Highlights of the Week

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE WEEK!
Below are a few interesting news items from the weekly Bulletins for next four weeks.  To download the full version of our latest Bulletin,  please go to our Bulletin pageThank you.

THOUGHT FOR THE TWENTY-FOURTH WEEK 
Go to the Vineyard - a new Evangelisation

 

A rich parable of Jesus - the world as a vineyard to be cared for lovingly: the Church as the community of co-workers caring for and harvesting the earth, for creation is part of salvation too!
We are all called by the Lord of the Harvest to go into the vineyard of our society and there ‘harvest’ - gather others to Jesus Christ, proclaim the Good News of God’s infinite love in Christ, to offer the world a taste of the rich wine of God’s presence and compassion; to struggle for Justice and the rights of the poor among us; to permeate our society with Gospel values as leaven in the dough.
Young or old, we are all workers in the Lord’s Vineyard, seeking new ways to re-evangelise our nation which has grown sadly tired of the Gospel!

THOUGHT FOR THE TWENTY-SIXTH WEEK        Who are God’s Faithful People?

We go to Church, we say our prayers, we live reasonably upright lives and honest lives - what more does God want? Well … are we people who do enough? Or people who want to give everything? Are we people who are self-satisfied? Or are we people for who know we need God’s mercy and yearn to receive more and to be more?
Heaven will be full of surprises - for our God is the God of surprises! The chaotic addicts who know a bit about love will be there with the saints! The abused prostitutes who know their utter need will be there with the Virgin Mary! The unbelievers who love and struggle for a better a world will be there with Apostles! We say yes to God - but do we really? Are we people of the Heart? Are we people of the Beatitudes, the Gospel? Are we people of Mission?

THOUGHT FOR THE TWENTY-SEVENTH WEEK  Jesus the Rejected - Jesus the Keystone!

We are all hurt by rejection - we feel less as a person, not valued, understood or accepted. It can be a wound we carry all through life that limits our freedom for love if the rejection occurs in childhood. That is why our children deserve unconditional love and acceptance, to know they are held and loved and can grow whole within good loving safe boundaries.
So beware rejecting anyone! Because you are rejecting Jesus (‘whatever you do to another, you do to me!’). You could be rejecting the keystone of your life! The key stone - that stone high up at the centre of arch which holds the whole building together safely. The stone every other stone depends on, leans up against, is upheld by!
Jesus is the rock that holds us together, the key that opens up the fulness of life and an eternity of loving in God. Never reject - always accept! Love is all!

 

ROMERO - HEARTBEAT OF EL SALVADOR   ‘Rise Theatre’ is a professional Christian Theatre company who are coming to present this play about the great martyred Archbishop of San Salvador who is destined to be proclaimed the Patron Saint of Justice and Peace work. He is a prophet and pastor for our times. The play will be performed at St Nicks on Thursday 19th October at 7.30pm. It is suitable for children aged 11+. Tickets are £10.00 (family ticket £25.00). I hope very many from the parish will come. All who cannot afford the ticket price will be able to come and will be given ‘concessionary’ tickets. Just contact Margaret Ulloa (07533880523). It would be wrong to keep those with less money away from a play about Oscar Romero! LET US FILL THE CHURCH FOR THIS VERY SPECIAL EVENT.

 

JOURNEY OF FAITH    The 2017/18 Journey of Faith has begun and our next meeting is on Friday 13th October at 6.30pm. Who will you encourage to come and see what being a Catholic Christian means? Or come for a renewal of faith? Or seek Baptism and/or Confirmation. The theme this week: ‘Who do you say I am’ - who is Jesus for you?

 

ACTA (‘A CALL TO ACTION’) NATIONAL CONFERENCE      Seeking to develop the reform of the Church on the basis of the inspiration of the Second Vatican Council, this national and diocesan gathering of lay people, religious and clergy are holding our National Conference on the theme: ‘Locally Ordained Community Leaders - an ancient solution to a contemporary problem’ This certainly speaks to the challenges we in our parish are trying to meet (eg with our ‘Called to Ministry’ Project). I hope at least some from our community will attend (I am unable unfortunately). Saturday 21st October 10.30 am start at Priory Rooms, Quaker Meeting House, 40 Bull Street, Birmingham City Centre B4 6AF. 6 minutes walk from New Street Station Cost £20 (includes light lunch). Booking essential at www.acalltoaction.org.uk

CATHOLIC WOMEN’S ORDINATION - CONFERENCE and AGM     We are delighted to be able to welcome once again to St Nicks this group for their Annual Conference and meeting on Saturday 30th September from 10am to 3.30pm. While many do not agree with the ordination of women to the Catholic priesthood or diaconate - and some think we should not even discuss the issue! - this is a vital issue for the Church of our time and our society to debate openly. As you know I personally support very strongly the ordination of women to Catholic ordained ministries. I believe we need to radically re-model our understanding and practice in regard to priesthood and forge a less clerical and male dominated Church which will then have more authenticity in our society. I also believe that women must be allowed to represent Christ at the altar in order to truly proclaim our God who is neither male nor female but gathers both into the divine being. All who are interested in (and sympathetic to) this issue are warmly invited to attend.

CHURCHES WINTER NIGHT SHELTER PROJECT     Last January/February we participated in a ‘pilot scheme’ whereby seven churches in Bristol opened their doors to shelter the homeless. Today you will find a feed-back report with your parish bulletin. It has been decided to extend this project to three months from January 8th. We hope to participate again this year, having learnt much from last year’s experience. We will need volunteers to help in a variety of ways - and we will have volunteers from other churches helping us. I would like to form a co-ordinating team of three people who would commit themselves to organising and taking responsibility for the smooth running of this scheme in St Nicks (one night each week for three months - January to March. Organising skills and IT will be essential as well as being able to attend meetings with other co-ordinators (from the other churches).

 

Now that President Trump is attempting to wreck the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, leading US to ignore the security of future generations - we very much need to continue to pray that the nations that committed themselves oppose Trump, remain true to their word and bring about the changes needed to be 'merciful' to 'our common home':

 “O God of love, teach us to care for this world our common home. 

Inspire all political leaders and the peoples of all the nations to listen to and heed the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor. 

Let us be united in heart and mind in responding and acting courageously.

May we seek the common good and protect the beautiful earthly garden you have created for us, for all our brothers and sisters, for all generations to come. Amen!"


PRAY FOR THE CHRISTIANS OF IRAQ, SYRIA AND THE MIDDLE EAST

Lord, the plight of our country
is deep and the suffering of the Christians
is heavy and frightening us,
therefore we ask you Lord
to assure our lives, grant us patience and courage
to continue to witness our Christian values with trust and hope.
Lord, peace is the base of any life; give us peace and stability
to live with each other without fear, anxiety,
with dignity and joy, glory to you forever.

Archbishop Louis Raphael I Sako,  Chaldean Catholic Patriarch

Lord, send us the gift of peace

Watch over the people of Iraq who have been forced to flee their homes
and face violence and fear.

Lord, send us the gift of peace

Lead them to a place of safety, comfort those who grieve
and bring healing to those in pain.

Lord, send us the gift of peace

Convert the hearts of those who commit violence and wage war.
Turn them away from persecution towards peace.

Lord, send us the gift of peace

Turn hatred to understanding, and anger to compassion.
Through your love, transform horror into hope.

Lord, send us the gift of peace

And fill us all with your Spirit so that with one voice, throughout the world,
we may cry out:

Lord, send us the gift of peace

Mary, Queen of Peace, pray for us…              Catherine Gorman/CAFOD