Join us at Bethany House for...

Mass on Saturdays - at 5:00pm (casual attire is our style)!

Rosary Prayer Group - at 6:00pm on the first Wednesday of the month!

Bible Study - at 6:30pm on Thursdays (the Life of Jesus - Serendipity Bible Study)!

Come and join us!

Click the picture for directions...

Click the picture for directions...
We’re located at 408 Levee Road in Mount Sterling, across from the MCHS football stadium.

Contact us at...

Saints Mary and Martha Church
at Bethany House
PO Box 502
Mount Sterling, KY
40353

859-404-8374
mamachurch4you@yahoo.com

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The Vicar’s Victuals: A Lenten Invitation

Dear Saints M&M Family,

It's not too soon to turn our thoughts to Lent, the journey to the cross, and the question that inevitably arises: "How can I take up the cross, deny myself, and follow Jesus all the more closely?"

I'm hoping this year to present, in my Lenten sermons, pictures of the sacrifices our fathers and mothers in the faith made for Jesus in their day. As the second-century Church Father, Tertullian, wrote: "The blood of martyrs is the seed of the Church." While we may not be asked to spill our blood for the cause of Christ, are we willing to deny ourselves smaller things in favor of deeper and larger amounts of time spent in prayer and study?

Please be in prayer about the sacrifice(s) the Lord may be leading you to make during the forty days of fasting we call Lent. Please begin now to prayerfully consider what he may be leading you to examine in your life throughout this time of spiritual and corporal fasting.

God bless each of you!

Father Todd Boyce, Vicar
Saints Mary and Martha Anglican Church
Mount Sterling, Kentucky
 

Saturday, January 26, 2013

The Vicar’s Victuals: “How Lovely Is Thy Dwelling-Place”

“How lovely is thy dwelling-place,
O Lord hosts, to me!
My thirsty soul desires and longs
within thy courts to be;
my very heart and flesh cry out,
O living God, for thee.”

Each Saturday evening, after I've finished setting up the Chapel for Mass on Sunday morning, my soul cries out, “How lovely is thy dwelling-place, O Lord of hosts to me!” I can't just leave, as though what I've done is the completion of another task. I know what will happen there in the morning - how heaven will invade earth and how Jesus will offer us his precious Body and Blood!

One of these Saturdays I will keep vigil the whole night through. How I long for the dwelling-place of the Lord!

Father Todd Boyce, Vicar
Saints Mary and Martha Anglican Church
Mount Sterling, Kentucky

Thursday, January 24, 2013

The Vicar’s Victuals: “Inside-Out” Hospitality

Hello, Saints M&M Family!

In the months since our ‘flirt’ with renting a facility and the conclusion that now is simply not the right time (thank you, Lord, for leading us!), I’ve been praying/thinking about ways in which we can be a parish fully engaged in mission. The first step (for me, at least) was to stop, take a breath, and understand that where he closed a window God would open a door. The second step was the beautiful remembrance of something I’d forgotten: The Little Flower Principle, “Do small things with great love.” The third step was opening my eyes, ears, and heart to see where God was already leading us: That was easy, there’ve been hints of it coming from all of us over the past nearly two years. The fourth step is what follows: The attempt to put words to it.

Those of you who are on Facebook will know that over the past couple of days I’ve been bouncing some thoughts around regarding the current state of the parish Church (generally speaking); whether it makes sense any longer to “invite” people to join us, and how our thinking and acting (the fulfilling of our parish mission) need to adapt. In essence, I noted that because the same group of restless Christians seems to be perennially floating from parish to parish (in search of the latest and greatest preacher, music, youth program, et cetera) and because the non-Christians who wander into Church (physically speaking, but usually not spiritually/emotionally) are generally put off by the age-old expectations of parish membership, it’s becoming increasingly clear to me that shouting “Here we are! Come and join us!” really isn’t working.

I’m coming to believe that the best way (the only way, really) for Saints M&M to engage in the mission of hospitality will be to offer it on an “inside-out” basis. We know that inviting people to join us for worship (currently our only parish activity) really isn’t successful (for the reasons cited above). We also know that we don’t have a facility of our own into which we can invite the community during the week (and even if we did, I’m not sure that they’d show up – no matter what we’d offer). I’m coming to believe that the days of inviting the world into God’s house are over. The era at hand seems to call for God’s people to beg an invitation into the world’s house. Hence, the “inside-out” terminology.

If we want to help people in the Name of Jesus and invite them to know him (primarily through our acts of love and deeds of mercy, and simply letting the Holy Spirit do the rest), we’ll first have to obtain an invitation into their lives. Maybe we could seek the Lord’s guidance on engaging in a hospitality or mercy project each quarter. This might take the form of as many of us as possible descending upon the Mt. Sterling Food Bank or a nursing home or the Shepherd’s Shelter with some tangible sign of God’s love for his people. Maybe it could take the form of working with the Mt. Sterling/Montgomery County Library in reading to children or the elderly. Maybe we could even invite the community to join us? Whatever form it takes, we will be bringing the love of Jesus to many in our community – without any expectation of anything in return: Pure gift, pure grace; no hooks, no strings; simply pleasing the heart of Jesus by seeking to serve those he loves.

So, I’d like to ask each of you to be in prayer about this. Ask the Lord whether “inside-out” is the right approach for Saints M&M. If it is, ask him when and how we might start, what role the Lord may be calling you to play (it really will involve each of us), and to whom we might be called to reach out. If the world won’t take us up on our offer of hospitality, maybe they’ll welcome the gifts we can offer them – and the Lord who makes them possible!

Blessings!

Father Todd Boyce, Vicar
Saints Mary and Martha Anglican Church
Mount Sterling, Kentucky