St. Mary Magdalene Episcopal Church
A community of real people, rooted in the common journey of following Jesus’ way of love,
seeking to live out a relevant faith that meaningfully connects with our lives, and the lives of others.
From The Rt. Rev. Marty S. Field
A nation’s shame.
That’s one way to look at the events that have transpired in and around Ferguson, MO for the last several months and especially last night, and clearly there’s truth in that point of view. Racism is still a living evil in our country, our society. The fact that the race of those involved is almost always mentioned is the first proof. Every news story, every account of the tragedy includes information phrased something like this: “Michael Brown, an unarmed, black teenager, was shot by a white policeman, Officer Darren Wilson.” Black. White. We still notice, so racism is still with us. My heart breaks.
But it can also be called the nation’s shame that more violence and destruction were perpetrated in the streets of Ferguson because the decision of the Grand Jury was unpopular or considered wrong or unjust. The end result? More people have become victims of violence. I cannot in any way believe that what happened, even in spite of the express wishes of Michael Brown’s family, in any way honored the dead or furthered justice. My heart breaks.
A nation’s challenge.
On the other side of the ongoing tragedy in and around Ferguson, we have been handed – at much too great a cost, mind you – a renewed insight into the challenge that lies before us. Most of you who will receive my message simply don’t understand what it is like to grow up impoverished, with limited opportunities, and as part of a racial minority. I don’t. I freely acknowledge it. But understanding is the key. Unless we find ways to understand one another, to relate to one another’s lives and stories, we will continue to falter in fear of that person who somehow appears “different”.
Alongside many other voices from around our denomination and the larger Church, I call upon us all to pray, to gather peacefully, to listen to one another, to relate, to understand. Reconciliation is a core concept of the Gospel. The redemption won for us by Our Lord Jesus provides us with an always open path to reconciliation with God. The horizontal dimension of the Gospel is to also achieve that reconciliation one with another, black with white, male with female, rich with poor, and to see that at the core we are all one humanity. We share the same hopes and dreams and aspirations. Some of us are closer to realizing those aspirations than others, and those who can are called to help others on their way, but we all want to get there.
Let us be about the work of reconciliation. That is our nation’s challenge and the challenge of the moment in Ferguson. To that end, many prayer meetings are being planned in and around Kansas City. I know others will be held in many places around West Missouri, though I don’t know of them all and, therefore, cannot share details. Pray. There’s power in prayer. It’s important. Then act. Prayer without action is prayer undone. The following is attributed to St. Francis of Assisi: “Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love.“ He also said: “Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary use words.” Our actions are our witness. Let our actions be from inner peace and bring peace to those around us.
+Bishop Marty Field
Dear St. Mary Magdalene parishioners and friends, please join me in asking God's grace and perseverance for justice and peace, not only for the people of Ferguson, MO; but especially for those in authority who are making decisions in the courts and on the streets that will decide the fate for the City of Ferguson, the family and friends of Michael Brown, and of the officer Darren Wilson. We cannot stand in judgment for the evils of this world, but we can pray that God will intervene in the lives of those who are and will suffer, and for those who can make a difference for the peace in this community.
Jesus, you drove out the evil in those you healed from sin, please drive out the hate and frustrations caused by prejudice and poor judgments made by people involved in this tragedy. For only you can reconcile our sins, especially through these difficult circumstances. Please help us to cope with the forces of evil that continue to infiltrate our society with prejudice, hatred and violence. May the people wrapped up in all this trouble be touched by your wisdom for non-violent resolutions to this explosive situation. We ask this through Christ, who alone, suffered for all of us and who lives on to be our guide.
Sincerely, Fr. David
SMM needs your pledge!
With God's help, we have completed another year of ministry and outreach at St. Mary Magdalene.
Your Vestry is beginning the process of planning the budget for 2015. To do this, the Vestry needs to have the best possible estimate of member contributions. Here is where your pledge becomes extremely important. Your pledge will help support such SMM programs as the Music Team, Children's Chapel and education, Worship and more. If you have completed and submitted your pledge card, we sincerely thank you. If you have forgotten to turn in your pledge card, or have misplaced or lost it, we ask that you complete it as soon as possible.
If you do not have your pledge card, there are two ways to get a new one. Printed copies of the pledge card are available on the table to the right of the entrance to the church. A hard copy can be downloaded and printed from the SMM website here. After completion, you can place the pledge card in the offering plate, or email it to Cyndi Troyer, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Remember, a pledge is your best estimate of what you can contribute to the work of St. Mary Magdalene in 2015. After prayerful consideration, please complete and return your pledge card. Based on your pledge and the pledges of the total St. Mary Magdalene community, the Vestry will have the information it needs to complete the proposed 2015 budget. It will also give our new Rector, Fr. David, a clearer picture of his possibilities for ministry during his first year with us.
With gratitude and appreciation.
Fr. David and your Vestry
All things come of thee, O Lord; and of thine own have we given thee.
St. Mary Magdalene Basics Classes: A Foundation for Faith
St. Mary Magdalene Basics is a series of 3-5 week courses that give us a foundation for the faith we live together as a parish in the Episcopal Church. It’s not an indoctrination, but a chance to roll up our sleeves, learn, discuss and apply the core pieces of who we are as Christians and Episcopalians. These classes are important—and so we ask a commitment to attend the days in each series of a class. Classes will be held on Wednesday evenings and will include a light supper at 6:30, class from 7:00-8:00, and we will end with Compline. Childcare will be provided if needed. Registration for all classes is open: just e-mail the rector at email@example.com to register.
Our first class in the series is Basic Anglicanism
- Basic Anglicanism is like a citizenship class for St. Mary Magdalene. Everything you need to know about the Episcopal Church, Anglican Communion, our worship, how we govern ourselves as a broader church and make decisions. You’re guaranteed to learn something new, even if you’ve been an Episcopalian all your life.
Wednesday evenings: December 3, December 10, and December 17
Future classes in the series are as follows:
- Basic Christianity tells the whole story of our faith from beginning to end. We will look at the basic concepts of Christianity and what they mean for our lives. We will explore in depth the topics of Creation, Jesus’ death and resurrection, and our ongoing life in Christ.
Wednesday evenings: January 7, January 14, January 21 and January 28
- Basic Bible A basic orientation to scripture, a map of the broad themes of the Bible and timeline of events. How to read the Old and New Testaments. A review of different ways to do Bible study.
Wednesday evenings in Lent February 25, March 4, March 11, March 18 and March 25:
- Basic Discipleship How does our faith make a difference in our daily life? The discipline and practice of prayer, living in community, study, service, almsgiving. What does it mean to grow in our relationship with Christ not just as individuals but as a community? Participants will be encouraged to adopt our Rhythm of Life.
Wednesday evenings: April 8, April 15, April 22 and April 29