In today’s Gospel, Jesus tells his followers three parables about the kingdom of heaven. The kingdom of heaven is like a farmer who finds weeds sown in his wheat field. Instead of pulling up the weeds straight away, the man tells his servants to wait and see: wait for the crops to grow, before making a judgement. There is both good and evil in the world, and Jesus tells his disciples to wait patiently, to observe with a discerning eye, and to leave the judgement to God.
The kingdom of heaven is like a tiny mustard seed that grows into a strong, vigorous plant. Or the kingdom of heaven is like a small measure of yeast, that is enough to make a whole batch of bread rise. A small number of believers in a community, living out the values of the kingdom of heaven, committed to love of God and love of neighbour, can make a big difference. The Lord calls his disciples to be that tiny seed, or that small measure – living in the world, and building God’s kingdom.
Shield and Defender: Family Fun Wednesday 26 July, 1.30-3.30pm. Take part in an exciting family workshop and take a look at the fascinating range of heraldic shields at Ushaw. You can even try your hand at designing one for you and your family! Tickets £3.
Jazz : Jo Harrop Quartet Friday 28 July at 7.30pm. Jo Harrop is a young jazz singer with the rich and captivating tones of one twice her age. Inspired by great musicians such as Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday, Jo offers you an evening of classic jazz as the perfect end to your week. Why not come along and support another young musician at Ushaw? Tickets £7.
3-day Walking Retreat: Three days with walks of 8-10 miles through the beautiful countryside around Minsteracres, with time for prayer, reflection and sharing of the beauty of creation. You will need suitable walking boots and warm, weatherproof clothing. A packed lunch will be provided each day. The walk will be led by the Minsteracres team. Tuesday 25-Thursday 27 July. Cost £120.
Sister Scholastica, the AoS chaplain at the Port of Sunderland, takes woolly hats on board ships entering the port as a welcome gift for the seamen, many of whom come from south-east Asia and are totally unprepared for the cold North Sea. As a practical way of showing support for the people who bring us goods from abroad it is a very easy thing for anyone who can knit or crochet to do. If you have the skills, please take a photocopied pattern from the pile at the back of church. Completed hats can be handed in at church, and will be sent on to Sr Scholastica.
Planned Giving (including monthly and quarterly standing orders) £5684.50, Loose Plate £ 2188.21, Grand Total £7872.71.Thank you for continued generosity.
If you know who are the owners of the bikes stored in the racks at the side of the church, please let Fr Andrew know.
Volunteers are needed to staff the fortnightly Fair Trade stall after morning Mass. It’s not too big a job: you need to arrive a bit early for Mass, set up the stall, collect a cash float, sell the Fair Trade products and put the stock away afterwards. If you’re interested in joining the rota, please speak to Fr Andrew or to Pauline Butler.
The parish office will be closed on Tuesday 25 July.
Please pray for Peter Stoddart, ordained a priest of our diocese by Bishop Seamus on Saturday, 22 July.