Welcome to Mark Street
Welcome to Mark Street United Church:
The Lenten season is almost upon us, beginning with Ash Wednesday on February 10th and culminating in the joyful celebration of the Resurrection mystery at Easter. Our word “Lent” is derived from the Anglo Saxon words “lencten” and “lenctentid” which mean “spring” and “springtide” respectively.
Did you know that Lent lasts for forty days (not including Sundays) because forty was a sacred number for the people of the Bible? The former slaves were forged into the people of Israel during their forty year journey in the wilderness after their liberation from Egyptian slavery. Moses, before receiving the Torah on Mount Sinai, was on the holy mountain “with the Lord for forty days and nights; he neither ate bread nor drank water” (Exodus 34:28). Elijah, held to be Israel’s greatest prophet, walked for forty days and nights before he reached Horeb, the mountain of God (1 Kings, 19:8). Most importantly, the Gospels tell us that Jesus spent forty days and nights in the wilderness before beginning his public ministry.
For Moses and Elijah, the forty days are a time of preparation before encountering the awesome presence of the divine. For the former slaves and for Jesus himself it is a time of preparation for their new and true vocations, a time that is always accompanied by self-denial and hardship. And so in the Early Church, too, Lent became a time of preparation for new converts to the faith, before their encounters with the divine in baptism and first communion.
In our time, the forty days of Lent retain that same sense of preparation, of reflecting on our old life as we get ready for receiving the new, Easter life of the risen Christ. Traditionally, self-denial has also been a part of Lent: Christians have done so by giving up something for Lent, such as meat, fatty or sweet foods. As we all know only too well, our culture is not really into self-denial or giving anything up. Most contemporary churches focus instead on the idea of accompanying Jesus on his journey to Jerusalem which, of course, culminated in his execution, as we seek to understand and receive afresh his message in mission.
There are moments during Lent, however, that are opportunities for the kind of self-reflection and contemplation that have always been central to this season. Ash Wednesday is one: the community gathers to reflect on what it means to be human when we receive ashes on our foreheads and hear the words, “You are dust and to dust you shall return.” There is nothing morbid about this, just a sober and sobering acknowledgement that we, like all created things, are mortal, that our life is but temporary.
Other such moments occur during Holy Week, the last week before Easter, such as Maundy Thursday when we eat the final meal together with Jesus and his friends and wash one another’s feet or hands as a sign that we are God’s servants in the world.
This year, Ash Wednesday falls on February 10th. At Mark Street United Church we shall observe that day with a service at 7:30 pm and you are most cordially invited to join us. There will be a Lenten service every Wednesday evening, also at 7:30 pm. Maundy Thursday will be on March 24th and people from Mark Street Church will join folks from other congregations at Trinity United Church at 7:00 pm for a quiet reflective communion service. Please join us there.
The Good Friday Service will culminate the Lenten observations. The service will be held at 10:00 am on Friday, March 25th. Again you are invited to join us as we mark the most holy day of the Christian year.
We pray that Lent will be a holy time for us all at Mark Street Church.
Intentional Interim Minister
In our news :
GOAL ACCOMPLISHED !!
Sunday November 29, the Transition Team accomplished their goal of bringing a recommendation to the Congregation to move forward in our Ministry –Recommended that Mark Street United Church request Shining Waters Presbytery declare a vacancy in this Pastoral Charge, for a full time Ordained Minister who substantially possess the skills and attributes within this Report, and authorize the formation of a Joint Search Committee.
It was passed unanimously !!
Check the Transition Team page for more !
A NEW THING – Mark Street on Facebook !!
Our regular Council minutes are being posted here.
We meet every Sunday for worship at 10.00 a.m. (service time), for approximately one hour. Our Children’s Christian Education Program is held at the same time; all ages spend the first part of the service together.
A set of draft policies for Mark Street United Church is available for review here.
A pre-prepared PAR form for new users is here. (Pre-Authorized Remittance givings)