for answers and it is because of all of you, coming together, welcoming the community, maintaining sacred and reverent worship, edifying the people’s needs and giving them a place of refreshment and peace from the outside world. Do not lose that.
In this time of transition, I pray that as the church family of St. Mary's you will come together even stronger than you have before, helping one another to fill the places in which you need help and growth, loving and supporting each other in the same manner in which I was shown and have given back to you in return. There are many jobs to fill, and involvement builds bonds that you may have never known you needed in your life.
I will greatly miss all of you, it is with bitter sweet emotion that I address this, but have strong faith in the church's position and its leadership hands that St. Mary’s will continue to be an oasis of joy and the divine. I am confident in the lasting friendships that have been made and know that this is simply a “see you later” instead of a hard and fast farewell.
All my Love,
Dear St. Mary's Family,
We are in the midst of flu season, and like you, I'd like to do everything I can to avoid getting sick! Most of us aren't used to drinking out of the same cup as others, except perhaps with family members or close friends, and sometimes worry that receiving communion might make us sick.
Here are a few things I would ask you to consider:
If you would like to read more about this topic, the Anglican Church of Canada has published a study called "Eucharistic practice and the risk of infection" that you may find helpful.
As a side note, shaking hands at the passing of the Peace is probably the number one way to pass around germs. If you are sick, I would encourage you to resist shaking hands with others at the Peace. Better yet, stay home and get well!
See you in church!
Dear St. Mary's Family,
Our common life together as a Christian community is ordered and given meaning within the liturgical calendar of the Church. First it’s Advent, a season of waiting and expectation, then the joyful Twelve Days of Christmas celebrating the birth of Christ. The calendar then continues with the Wise Men and the Baptism of Jesus and the season of Epiphany. In the old days, the Christmas cycled formally ended on Candlemas, which is forty days after Christmas on February 2nd.
St. Luke tells us that on the first Candlemas, the Holy Family brought Jesus to the Temple in Jerusalem to present him to the Lord as was the custom under the Old Covenant. Also, it was the moment of Mary’s ritual purification after childbirth. Simeon, an aged and devout man, came into the Temple and when Joseph and Mary brought in the child Jesus, Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying the words we now pray at Evening Prayer and Compline called the Nunc Dimittis:
Lord, you now have set your servant free to go in peace as you have promised; for these eyes of mine have seen the Savior, whom you have prepared for all the world to see: a Light to enlighten the nations, and the glory of your people Israel. (Luke 2:29-32)
Candlemas was first celebrated as a feast of the church in Jerusalem in the fourth century. Pope Sergius (d. 701) appears to have introduced the practice of a procession with lighted candles on this date, which we will observe together at 6:00pm this Friday, February 2nd, 2018. The solemn procession represents the entry of Christ, who is the Light of the World, into the Temple of Jerusalem.
Another custom associated with this feast is the practice whereby the priest blesses candles for use throughout the year, and in particular, candles to be used by the faithful in their homes. You are invited, therefore, to bring candles with you to church on Friday to have them blessed for devotional use in your home. Any candle will do.
See you in church!
Fr. Charles Everson works as a banker by day and a priest by night. His love for music and liturgy led him to a suburban parish as a simple chorister, and as of late, to St. Mary's as a priest. He feels called to share the love of Jesus Christ with a broken world in desperate need of hope and reconciliation.
To the Glory of God and in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary
1307 Holmes Street
Kansas City, Missouri 64106