Jesus summoned the Twelve and began to send them out in pairs giving them authority over the unclean spirits. And he instructed them to take nothing for the journey except a staff – no bread, no haversack, no coppers for their purses. They were to wear sandals but, he added, ‘Do not take a spare tunic.’ Mark Chapter 6
The picture, the Sending Forth of the 12 Apostles, is from a 17th Century Egyptian manuscript, courtesy of the Walters Museum Baltimore.
Amaziah, the priest of Bethel, said to Amos, ‘Go away, seer;’ get back to the land of Judah; earn your bread there, do your prophesying there. We want no more prophesying in Bethel; this is the royal sanctuary, the national temple.’ ‘I was no prophet, neither did I belong to any of the brotherhoods of prophets,’ Amos replied to Amaziah ‘I was a shepherd, and looked after sycamores: but it was the Lord who took me from herding the flock, and the Lord who said, “Go, prophesy to my people Israel.”’ Amos Chapter 7
Canon Paul writes: The Prophet Amos, who lived during the 8th century BC, makes a rare and appropriate appearance in our readings this weekend. We see him today in the Northern Kingdom of Israel at the shrine of Bethel. Probably Amos had a role in the sanctuary as the resident prophet, but sadly he was asked to leave by Amaziah the Priest. No doubt he was being too outspoken about the corruption in the sanctuary which combined with the royal court of the King, Jeroboam II. Undaunted, Amos wrote his message down so that Jeroboam would see it anyway.
Amos is remembered for his ministry of the word and his ministry of social justice, which we would describe as the ‘Ministry of Charity’. As it would appear from today’s reading, he also had a ministry in the sanctuary. Within our own tradition, those three ministries of word, altar (sanctuary) and charity are combined in the ordained ministry of the deacon. We are fortunate in our diocese to have around 50 Permanent Deacons. Sadly one of them died this week; that was Deacon David Morgan who worked in Yateley with Fr. Simon Thompson. May he rest in peace.
We are fortunate in this parish to have benefitted from the devoted ministry of a number of Permanent Deacons. This week, I am pleased to announce that Martin McElroy has been accepted as a candidate for ordination to the Permanent Diaconate. Please keep Martin and his family in your prayer.
Please also remember in your prayer, Deacon Phil Carroll, who will be ordained priest on the 25th July. My hope is that we will soon have a vocation to the priesthood from this parish.
I would like to include this quotation from the prayer of ordination of deacons: “May they excel in every virtue: in love that is sincere, in concern for the sick and the poor, in unassuming authority, in self-discipline and in holiness of life.”
Also: A big thank you to everyone at the Treatment Centre in the RHCH for looking after me so well last Thursday. I was really touched by the welcome they gave me. I had a successful operation and, as a result, will be out of action for the next two weeks. PJT
VERY IMPORTANT: Rev Phil Carroll’s ordination –
Minibus travel details
Anyone who has signed up for the minibuses needs to be at St Peter’s church by 9.15am Saturday 25th. There are three buses going and it will be about an hour’s drive. The buses will be going on to the reception afterwards and will then return to St Peter’s so be prepared for a full day out. Please note parking at the church will be very limited. Long term parking at Tower Street is the better option for most.
Saint of the Week: St Swithun
Feast Day July 15th
Swithun, also spelled Swithin, was born in Wessex, England and was educated at the old monastery, Winchester, where he was ordained. He became chaplain to King Egbert of the West Saxons, who appointed him tutor of his son, Ethelwulf, and was one of the King’s counselors. Swithun was named bishop of Winchester in 852 when Ethelwulf succeeded his father as king. Swithun built several churches and was known for his humility and his aid to the poor and needy. The life of St Swithun is rich in legend. A century after his death in 863, he was chosen as patron saint for the Cathedral’s Benedictine monastery.
A long-held superstition declares it will rain for forty days if it rains on his feast day, but the reason for and origin of this belief are unknown. For more about the saint, click here Saint Swithun or visit our Saints page.
The South East England Faiths Forum is organising a conference at Winchester University on September 3rd on the subject of The Place of Faith in British Schools.
Click for more details of the Faith conference
Portsmouth Diocese has organized a conference on Migrant Slavery on Saturday 26th September in Basingstoke
–early booking essential.
More details here Migrant Slavery Conference
You can read the Pope’s encyclical about climate change by clicking below: