Welcome to St.Mark's Church, East Kilbride

News



St. Mark's Church is a member of the Scottish Episcopal Church within the Anglican Communion.

We try to be a modern, inclusive, eucharistic, catholic congregation and we'd like to welcome you to come and join us.

 

Sunday Worship @ 11 am.

Wednesday mid-week said Eucharist @ 10.30 am.

 

You can find us in the Murray Area of East Kilbride, Scotland.

We’re off the Murray ‘roundabout; opposite Kwikfit at

1 Telford Road, The Murray, East Kilbride G75 0HN

or email: Mark Church

stmarkschurch@hotmail.co.uk


Daily Prayer: 

http://www.scotland.anglican.org/spirituality/prayer/daily-offices/


website of the United Diocese of Glasgow and Galloway

http://www.glasgow.anglican.org/

 

Website of the Province of the Scottish Episcopal Church

http://www.scotland.anglican.org/

 

Inspires Occasional Magazine of the SEC

http://www.scotland.anglican.org/index.php/news/inspires/

 

Website of the Church Times Weekly News Paper

http://www.churchtimes.co.uk/

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Dear Friends,

Great Expectations,

Expectations:

What might we expect of this year?

Well, the first murders have already happened: so an unexpected event for those left behind!


Of course we might expect Brexit: unless something dramatic happens.

And so we might expect a period of economic adjustment.

A little chaos... I think that means!

And we might expect Russia and China and some others filling the  power gaps and uncertainties.

Companies, industries, pharmaceuticals, food, education and security and other institutions might be working out how to adapt to the affects.

Europe, as much as Britain will experience a little uncertainty.

The car industry is already under pressure, but for another reason: with falling sales as a result of the need to meet ecological change and governmental policies.

America has a change in the balance of power between congress and senate that may bring about a collapse in the current establishment there..


We might expect a continued drop in the insect population, as well as most wildlife.

More global warming: melting ice, sea rising, more storms, drought, fires, flooding, famine.


But what about our personal and more individual lives?

Well in the Fletcher family we should have our third, but first Scottish, grandson by the end of the week.

We already have our first great, or grand nephew, who had a rather traumatic entry into the world just before Christmas and while he is progressing well, is expected to have perhaps some quite complex developmental challenges.

There are several weddings and baptisms lined up in this new year.


And you can pause for a moment and think of all the expectations that you might have for this year...


I’m sure the little family of Jesus weren’t expecting a visit from a caravan of rich Magi.

I’m sure that Joseph wasn’t expecting to have a step-son.

I don’t suppose Mary had expected a visit from an Angel, and certainly not the news the Angel brought...

But once warned and with some to time to prepare I dare say it was still a bit of a surprise!


But, the events God plans and prophecies are often, nevertheless, still a bit of a surprise when they are fulfilled...

Expectations are often... well... a surprise!


But, as Monty Python enthusiasts will delight in telling us...

‘No one expects the Spanish Inquisition!’

Comedy is often about the surprise of the inevitable.

We’re just waiting for it to happen... and that is the joke.

But that is also true about life: generally.


The realisation of God’s promises: when God bursts into the world after such expectation nevertheless, even despite all his warning, and the lead up to it, we are unexpectedly surprised!


I was taught at school that in poetry it is always necessary to try to use imagery to expand, rather than reduce what you are trying to express.

So likening the dawn of a new day to a fried egg is less impressive than illustrating your fried egg to a burst of golden sunshine!


I remember visiting the battle field of Waterloo for the first time: having spent some forty years reading about and modelling and re-enacting the history.

It was so familiar: but seeing it in actuality was still an eye-opener: a new understanding... new angles... so much more... real.


Seeing a building leap from an architect’s plans is so different.

Seeing a child-born after nine months waiting is still a surprise.

Seeing God’s prophecies come to fruition, even two thousand years later still leave things to be discovered anew: to surprise us.

And the death of a loved one suffering from a long terminal illness is still a shock.

Life: reality is like that: so much more surprising than what is expected... so much more real.


Expectation and surprise can be both sides of the same coin.

What surprises can we re-experience from long expected stories of the Epiphany?


We see the Magi worshipping the one they had travelled so far to see.

In the fresh light of the past couple of year’s current news and events brings us fresh insight: several surprises to the well worn and expected tale.


Well the story doesn’t tell us how many Magi visited Jesus.

We are only told that they brought three gifts.

Traditionally, gifts: Gold for a king, Frankincense for a priest and Myrrh for a burial or an anointing.

They visit the house: not the stable.

So if we want to conflate the stories from The Gospels according to Luke and Mathew then we must presume that either there is a time lapse between the birth of Jesus in a Stable and the visit of the Magi to a house.

Or else the stable and house are one and the same: both parts of the same building: merely different ends.

As was, and still is customary in so many parts of the world.

The wisemen returned home by another route.

They defied a king: King Herod!

A king has only limited authority and power.

A king’s authority doesn’t extend beyond his borders.

( although his influence might)

We can safely defy corruption, inequality and evil by being beyond it’s borders: whether those borders are geographical, or legal, or institutional, cultural, constitutional or systematic.

Or, in a democracy, we can change the system: the culture: the institution, the power.


And Jesus too left the same country: taken to safety away from that same king: King Herod, into Egypt.

Herod sends his soldiers to Bethlehem to kill.

He and his parents became refugees.

Only to return when it became safer: when he was older: at the right time.

The issue of refugees has become, and will continue to become such a current issue as global changes in the weather impact on the  politics and national and economical world


God’s message: God’s gift: God’s epiphany: manifestation and revelation-unwrapped in the world are all wrapped up in very human conditions and circumstances.

Politics, inequality, murder, greed, power, but also love, hope, gifts and protection.


Truly a God of surprises!

The event: the reality is so much more than what was foretold: what was expected!


But do not be afraid we are told: Good tidings.

God is always so much more than what we might expect: in a good way!


Let us expect God to come to us this year.

And let us not be afraid by the surprise when he does.

Let us expect to be surprised!

But let us expect the surprise to be so much more: so much more real, than what we expected.


Blessings,
Paul

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Regular Social Life at St. Mark’s

Each Tuesday

        Compline & Coffee 8 pm.

EachThursday (except July and August) 

       Lunch Club from 12.30 pm.

Last Saturday of the Month            

      Coffee Mornings 10 am. – Noon

2nd & 3rd Thursdays of the Month  

      Friendship Circle, Speaker and afternoon Tea

1st, 2nd & 3rd Thursday Afternoons

       Games, includng Indoor Bowling and Dominoes

Every two Months                            

      Quiz Night

Every Second month

       Acoustic Cafe

 

Annual Events                  

                                          Burn’s Supper

                                          Ash Wednesday and Lent

                                          Holy Week and Easter

                                          Murder Mystery Dinner

                                          Harvest Thanksgiving in October

                                          St. Andrew’s Tide Ceilidh with Fish Suppers

                                          Advent United service with Righead URC

                                          Christmas Carol Service with Nativity Play

                                          Christmas Midnightmas from 11.30 pm.

                                          Epiphany


Ecumenical Activities include

 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity in January

 World Day of Prayer

 Holy Week Events

 Pentecost

And many shared events around the Murray as advertised

 

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Next

2016