Join us at Bethany House for...
Mass on Sundays - at 10:30am (casual attire is our style)!
Rosary Prayer Group - at 6:00pm on the first Tuesday of the month!
Evening Prayer - at 7:00pm on Thursdays (followed by “Timely Topics” with dessert and coffee)!
Come and join us!
Contact us at...
Saints Mary and Martha Church
at Bethany House
PO Box 502
Mount Sterling, KY
at Bethany House
PO Box 502
Mount Sterling, KY
Monday, October 23, 2017
From the vicar...
Friends, here’s an improvisation on the hymn tune “Boylston” (often used for the hymn “A Charge to Keep I Have”). It’s a neat little tune (we sang this hymn on Sunday at Saints Mary and Martha Church). I made the recording after Mass.
Saint Augustine of Hippo once said, “He who sings prays twice.” It’s my fervent hope that sacred music will always be plentiful at Saints Mary and Martha Church, and that we’ll being “praying twice” very often!
Yours in the spirit of prayer!
Wednesday, September 27, 2017
Increase kindly grace within me, that I may do more than curse the darkness. So fill me with your love and mercy, that I may set the world ablaze in your forgiveness and beautiful vision. Never allow me to settle into my own desires, thus becoming a creature of my wants. Awaken within my heart the fire of your lovingkindness, that I may play my part in the fostering of your great and holy Kingdom. May your will come to pass in my life, no matter what the world may choose to do.
Wednesday, September 20, 2017
What a wonderful time of blessing and fellowship we had with Bishop Ron and Patty Jackson! It was a weekend full of sharing, getting to know each other, prayer, and worship. We are blessed to have such a couple working with us, encouraging us, praying for us, and loving us.
Thursday, September 14, 2017
Monday, September 11, 2017
We’re going to have two very special visitors at Saints Mary and Martha Church this coming weekend – Saturday and Sunday, September 16 and 17!
Bishop Ron and Patty Jackson will be visiting us! Join us for a potluck and fellowship with Bishop Ron and Patty at 1:00pm on Saturday and for Mass at 10:30am on Sunday! Bishop Ron will be the celebrant and homilist at Mass.
We’re blessed to have this time with Bishop Ron and Patty, and we want to share it with you! (By the way, you can read Bishop Ron’s spiritual biography below…)
God bless you!
Bishop Ron’s Spiritual Biography…
I was blessed to be born into a Christian family. I cannot remember a time when I did not know Jesus. Ours was also a military family. The church was always a center of stability in our lives. My mother would find the “spiritually alive” chaplains and I was always in the Sunday School, children’s choir, and acolyte ministries. I became an Eagle Scout and earned the God and Country Award. As a result, though I am a “cradle Episcopalian,” I had a variety of denominational influences through various army chaplains in my spiritual formation. This has given me a deep appreciation for the wider body of Christ that is very much a part of my ministry today.
Like many college students during the sixties, I went through a time of spiritual searching and began to question the faith that I had received as a child. Out of that search, by God’s grace, came a deepened and conscious intellectual and spiritual commitment to the Scriptures and to Christ. As a Graduate Fellow at the University of California at Davis. I was the only professed Christian in my graduate department which led to numbers of interesting conversations. As a result, one of my self-described “agnostic” Jewish professors came to me for counsel about a situation with which he was struggling. Afterward he said, “Jackson, you should be a priest” and I knew he was right. I completed my Master’s degree, withdrew from the Doctoral program and entered the ordination process.
I attended Nashotah House because of its focus on a disciplined spiritual life. After two years, I decided to do an intern year in an inner-city black, anglo-catholic, ghetto parish in Compton, California. My ministry was to work with street kids. The street culture was very different from anything I had experienced and the young people’s needs were overwhelming. Not surprisingly, I hit the wall. I didn’t know what to do and began to question my call to the priesthood. My supervising priest, Fr. Llewellyn Williams, called me in, prayed with me, and told me to do three things: (1) read the New Testament to see how the disciples needed to change before Christ could use them, (2) pray for the Holy Spirit to show me what needed to change in my life, and (3) wait for God to send me the people I needed to learn from. As I did these things, God was faithful and sent three people into my life. Two of them were ex-gang leaders who had met Christ in prison and had their lives radically transformed. Christ knit us together as a team and amazing things began to happen. They taught me the difference between knowing about Christ and knowing him in a more intimate way and how to minister in the power of the Holy Spirit. My faith moved from my head to my heart. I learned that ministry isn’t just what I do for God, it is also what he wants to do through me. Jesus humbled me, rescued me from my own self-reliance, and continues to transform my life.
Wednesday, August 23, 2017
Two years ago TODAY (Sunday, August 23, 2015) Saints Mary and Martha Anglican Church celebrated Mass in Bethany House for the first time!
Happy anniversary to Saints MAMA Church!! What follows below is the original Facebook post from that day...
From the vicar...
“To God be the glory!”
Yes, we gave God the glory today (August 23, 2015) as MAMA Church offered the Mass for the first time at Bethany House (our home in Mount Sterling)! Today’s Mass (and the delicious potluck and wonderful fellowship that followed) marked the culmination of nearly two years of searching, praying, and discerning.
For some time we began to think that Bethany House would only be a dream...and then God showed us what only he can do! After having given up on the purchase of this house, we suddenly received word that the asking price had been lowered. We then received word that the family who owned the house wanted to help us by lowering the asking price still further! How could we not see God’s hand in that?!
There’s a good deal of cosmetic work to be undertaken on Bethany House in the weeks and months to come. There will be painting, rearranging, the knocking out of a wall, the addition of air conditioning (no vestments for the vicar today because of the heat and humidity!), cutting down of some trees (precariously overhanging the house and/or blocking the view from the driveways onto the busy street), among many other things.
Most importantly, though, we now have a space into which we can invite those who are in need of Jesus (no matter how that need presents itself)! We are blessed to have life teachers, lay counselors, and care givers in our community. Indeed, God has provided for our every need through the gifts and talents of those who have come to be brothers and sisters of Mary and Martha of Bethany. And we know that it doesn’t stop with our needs. We know that he will send us from this house into the streets of Mount Sterling.
So I close as I began, “To God be the glory!”
Monday, August 21, 2017
Good morning, friends!
I’m sitting on the little vicarage deck this beautiful morning (something I’ve been too busy to do for several weeks) and enjoying a delicious cup of cappuccino (I can never remember how to spell that!). For the first time in I don’t know how long I feel relaxed and as though no task is hanging over my head.
We (Saints Mary and Martha Church) celebrated our second anniversary at Bethany House yesterday - we call it Friendship Sunday! It was lovely and joy-filled. Bethany House was filled with chatter and laughter, singing and praying - not to mention a super-abundance of delicious food!
There seems to be something beautiful happening among us at Bethany House. As we live ever more intentionally into our calling of both contemplative prayer (contemplating Scripture in prayer) and intercessory prayer (praying for the needs of individuals and other concerns on our prayer list), the Lord seems to be sending us people who need his care - just like we do.
What it all adds up to is this: A beautiful community of Jesus-followers is being built. I can’t wait to see what happens. We’re standing on two promises: “We know that in all things God works for good with those who love him, those whom he has called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28) and “We love because God first loved us.” (1 John 4:19). This is why we say, “We love Jesus, and we love you, too!”
Friends, on this morning after Friendship Sunday, I love you because Jesus loves each of us and because you are so very special!