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South West Norfolk Pastoral Charge...We Are Linked In LOVE!!
CULTUS UNITED CHURCH: Located at 748-6th Concession Road ENR, Cultus, Ontario WORSHIPS on Sundays at 9:00am ALL SERVICES CANCELLED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE
COURTLAND UNITED CHURCH: Located at 133 Talbot Street, Courtland, Ontario WORSHIPS on SUNDAYS AT 10:30am ALL SERVICES CANCELLED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE
Our Mission Statement: The South West Norfolk Pastoral Charge is called to be a Christian community empowered and inspired by the Holy Spirit and to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ.
CONTACT US: EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org Office Phone: 519-688-4050
OUR MAILING ADDRESS: South West Norfolk Pastoral Charge, P.O.Box 129, 119 Talbot Road, Courtland, On., N0J1E0
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There we were, just hangin’ out and relaxing, one lazy summer day (long before Covid-19) and suddenly a group of friends dropped by unexpectedly, then another bunch dropped in, then two more,….
And then we hang out and hang out, then it looks like they’re not leaving. Carolyn comes along side and says. They’re not leaving, we’re going to have to feed them. We don’t have any food in the house, what are we going to feed these people?
Has that have ever happened to you? Can you relate? I think most of us can. The first reaction for us in these types of circumstances is to go to a position of doubt or fear. What are we going to feed the? serve them? Oh no, Oh no, what are we going to do? Well, what happened? You scrape up what you have and suddenly everybody got fed and even more satisfied and it was a spontaneous wonderful banquet.
In our Gospel reading for this week a crowd of people has followed Jesus to the lakeshore. Their attraction to him is so strong that in their excitement they may have forgotten their picnic lunches. Jesus leans over to Philip and says,
“ … Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?” He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what He was going to do.”
Philip panics. Ahh, what are we going to do? What are we going to do?
How often do we, when facing a crisis, either as individuals or as the church say oh we’re done for. We won’t get through this.
There isn’t enough to go around. We won’t survive. As Philip continues to mumble, his colleague Andrew informs Jesus that a little boy in the crowd has a couple of fish and a few loaves of bread and he’s willing to share. (John 6: 8)
But Andrew is crippled in this situation as well as well as he says: “So little as that is really quite irrelevant under the circumstances” Or is it? Let’s pause for a moment and think about what’s happening here.
The boy offered everything he had, everything. While everyone around him was whining and focusing on what they were lacking, this little boy came up alongside them and said here this is all I have. I offer it to you.
And Jesus said, “Invite the people to sit down”. And we know the rest of the story. Nobody went hungry.
In feeding the multitudes, Jesus begins with what is present and looks to the possibilities.
In the loaves and the fishes, he sees abundance, not scarcity. In the multitude he sees opportunities for sharing, not a competition for food.
This mentality of scarcity is a form of fear that there won’t be enough to go around. There won’t be enough for me. Fear makes us protectionist and self-serving rather than outward-looking. The miracle of the feeding of the multitudes is not just that everyone was fed, but also that the supposed scarcity was transformed abundance.
How often do we find ourselves looking at our circumstances and focusing on what we don’t have, or think we don’t have, and fail to see what we do have. Parker J Palmer, founder of the Center for Courage and Renewal in Washington State describes the paradox of scarcity and abundance
“When we think we something is scarce, we tend to act in ways that increase scarcity. We fear food shortages, so we hoard, decreasing the supply. We fear rejection so we withdraw affection, diminishing relationship……. But when we act as if we believe in the abundance of what happens to be scarce, we create conditions that help create abundance. When we do this in community, the power that arises from our common action is almost unbelievable”
This notion, or theory of Parker’s is central to the story of the feeding of the 5000, that we are exploring this week. Being aware of what we have and offering it to help is, to me the foundation of this story. The little boy, saw the circumstance saw the problem, had the faith, and the compassion to give what he had. All that he had, to Jesus. And it was Jesus who transformed what was perceived by Andrew, and us as scarcity, into abundance.
It may just be that what we do have is enough to do what we’re called to do. Enough calls for creativity, energy, and most importantly, faith. The opposite of fear is courage, but it’s also faith. This is something our former moderator, David Giuliano shared with us during his tenure as moderator and struggle with cancer “Where there is fear of scarcity, courage will not overcome.”
Faith that God has provided us with what is necessary will help overcome fear and transform scarcity into abundance… In the process, we come into a closer understanding of our role in God’s world. We can operate in fear and scarcity if we choose and starve for what matters most. But in faith, we share what God has given us, knowing it is ours only for the moment, and together our gifts create more than we can ask, or even imagine. The invitation is there for us to bring ourselves, who we are, what we are and offer ourselves up to Jesus, and see what can happen When we think we are lacking, we are not. Christ can and will transform what little we think we have into abundance.
We are invited to full, rich, balanced living as our faith grows, as we walk with the one who offers an abundant banquet, for we all hunger, we all need to be fed. It’s the banquet of life. Each time another person steps up and says, “this is all I have, here, take it, I want to share…another miracle happens.
I bid you peace in the midst of pandemic. PT
We have been asked & now offer 3 Easy ways to receive your Tithes & Offerings.....
~First, let us say that we are grateful and appreciative for all your continued support!~
We want to be sure we can give you a tax receipt for your generous donation.
Help us out by providing the necessary information:
- ADDRESS: Street / P.O. Box
- Postal Code
- BE SURE TO MEMO WHICH CHURCH: *COURTLAND UNITED or *CULTUS UNITED
1) ETRANSFER DONATIONS TO: email@example.com (PLEASE remember to attach the above necessary info within message)
2) CHEQUES MAIL TO: South West Norfolk Pastoral Charge, P.O.Box 129, 119 Talbot Road, Courtland, On., N0J1E0
3) PAR PROGRAM: Please contact LINDA MILLEN 519-875-4657 for CULTUS United Church
Please contact LOIS BEUMER 519-582-1906 for COURTLAND United Church