Dear Friends and Colleagues,
I remember letting my readers know that I would welcome any comments about my website www.TruthWithLanguage.com after it was set up in a few weeks time from that letter. The website has been fairly stable in its format for quite a few weeks currently and it is “multi-purpose”: it (1) informs about the core concerns of St.Mary’s Anglican Church, (2) displays a nascent focus on current social issues that are commonly misrepresented, (3) “clones” the Cayman Ministers’ Association website which I was concerned might be targeted and taken down - no sign of that yet, (4) acts as a developing library for access to documents of Caribbean Cause, (5) includes a Physical Science Corner with videos of special interest to me, and (6) “clones” part of the front page of the St. Alban’s and St.Mary’s website before the site changed in name and management.
I see the last item on this list probably being redundant and liable for replacement, and while I have some ideas about what to replace it with, would welcome any ideas from any of you on that - or whether you consider either the site or this item should be developed in some other way. I would welcome any collaboration, subject, of course, to my limitations in the field of website design. The responsibility for all the content of the website will remain mine.
If any of you still haven’t explored the website at all up to now (oh no, perish the thought), do please start doing so immediately and let me know your reactions!
We are approaching the middle of the Season of Lent. This year the fourth Sunday in Lent, otherwise called “Mothering Sunday” or "Refreshment Sunday” for historical reasons that should be accessible on the internet, is the 14th March, the Sunday indeed towards which we seem to be racing. (I had intended last week, by the way, to remind you that the Clubhouse is not available to us on the 28th, and we need to begin to determine where we shall hold church then.) Anyway the Collect for next week, the week of the 4th Sunday in Lent, will be
Grant, we beseech thee, Almighty God, that we, who for our evil deeds do worthily deserve to be punished, by the comfort of thy grace may mercifully be relieved; through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.
and of course following this will be the Ash Wednesday Collect:
Almighty and everlasting God, who hatest nothing that thou hast made, and dost forgive the sins of all them that are penitent: Create and make in us new and contrite hearts, that we worthily lamenting our sins, and acknowledging our wretchedness, may obtain of thee, the God of all mercy, perfect remission and forgiveness; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
The Lent 4 Collect contains the most basic statement of the doctrine of sin and grace that can be imagined and offers it in the form of a prayer. The fact that we pray it does not in any way reduce any of its doctrinal certainty. We are reminded that the “relief” granted by the “grace” of Almighty God is His “merciful” gift - we cannot, in the modern meaning of the phrase, “take it for granted”. To do so would be acting as if we deserved the gift. Yet, it is a gift that God grants, out of the abundance of His grace, because there is One who sacrificially took the deserving in our place. That changes everything - our relationship with God Himself, followed by our relationships with everyone and everything else.
I am moved also to remind or point out to you that the Prayer Book gives us the following instruction on the use of the Collects:
"Note, that the Collect appointed for every Sunday, or for any Holy-day that hath a Vigil or Eve, shall be said at the Evening Service next before.”
The “Evening Service next before” every Sunday would be our evening Prayer on the Saturday before the Sunday appointed.
I’ll just leave that as noted for now and will get back to it in due course.
For directions about the services this Sunday the 14th March, please see the website www.truthwithlanguage.com.
In the gracious and merciful Name of the Lord Jesus,
PS. As all those in church last Sunday are aware, the winner of my little challenge last week was Rosemary. Well done Rosemary! As already stated, the website version of the letter concerned (Feb 25) has the matter corrected.