Greetings!

With the 12 Days of Christmas now over, we begin the six weeks of Epiphany amidst this fourth wave of COVID. Here at St Mark's we also begin 2022 remembering back to our founding in 1822, and looking ahead with celebrations into our Third Century.

These still are tough times with already a postponement of the visit of our area BIshop Riscylla because of the current suspension of indoor worship and gatherings. Plus to read some new year's media we as a church may not be around much past 2040 let alone to 2122.

In our mainline churches we hear and know that overall attendance and givings are down. Members are devoted but mostly older and traditional. Of the many reasons cited for this decline an important one is: “The idea of modernity, which is based on science, is somehow intrinsically against religion. There is a widely held view out there that science and religion can’t mix,” says Anglican statistician the Revd Neil Elliott.

At the same time it seems that some growing churches mostly hold to anti-science, anti-vaxxer, anti-climate change beliefs. Why are they increasing while we are decreasing?

We are fortunate at St. Mark's to have several parishioners who have thought, studied and written about this conundrum, and can help us navigate the science and religion dialogue that is so necessary. With them over the next months we will find ways to explore these questions that are especially relevant to our children and grandchildren, and the future of the church.

For this Sunday's 10:30 am service on zoom with the Epiphany Gospel reading of the wedding at Cana, we are pleased to have the Rev'd Dr Graham Cotter reflect in his sermon from his lifetime of devotion to 'wedding' the insights and truths of Christian faith with scientific methods and discoveries. And what a lifetime of 97 years Graham has had - so we will take time to celebrate his birthday as well!

Faithfully yours,
William, Pastor and Priest

PS From my homily on Grace two Sundays ago, take a read of how some are using this as their word of the year, and how a professor is teaching his students about Grace.