Letter from the Vicar 19 April 2015

Fr Andrew Starky smallDear Friends,

Alleluia, Christ is risen! He is risen indeed, alleluia!

Welcome to S. Michael’s today as we continue to celebrate the risen life of Christ in our midst in the great fifty days of Easter. At the 10:00 am Mass we are delighted to welcome Jennifer De Leon, who will dance for us following the Gospel reading, as we meditate on the Scriptures. Jennifer will perform a solo, contemporary, lyrical, neo-classical dance work.

The dance is entitled Grace. Jennifer writes that, “Grace depicts the joy, hope, pain and indescribable awe of being a pilgrim and journeyer on the Way. God is with me, sometimes I think he leaves me, left here is my body and the raw emotion etched in sinews and bones.”

In the Gospel reading today we hear of one of the appearances of Jesus following his resurrection. It began with Jesus standing among the disciples offering them his peace. They thought they were seeing a ghost, but Jesus was at pains to show them that he was in bodily form. He drew their attention to his hands and feet, which still carried the wounds of crucifixion. He offered his body to be touched and he ate some fish in their presence. As we reflect on these accounts during the season of Easter, it is clear that the resurrection re-ordered the physical and spiritual aspects of Jesus’ body in a way that is as hard for us to comprehend as it was for the disciples who witnessed it, yet the gift of peace was its outcome. The gift of this dance today can help us to reflect on the spiritual and the physical in our bodies, as we renew our hope in the resurrection to eternal life in this joyful season.

Last Sunday we visited All Saints, Dunedin, and I bring you their greetings. We were there to spend some time with Fr Michael and Julanne Wallace and to have a look at what they are doing in children’s ministry and their outreach to students. This was helpful as we consider the future shape of children’s ministry and Sunday School at S. Michael’s. A bonus was that we were there for the confirmation of Heather Hutchings, who joined us last summer in the university vacation.

I am on leave this coming week, returning on 28 April.

Yours in Christ,

Fr Andrew Starky

 

 

Parish Notices

  • There is a cup of tea or coffee after the evening service each Sunday.
  • S. Michael’s School is on holiday until 28 April.
  • The Meditation Group will meet tomorrow at 5:15 pm in the parish lounge. Details Margaret Maclagan (359 9215).
  • The Bible Study Group will meet tomorrow at 7:15 pm in the school staffroom. Details Peter Oakley (960 0974).
  • Vege Co-op: orders and deliveries on Wednesdays.
  • Diocesan Council for World Mission: Wednesday, 6:30 pm at S. Timothy’s. There will be a shared tea. Speaker Mike Hawke: Giving so the Gospel will grow.
  • Parish Annual General Meeting: 3 May after the 10:00 am Mass.
  • Lunch at Regatta on Avon: 10 May 12:15 pm.
  • Theology House (341 3399) has details of Anglican Studies Papers for 2015.
  • The Needlework Group meets monthly. Details Ros Calvert (322 6078).
  • Inasmuch basket: please continue to support the City Mission with your gifts of groceries and other household items.

The City Mission is making an urgent call for donated blankets following the recent cold snap. City Missioner Michael Gorman says the 37-bed shelter on Hereford St is full and there is a waiting list of people needing blankets. “It’s people who are living in substandard accommodation, people living in garages, and even people living in tents still,” he says. “Winter’s always difficult. Our food bank is in demand all year around, especially at Christmas, but in winter it ramps up another level.” He urges people to donate blankets or food items to the Mission if they can.

Please place your gifts of warm clothing and bedding in the large marked box by the font. The box will be cleared weekly.

Letter from the People’s Warden 12 April 2015

Dear Friends,

Easter at S. Michael’s has been a great occasion as usual—we are very fortunate to be able to participate in our own way in the journey of Jesus to the cross, and his triumphant resurrection. Jesus Christ is risen, alleluia! Thank you to all who helped in any way to make this such a memorable time. It was good to see so many attending our Easter morning service—and we ran out of hymnbooks! The children’s floral cross was a thing of beauty, really representing the joyousness of the occasion.

Our Gospel reading this morning includes the questions of the disciple Thomas as to the truth of the person of the Risen Christ. For some reason he wasn’t there when Jesus came, and he wasn’t about to take the statements of the others as necessarily true. Jesus was so very patient with Thomas and his demands, an encouragement to others of us who sometimes find things difficult to believe. We are among those whom Jesus calls blessed, in that we have come to believe something that we have not actually seen. Jesus Christ is risen, alleluia!

Among our many reason for thankfulness is that we have Paul Ellis as our organist and choirmaster. Paul has continued and developed the reputation of S. Michael’s for excellence in music. Arguably one of the best organists in Christchurch, his musical talent as a choir conductor has been most evident over the past years and in particular the festive seasons. His work in the encouragement of children in the S. Michael’s Junior Singers has brought to fruition a plan which I remember being suggested many years ago. It has taken a musician and teacher of Paul’s calibre to realise this dream (and a lot of his hard work, encouragement and effort).

On Wednesday at 8:00 pm a Choir Workshop and Presentation of RSCM Awards is to be held here at S. Michael’s. On this occasion, honour will be given to Paul Ellis in the form of the presentation of his Fellowship of the Royal School of Church Music, its highest possible award, and the RSCM welcomes us, the non-singing audience. It would be good to have a wide representation from our parish at this special occasion. The workshop will be conducted by Andrew Reid, UK Director of the Royal School of Church Music. The RSCM is providing refreshments for the evening; we from S. Michael’s need to provide some helpers to serve food and drink. Please contact me if you are able to help.

And looking to next Sunday, as part of the liturgy at the 10:00 am service, we will be privileged to have Jennifer De Leon, a dance teacher, dance director and performer of note, to offer a solo contemporary lyrical dance work Grace. This offering depicts the joy, hope and indescribable awe of being a pilgrim on the Way. Another special occasion to look forward to at S. Michael’s.

Easter blessings,
Claire Preston

Parish Notices

• Easter Raffle: thanks to all who donated prizes and bought tickets. Congratulations to the eight lucky prize-winners!
• S. Michael’s School is on holiday until 28 April.
• Annual Reports on all parish activities required now: please send to Louise, preferably by email smaa@xtra.co.nz by Tuesday.
• Vege Co-op: orders and deliveries on Wednesdays. Details Kathryn Starky.
• RSCM: awards presentation and workshop with Andrew Reid (Director), followed by refreshments, Wednesday 8:00 pm at S. Michael’s.
Recital by Andrew Reid Thursday 5:30 pm, door sales $20.
• Contemporary Mystics: Thursday 6:00 pm at the Retreat House. spirit@stlukesinthecity.org.nz for details.
• Theology House (341 3399) has details of Anglican Studies Papers for 2015.
• The Meditation and Bible Study Groups resume on 20 April.
• Inasmuch basket: please continue to support the City Mission with your gifts of groceries and other household items.
• City Mission winter clothes appeal: please place your gifts of warm clothing and bedding in the large marked box by the font. The box will be cleared weekly.

Letter from the Vicar 5 April 2015

Fr Andrew Starky small

Dear Friends,

Welcome to S. Michael’s on this joyful morning as we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. During our pilgrimage of Lent and Holy Week we have examined ourselves and walked the way of the cross with our Lord. Now as we come to Easter we celebrate the heart of our faith, that through the power of love God raised Jesus from the dead. Easter Day begins a fifty-day season during which we meditate joyfully on the mysteries of the resurrection. This season culminates in the feasts of Ascension and Pentecost.

During these days the Paschal Candle stands centrally in the church. This candle has been beautifully prepared, and last night in the Easter Vigil we inserted five nails to form the shape of a cross. The five nails represent each of the wounds of Jesus. The letters above and below are the Greek letters Alpha and Omega, the first and the last, signifying that Christ is really the beginning and the end of all.

Today we hear the resurrection Gospel and reflect on the experiences of those first disciples who encountered Jesus after he was raised from the dead. Our response is to renew our promises of baptism, which is our personal identification with the death and resurrection of our Lord.

We then share the Peace which is the expression of the risen Christ among us, and proceed to celebrate the Eucharist, in which Christ comes to us in bread and wine.

Finally we are sent out into the world with the good news of the risen Christ. We are sent out into a world in which signs of resurrection can be hard to spot. Yet our meditation on the mystery of the resurrection in the next fifty days will help to open our eyes of faith to the life-giving work of God in the world. This is the work in which we, as the Church, are called to join.

Thank you to all who have contributed to the Holy Week and Easter Liturgies in any way. The church looks resplendent with flowers and gleaming brass; countless hours have been spent preparing liturgies and music. All these things together provide a wonderful witness to the resurrection.

May you have a very happy and blessed Easter.
Fr Andrew Starky

Parish Notices

• S. Michael’s School is now on holiday until 28 April.
• Vege Co-op: orders and deliveries on Wednesdays. Details Kathryn Starky.
• AGM: 3 May—Annual Reports to Louise, preferably by email, by 14 April.
• The Needlework Group meets on Tuesday, 7:15 pm in the lounge.
• The Rolleston Home Group meets on Wednesday, 11:00 am–2:00 pm at 107 Tennyson St, Rolleston. Details Jenny Daniels (347 7620).
• The Parish Trust meets on Thursday, 5:15 pm in the School.
• The Canterbury Shakespeare Society meets on Thursday, 7:30 pm in the lounge.
• RSCM: awards presentation and workshop with Andrew Reid (Director), followed by refreshments, 15 April, 8:00 pm at S. Michael’s. Recital 16 April 5:30 pm, $20.
• The Meditation and Bible Study Groups resume on 20 April.
• Inasmuch basket: please continue to support the City Mission with your gifts.