Musing on Mark – Shame Overcome

Musing on Mark 5, we to the end Shame overcome = faith? As a trustee of Thame Foodbank I’ve learnt that the main obstacle that people in need have to overcome in order to ask for help is shame - shame that they have failed to provide for their family, shame that they have to admit to it to strangers, shame that they have to admit to it to their children. Shame is a powerful force affecting our behaviour in society and it’s shame that the two people in our reading have to overcome to ask Jesus for help. Jairus was the leader of a synagogue, a public position of great honour and social standing. Synagogues we’re not necessarily buildings but could be just the village meeting place. Here people would discuss both scripture and village life – the blessings and difficulties of both. Social and religious life was inseparable. The leader of the synagogue would supervise public works, local laws,  the schooling...
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Musing on Mark – Mysterious Power

Musing on Mark 4, 26 to 34 This week we have 2 of Jesus parables of the Kingdom. What do you make of the first (26-29)? Is God the sower and reaper? Is the ground us? What represents the kingdom of God? Or is it simple illustrating that the kingdom of God is about the mysterious power of the seed itself, germinating in the ground and growing away all by itself?   The parable of the mustard seed is familiar enough but what is it telling us about the kingdom of God? Mustard had to be carefully controlled. From small seeds it grew wild and invasive and could take over your garden! A good image of the kingdom of God? It’s black seeds are popular with the birds! (An image of the kingdom of God providing for its populations, and for all birds, the clean and the unclean scavengers? (no scarecrows in Gods kingdom!) Left alone it can grow to around 3m high – modest but everywhere!...
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Musing on Mark

Musing on Mark 3, 20 to the end family matters When I told my mum that I was giving up my architectural practice and entering the ministry full time, she thought I was mad to give up  the ‘safety’ of a profession (this quite overlooked that this ‘safe’ profession had been through a period of over 50% unemployment less than 10 years previously from which I had been extremely fortunate to survive with only small debt). ‘Can’t you do it in your spare time like you are now?’ (I was a reader) she asked. But as some of you will know, when God calls you, there’s little choice but to follow your vocation. Has your family ever told you that they think you’re crazy, an extremist, taking things to far as you try to live as a follower of Jesus? In the first couple of chapters of Mark we see Jesus response to his vocation. He tours through Galilee healing the sick, driving out...
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Messy Church – 13th June

This Sunday Messy Church will be back at Chearsley Village Hall (outside).  We still can’t offer you food, but if you bring a picnic and blanket, we would love to sit and eat “together” at the end. Our theme is “Toilet Twinning” so we will be doing lots of crafts and games based on toilets! Can you lob a loo roll into a loo? Throw a dice and race to build a compost loo Make poo out of Weetabix, then plop it into the compost loo, adding sawdust to stop the smell Play a memory game with all the bathroom items we take for granted Get messy with toilet paper and glue as we make a collage together Hear the story of Rachel, a schoolgirl from Africa, whose life was transformed by a toilet. Write your prayers graffiti style on the back of a toilet door Spend  a penny – can you get your pennies into the glass jar We would love...
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Musing on the Pentecost readings

John 15, 26 to 27 and 16, 4b to 15 The Spirit of truth and conscience. It’s a long time since I’ve read any Dom Camilo books, but the abiding image in my mind, rightly or wrongly, is of a priest with two small people, one on each shoulder, whispering in his ear, good thoughts from one side, temptations from the other. It echos Paul’s writings about his inner battles between what he wants and what God wants of him. Some call that inner voice that makes us feel uncomfortable when we act in selfish and unloving ways our ‘conscience’. Jesus makes clear that this is the Holy Spirit at work. I suggest that the Spirit is at work in people in this way whether one is a believer or not. What do you think? Jesus describes the Holy Spirit as ‘the Helper’. He also calls him (I use the convention of ‘he/him’ though the Bible gives no gender as God is all genders)...
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Thy Kingdom Come Day of Prayer 17th May

Our commitment as a Benefice is to pray as a community continuously for the 12 hours 07:00 – 19:00. This year we are opening a “virtual prayer room” for bookings, using the 24/7 Prayer site. There is no actual online “room”, those praying promise, by booking a “slot”, to pray during the period they have booked, in their own homes, in private.   The 24/7 Prayer site is a booking system that allows anyone to commit to a “slot” – 30 minutes, 60 minutes or longer – during which time they will pray for whatever is on their minds, whether this be for the benefice, the church, the world.   We simply ask people to commit to actively praying in the slot they choose. The site for booking is on: https://www.24-7prayer.com/emailredirect/b79b48dd646ef0af02646b332a92d855/ There is no need to log-in, simply click on “Book as Guest” and leave your email so we know who’s praying! Thy Kingdom Come is all about praying for people to come to know the amazing, life-transforming love of...
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Lent Appeal

Lenten Giving With schools once again closed due to the pandemic, it is clear that many students still do not have access to a computer, laptop or data, and this lack of access to digital technology for all pupils, is demonstrating existing inequalities in households. You can go a little way towards helping some of our local young people this Lent, by making a donation to: 3 Villages Lent Appeal Lent is not just a time for “giving things up”, but for simply “giving” too! All funds raised will be donated to Mandeville School in Aylesbury, and spent on IT support for students in need of assistance. Please make online payments to Alicia Howard  20 74 09  50983772 referencing your payment LENT or cash/cheque in envelopes clearly marked LENT to Great Barn, School Lane, Chearsley. Many thanks, Alicia (Churchwarden at St Nicholas’ Church, Chearsley)...
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