It appears we will be welcomed home this Sunday (September 13). Services will be at 10:30 as normal, but that is about where normal is going to end. We will be experiencing a “new normal” for a bit before we return to the way things were before the pandemic impacted us.
Masks will be mandatory and physical distancing will be in effect. We will also be disinfecting and cleaning like crazy. Overflow attendance made necessary by social distancing will be in the hall. Below is a list of most everything you may expect when you arrive.
As your Vicar my primary goal has been to see that we all arrive safely back at church. My goal remains the same, everybody safe.
I celebrate that fact that a majority of our people were able to experience worship online while we have been away, but sadly some were not. So we have some herding to do to locate our missing sheep and bring them home to the sheepfold, either in the church building or by assisting them to experience worship online.
If you are hesitant to return on Sunday please know we understand and support you. Please continue to join the services online and if you have problems accessing them let us help you. Just give us a call or send an email.
I don’t know about you, but in the midst of all the excitement in the last few months I found the Holy Spirit everywhere I looked. We loved God more than ever. We cared for our neighbors. We loved each other as Christ loved us. We worshipped, small groups prospered, finances mostly intact. The hungry were fed. And in the meantime we learned a lot of new skills that will enhance our ministries in the future. God has been extremely good to us. Thanks be to God. Mike+
BEFORE YOU COME TO CHURCH
- Ask yourself whether you currently have any of the following symptoms. If your answer is “yes,” please stay home and watch the service at https://www.facebook.com/stpaulsmarfatx/
- Fever (99°F or higher)
- Muscle aches
- Cough (new)
- Shortness of breath (new)
- Unexpected fatigue
- Sore throat
- Loss of taste or smell
- Other cold symptoms
- Have a mask ready. Everyone must wear a mask in order to enter the building. If you arrive at church without a mask, one will be provided.
- Seating in the sanctuary will be limited. Overflow seating will be offered in our hall.
- Be mindful of physical distancing. Follow posted instructions regarding traffic flow.
- Enter through the main sanctuary entrance on Highland Avenue.
- Ushers provide you with a mask if necessary.
- Ushers will seat you. In order to maintain physical distancing, congregants will be seated six feet apart as the pews are marked, from the front of the sanctuary to the back, and will be dismissed from the back of the sanctuary to the front. Members of the same household will be seated together.
- Expect changes to the service.
- Hymns will be sung by our organist only (Beth has a beautiful voice); there will be no congregational singing although quiet humming would be acceptable.
- Communion will be brought to you. Instead of the chalice we will have individual communion cups
- There will be no coffee hour.
As we have done since our pandemic responses have been in place, please let me know if you wish to receive communion at home or wish for a pastoral visit in person or by Zoom. I will look forward to seeing you, one way or another, on Sunday.
Hymn of the Month by Beth Kerzee
September Hymn of Month: #692 I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say
Hymn Tune: KINGSFOLD adopt. R. V. Williams
Hymn Tune in hymnal is #292
1 I heard the voice of Jesus say,
"Come unto me and rest;
lay down, O weary one, lay down
your head upon my breast."
I came to Jesus as I was,
weary and worn and sad;
I found in him a resting place,
and he has made me glad.
2 I heard the voice of Jesus say,
"Behold, I freely give
the living water; thirsty one,
stoop down and drink, and live."
I came to Jesus, and I drank
of that life-giving stream;
my thirst was quenched, my soul revived,
and now I live in him.
3 I heard the voice of Jesus say,
"I am this dark world's Light;
look unto me, your morn shall rise,
and all your days be bright."
I looked to Jesus and I found
in him my Star, my Sun;
and in that light of life I'll walk,
'til trav'ling days are done.
Horatius Bonar (19 December 1808 – 31 July 1889) was a Scottish churchman and poet. He is principally remembered as a prodigious hymnodist. Friends knew him as Horace Bonar.
He was the son of James Bonar (1758-1821), Solicitor of Excise for Scotland, and his wife Marjory Pyott Maitland. The family lived in the Broughton district of Edinburgh. He was educated in Edinburgh.
He came from a long line of ministers who served a total of 364 years in the Church of Scotland. One of eleven children, his brothers John James and Andrew Alexander were also ministers of the Free Church of Scotland He married Jane Catherine Lundie in 1843 and five of their young children died in succession. Towards the end of their lives, one of their surviving daughters was left a widow with five small children and she returned to live with her parents.
In 1853, Bonar received an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from the University of Aberdeen.
He died at this home, 10 Palmerston Road in the Grange, 31 July 1889. They are buried together in the Canongate Kirkyard in the lair of Alexander Bonar (and his parents), near the bottom of the eastern extension.
In 1843 he married Jane Catherine Lundie. She died in 1876.
Their children included the Rev Horatius Ninian Bonar (b.1860).
He was brother to the Rev John James Bonar of Greenock (1803-1891).
He entered the Ministry of the Church of Scotland. At first he was put in charge of mission work at St. John's parish in Leith and settled at Kelso. He joined the Free Church at the time of the Disruption of 1843, and in 1867 was moved to Edinburgh to take over the Chalmers Memorial Church (named after his teacher at college, Dr. Thomas Chalmers). In 1883, he was elected Moderator of the General Assembly of the Free Church of Scotland.
He was a voluminous and highly popular author. He also served as the editor for "The Quarterly journal of Prophecy" from 1848 to 1873 and for the "Christian Treasury" from 1859 to 1879. In addition to many books and tracts was a prolific hymnodist; many of his hymns, e.g., "I heard the voice of Jesus say" and "Blessing and Honour and Glory and Power," became known all over the English-speaking world. A selection of these was published as Hymns of Faith and Hope (3 series). His last volume of poetry was My Old Letters. Bonar was also author of several biographies of ministers he had known, including "The Life of the Rev. John Milne of Perth" in 1869, and in 1884 "The Life and Works of the Rev. G. T. Dodds", who was married to Bonar's daughter and who died in 1882 while serving as a missionary in France.
His hymns, which number over 140, include:
- All Praise to Him Who Built the Hills
- All That I Was
- Fill thou my life, O Lord, my God
- I heard the Voice of Jesus say
- I Was a Wandering Sheep
- Thy way, not mine, O Lord
- Here, O my Lord, I see Thee face to face
- A few more years shall roll
- Come Lord and tarry not
- O love of God, how strong and true
Some of his books include: