What’s Happening @ SM&SM this Lent

Lent Sermon Series

Gather: United in Prayer embarks on a spiritual journey from the contemplative season of Lent, through the triumphant joy of Easter, to the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost concluding on Trinity Sunday; exploring the profound role of collects in the Anglican tradition. These brief yet spiritually rich prayers serve not only as a cornerstone of our liturgy but as a testament to the ways in which Jesus Christ gathers us together as a community of believers.

Originating from the early Church and refined through the ages, notably by Thomas Cranmer during the English Reformation, collects have long been a medium through which the faithful express their deepest petitions and praises. Cranmer believed these prayers could “stir up the dull mind of man to rise to God, and to call him to remembrance of his divine will,” encapsulating the transformative power of communal prayer.

Archbishop Rowan Williams highlighted the collects as a “microcosm of the Church’s language of worship,” a language that unites us across different ages and cultures. Throughout Lent, Easter, and Pentecost these prayers articulate our communal journey of reflection, penitence, celebration of the Resurrection, and ultimately, the coming of the Holy Spirit. They invite us into a shared experience of God’s unfolding story, from the solemn remembrance of Jesus’ sacrifice to the joyous acknowledgment of His victory over death and the empowering presence of the Holy Spirit.

This series delves into how collects draw us closer to the heart of the gospel and to one another, embodying Jesus’ call to prayer for the unity of His Church. As we navigate the liturgical seasons, we are reminded of Christ’s actions in gathering His followers, teaching us, dying for us, rising again, and uniting us in His love and mission. The collects associated with each Sunday and season  become not only reflections on the scriptures but also reflections on how we are gathered by Christ’s love, sent forth to live the gospel.

By focusing on the journey from Lent through Easter to Pentecost, Gather: United in Prayer aims to deepen our appreciation of the collects as a means of uniting us in worship and action. These prayers encapsulate our collective worship, guide us in our spiritual journey, and continually points us to Jesus. Together, through the medium of the collect, we are invited to reflect on our faith, drawn together by Jesus’ enduring call to be His body in the world.

Join us for this series as we explore the power of collects to unite us in prayer, fellowship, and mission. Let us be gathered by Christ, transformed by His love, and sent out to share the light of the gospel this season and beyond.

This is a snap shot of programming in February & March 2024. Keep updated via weekly email, social media, or website stmaryandstmartha.org.

Key Dates:

  • February 14: Ash Wednesday (Noon & 7pm)
  • February 19: Family Day
  • February 25: Vestry Sunday
  • March 24: Palm Sunday
  • March 27: Tenebrae Service (7pm)
  • March 28: Maundy Thursday (7pm)
  • March 29: Good Friday (10:30 am)
  • Easter Sunday: March 31

Reading the Bible Through Lent: 40 Days, 100 Passages

Lent is a time of spiritual cleansing and preparation for the Cross of Christ and his Resurrection at Easter. Since the beginning of the Church, followers of Jesus have adopted spiritual disciplines to help us align with the Way of Jesus. Scripture reading has proven to be a transformative practice that draws us into the story of God, which is our story. This Lent we will be encountering a selection of 100 Scripture passages that sweep us through many key passages in the story of Jesus. You are free to read these passages daily (Monday to Saturday) in the plan provided and encouraged to follow this simple guideline:

Before Reading Prepare – Pray that God opens your mind & heart, and helps you focus

During Reading Encounter – Enjoy and receive from God’s Word

After Reading Reflect – write down one or two things that impacted you each day

if you need a bible please reach out to the parish office, NIV study bibles are available.

The Chosen Watch Party Continues through February, and will conclude March 10th. Let’s gather together  for a  Watch Party of “The Chosen” Season 1; Sundays starting approximately 12:30 PM, in the sanctuary. You are invite to experience this captivating series that brings the life of Jesus Christ into a new light.

After each episode, you are welcome to join an optional small group studies. It’s a perfect way to further explore the themes of the series and discuss their relevance to our faith and daily experiences.

All are welcome, whether you’re a familiar face or new to our community. This is a time for fellowship, learning, and deepening our connections.

Mary & Martha Book Club (MMBC) “How to Hear God”

You were created to enjoy a real, conversational relationship with God.

The Bible says that hearing the voice of our Creator is both central and natural to our existence as humans.

  • When life falls apart, we need God’s comfort.
  • In moments of cultural turmoil, we need his clarity.
  • Facing difficult decisions, we need his guidance.
  • Desiring a deeper faith, we need God to say something, anything, to turn the monologue we call prayer into a genuine conversation.
  • But how do we really hear God?

Nothing could possibly matter more than learning to discern his authentic voice, and yet few things in life are more susceptible to delusion, deception, and downright abuse.

This book draws deeply from the insights of a wide range of Christian traditions; weaving together the evangelical emphasis on hearing God in the Bible, and the charismatic commitment to hearing God in the prophetic, with the contemplative understanding of God’s “still, small voice” within.

The MMBC meets online Tuesday’s starting continuing through March 3rd @ 7pm. Our time together will include a brief time of devotion and prayer.  Books available through the office for a suggested donation of $10 each, ebooks are available online.

Wednesday’s at St. Mary & St. Martha will continue this winter with the Pilgrim Course meeting at 10:30am. Followed by worship at noon, which is followed by a light lunch. Contact the church office for more details. All are welcome.

The Pilgrim Course Pilgrim is a major teaching and discipleship resource from the Church of England. It aims to help every local church create a place where people can explore the Christian faith together and see how it can be lived out each day. Pilgrim examines the great issues of faith not through persuasion, but participation in a pattern of contemplation and discussion with a group of fellow travellers. Wednesday Morning Pilgrim meets @10:30 am in the parish hall; this lent Pilgrim will be focusing on the the Church.

Drop in Drawing Ruthia will continue to host a drawing drop-in for those in our community who are 18+. Each week we’ll begin with a micro lesson. The drop-in is informal, bring your own materials (though some materials will be available). 10am to noon in the parish hall. Contact Ruthia or reach out to the office for more details. February 24, & March 2,9,16,23.

Alpha in Mount Dennis

Life is full of endless possibilities. Whether it’s learning a new skill, finding a new interest, or simply opening up to a different perspective on life. Trying something new can be the start of something good. Why not give Alpha a try this Easter?

Alpha jumps into various topics of Christianity and what faith looks like in different people’s lives.

The best conversations are open, everyone’s thoughts are welcome, no matter your background or beliefs. We all bring different thoughts to the table, and at Alpha we want to create a space that’s open for everyone to find what faith means for them!

All on your terms. Alpha is a safe space, which means that you can decide whether to stay, go, share or just listen. We’d love to see you.

Each session includes a meal, a short talk, and a discussion at the end where you can share your thoughts.

Alpha has been rescheduled, and will begin after Easter.

For more information or to register visit https://stmaryandstmartha.org/alpha