With Shrove Tuesday (February 13) and Ash Wednesday (February 14) next week, Father Bragg's weekly Bible study on  "The Gospel of Saint Mark in the World of Saint Mark" will take place on Monday February 12 at 7:30 PM.  If you haven't made it yet to the Bible study, you can see the first 2 sessions at https://www.facebook.com/saintsofscotland. 


Sunday’s collect tells us that without charity, all is worth nothing.  So, we are to pray to God to send the Holy Ghost into our spirit to give us the gift of charity, bond of peace, and all virtues.  These things we cannot attain ourselves but only through the Holy Ghost who comes into our hearts.  And from the heart, these gifts of charity, peace, and virtue grow.

In the Epistle, if you have the gift of eloquent speech but you don’t have charity then your great speech becomes like noise.  No one can hear your wonderful & beautiful ideas because you are not charitable.   Also, if you have the gift of prophecy, understand the mysteries & knowledge, and have faith but have no charity then you are nothing.  You are reduced to nobody. 

The Epistle  defines charity as the greatest among the throne:  hope, faith, and charity.  So what is charity?  It is agape - a divine love.  Charity is patient & kind, believes & hopes, and endures all things.  Charity does not envy; it is not puffed up & unseemly, is not easily provoked, and does not rejoice in evil.  It is something an adult could understand.  When we were kids, we saw only ourselves in this world.  But as adults, we see not only ourselves but also others as well.  We have grown up.  So, love and charity without kindness is springtime without flowers.  But love & charity blessed with kindness are married in heaven.

In the Gospel, we see agape or charity by Jesus & the beggar.  Here Jesus took the twelve up to Jerusalem so that what was written by the prophets may come to fruition.  Jesus is to be delivered unto the gentiles, mocked, spitefully entreated, and spitted on.  They shall scourge him; they shall put him to death; and he shall rise again on the third day.  The twelve apostles did not know what these meant because these things were hidden from them.

As Jesus is coming near to Jericho, a blind man named Bartimaeus waited for Jesus because the beggar recognized Jesus as a messiah when he called him “thou Son of David, have mercy on me.”  The others rebuked the beggar to his peace.  But he cried again the second time.  There, Jesus stood and commanded the beggar to be brought to him.  Jesus asks what should I do unto thee?  The beggar immediately asked to gain his sight.  Here, Jesus showed his charity of healing.  And the beggar showed his love by praising & following Jesus up to Jerusalem.  The beggar could have just left Jesus after he was healed.  Instead, he showed his love for Jesus and followed him.

Now let us compare that with the story of the young rich man in Luke 18:18-30.  There, a rich young man called Jesus “Good Master” – a title reserved for God only.  And the rich man asks:  what shall I do to be saved?  Jesus tells him you know the commandments: do not commit adultery, do not kill; do not steal, do not bear false witness, and honor thy father & mother.  But Jesus does not say do not covet because he knew the rich man coveted and was possessed by wealth.  The rich man then says I have kept all these commandments.  But Jesus tells him you lack one thing.  Sell all, give to the poor, and follow him.  Rich man was sorrowful and walked away.  The rich recognized the messiah, asked all the right questions, and received the right answers.  Yet, he simply walked away from Jesus because the rich had no charity to give to the poor.

If you compare & contrast the two stories, it can be summed up like this:  the beggar was blind, had faith, and was healed.  He can see both physically & spiritually because of his faith and charity.  The rich man can see physically but he was spiritually blind.  He had the faith, but he had no charity for the poor.  Nobody is saved by giving all his wealth to the poor.  The rich man wasn’t saved because he was rich.  He wasn’t saved - because he couldn’t give.  In the Old Testament, there were many who were wealthy and saved - Abraham, David, and Solomon. 

The lesson in  Quinquagesima is that you have a choice – be possessed by the love of wealth & self - or be filled with charity of giving of yourself to others & to God Almighty.  This is all too familiar with Luke 1:53, KJV: He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away.  Do you know who I see as I read this?  I see too often – myself.
In the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.  Amen.

-- Fr. Anton Yoe

To do good, and to distribute, forget not, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased
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Sunday Services, 7:45 AM, 9:00 AM, & 11:15 AM (for online participation for the services go to: https://www.facebook.com/saintsofscotland/ )

Monday, 7:30 PM, Bible study with Father Bragg, church undercroft, "The Gospel of Saint Mark in the World of Saint Mark"

Shrove Tuesday – February 13 at 7:00 PM  Evening Prayer service followed by a pancake and champagne supper in the undercroft (the Anglican version of Mardi Gras)

Ash Wednesday – February 14 Holy Communion services with Imposition of Ashes a 12 noon & 
7:00 PM

Every Friday evening at 7:00PM starting February 16 -- Stations of the Cross and Lenten Supper. – If you can provide a soup and bread supper on one of these Friday evenings, please so indicate on the sign-up sheet on the bulletin board in the undercroft

Saturday February 17, MEN'S GROUP, 8:30 AM, breakfast by Chef Extraordinaire Claude Crump, Grits by Fr. Roddy, Bible study by Fr. Bragg.  Great food, Bible study and fellowship

Monday February 26, 7:30 PM, Vestry meetings, members of the parish are always welcome

The 2024 Tithing Envelopes are available in the undercroft.  Please sign up and take a box.  PLEASE DO NOT CONTINUE TO USE THE ENVELOPES FROM 2023!

The 2024 Altar Flower Chart has been posted on the bulletin board in the undercroft.  Please consider signing up for a Sunday!
Updated List of Needs for MaRIH Center (crisis pregnancy center)

MaRIH Center with its all volunteer staff provides help to mothers-to-be and mothers in need.  If you can provide some of the items that are needed, please do so. (You can leave the donations where the food for the food bank is collected on the pew in the undercorft.)

Especially Needed
 In Bold and  * are a critical need.

Diapers (sizes newborn, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5*, & 6*)
Baby wipes*
Diaper rash ointment
Spring/Summer Clothing: 0-3 month*, 3-6 month*, 2T
Winter Clothing:0-3 months*, 3-6 month*, 12-18 month*, 2T*
Baby shampoo
Baby blankets*
Formula: Simulac Advance Formula*
Formula: other but not recalled
Wash clothes
Hooded towels
Grocery gift cards*

Food Donations 
Please help this month with a food donation if you are able. Christ House is very thankful for the food we provide to them each month. Please also buy low sugar cereals (and not the kid's types that have lots of sugar).  Current needs include the following:
• canned meats (chicken, corned beef, spam)
• peanut butter
• jelly
• tuna
• canned vegetables (corn, green beans - (regular and low sodium)
• individual fruit cups (low sugar)
• canned fruit (low sugar)
• cereal (low sugar)
• pasta (regular and gluten-free)
• instant potatoes
• Macaroni & cheese kits
• Coffee, cooking oil, flour, sugar
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St. Andrew & St. Margaret of Scotland
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