This past Friday was the Feast of Saint Thomas. It was also the 15th anniversary of my ordination as a priest. The day of the ordination there were many jokes about ‘Thomas the doubter’ and the 12 of us being ordained. But I think Thomas is a misunderstood Saint; his doubt is not about an intellectual challenge to Jesus resurrection, but about his grief at having lost his friend and not understanding what this ‘Resurrection’ could mean. He longed to reach out and touch Christ again, and Christ, being one who always gives, gave himself again to Thomas.
Over the 15 years I’ve been ordained I’ve learned more things than I ever thought I would need to know- these past months are a prime example of that- learning, sometimes from scratch, what it means to be a priest at this time and in this place… it now includes video editing, live casting, podcasts, scripting, filming, zoom meetings (O Lord save us from Zoom meetings!), Spiritual Communion, socially distanced funerals, closed building management and pastoral calls and emails without visits, I’ve still got lots to learn. And while I often grieve for the way things were, I am finding that I am surprised by how Christ is presenting himself in new opportunities- conversations about prayer and scripture, contacts from new people who are discovering our new online presence, requests for prayer and praying in groups more regularly albeit via phone or zoom, more opportunities to share resources of our faith like music. One way to see our future is to understand that Christ is offering himself to us again and asking us to reach out and touch. I hope we do, and like Thomas will find joy in sharing the risen life of Christ.
Pax et Bonum,
SUNDAY’S WITH BISHOP SUSAN
Sunday worship with Bishop Susan continues at 10am via the Diocesan Facebook page in a shorter format for the summer. There will be a number of guest speakers including PWRDF (this Sunday) and in the coming weeks Archbishop Anne Germond our Metropolitan and Archbishop Linda Nicols, our Primate.
WITH A SONG IN MY HEART
Every Tuesday Richard Hansen and Mike will present ‘With a Song in my heart’ via video on our Facebook and YouTube channels- we’re now presenting songs that have meant a lot to members of our congregation- thanks to all who sent in their suggestions.
Through the summer, Mike will live-stream Compline Tuesday-Thursday at 8pm on our Facebook page.
For those wishing to say Compline on their own on Monday and Friday there is a specially created video on our Facebook page and YouTube channel- which you can pause and mute to pray in your own time at your own pace.
You can find the Friday video and then access our YouTube channel here:
This Wednesday 7th July 2020 at 10am, join us for online ZOOM coffee hour.
Topic: SAINT JAMES ONLINE COFFEE HOUR
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 826 0575 7834
READING THE BIBLE:
Each week our email blast lists daily readings for the week for those who want to take some time each day to reflect on the scriptures. The suggested readings are the Gospel reading appointed in the daily lectionary for the celebration of the Eucharist. This week:
Monday 6th July Matthew 9.18-26
Tuesday Matthew 9.32-38
Wednesday Matthew 10.1-7
Thursday Matthew 10.7-15
Friday Matthew 10.16-23
Saturday John 15.12-17 (Feast of St. Benedict of Nursia)
Sunday Matthew 13.1-9, 18-23 (Join Bishop Susan and PWRDF on Sunday at 10am)
PRAYER OF THE WEEK
A prayer By Saint Benedict, whose feast we remember this week…
Gracious and holy Father,
please give me:
intellect to understand you;
reason to discern you;
diligence to seek you;
wisdom to find you;
a spirit to know you;
a heart to meditate upon you;
ears to hear you;
eyes to see you;
a tongue to proclaim you;
a way of life pleasing to you;
patience to wait for you;
and perseverance to look for you.
a perfect end,
your holy presence.
A blessed resurrection,
And life everlasting.