Letter from the Vicar & Notices

From the Vicar…

My dearest sisters and brothers,
I am the bread of life.
Whoever comes to me will never be hungry,
and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.
Jesus can say this as much as he wants, he can feed five thousand people with just two
fish and five loaves of bread, but there are many who will still complain and grumble.
Whatever Jesus says, they are going to criticise, they will have their little dig. It
doesn’t matter what he says, they would have a go at him anyway.
Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know?
How can he now say, “I have come down from heaven”?
They know about him, they know his history, they know all about him, what can he
possibly be doing telling them anything. They are assuming a lot of things, while
ignoring what he is saying.
We can be like those who are grumbling about Jesus. Most of the time we will not
know someone’s story, where they are from, what they are going through. But many
times, we will assume we do. And if they are saying something we don’t like or agree
with, we can easily dismiss them with what we think is their history, rather than
empathise with what is actually present in front of us.
We won’t always know the events that have happened in the morning before people
come to church. The person in the pew next to you may have had a sleepless night
worried about their finances. They may seem grumpy, yet they are tired and don’t
have the emotional resources to be happy. The person who is always up and perky
may really be acting and hiding a great sadness.
We hear the Gospel and we wonder how those who had witnessed such wonderful
miracles and heard such divine utterances could behave in such a way. Yet when we
assume we know someone’s whole story, or don’t seek to understand why someone
behaves in a certain way, we are acting in the same way as those who grumbled about
Jesus. Let us not assume we know all things about all people.
Let us greet and love everyone we meet with loving ears and open hearts, no matter
what we think we know.

Father Chris


Parish Notices

> St Michael’s School Open Day: Wednesday 8:30 am to 3:00 pm.
> Meditation Group meets in the Lady Chapel, Wednesdays 12 noon.
Details Margaret Maclagan (359 9215) or Pat Evans (358 0127).
> Humans of our Prisons—the real stories behind the statistics: an initial collection
of compelling and very moving stories. This is a project of the Howard League,
supported by Anglican Advocacy. Launch event Thursday 6:30 pm at Community
Law, 198 Montreal Street.
> Choral Music with Oriana: next Sunday 1:10 pm at The Piano. Details on poster.
> Spring Choral Festival next Sunday: RSCM combined choir invites participants.
Details from Paul Ellis.
> Bible Study Group meets next on 20 August, 7:15 pm in the parish lounge.
Details Peter Oakley (960 0974).
> Centre for Ethics and Spirituality Christ’s College: the role of photography in
public perceptions of private suffering. Thomas C Brauer, Vicar of Sumner–Redcliffs,
questions whether such photography helps grow compassion, or creates compassion
fatigue. Does photography of violence educate and inform, or perpetuate conflict and
pain? 30 August, 7:30 pm, in the Chapman Room. Details on poster.
> Double knitting or 4 ply wool, any colour, needed to make hats etc for distribution
through Walsh House. 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.