Great Casterton Parish Council

Serving the people of Great Casterton

Clerk: Derek Patience
29 Priory Gardens, Stamford

Tel: 01780 753066

July Newsletter

Hi everyone,

In the last few weeks I have managed to accomplish several firsts. First service in each church, first Café Church, first Mums and Toddlers, first PCC meeting. Now we settle down, put our feet up (not) and enjoy the next 25 Sundays of the Trinity season taking us up to Advent Sunday. This period in the church year is deemed "ordinary time" but there is nothing ordinary about our worship or our activities. We keep up a steady pace in line with Mark's gospel which dominates most of the trinity period this year.

Mark's gospel, probably the first gospel to be written, is one of the action packed pieces of scripture in the New Testament. Jesus is on the move all the time healing here, preaching there. The gospel is one of the most chronological pieces of writing, positioning the stories where and when they happened. Mark portrays Jesus as a doer, a servant to the people. Someone who does first and talks afterwards. In his gospel he records more miracles than any other gospel and all but 31 of his 676 verses are quoted by other writers.

Its all happening at pace centred mainly in Galilee but spilling into part of modern day Lebanon and Syria. The gospel does not bother about recording incidentals like how and where Jesus was born or what he did as an adolescent. It dives straight in with John the Baptist, the recruitment of the twelve and then a raft of healing activity.

In chapter 4 there is a short pause in the action as Jesus conveys some teaching in the parable of the sower and the illustration of the mustard seed. As I write this piece I am conscious that this coming Sunday the reading revolves around how faith the size of a mustard seed is all that is required. This mustard seed of faith is in all of us and I continually find that even those who claim to have no faith still have the seed. It can come out at the most unexpected time and when we are least expecting it.

Last weekend I had a huge debate with a guy who argued that science had replaced religion. We argued for 30 – 40 minutes and eventually pulled back from our entrenched positions. I saw the same guy at a fiftieth birthday party the next evening and as I was leaving he quietly asked me if I would give him a blessing. I was completely taken aback and in the atmosphere of a noisy disco I gave him a blessing.

We are never ready for incidents such as these but they do happen and they will continue to surprise. So as we read Mark together be ready for action, be ready for God moving into our lives and be challenged to move into the world and to serve others.

Remember, everyone has a mustard seed of faith slowly waiting somewhere deep within waiting for a ray of light and a little watering. With the help of God's Holy Spirit we could be the vessel that brings that ray of light or the drop of water and we may never be aware of the gift we have given.

God Bless

Rev'd. Don