St John the Evangelist

Email stjohntheevangelist@gmail.com



0151 645 3314

Reg Charity 234025

Fr Frank Rice

Rev Philip White

18th.Sunday of the Year 1st August 2010


Vanity of vanities!” is a famous quotation from the bible, but what does it mean? It’s the preacher’s way in the Book of Ecclesiastes of saying that life seems “meaningless” or “pointless”. What’s it all about? It’s certainly not fair and it seems to take all my time and energy and keep me to the grindstone.

A radio pundit the other day said that there should be more love shown in the work place, because love makes us more productive and that way we will earn more money. Is that the point of life, money? And what’s the point of stashing money away when your children and grandchildren will only fritter it away after you’ve gone? Is it worth the hard work and the restless nights worrying about it, asks our reading today?

There’s nothing fundamentally wrong with our world; God made it and it’s good. But if we limit our sights only to the things of this world then we won’ see very far. We’ll get bogged down in its limitations; our lives will not reflect anything other than our career prospects, our bank balances, our reputations and our comfort. Our cultural horizons will hit the buffers at celebrity, gossip, fashion and trivia, while our significant relationships will be virtually found on Facebook and Twitter.

What makes us tick? What are our values and are any of them transcendent? Do they go beyond the make-up and greasepaint, beyond simply following the crowd in its dream of success?

The preacher in today’s scripture obviously feels that life can be meaningless unless we have a clear idea about the reason we are on this earth. Without such a spiritual compass we are at the whim of a pointless merry-go-round that seems to take more out of us than it gives.

So what’s the driving force in your life? What makes you want to jump out of bed in the morning and confront the world and all its challenges? What motivates you to keep on going and to make your mark? Given that life is short, what makes it worth living? When today’s psalmist came to answer these questions, he put it very simply: Make us know the shortness of our life/that we may gain wisdom of heart/O Lord, you have been our refuge/from one generation to the next.

For life to be meaningful we all need a goal. What’s yours?


Vanity of vanities, the Preacher says. Vanity of vanities. All is vanity!

(Ecclesiastes 1:2)


Do you ever feel that there’s got to be more to life than meets the eye? Living, working, earning, saving, spending…is this what it’s all about? Or is there some deeper meaning and purpose to our time on earth? That’s the question which Ecclesiastes asks us today.


We can join Pope Benedict in his prayer intentions for the month of August:


That those who are without work or homes or who are otherwise in serious need may find understanding and welcome, as well as concrete help in overcoming their difficulties.


That the Church may be a home for all people, ready to open its doors to anyone suffering from racial or religious discrimination, hunger, or wars that force them to emigrate to other countries.


A billion seconds ago it was 1979.

A billion minutes ago St John had only recently died.

A billion hours ago our ancestors were in the Stone Age.

A billion days ago nothing with two feet walked our earth.

A billion years ago seems just like a second in God’s mind.

And he was there!

18th Sunday 1st. 5.30



Philomena Heaney


Prayer meeting

Mon .2nd. 9.15 Pauline Prosser
Tues 3rd. 9.15 Joe & Mgt. Carr
Wed 4th. 9.15 Hannah O’Neill
Thurs 5th. 7.15 Greg Patten
Fri 6th. 9.15 Joan Lee
18th Sunday 8th. 5.30



Kate Kenny


Prayer Meeting

Please pray for our sick and those who care for them

Joan Lee, Ann Ferguson, Frida Owens, Denis Welch, Josie Cohen, Peter Williamson, Kathy Smith, Marjorie Hoey, Mrs H McCormack, Esther Roche, Fay Challoner, Sheila Stockley, Joan & Charles Reynolds, Mollie Dowling, Kath Holland, Sheila Clayson, Mary Bryden, Owen & Josie Toohey, Betty Kennedy, Helen Worth, Christopher Hadfield, Ivan Gregory, Vincent Sarson, Kath Bassett , Pat Ronan, Christopher & Raymond McNally , Mark Harrison & Genevieve Foster. Those in the parish who do not wish their illness to be made public but who also need our prayers

Money Matters-Thank you

Sunday Offering £ 712 63p

Retiring collection 3139 33p

Boiler £0

120 Club Winner No £ 20

“St John’s Bereavement Support Group will be holding a coffee morning on the SECOND Monday of EVERY month, starting on the 13th September 10am-12 noon, in the Parish Centre. Please come along for a chat and support each other – EVERYONE welcome.  Details Ann Murray 645 5514”.

“St John’s Bereavement Support Group. After a recent bereavement you may feel you would like to talk with someone.  Please contact the presbytery by telephone or email and a member of the Group will get in touch with you.”

OLD AND NEW FEAST (August 6th)

Most Christians know that today’s feast of the Transfiguration celebrates that mountain-top moment when three of Jesus’ disciples were privileged to see him presented in all his glory, talking with Moses and Elijah.

However, this feast was almost certainly assigned today’s date to take the place of an ancient pagan nature feast at the height of summer. Some suggest that the full-flowering rose was hailed on this day, while others speak of the exaltation of wine.

So it’s not surprising that there are stories of the pope crushing a bunch of grapes into the chalice on the Transfiguration or using new wine for the celebration of Mass. Even today raisins are blessed in Rome on this feast and the Greeks and Russians use it to bless grapes and other fruits.

Behind every feast there’s a story!

Let us treasure up in our soul some of those things which are permanent…, not of those which will forsake us and be destroyed, and which only tickle our senses for a little while. (Gregory of Nazianzus)

An object in possession seldom retains the same charm that it had in pursuit. (Pliny the Younger)

Much of our activity these days is nothing more than a cheap anaesthetic to deaden the pain of an empty life.

(Suzette Hohrmann)


August sees so many comings and goings with people off on holiday. As everyone’s routine changes a bit it’s possible for some of the vulnerable in our parish to be overlooked: the person you usually see down at the shops, the pensioner collecting her money at the post office, the man with the dog at the park…Keep an eye out for each other!

Holidays are one of the best tonics we can have. A change of scenery, a taste of different food and a couple of weeks in another setting can do wonders for our regeneration. And of course, we don’t even have to go away to have a holiday. All we have to ensure is that we take a break from the usual routine, from the things which normally occupy our time.

Recreation isn’t simply about lying on a beach. It can be about climbing mountains or walking till we drop. Recreation means creating again, and positive recreation means any form of activity, strenuous or relaxing, which recharges our batteries and makes us once again able to function on all pistons.

So whether you go away or stay at home, keep your eyes open!


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