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

Thursday, December 27, 2018

A Word about Devotion...

Dear Brothers and Sisters of Mary and Martha,

I could not help but think as I read this from Song of Songs at Morning Prayer on Christmas day how appropriate it was!  God has come near to us, has become Emmanuel – “God is with us”.

May this be a blessing to those of us who take the time (an hour or less per day for Morning and Evening Prayer) to hear God’s heart.  After all, he came to us in love.  How could we not respond in kind?!

Father Todd


2:10 My beloved speaks and says to me:
“Arise, my love, my beautiful one,
    and come away,
11 for behold, the winter is past;
    the rain is over and gone.
12 The flowers appear on the earth,
    the time of singing has come,
and the voice of the turtledove
    is heard in our land.
13 The fig tree ripens its figs,
    and the vines are in blossom;
    they give forth fragrance.
Arise, my love, my beautiful one,
    and come away.
14 O my dove, in the clefts of the rock,
    in the crannies of the cliff,
let me see your face,
    let me hear your voice,
for your voice is sweet,
    and your face is lovely.
15 Catch the foxes for us,
    the little foxes
that spoil the vineyards,
    for our vineyards are in blossom.”

Sunday, September 16, 2018

A Beautiful Lord's Day...

Good evening, Brothers and Sisters!

I just wanted to send out a note to say how good and pleasant and joyful and sweet it was to be with you this morning!  My Mom, each time Emily and I visited in Michigan, would send us off with the words, "Remember, you have precious cargo in that car!"  The thought occurred to me this afternoon that each of us, in our relationship one with another, is the keeper of "precious cargo".

I will sleep tonight with the joy and peace of knowing so many brothers and sisters!

Here's a prayer with which to end this beautiful Lord's Day...

O Lord, support us all the day long, until the shadows lengthen, and the evening comes, and the busy world is hushed, and the fever of life is over, and our work is done.  Then in thy mercy, grant us a safe lodging, and a holy rest, and peace at the last.  Amen.

May Jesus Christ be praised!

Father Todd

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

This Week at Bethany House...

Hello, Brothers and Sisters of
Mary and Martha (and special friends)!

What a sweet time of worship we had on Sunday!  Is there anything better than hearing the Word and receiving Holy Communion?!  And how special to sing those words, penned by Fannie Crosby, “All the way my Savior leads me, cheers each winding path I tread; gives me grace for every trial, feeds me with the living Bread.  Though my weary steps may falter and my soul athirst may be; gushing from the Rock before me, lo! a spring of joy I see.”

This coming Sunday we’ll have the joy to welcome Rabbi Rod and Jenny Eisenberg at Mass!  Rod, who is one of the teaching pastors at Journey Community Church, will be preaching on the three relationships of God’s people.  Rod and Jenny are Jewish believers in the Messiah and trust in him for their salvation.  This is a time of worship (and special lunch after) that you won’t want to miss!


I’d like to take a moment to re-share something included in this week’s “Our Life Together”.  It’s that important and weighing significantly on my heart.  It’s foundational for our process of Discernment & Discovery…

“There is a vital and necessary connection – a link, really – between the act of allowing the Lord to renew our minds and the commitment to contemplative prayer.  One cannot happen without the other.  And more than that, without our recognition of that fact, we cannot fully live into our identity as a quasi-monastic community – something more than a group of individuals who worship and pray in the same building.

We are people who have made or are making a commitment to surrender large chunks of our daily living for the sake of praying for others and for the sake of contemplating God more deeply.  Because of that, we need to be more fully aware of who God is, what his will (for us and for his world) is, and what his desire for us is.  This is what it means to allow him to renew our minds.

As He said in Proverbs, “There’s a way that seems right to man, but it’s end is death.”  Our God is the God of life, not of death.  He desires us to walk, think, act, and speak in his way of life, not for us to continue in the way of death from which He’s rescued us.  So, as your priest in this community, I am asking us to make the following commitment – a commitment that will make possible the renewing of our minds (which every believer constantly needs) and the possibility of exploring the riches of God in contemplative prayer:

1. That we, at the very least, read the confession of sin, Psalm, and Reading found in Morning and Evening Prayer every day – even if we don’t read any other portions of Daily Prayer.

2. That we pause as close to Noon as possible to pray Noonday Prayer and read the meditation provided.

3. That we all, before retiring to bed each evening, engage in an Examen – asking the Lord to walk with us through our memories of the day that is closing and to show us where he needs to correct us and/or encourage us.

In this way, engaging as a community – even though we are physically apart – the Lord can begin to build in and through us the foundation of a Church that exists for the sake of others.”

Attached below is this week’s “OLT”.  Also, here’s the link for the very important sermon I preached at Evening Prayer last Thursday...


Here’s the link for the sermon from Mass last Sunday...


And here’s the link for the entire video of Mass last Sunday...


Praised be Jesus Christ!

Father Todd

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

This Week at Bethany House...

Hello, Brothers and Sisters of
Mary and Martha (and special friends)!

There is much happening in our midst as we prepare for our Discernment & Discovery process.  It’s called “Becoming a Church for the Sake of Others” – and you’ll often be seeing this logo (which we’ve borrowed, in modified form, from our fellow Anglicans in the Diocese of Churches for the Sake of Others)…


As we continue to prepare for our time of Discernment & Discovery this week (and beyond), we’ll be focusing on the Godly mindset and listening prayer.  Only in this way can we come to understand how and where the Lord wants us to be involved in incarnational ministry – ministry in which we become involved in the lives of those to whom we are ministering.

The life of prayer (intercessory and contemplative), which is our first mission at Bethany House, is the foundation of anything else the Lord may lead us into.  It is the entryway into the lives of those to whom we may be called to evangelize and to whom we will minister.  It also happens to be the only sure way we can come to know the Lord’s will for our future (especially as we engage in prayerful contemplation of the Word and seek His insight into its application among us).

As always, this week’s “Our Life Together” is available by request at mamachurch4you@yahoo.com.  Please remember that it’s called “Our Life Together” because it’s the vehicle by which we live in community even when we’re physically apart.  Somewhat like a monastery, each of us can commit to praying and learning in community – that is, together, “on the same page” so to speak.

For those who weren’t able to attend Mass last Sunday, here is the link to the Bethany House Youtube channel to view the Sunday Sermon...


And here is the link to the Bethany House Youtube channel to view the whole Liturgy of Sunday Mass...


Brothers and sisters, please be in the Word daily!  Also, please take advantage of the new feature for Daily Prayer – the Order for Noonday Prayer has been included, complete with daily meditations by Oswald Chambers!

As we learn the Lord’s will in how we can sacrificially open ourselves to His service in making and growing disciples of Jesus Christ, may this week be a time of deep discovery for each you!

Praised be Jesus Christ!

Father Todd

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Am I a Believer Fit for Mission?

Dear Brothers and Sisters of Mary and Martha,

I want to share something with you that flows from the sermons I’ve preached recently.  It’s something that can help build encouragement and godly desire within each of us.  You see, the Lord has a unique calling and set of gifts (this combination is often called a “charism”) for each congregation.  MAMA Church’s charism, from the very beginning, has been intercessory prayer and contemplative prayer.  That’s the core of who we are as a community.  The unanswered question for us has been, “How does that fit with the great commission (God’s call to make and grow disciples of Jesus Christ)?”

Since we are not allowed to abandon the charism the Lord gave us, we are given the task of discerning the ways in which he is leading us to participate in his great commission.  But here’s the catch: Discerning the will of God is NOT the same as brainstorming and coming up with ideas.  We’ve gone that route before, and the Lord did not prosper it.  We will not go that route again.  As we read in Proverbs: “There is a way that seems right to a man (or woman), but its end is the way to death.”  If we are attempting to build a community of believers that will last beyond us, it must be built on the foundation of God’s will alone.

What God’s will is for our outreach is, as yet, a mystery – and we must approach it as a mystery.  While I cannot say what it is will be, I can say that it will not be at odds with the charism he has already given us.  He will not contradict himself and confuse his children.  He will build upon what he has already brought forth within our community.  So, however he chooses to deepen our charism, it will be a natural outgrowth of the good work he’s already begun within and among us.  Our existing mission of intercessory and contemplative prayer will play a vital role in this next step, it won’t be jettisoned by it.

As we begin to seriously discern how the Lord will deepen our charism into evangelization (the sharing of the Good News of salvation with others and letting the Lord use us as a means of bringing people to faith in Jesus) and the ministry of mercy (ministering to the spiritual and corporal needs of others), we need to ask him a vital question: “Am I a believer who is fit for mission?”  After all, when we ask ourselves whether we are qualified to do a certain job, we ask whether we have trained ourselves sufficiently for the task at hand.  The question of what “job” the Lord will give us is intrinsically tied to what we have allowed him to teach us.

For example, the call to intercessory prayer should be filling us with a longing to see people come to faith in Jesus.  It should be filling us with a desire to help bear the burdens of those for whom we’re praying.  Likewise, the call to contemplative prayer should be filling us with wisdom about how the Christian life is to be lived.  It should also be filling us with a spiritual maturity that makes us uncomfortable with things or attitudes or practices in our lives that are not of the Lord.  On top of that, it should be filling us with a deeper knowledge of God’s Word and his priorities – that’s why we read (and contemplate) the Scriptures daily.

When answering the question “who is a believer fit for mission?”, there are some questions we need to ask ourselves.  When faced with someone who does not know Jesus as their Lord and Savior, would I know how to introduce him to them?  When someone asks me why I’m a Christian, would I be able to share my testimony with them – would I be able to convey to them how Jesus has changed and filled my life with his presence?  When someone asks me a difficult question about God’s way of doing things, would I be able to start them down the road of seeing things from a Biblical point of view?

Have I scared you?!  That’s not what I intend!!  What I do intend is to lead us into some serious “training” to be sent out as missionaries – that we take what the Lord has already done in our lives and link it up with what he wants to do next.  That’s why I want us to seriously engage in “The Purpose Driven Life” – so that we will come to know what our particular calling is and how it can find expression in ministry to others.  That’s why I want us to read books like Lee Strobel’s “The Case for Christ” and Phillip Yancey’s “The Jesus I Never Knew” – so that we know how to answer the questions that will come to us.  That’s why I want us to look into Dr. James Kennedy’s “Evangelism Explosion” – so that we’ll learn how to lead people to Jesus as their Lord and Savior.

In one sense, we need to be more qualified in order to answer God’s call to evangelistic ministry and the ministry of mercy.  In another, much more important sense, God will qualify us as he sends us.  So, in a very real sense, YOU ARE the believer who is FIT for mission.  God does not call the qualified, he truly qualifies the called.  And it’s my job as your priest to equip you for the work of mission.  I am called to be your teacher and to serve you as an under-shepherd.  I am called to challenge you and to make sure that you are stretched.  And then I am called to set you loose in the world – a world that is ripe for kingdom harvest.

Some of us may think “I’m not someone the Lord can use in ministry to others; I don’t know as much of his Word as I should and I haven’t learned to hear his voice in my life.”  To that I say, “Great!  That’s why we’re engaging in this time of discernment and equipping.  You’ll learn as you go!”  There may be some of us think “This stretches me too far.  I’m not comfortable with this.”  To that I also say, “Great!  Now you’ve accepted the fundamental truth that there are limits to what we can do.  This is the only way we can come to know why ‘I can do all things through Christ Jesus who strengthens me!’ (Philippians 4:13)”

You may as well know this right now: You have been called and you are being qualified.  And there’s no getting around this central point: Because you have persevered in your relationship with Jesus, he wants to use you (and your testimony) to help others do the same.  So stay tuned for further information about the “who, what, when, where, and why”!  You already know the “how” – his name is Jesus!

Praying for God’s blessings in your life,

Father Todd

Saturday, July 21, 2018

A Special Announcement!

Brothers and Sisters,

I’m so very happy to share the news that a special friend of mine – a wonderful brother in the Messiah – Rabbi Rod Eisenberg will be offering the sermon at MAMA Church on Sunday, August 19.

Rabbi Eisenberg is one of the teaching pastors at Journey Community Church in Richmond.  He also serves as a Chapel Volunteer at Eastern Kentucky Correctional Complex – where I serve as the institutional Chaplain.

I invite you to take a look at one of Rod’s sermons at JCC...

Rabbi Eisenberg's most recent JCC sermon

Please make plans to join us for Mass at 10:30am on Sunday, August 19!

Blessings!
Father Todd

Friday, July 20, 2018

An Important Proposal...

Hello, Brothers and Sisters
of Mary and Martha!

I’m still “floating” after last night’s Evening Prayer!  I’m happy to confess that time with the Lord and his family at Bethany House is just what I needed!  I don’t mind telling you that I entered into our time together last night thinking to myself “I really want to take a nap.”  How wrong I was (and how easily I forget what my soul most deeply needs).  The Lord not only “stepped on my toes” last night but (I hear) moved among others of us, too!

There’s something I read recently that struck me as profound – especially in the context of how we carry out the ministry and great commission entrusted to us.  It’s this: “Be the kind of person you desire to attract.”  Each of us rightly talks about how nice it would be to see the Church (in general) and MAMA Church (in particular) grow and flourish.  But as wonderful as such talk is, it’s still only talk.

If we want to see people come to know Jesus as their Lord and Savior, we have to be the kind of people who exemplify lives lived with the preeminent purpose of serving Jesus as our Lord and Savior!  If we want to attract people to the kingdom of God, we have to live our lives first and foremost in God’s kingdom!  That’s why I’m offering us a proposal.  I feel as though we’ve become comfortable in our routine of Mass on Sunday and Evening Prayer on Thursday – and there’s nothing wrong with that, in and of itself.  But it doesn’t stop there.

There are people in our community who need to be loved into God’s kingdom.  There are needs in our community that Jesus will want us to meet – especially as we begin to discern the particular purpose(s) for which we were created.  We already know that the anchor purpose for MAMA Church is to be a community of prayer and catechesis.  But we also know that “faith without works is dead”.  Therefore, it’s time for us to begin, in earnest, the process of discovering how our individual calls to ministry can inform our community/parish call to ministry.

And here’s something more to consider: Within ten years (maybe slightly sooner) I will be retiring from my Chaplaincy at EKCC.  As you know, I’m moving ahead with plans to earn a Master of Social Work degree and, upon retirement from EKCC, move into a counseling ministry.  In the meantime, we have a window of opportunity to:

1. Discover our individual and community gifts - purpose(s) - ministry focus;

2. Participate in a period of prayerful discernment (including the building of consensus before moving ahead in any area); and,

3. Building a ministry core that uses us as doorways for non-believers into God’s kingdom.

So, here’s my proposal for us as a community.  It involves two steps…

The first step is to continue in our commitment to daily prayer and community prayer (Evening Prayer on Thursdays and the Eucharist on Sundays and feast days).  This is very important because without a continuation of that commitment, we won’t be able to fully hear where the Lord may be calling us.

We have to be fully prepared for anything the Lord may be calling us into – and I mean ANYTHING!!  Why?  Because that’s just how he works.  I sometimes wonder how much more fruitful my life as a believer might have been had I “thought outside the box” when his call to ministry first came.  Maybe you know of times in your life when you weren’t open to the Lord’s calling and now wonder what might’ve been.  So, in order for us to enter into this proposal with our hearts and minds wide open, we must be in the Word as much as possible.  More often than not, that’s how the Lord awakens us to his will and nudges us!

The second step is committing ourselves to a community (as well as a personal) study of Pastor Rick Warren’s “The Purpose Driven Life”.  I know that some of you may already have read through that amazing book.  But, as with all good things in life, there’s always something new to be gleaned and new circumstances in life to be accounted for.  If we’ve read it before, I’m certain that we’ll get something new from it – if only because we’ve now committed ourselves to a life of prayer and study as Christians in the Anglican way.

I foresee taking a few weeks to move through this study.  So I propose that we temporarily commit to gathering on Tuesday evenings or Sunday mornings before Mass or Sunday afternoons after Mass.  (Supplanting Evening Prayer on Thursdays should only be a last resort – we need that time of prayer together, as a community!)

Please remember what we dwelt upon at Evening Prayer last night: “Much is required from the person to whom much is given; much more is required from the person to whom much more is given.”  We have been made partakers of God’s kingdom and have been given the responsibility of hospitality to those who are strangers to God’s kingdom.  Like the hospitality of Mary and Martha of Bethany, MAMA Church exists to sit at Jesus’ feet and to feed the spiritually hungry.

My hope and prayer is that MAMA Church will long outlast our stewardship.  But that cannot happen if we don’t choose to do the deeper work now.  Please commit this proposal to deep prayer – with a stated willingness before the Lord that you are open to his leading.

God bless you, my Brothers and Sisters!

Father Todd

Monday, July 16, 2018

The Sunday Sermon...

Hello, friends!

We’d like to share the Sermon from Mass on Sunday, July 15, AD 2018 (The Seventh Sunday of Trinitytide, according to the Church’s calendar).  You can hear God’s word proclaimed and explained via this video!


We’d also like to share the whole Liturgy of the Mass, in case you weren’t able to worship the Lord on Sunday, via this video!


We invite you to join us for worship on any Sunday!  We dress casually and worship begins at 10:30am at Bethany House – 408 Levee Road in Mt. Sterling – across from the MCHS football stadium.

There’s lots of parking behind Bethany House.  If you need a ride, call us at 859-404-8374.

We love Jesus and we love you, too!

The Brothers and Sisters
of Mary and Martha

From My Heart to Yours...

Dear Brothers and Sisters of Mary and Martha,

Here’s a true mystery: We can be covered in the precious Blood of Jesus, be filled with the Holy Spirit, and still find ourselves longing for something we can’t quite name.  Saint Augustine said that “our hearts are restless until they rest in You.”  C.S. Lewis tells us that we are for ever searching for that missing something – and that something is heaven.

I am passing through a restless, searching season in my life.  I’m working as hard and as long as I can to play my God-appointed part in enlarging his kingdom (as all Christians are called to do).  But I’m finding that my heart wants to explode from restless beating.  My mind is consumed with finding that glimpse of heaven.  I would give anything to find the words that adequately express to the Lord how much more I want to see and know.

For now, the peace of the little vicarage deck and my cup of cappuccino must suffice.

Laudetur Jesus Christus!

Father Todd

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

“No More Excuses for Me”

A personal word from Father Todd…

Over the past few months (and especially the past few weeks), I’ve squeezed some pondering into the rocky events of life that Dcn. Emily and I have experienced (health issues, et cetera).  I’ve found myself, many more times than once, asking the Lord, “Can you give us a sense of peace, a season of just resting in you?  It’s been almost four years of struggle, rockiness, and lurching.”

This morning, as I awoke and got ready for work, I found myself asking a different form of that same question, “Lord, I’m tired of being part way ‘there’.  I want to live more deeply in relationship with you.  I want the interior of who I am, the interior of my life, to be more steady in you.  How can I get ‘there’?”

Almost as soon as I offered up that petition, the Holy Spirit began moving.  As I was getting ready to leave for the prison, I had the TV in our bedroom tuned to EWTN.  An episode of “Mother Angelica Live Classics” was playing and she was talking about excuses – the excuses we make to the Lord, to ourselves, and to others when we find ourselves moving away from God’s plans for our lives.

I realized in those moments – listening to a godly woman who was both bluntly honest and filled with the Lord’s presence – that I have been stalled in my conversion/sanctification.  For the past few years I’ve used the excuse of one ‘event’ after another to put off growing in the Lord.  I’ve used those events as excuses to give myself a break rather than excuses to go deeper with Jesus.

As I drove to the prison, the beautiful conviction intensified as I began to see how the Lord could have – and still can – use the undesired events in my life to deepen the peace of my interior life.  The Lord wants, as Max Lucado once said, to carve out a place of calm in the center of our life’s storms.  The only question for me, personally, is how I now begin to live out his intention within me.

There are some practical steps I can take – that I should’ve taken when the storms began for Emily and me nearly four years ago:

1. Keeping the main thing the main thing, as Dr. Maxey Dunnam used to tell us at Asbury Seminary.  This means a single-minded pursuit of listening to the voice of the Holy Spirit in all of life’s circumstances – in contemplative prayer (time spent silently before the Blessed Sacrament in the Tabernacle, the Jesus Prayer, the Rosary, et cetera) and especially in daily, dedicated time in God’s Word.  If God and his will for my life are the main thing, then I have to keep my focus where he is speaking to me – in his Word and in quieting myself before him.

2. Removing all the clutter that can be removed from my daily living.  Jesus told Martha that she was worrying about too many irrelevant things and that her sister, Mary, had chosen to be attentive to the better thing.  What was it that Mary chose that her sister did not?  To let the everyday tyrannies fall by the wayside and sit at Jesus’ feet.  I am a worrier.  I am a dutiful doer.  I am a task-finisher.  And, while those things can be laudable and are needed in expanding God’s kingdom, they are ultimately destructive when they pre-empt the building of God’s kingdom within my heart and mind.  No cart ever pulled the horse!

3. Filling my head with the right voices.  As a full-time Chaplain I am required to listen to as many of the two thousand voices in my prison as I possibly can.  They need to know that I’m there for them, hear them, and will challenge/guide/care for them.  As a parish priest I am required to listen to the voices of my flock, to care for and nurture and even challenge them.  As a husband, I am required to hear the nuances in Emily’s voice, to know and sense when she is in need and when/how I can be there for her.  I am not, however, required to fill my head with the voices of those who inhabit the airwaves and the internet.  In fact, I am required to do the opposite: I am required to test those spirits and to see whether they are serving themselves or the Lord.  I need to turn the radio/TV/internet off and to open myself to the Lord’s voice in his Word.  I also need to open myself to the witness of the saints by taking in the voices of those whose walk with the Lord was/is much stronger than mine.  I need to hear Oswald Chambers, C.S. Lewis, Mother Teresa, St. Bernard of Clairvaux, St. Teresa of Avila, and so many more.

If I want a calm interior life in the midst of the storms that come, I need to actively go about building it.  If I want a sense of serenity in the face of life’s ordinary chores, I need to actively live with those who can teach me.  If I want my life to make a difference in an increasingly ugly and hostile world, I need to fly to the One who can equip me for the task.

No more excuses for me.

Monday, July 9, 2018

The Sunday Sermon...

Hello, friends!

We’d like to share the Sermon from Mass on Sunday, July 8, AD 2018 (The Sixth Sunday of Trinitytide, according to the Church’s calendar).  You can hear God’s word proclaimed and explained via this video!


We’d also like to share the whole Liturgy of the Mass, in case you weren’t able to worship the Lord on Sunday, via this video!


We invite you to join us for worship on any Sunday!  We dress casually and worship begins at 10:30am at Bethany House – 408 Levee Road in Mt. Sterling – across from the MCHS football stadium.

There’s lots of parking behind Bethany House.  If you need a ride, call us at 859-404-8374.

We love Jesus and we love you, too!

The Brothers and Sisters
of Mary and Martha

Thursday, July 5, 2018

The Sunday Sermon...

Hello, friends!

We’d like to share the Sermon from Mass on Sunday, July 1, AD 2018 (The Fifth Sunday of Trinitytide, according to the Church’s calendar).  You can hear God’s word proclaimed and explained via this video!


We’d also like to share the whole Liturgy of the Mass, in case you weren’t able to worship the Lord on Sunday, via this video!


We invite you to join us for worship on any Sunday!  We dress casually and worship begins at 10:30am at Bethany House – 408 Levee Road in Mt. Sterling – across from the MCHS football stadium.

There’s lots of parking behind Bethany House.  If you need a ride, call us at 859-404-8374.

We love Jesus and we love you, too!

The Brothers and Sisters
of Mary and Martha

Sunday, April 29, 2018

A Word from the Vicar...

To the brothers and sisters of Mary and Martha…

My heart is full tonight.  For several years it seemed like the ministry and mission of Saints Mary and Martha Church was simply stagnating.  It often felt as though we were searching for the will of the Lord, but not finding it.  In the fullness of time, though, as we returned to our core mission of prayer (contemplative and intercessory), the Lord began something new in our midst.

Today, as I offered my sermon, I was struck by the fact that the "new people" equaled the number of "usual people" - even though several of our "new people" couldn't be with us today!  Then, after Mass, I was struck by the way in which the new and the usual folks are blending into a growing family.

Both before Mass (as I was highlighting the upcoming feast of Saint Athanasius and the profound significance of his Christian witness) and during "Anglican 101" (as I shared about the difference between rationalism and mysticism, how our western minds have been trained to remove sacred mystery from our faith), I was struck by the joy of standing within the tradition of the one holy catholic and apostolic Church.

What's happening at Saints Mary and Martha is not insignificant.  What's more, it's no accident that Saints Mary and Martha is growing - both spiritually and numerically.  We are disciples who are being formed in the ancient and holy faith of the Church.  Being planted in that incomparably rich soil is going to naturally lead to growth in Christ.  It is the seedbed of truth and holiness.

Laudetur Jesus Christus, in saecula saeculorum!  Amen.  (Praised be Jesus Christ, now and for ever!  Amen.)

Father Todd

Sunday, April 15, 2018

The Sunday Sermon...

Hello, friends!

We’d like to share the Sermon from Mass on Sunday, April 15, AD 2018 (The Third Sunday of Easter, according to the Church’s calendar).  You can hear God’s word proclaimed and explained via this video!


We invite you to join us for worship on any Sunday!  We dress casually and worship begins at 10:30am at Bethany House – 408 Levee Road in Mt. Sterling – across from the MCHS football stadium.

There’s lots of parking behind Bethany House.  If you need a ride, call us at 859-404-8374.

We love Jesus and we love you, too!

The Brothers and Sisters
of Mary and Martha

Monday, April 9, 2018

The Sunday Sermon...

Hello, friends!

We’d like to share the Sermon from Mass on Sunday, April 8, AD 2018 (The Second Sunday of Easter – Divine Mercy Sunday, according to the Church’s calendar).  You can hear God’s word proclaimed and explained via this video!


We invite you to join us for worship on any Sunday!  We dress casually and worship begins at 10:30am at Bethany House – 408 Levee Road in Mt. Sterling – across from the MCHS football stadium.

There’s lots of parking behind Bethany House.  If you need a ride, call us at 859-404-8374.

We love Jesus and we love you, too!

The Brothers and Sisters
of Mary and Martha

Monday, March 26, 2018

Worship With Us...

Hello, friends!

If you weren’t able to worship the Lord on Sunday, we invite you to “attend” Sunday Mass right here...

You can join in our celebration of Mass from Sunday, March 25, AD 2018 (The Passion of Our Lord: Palm Sunday, according to the Church’s calendar) and worship Jesus via this video!

(Note: On Palm Sunday the Mass doesn’t begin in the Chapel - if you listen closely, you’ll begin to hear the congregation singing as we process into the Chapel from the fellowship hall!)


We invite you to join us for worship on any Sunday!  We dress casually and worship begins at 10:30am at Bethany House – 408 Levee Road in Mt. Sterling – across from the MCHS football stadium.

There’s lots of parking behind Bethany House.  If you need a ride, call us at 859-404-8374.

We love Jesus and we love you, too!

The Brothers and Sisters
of Mary and Martha

The Sunday Sermon...

Hello, friends!

We’d like to share the Sermon from Mass on Sunday, March 25, AD 2018 (The Passion of Our Lord: Palm Sunday, according to the Church’s calendar) via this video!


We invite you to join us for worship on any Sunday!  We dress casually and worship begins at 10:30am at Bethany House – 408 Levee Road in Mt. Sterling – across from the MCHS football stadium.

There’s lots of parking behind Bethany House.  If you need a ride, call us at 859-404-8374.

We love Jesus and we love you, too!

The Brothers and Sisters
of Mary and Martha

Monday, March 19, 2018

The Sunday Sermon...

Hello, friends!

We’d like to share the Sermon from Mass on Sunday, March 18, AD 2018 (The Fifth Sunday in Lent, according to the Church’s calendar) via this video!


We invite you to join us for worship on any Sunday!  We dress casually and worship begins at 10:30am at Bethany House – 408 Levee Road in Mt. Sterling – across from the MCHS football stadium.

There’s lots of parking behind Bethany House.  If you need a ride, call us at 859-404-8374.

We love Jesus and we love you, too!

The Brothers and Sisters
of Mary and Martha

Sunday at Bethany House...

Hello, friends!

We’d like to share some of the sights and sounds from Mass on the Fifth Sunday in Lent (March 18, AD 2018).  How lovely it was to hear these beautiful voices praising the Lord!

“Be Thou My Vision”

Be thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart;
naught be all else to me save that thou art;
thou my best thought, by day or by night,
waking or sleeping, thy Presence my light.

Be thou my Wisdom, and thou my true Word;
I ever with thee and thou with me, Lord;
thou my great Father, and I thy true son,
thou in me dwelling, and I with thee one.

Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise;
thou mine inheritance, now and always;
thou and thou only, the first in my heart,
High King of heaven, my treasure thou art.

High King of heaven, my victory won,
may I reach heaven’s joys, O bright heaven’s Sun!
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
still by my Vision, O Ruler of all.
Amen.


What a joy it was for us to pray for and "give" Derrick and Dustin the Lord's Prayer.  This is the last milestone as they prepare for Holy Baptism at the Great Vigil of Easter!


When God's people pray (whether in the spoken word or in song), his heart swells with love.  This was our prayer after Holy Communion and our closing hymn.

“Make Me a Channel of Your Peace”

Make me a channel of your peace.
Where there is hatred let me bring your love.
Where there is injury, your pardon, Lord;
and where there’s doubt, true faith in you.
Oh Master, grant that I may never seek
so much to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love with all my soul.

Make me a channel of your peace.
Where there’s despair in life, let me bring hope;
where there is darkness, only your light;
and where there’s sadness, ever joy.
Oh Master, grant that I may never seek
so much to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love with all my soul.

Make me a channel of your peace.
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
in giving of ourselves that we receive;
and in dying that we’re born t’eternal life.
Oh Master, grant that I may never seek
so much to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love with all my soul.

Make me a channel of your peace.
Where there is hatred let me bring your love.
Where there is injury, your pardon, Lord;
and where there’s doubt, true faith in you.
Amen.

Monday, March 12, 2018

The Sunday Sermon...

Hello, friends!

We’d like to share the Sermon from Mass on Sunday, March 11, AD 2018 (The Fourth Sunday in Lent, according to the Church’s calendar).  You can hear God’s word proclaimed and explained via this video!


We invite you to join us for worship on any Sunday!  We dress casually and worship begins at 10:30am at Bethany House – 408 Levee Road in Mt. Sterling – across from the MCHS football stadium.

There’s lots of parking behind Bethany House.  If you need a ride, call us at 859-404-8374.

We love Jesus and we love you, too!

The Brothers and Sisters
of Mary and Martha

Worship with Us...

Hello, friends!

If you weren’t able to worship the Lord on Sunday, we invite you to “attend” Sunday Mass right here...

You can join in our celebration of Mass from Sunday, March 11, AD 2018 (The Fourth Sunday in Lent, according to the Church’s calendar) and worship Jesus via this video!


We invite you to join us for worship on any Sunday!  We dress casually and worship begins at 10:30am at Bethany House – 408 Levee Road in Mt. Sterling – across from the MCHS football stadium.

There’s lots of parking behind Bethany House.  If you need a ride, call us at 859-404-8374.

We love Jesus and we love you, too!

The Brothers and Sisters
of Mary and Martha

Thursday, March 8, 2018

The Sunday Sermon (and more!)...

Hello, friends!

We’d like to share the Sermon (and the Enrollment of Candidates for Holy Baptism, too!) from Mass on Sunday, March 4, AD 2018 – The Third Sunday in Lent, according to the Church’s calendar.

We were thrilled, this Sunday, to enroll our two Catechumens – Derrick and Dustin – as Candidates for Holy Baptism!  They will be Baptized at the Great Vigil of Easter (after sunset on Holy Saturday).  The Enrollment immediately follows Father Todd’s sermon.


Join us for worship on Sunday!  We dress casually and gather at 10:30am at Bethany House – 408 Levee Road in Mt. Sterling – across from the MCHS football stadium.

There’s lots of parking behind Bethany House.  If you need a ride, call us at 859-404-8374.

We love Jesus and we love you, too!

The Brothers and Sisters
of Mary and Martha

Monday, February 26, 2018

The Sunday Sermon...


Hello, friends!

We’d like to share the sermon from Mass on Sunday, February 25, AD 2018 – The Second Sunday in Lent, according to the Church’s calendar.


Join us for worship on Sunday!  We dress casually and gather at 10:30am at Bethany House – 408 Levee Road in Mount Sterling, across from the MCHS football stadium.

There’s lots of parking behind Bethany House.  If you need a ride, call us at 859-404-8374.

We love Jesus and we love you, too!

The Brothers and Sisters
of Mary and Martha

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Happy Seventh Anniversary!!

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

A very happy seventh anniversary to you!!

When I looked at Facebook this morning, a “memory” popped up that I had completely forgotten about.  The pictures you see below were taken during Mass on February 20, 2011 (thank you Suzie Solis!)

This was only the third Mass celebrated by Saints Mary and Martha Anglican Church (the first was on Christmas Eve 2010 and the second was on February 13, 2011).  Even though we gathered for Christmas Eve Mass, we mark our beginning point (our mission-parish anniversary) as February 13, 2011.

Deacon Emily and I had moved all the furniture out of our dining room so that we could accommodate everyone.  We worshiped in the dining room until we moved to the Herald & Stewart Chapel in July of 2011.

It’s difficult to believe all the ground we’ve covered and all the ups and downs we’ve been through.  But the Lord has been faithful in keeping his vision for Saints Mary and Martha alive and well!  What’s more, the people he’s gathered to take part in that vision have been faithful, too!

God bless you all & happy belated anniversary!

Father Todd







Monday, February 19, 2018

The Sunday Sermon...

Hello, friends!

Welcome to Saints Mary and Martha Church at Bethany House!  We pray that you’ll be blessed by Father Todd’s sermon on the First Sunday in Lent – February 18, AD 2018.

We’re located at 408 Levee Road in Mount Sterling – across the street from the MCHS football stadium.

On Sundays we gather at 10:30am to pray the Diving Mercy Chaplet and at 11:00am for Mass.  On Thursdays we gather at 7:00pm for Evening Prayer (followed by coffee and dessert!).  And, on the first Tuesday of each month, we gather at 6:00pm to pray the Holy Rosary.

Come and join us!  If you need a ride, call us at 859-404-8374!

We love Jesus and we love you, too!

The Brothers and Sisters
of Mary and Martha

Monday, February 5, 2018

Save the Dates...

Good morning, brothers and sisters!

What an amazing time we had in the Lord and with each other yesterday!!  Your voices lifted in prayer and in song, and the joy of your fellowship at “Anglican 101” was beautiful beyond words.  Speaking personally, I badly needed a touch of the Lord’s presence, and I received it – through his Word and the Blessed Sacrament, AND through your smiling faces!

Please let me know if you'd like a copy of this week's “Our Life Together”.  If so, I hope it will be a blessing to you as we pray as a community – even when we’re apart from each other.  One of things that warms my heart each time I pray the Daily Office is the knowledge that, even though I’m by myself, I’m not praying alone!  Sometimes community is found in the heart as well as “in person”.

We’ve got a lot on the calendar over the next couple of weeks, so don’t forget to save these dates...

Tuesday (Feb. 6) at 6pm in the Chapel of Saints M&M we’ll pray the Rosary for those in need of employment and searching for ways to use their talents (this is also our monthly Mission Prayer Concern);

Thursday (Feb. 8) at 7pm in the Chapel of Saints M&M we’ll pray Evening Prayer followed by coffee and dessert (our last dessert until the end of Lent and we enter the Easter season);

Sunday (Feb. 11) at 10:30am in the Chapel of Saints M&M we celebrate The Feast of Our Lord’s Transfiguration;

Tuesday (Feb. 13) at 6pm on “the Porch” we’ll gather for our Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper (and celebrate Saint Valentine’s Day early);

Ash Wednesday (Feb. 14) at 7pm in the Chapel of Saints M&M we’ll celebrated holy Mass with the Imposition of Ashes to mark the beginning of Lent.  (We won’t gather for Evening Prayer on Thursday of this week.)

Stay tuned for a message (with both directions to obtain a PDF text copy and an e-link) for the Divine Mercy Chaplet.  There are many listed in our Intercessions who need us to ask the Lord to pour out his Mercy on them!  I thank the Lord that I serve a community whose hearts so readily fly to intercede for those in need!

May the Lord fill your week with his abundant grace and mercy!

Father Todd

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Coloring Our Way through Lent...


Hey, all!

MAMA Church has a fun announcement for Lent (not the usual thing you hear about lent, is it?)!!  We’re going to color our way through Lent!

In conjunction with our “Anglican 101” classes/potlucks and our Thursday evening “Talk Time” following Evening Prayer, we’re going to color!!  Each family will receive the Stations of the Cross to color and a devotional to go with them!

So, as we talk and discuss and learn, we can begin coloring and have something special to take home each week!

By the way, stay tuned for the start-up information for “Anglican 101” and how we’ll work the potluck arrangements.

Invite some friends - the more the merrier (even during Lent)!

God bless you!

A Word from the Vicar...

Dear friends,

Over the past few weeks I’ve struggled and wrestled with a sense of feeling lost in all the busy-ness of life.  It’s as though I looked around and suddenly realized that I’m far from where I used to be, as though I’ve been carried away by something or someone.

The question in my heart, since before Advent, has been “where am I, who am I?”  It’s provoked a nervousness within me - a sense of anxiousness.  It reminds me of being on a very fast and dizzying roller coaster ride, where I’m not in control of direction or pace, and where I can’t even really control my emotional response.

I have felt as though I’m losing myself.  But, if that is so, into what am I losing myself.  If the old order of my life is disappearing, then what’s replacing it?  The answer is twofold and quite surprising - at least to me.

It’s no coincidence that I became conscious of this feeling in the weeks before Advent; though, to be sure, it’s been building within me for months or even just over a year.  In that time period more and more of my time and energy have been poured into ministry at Saints Mary & Martha Church - into defining and deepening that ministry.  And then, over the summer and into the fall, more people joined in that ministry.

Since the weeks before Advent I’ve felt both a persistent urgency to live more deeply into my vocation as a priest and a sense of fear as I see myself moving away from the stable, friendly, and comfortable old order of my life.  It’s as though Jesus has suddenly called my name and pulled me from my dreamy slumber into the doing of my dreams.

I don’t mind saying that I am anxious, bewildered, and excited all at once.  It’s the truth, simply the truth.  And the questions “where am I, who am I?” are taking on new significance.  I am in a place of transition in my priestly ministry.  I am a servant who has been called for duty in a deeper way.  Perhaps, for the first time since my Ordination, I am seeing my vows being put into full practice.

This Sunday we will read of Jesus calling the first of his disciples and how they dropped everything to follow him immediately.  This first Sunday after The Feast of Our Lord’s Baptism has always been a favorite of mine because it marks a beginning point for all of us who are followers of Jesus.  But this year it takes on a new significance for me: I’m feeling some of what Simon and Andrew, James and John must have felt.

I’m dizzy, anxious, and in love with the One who’s pulling me along.  Pray for me that my emotions won’t get the better of me, that I won’t persuade myself to get off the roller coaster!

God bless you!
Father Todd

Monday, January 8, 2018

You’re Invited…


Come and join us for The Feast of Our Lord’s Baptism on Sunday, January 14 @ 10:30am!  We’ll gather to offer our praises to him and to remember how he’s made the way for us to be with him for ever!

If you need a ride, call 859-404-8374.

God bless you!