Letter from the Vicar 1 February 2015

Fr Andrew Starky small

Dear Friends,

Welcome to S. Michael’s today for the celebration of Candlemas. We particularly remember the presentation of Jesus in the temple by his parents, and the offering made in fulfilment of the law of the Lord. As Jesus made his way over the threshold of the temple his presence also meant that Simeon could die in peace with the knowledge that he had seen the salvation of God.

Although we are a month into the new calendar year, Candlemas comes at the threshold of a new year for church and school. We welcome the choir back today, Sunday School resumes and we begin Evensong and Benediction this evening at 7:00pm. Also on Monday S. Michael’s School begins. Bishop Victoria will preside and preach at the School Mass at 8:40am on Wednesday as we formally welcome the new School Principal Marshall Diggs. The Mass will be preceded by a powhiri which will be held in the school grounds, so please gather there first. This is an important milestone for School and Parish and I encourage parishioners to attend. (Please note there will be no 10:00am Mass this Wednesday). We also welcome back Jon Russell, who has been appointed Deputy Principal and Year 7/8 teacher. Jon taught at S. Michael’s for many years before leaving for a few years at Merrin School. We are delighted he is back among us.

As we welcome some we also say goodbye for the time being to Ben Randall, who leaves us to train for ordained ministry at S. John’s College in Auckland. Ben has been a wonderful gift in our parish, serving on Vestry, as part of our liturgical team, and in many other ways. He has also been instrumental in setting up the very popular Vege Co-op. Ben’s first involvement with S. Michael’s was as a pupil at the School, and it is very appropriate that his final act of service before he leaves will be in the School Mass on Wednesday.

I am looking forward to the parish picnic next Sunday (details on flyer). This will be a great way for us to have some fun together and enjoy some good entertainment. Do plan to be there.

Lent is coming up quite soon, with Ash Wednesday falling on 18 February—please remember to return your palm crosses so that we can use them to make the ashes. I plan to offer a Lenten Study this year, based on the book Gratitude and Grace: Through Lent with John, by Lynda Patterson and Peter Carrell. This will begin on Thursday 19 February at 7:30pm.

Yours in Christ,
Fr Andrew Starky

Parish Notices

  • Sunday School today and every Sunday during the 10:00 am Mass. Details Marla Hughes (960 0753).
  • Sales Table: from next Sunday. Details Anne Ladd (981 5012). A big thank you to those who donated items for sale and raffles in 2014, and to all loyal customers. $2363.40 was raised for the organ fund. Well done everyone!
  • You are invited to a cup of tea or coffee after the evening service each Sunday.
  • S. Michael’s School: the new school year begins tomorrow.
  • The Bible Study Group meets tomorrow at 7:30 pm in the school staffroom. New members invited. Details Peter Oakley (960 0974).
  • The Rolleston Home Group meets on Wednesday, 11:00 am at 111 Tennyson St, Rolleston. Open invitation to all. Details Jenny Daniels (347 7629).
  • The Canterbury Shakespeare Society meets on Thursday at 7:30 pm in the parish lounge. Details John De la Bere (981 7582).
  • The Meditation Group: 9 February at 5:15 pm in the church. Details from Kathryn Starky (385 0197) or Margaret Maclagan (359 9215).
  • The Needlework Group: details Ros Calvert (322 6078).
  • Celebrating 75 years at Taizé: events at the Cathedral 11 February. Email taizechristchurch@gmail.com for details.
  • WW1 Centenary Project: anyone interested in knitting or crocheting poppies please speak to Jill Woodside (338 9590).
  • Inasmuch basket: please continue to support the City Mission with your gifts.

Letter from the Vicar Christmas Day 2014

Fr Andrew Starky smallDear Brothers and Sisters,
Welcome to Christmas at S. Michael and All Angels. This morning we celebrate the birth of our Saviour Jesus Christ. The weeks of Advent have prepared us to welcome the Christ Child, indeed our Saviour, on this holy day.
As you prepare for this Mass spend some time taking in the surroundings of this beautiful house of God. One thing to notice is the Advent Wreath at the front. It has four candles alight. These candles have been lit over the past four Sundays as we have waited and prayed for the coming of Christ. The candles represent the hope, the peace, the joy and the love that we yearn for in the coming of Emmanuel, God with us. In this Mass of Christmas Day we will light the Christ candle in the centre of the wreath to proclaim that all these expectations have been fulfilled in the birth of Jesus.
Notice also the nativity scene on the south side of the church, which has been built up through the weeks of Advent. As we began the Midnight Mass last night we had the whole supporting cast there, but the manger was empty. As part of the procession we placed the baby Jesus in the manger. Think about your own life and the busyness of these past weeks, as you have prepared for Christmas. Today in this Mass we invite you to welcome Jesus into the manger of your heart.
As you go out from here today, take with you the joy of the Bethlehem shepherds, the awe of the worshipping Wise Men, and the humility and love of the holy family.
May you and your families and friends have a blessed and holy Christmas.

 

Fr Andrew Starky