2024, July 3: Come to 4th of July Cookout

Good Morning, Nativity!

The Gospel reading this Sunday is Mark 6:1-13. Mark’s Gospel is all about brevity and immediacy. Leading up to Chapter 6, the ministry of Jesus was still a very new thing. Jesus had done some healings, most notably the double healing we read about last Sunday (the hemorrhaging woman and the daughter of Jairus); he had challenged the religious authorities; he had taught the people using his favorite medium — the parable; and he had demonstrated his authority over nature. Jesus had been recognized as a man of God and a man of power, as the synagogue leader Jairus admitted when he fell at the feet of Jesus to beg for his help (Mark 5:22). But Jesus had not yet been revealed as the Messiah; that happens in Chapter 8 when Jesus asks, “But who do you say that I am?” and Peter answers, “You are the Christ.” (Mark 8:29, ESV)

In this Sunday’s reading, Jesus returned to his hometown. He preached in the synagogue and astounded those listening. And yet, despite being astounded, they doubted him. They knew him and they knew his family. Familiarity had led to a lack of faith: “How are such mighty works done by his hands?” (Mark 6:2, ESV) “His hands”, can you not just feel the disgust, doubt, and maybe fear dripping from those words! Because of this lack of faith in his hometown, Jesus “could do no mighty work there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and healed them.” (Mark 6:5 ESV)

Many readers would point to the lack of faith as the important thing in this passage. I would suggest instead that we focus on the pockets of faith that must have persisted in his hometown. For there must have been faith among and/or surrounding those few who were healed. Pockets of faith, such as that, can change the atmosphere within a community and can go forth into other communities to spread the good news, as happens in the subsequent scripture passage. (Mark 6:7-13)

I would like to end with a prayer of faith for this pocket of Christ’s faithful at Nativity:

Almighty Father, who inspired Simon Peter, first among the apostles, to confess Jesus as Messiah and Son of the living God: Keep your church steadfast upon the rock of this faith, so that in unity and peace we may proclaim the one truth and follow the one Lord, our Savior Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

(The Collect for the Confession of St. Peter, celebrated on January 18; BCP 238)

In the Peace and Love of Christ.
Deacon Tim


July 7, 2024
7th Sunday After Pentecost
9:15am Holy Eucharist (with music)

Bishop Michael Garrison
Deacon Tim MacDonald

REMINDER!! Come one, come all to our 4th of July cookout. Where: Parish Hall; Time: 3:00pm for fun and games, 5:30 for hot dogs, hamburgers, salads, dessert. When you may ask? Tomorrow, the 4th of July, of course! :-)))
July’s Vestry meeting will be held on Tuesday, July 9, at 7:00pm, in the Library.
Healing and Praise night will be held at Church of the Holy Spirit in Osprey on July 5 at 7:00pm. If you are interested, please speak to Deacon Tim for more information.


A new addition to our week here at Nativity. Morning and Evening Prayer are now being offered. Morning Prayer at 8:30am Mon-Thurs; Evening Prayer at 4:00pm Mon-Thurs.

On Saturday, July 20, a Cursillo Ultreya will be held at St. Mary Magdalene Church in Lakewood Ranch from 10:00am to 3:00pm. See Deacon Tim for details.
The Parish Directory has been updated. You can pick up a copy on the Baptismal Font in the Church. If your listing is wrong or missing information such as date of birth/anniversary, etc, or if you are not in it at all, please call me in the office Mon-Thurs 9am – 2pm. Thank you.
Deacon Tim’s ordination is not until August 10 so we will be having supply priests for the month of July and August 4. Accordingly we will have only one service at 9:15 for all of those dates. Deacon Tim has requested a 9:15am service for August 11 so his first service with us will be with our whole community together. Again, mark your calendars so you don’t show up either early or late for service or miss Deacon Tim’s first service with us. :-))))))
There will be NO Bible Study tomorrow, Friday, July 5. We will start again on July 12.
If you would like more information, please email Judy Haywood at: judyhay@aol.com.
Have you remembered Nativity in your Will or your Estate plans? Our Endowment Committee is happy to assist. Please call the Parish Office to make a connection.