Jesus said to Philip. “Where are we to buy bread for these people to eat?”….Philip answered him, “Six months wages would not buy enough bread for each of them to get a little.”…Andrew Simon Peters brother, said to him, “There is a boy here who has five barley loafs and two fish. But what are they among so many people?…and from the fragments of five barley loafs, left by those who had eaten, they filled twelve baskets. (John 6: 5-13) NRSV.
The little boy in gifting to Jesus his five barley loaves and two fish enabled Jesus to work a mighty miracle through them. Just like the boy in John’s gospel story you and I are invited to surrender the gift of who we are, in the service of Christ. I know that some of you reading this may feel you have nothing worthwhile to offer. I myself had that same feeling when I was pondering a return to ministry, or you might feel that “I am too old or to bent over” too be of any use, in the service of God.
I would like to share with you the story of Cork man who like the little boy offered his loaves and fishes to Jesus and in turn feed thousands of the worlds hungry. His name was Jim Keating and I was privileged to have him as a friend and a mentor. To the little boy in me Jim was always a crippled old man with twisted fingers, who sat on his bed by the window peering up Eason’s Avenue near the North Cathedral. Jim had at one time been a carpenter, but rheumatoid arthritis had ravaged his body turning it into a painful twisted wreck. Jim while confined to his bed read about the plight of the hungry in the third world and began to collect green shield stamps in an effort to help ease their plight and many an evening I spent by his bedside sticking Green Shield Stamps to books while drinking from his fountain of knowledge and understanding. From such meagre beginnings developed an army of volunteers that eventually led to the foundation of the Mother Teresa organisation in Cork. But his house became more than a drop off point for charitable donations, it was a hot bed of theological debate, fierce debates were won and lost by men of all religions and none, by conservatives and liberals, it was where I was first introduced to the concept that “we all have something to offer”, to liberation theology, to Christ Ring whom I mistook for a docker, and to Mother Theresa. (Those of you who were at my licensing would know it was Mother Teresa who chose the names of my two younger sisters.) Thousands of men, women and children, throughout the third world were fed and offered new hope of a bright tomorrow, by a crippled old man whose own hands were too bent and twisted to allow him to put on his own shirt, Yet hands that feed the world, because like the little boy in Johns Gospel story Jim offered his meagre Loaves and Fishes to Christ. And God took Jims gifts and used them transforming the lives of others. God too can take your gifts and mine and use them to transform the life of his Church and the community we live in.
Youth Club, On Thursday 23rd July with the assistance of Aoife Ladd and Elise Saureliere we took a group of 15 young people from our the St James Youth Group up to the Cork City by train. Our activities for the day included a game of Ten Pin Bowling (where the Rectors blushes were saved with the help of Victoria Woulfe from Buttevant!) We also managed in the course of the day to take in the latest Harry Potter movie. (Which I am tempted to say was just like any other day in the Church of Ireland Theology College!!!). Before getting them all back safely to Mallow we fed and watered them in that old Scottish Restaurant Mac Donald’s!
Buttevant: On Wednesday 29th of July a Service of Commemoration was held in St Johns Buttevant. In all close to seventy people attended, it was great to see some old friends and new join us in commemorating and giving thanks for those who have gone before us in faith. I would like to thank our organist Edward Winters, our choir, Bertie Daly, Ita Daly, the friends of St Johns and all those who by their presence helped make it a special occasion for all of us.
Harvest Services in Mallow Union.
St. James Mallow: 3.00pm Sunday September 20th Preacher: Revd. Daniel Owens, Rural Dean, Rector of Cobh and Glanmire.
St Mary’s Doneraile: 3.00pm Sunday September 27th Preacher Very Revd. Alan Marley, Dean of Cloyne
St Mary’s Castletownroche: 3.00pm Sunday 11th October. Preacher to be confirmed
Church 21 Over the summer, our Church 21 delegates Ruth Sherlock, Diane Buckley, Susan Brennan, Avril Buckley, Emanuel Adebisi and Denis Mac Carthy, have been reviewing our progress so far and accessing the responses to the topics raised at our open meeting held through the Union. Among the topics reviewed and discussed were, What is encouraging in the Life of the Parish, What are our hopes and dreams for the Parish in the next 3-5 years, What are our skills, strengths and weaknesses? What importance do we place on our Ministry of Welcome and how can we develop it further? From there we went to explore the area of Nurture and Worship, in this section we examined how, accessible are our forms of service and how relevant are they to the lives of our people? What opportunities are there to develop and nurture faith outside of church services? Moving on from here we examined the topic of Ministry & Service to Others. In this area we looked at What are the principles on which a Church should operate, how ministry should be shared, the distinction between ministry to children and ministry to young people, what is our vision for ministry in our local church and how does this reflected in how our church endeavours to meet the needs of the local community? We concluded by trying to identify the real needs in our local area and asked ourselves the question; which of these needs do we feel God might be asking our parish to address?
On Friday 11 September our Church 21 delegates will be heading to Dublin for the Church 21 Conference. We ask for your prayers as we seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit to aid us in our journey of discernment and renewal.
Parish Web Site. Charlotte Kitto, has been working on designing our web site and we hope to have it launched by the time you are reading this. I would like to thank Charlotte for all the hard work she has put into it, so please do look us up.
P.S. Nigel, I have learned that platforms are not shoes!
Baptism on August 8th William Thomas Ladd-Finn son to Shirley and David was baptised into the community of faith in St Mary’s Church Castletownroche.
Bereavement. On Sunday August 2nd Robert (Bertie) Ludgate from Ballyclough passed away unexpectedly. Bertie was a thorough gentleman, who farmed all his life and who had a great passion for sport, he was a dedicated member of Ballyclough GAA Club, he co-managed the Ballyclough Ladies Football team when they won the County Final a number of years ago. On the evening of his reception in to St James Church the Ballyclough GAA Club provided a guard of honour. Bertie was also very active in his local Fine Gael branch and a number of years ago he was honoured for his service by being made a Peace Commissioner. We would like to extend our sympathy to his sisters Dorothy, Ruby, Evelyn, and to his brothers Tom and John. And to all his relatives and friends.
Normal Weekday Services. in St James Church Mallow
Morning Prayer 9.30am, Monday, Thursday & Friday.
The Eucharist Wednesday 11.30 am.
First Wednesday of the month Celebration of Wholeness & Healing, 11.30am