Letter from the Vicar and Notices

From the Vicar

My dearest sisters and brothers,
I have found myself saying a particular phrase several times over the last few weeks,
‘We are in the business of miracles.’
I strongly believe this, as a matter of faith, and also from my own experience. They
happen in all shapes and colours, small, long, disruptive and subtle. We only need to
be aware of them.
In the Gospel reading this week, we are in the presence of one of Jesus’ most famous
miracles, the Feeding of the Five Thousand. We can be overwhelmed by the scale of
the event, and we can question how it all happened. The miracle is a wonderful
example of God’s generosity.
Jesus turns the miracle into a personal encounter:
He takes the food to the people.
He is present with them as they feed from his generosity.
He is present with them in the same way as when he heals.
We are called to show the same generosity that God shows us in the Eucharist. As the
Letter of James tells us:
If a brother or sister is naked and lacks daily food, and one of you says to them,
‘Go in peace; keep warm and eat your fill’,
and yet you do not supply their bodily needs, what is the good of that?
As a Church we are to be generous to those who are without. By showing the same
generosity as Jesus, we can reveal God who wishes for all to be fed. It is not just
generosity with food, but also generosity of time and presence. Jesus doesn’t just
throw the food at the crowd, he gives it to them as he walks among them. It is not just
food, it is presence. Jesus will say as much further in the passage:
The bread of God is that which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.
I am the bread of life.
When those who are fed can see that God loves them for who they are, they will be
able to join us in saying:
Sir, give us this bread always.
And in such a time, we will be able to say we have witnessed a miracle.

Father Chris

Notices

>Meditation Group: meets in the Lady Chapel, Wednesdays 12 noon.
Details Margaret Maclagan (359 9215) or Pat Evans (358 0127).
> Lunch at Regatta on Avon next Sunday at 12 noon.
RSVP to the parish office by 1 August.
> Bible Study Group meets next on 6 August, 7:15 pm in the parish lounge.
Details Peter Oakley (960 0974).
> Peace Lecture: Kevin Clements, 10 August 7:00 pm at Knox, also workshops
11 August, 9:30 am to 12:30 pm. Details on flyers.
> The Community of the Sacred Name celebrates its 125th anniversary on 11 August
with a service at 11:00 am in the Community Chapel. Details on poster.
> Spring Choral Festival 19 August: RSCM combined choir invites participants.
> Double knitting or 4 ply wool, any colour, needed to make hats etc for distribution
through Walsh House. Remnants of winter material would also be useful.
Please place in box at the back of the church.
> Electronic Devices wanted for recycling: old mobile phones, tablets etc.
> Book Swap: in the parish lounge. Koha to parish.
> Inasmuch basket: please continue to support the City Mission with your gifts
of groceries and other household items, particularly during the winter months.
Suggested items: baked beans, spaghetti, tinned soup, tinned fruit, cereal,
toilet paper, toothpaste and soap.