Letter from the Vicar 31 May 2015

Fr Andrew Starky small

Dear Friends,

We welcome you today as we gather to celebrate the festival of the most Holy Trinity. In the past six months or so we have followed the story of the incarnation, from the Annunciation to Mary, through the birth of Jesus, his life and ministry, his death on the cross and his resurrection and ascension. Last week at Pentecost we celebrated the coming of the Holy Spirit. In the Feast of the Trinity we reflect on what all this means for our understanding of God. This encompasses both God’s relations with creation, called the economic Trinity, and God’s internal relations, the immanent Trinity. As a Church, of course, we also have a set of external relationships and a set of internal ones. Our external ones could constitute our mission and the internal ones our community life. Both are essential for a healthy Church that reflects the God we worship.

Last Sunday after Mass a number of us went over the river to hear about the plans for the Earthquake Memorial, which is going to be practically on our doorstep. The young European designer spoke in halting English about his desire to produce a memorial that would blend with the riverbank environment, but provide a sacred space for reflection and healing. He has chosen to put the wall on the south bank of the river so that the sun will shine on it, and to make it follow the gentle bend of the river. The walking platform will be just above the water level of the river and will be about 4 metres wide. The wall will protrude above the footpath to about the height of the bollards which are presently there. Trees will be planted along it and there will be a walking bridge in the vicinity of Rhododendron Island. The memorial will be complemented by a reflection area on the other side of the river. I was able to convey to the organisers the interest of S. Michael’s in being part of the journey as the memorial is put in place, recognising that we also offer a place of peace and a beautiful example of the heritage of the city.

Last Sunday we distributed forms which offered the opportunity for people to signify a desire to be involved in particular aspects of the parish’s life and mission. We have been heartened by the response so far, and we would welcome those who have yet to respond to consider completing the sheet and placing it in the collection plate today.

Yours in Christ,
Fr Andrew Starky

Corpus Christi
This Thursday we are celebrating the Feast of Corpus Christi, an important day in the Church’s year. There will be a Solemn Mass at 7:00 pm, followed by refreshments. The people of S. Luke’s will be our guests and we ask you all to bring finger food to share.

Parish Notices

• There is a cup of tea or coffee after the evening service each Sunday.
Vege Co-op: orders and deliveries on Wednesdays. Details Kathryn Starky.
• The Chamber Choir will sing at Evensong tonight.
• The Bible Study Group meets tomorrow, 7:15 pm in the school staffroom. Details Peter Oakley (960 0974).
• The Needlework Group meets on Tuesday, 7:15 pm in the parish lounge. Details Ros Calvert (322 6078).
• The Rolleston Home Group meets on Wednesday 11:00 am at 10 Elizabeth St, Rolleston. Details Jenny Daniels (347 7629).
Regatta on Avon: lunch next Sunday at 12:15 pm. Details Kathryn Starky.
Diocesan Council for World Mission: Go tell the Gospel, Graeme Mitchell. Monday 8 June, 10:15 am—12:30 pm, S. Augustine’s, Cashmere.
Residential Retreat A New Heart: Wellington 17–26 July. Phone 04 383 7769).
Book Swap/Donate/Share with a Friend/Give as a gift:
Modern books that you have enjoyed. Fundraising koha to Anne at the sales table. Books do not need to be returned after reading. Available in parish lounge during the week, in the hall on Sundays.
Box lots of books are welcome at any S. Christopher’s Dove Book Shop.
Inasmuch basket: please continue to support the City Mission with your gifts of groceries and other household items.

S. Michael’s School 16 June
• Open Day 8:00 am–4:00 pm
• Quiz Night 7:30 pm at Robbies Riccarton
Details on poster or from Amanda Condon
379 9790, amandacondon@saintmichaels.co.nz

Sermon by Fr Andrew Starky 24 May 2015

Pentecost 2015 Acts 2: 1-21, Romans 8: 22-27, John 20: 19-23

A week or so ago members of the Parish Trust and the new Vestry met at the Community of the Sacred Name for a day of prayer and to begin to take stock of the situation that St Michael’s finds itself in with regard to the rapidly changing face of Christchurch. We realised that the central city developments, at least in the short to medium term, are going to surround St Michael’s quite closely. It’s as if the axis of the city which used to be Colombo St and centred at the Square will now shift more in our direction.

It is clear that we need to hear what the Spirit is saying to this church through these developments going on around us.

I am sure many people in our city could identify with the sentiments of the reading from Romans: groaning in labour pains, waiting, hoping, not seeing, more hoping, patience, weakness, not knowing how to pray, sighs too deep for words. These words capture the depth of struggle and spiritual longing that travels alongside the recovery of this city and its people from natural disaster. The memorial wall, which is to be built alongside the Avon River near us, is an attempt to create a spiritual space that will help people as they heal personally and as the city comes to rebirth.

The rebirth of the city is coming in a somewhat unpredictable way. Certainly there have been plans by CERA and the City Council. Central Government has taken the move to bring many of its operations, and particularly its workers, back into the centre which has given others the courage to invest in the new retail developments nearby. There is also the likelihood of much more inner-city housing development which will change the flavour as well. It is inevitable that the soul or the spirit of the city will be quite different in the future than the past. Because of our location amidst all of this, St Michael’s can contribute to the creation of community among the people who will be drawn to work, live and play in the central city. Part of that contribution could be that we develop a voice to speak on behalf of those with shattered lives who struggle with homelessness, addiction and violence and gravitate to the centre. Christchurch has had for a long time a reputation for being a compassionate city, possibly because of the large provision of Council Housing. That value needs supporting.

In Acts we hear how the disciples experienced the coming of the Holy Spirit at the Jewish Feast of Pentecost. They experienced sounds like wind and saw tongues as of fire appear among them. All of them were filled with the Spirit and began to speak in other languages. There were many people there from all over the world who were amazed at this wondered what it meant when they could hear the disciples speak in their own native tongue.

We need the Spirit’s help now to develop new languages to speak of God and faith to the people who are coming to work and live around St Michael’s.

One gets the sense that the coming of the Spirit described in Acts was an international event of a very public nature and had great scope. It was the launching pad for the acts of the apostles as the church spread out with the good news of Christ crucified and risen from Jerusalem, to all Judea, Samaria and to the ends of the earth even Christchurch New Zealand.

The gospel reading provides a very different context for the coming of the Spirit upon the church. This is located, not 50 days after the resurrection but in the evening of that day and in a house where the doors were locked for fear of the Jews. The risen Jesus came into this place and with his message of peace and the disciples rejoiced. He said to them, “As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” He breathed the Holy Spirit on them and gave them the authority to forgive sins.

Last week at one of our Daily Masses a priest from Wellington was with us and he acts as an unofficial chaplain to members of parliament. He talked about how the organs of our legal system are clustered around the Anglican and Roman Catholic Cathedrals in Wellington. There is the Law Library, the Law Makers (Parliament) the Law courts, the law school, and he said the cathedrals there can be like an island of grace amongst all that law. It made me wonder what kind of island St Michael’s can be amongst the new central Christchurch. Perhaps St Michael’s can be an island of peace of shalom: A place where people can find quietness and stillness, a place where people know how to listen and speak in the many languages of faith, a place that cares for those in trouble.

For St Michael’s all this could a bit strange. Ever since we stopped being the Pro-Cathedral in 1881 we have been off to the edge of the centre, and possibly quite happily so as the Anglo-Catholic traditions developed. Yet I think that our Anglo-Catholic tradition lends itself beautifully to what is going to be asked of us. St Michael’s is a place where quietness and stillness can be found and the contemplative aspect of our spirituality needs to be nurtured so that a voice for compassion can be heard amongst the bustle of the new city developments. Anglo-Catholicism at its best has a spaciousness about it that allows the many languages of faith to be spoken and heard whilst being clear about the centrality of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ which we express through the celebration of the sacraments. Anglo-Catholicism is incarnational which means that we make the mercy and forgiveness of God humanly present to people through our liturgies and our actions.

In a few moments we offer the anointing for ministry as we personally seek the gifts and the power of the Holy Spirit as we take part in this mission.

Letter from the Vicar 24 May 2015

Fr Andrew Starky small

Dear Friends,

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

Welcome to S. Michael’s as we celebrate Pentecost, the coming of the Holy Spirit. Pentecost is a joyful feast where we recall the very essence of the Church is created as the Spirit is poured out on all present. One thing that always stands out to me at Pentecost is the transformation in the disciples before and after, particularly exemplified in Peter. During their time as disciples of Jesus up to his death on the cross, they are often portrayed in the Gospels as timid, and struggling to get the idea of who Jesus was and what he came to do. After Pentecost they preach boldly and clearly about Jesus. If the Ascension reminds us that Christ is present everywhere, Pentecost declares that we are empowered to continue his mission in the world with the gifts we have been given.

With the Trumpet today you will find some information about joining in with the mission of this church. Many of you are already contributing your time and talents very generously and you may want to adjust what you do, while others may feel a call to embark on something new. As I mentioned last week following our Strategic Planning Day, the rebuilt part of the central city is going to be very much located around S. Michael’s, at least to begin with and for the medium term. This provides us with some of the best opportunities in the history of this church.

Yours in the Spirit,

Fr Andrew Starky

Parish Notices

Sales Table: in the hall after Mass today. Details Anne Ladd (981 5012).
• There is a cup of tea or coffee after the evening service each Sunday.
Vege Co-op: orders and deliveries on Wednesdays. Details Kathryn Starky.
• The Chamber Choir will sing at Evensong next Sunday.
• The Bible Study Group meets next on 1 June, 7:15 pm in the school staffroom.
Details Peter Oakley (960 0974).
• The Needlework Group: details Ros Calvert (322 6078).
Corpus Christi: Mass at 7:00 pm on 4 June. The people of S. Luke’s will be our guests. Please bring finger food for supper.
Diocesan Council for World Mission: Go tell the Gospel, Graeme Mitchell. Monday 8 June, 10:15 am—12:30 pm, S. Augustine’s, Cashmere.
Book Swap/Donate/Share with a Friend/Give as a gift:
Modern books that you have enjoyed. Fundraising koha to Anne at the sales table. Books do not need to be returned after reading. Available in parish lounge during the week, in the hall on Sundays.
Box lots of books are welcome at any S. Christopher’s Dove Book Shop.
Inasmuch basket: please continue to support the City Mission with your gifts of groceries and other household items.

Letter from the People’s Warden 17 May 2015

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Dear Friends,

On Thursday evening a number of us joined our S. Luke’s friends in the celebration of the Feast of the Ascension. For many years we have been their willing guests, and it was great to celebrate with them at the Knox Centre, their current worship venue.

As we remember the ascent of Jesus to be with his Father, and look toward the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, we remember too his teaching to look after each other. We can remember that we are indeed part of his family, and what being part of a family involves. I am reminded of all this by the leaves that are everywhere at present. The trees, which we appreciate and which give us visual delight and shade in the heat, are now making work for us—dealing with the leaves seems to be part of the care of our trees and our community—and such a number of leaves! In our compost heaps they complete their cycle into eventual nourishment for our gardens, but they do need to be gathered up by us.

Jesus says, “As you have sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world.” At this time it is appropriate for us all to consider what we are doing on his behalf, as individuals and as members of this part of God’s family. Do you remember the Pentecost Sunday some years ago, when a huge gust of wind hit the side of the church building, and made it shake during our 10:00 am service? Next week, as we celebrate the coming of the gift of the Holy Spirit, we will be given the chance to consider if there is any way in which we can participate further in the life and efforts of this parish. It is intended that a list of ways in which we can join together will be offered to assist us in our thinking on this.

Yesterday members of our Vestry and our Parish Trust took time out to consider together in what way we may be called to contribute to the care and life of this city in the years ahead, as the city begins to settle into its rebuilt and restored state. We remembered the position of our church in the city area, where many are expected to live and work in the future. We spent the day discussing this and looking for a direction to follow, and then wondering prayerfully what we might need to do over the next couple of years to prepare for our contribution.

Feedback on this day will be given. In the meantime, let us celebrate the privilege we have of worshipping together in this beautiful building, and working together to become indeed a beacon of Christian caring.

With many blessings for the week ahead,

Claire Preston

Parish Notices

Keeping the church open: volunteers are needed to cover absences in June. Please speak to Robert Maclagan (359 9215).
Sales table: in the hall after Mass today. Details Anne Ladd (981 5012).
• There is a cup of tea or coffee after the evening service each Sunday.
• The Meditation Group meets tomorrow at 5:15 pm in the parish lounge. Details Margaret Maclagan (359 9215) or Kathryn Starky (385 0197).
• The Bible Study Group meets tomorrow at 7:15 pm in the school staffroom. Details Peter Oakley (960 0974).
• The Vestry meets on Tuesday, beginning with Mass at 7:00 pm.
Vege Co-op: orders and deliveries on Wednesdays. Details Kathryn Starky.
• The Needlework Group: details Ros Calvert (322 6078).
Week of Prayer for Christian Unity—Annual Ecumenical Service: Wednesday. 7:00 pm at the Transitional Cathedral, followed by a cup of tea or coffee.
Holy Trinity: induction of the Revd Jill Keir as vicar next Sunday at 5:00 pm.
Book Swap/Donate/Share with a Friend/Give as a gift: Modern books that you have enjoyed. Fundraising koha to Anne at the sales table. Books do not need to be returned after reading. Available in parish lounge during the week, in the hall on Sundays.
Box lots of books are welcome at any S. Christopher’s Dove Book Shop.
Inasmuch basket: please continue to support the City Mission with your gifts of groceries and other household items.
City Mission Men and Women’s Support Services: thank you to all who generously donated clothing and blankets. Geoff Paterson.

Sermon by Fr Andrew Starky 10 May 2015

Easter 6 Acts 10: 44-48, 1 John 5: 1-6, John 15: 9-17 10.05.2015

“You did not choose me but I chose you,” was a favourite verse of my dear friend and mentor Robin Smith, a priest of this diocese. It’s quite a confronting verse for people these days who might think that I’ll decide my involvement in the things of God thank you. And here we have Jesus saying that he chose us, we didn’t choose him. We did choose to respond, however, to his initiative. Robin used to say that it was a very helpful verse for clergy, in particular, because we can say, if you chose me, you got me into this, so when I mess up I know you will be there to help me clean up, because after all you did choose me! Remember! We love because God first loves us…

We are chosen, indeed appointed to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last. At the AGM last week I spoke with you briefly about some thoughts for the future of children’s ministry in the parish. Bearing fruit among children and new believers is how we demonstrate our discipleship. We are called to bear fruit that will last. Fruit that lasts needs to be both tasty and genuine.

For fruit to be tasty to children it has to be simple enough for them to grasp and pertinent to their needs at their stage of life. However in its simplicity, it is vital that it is not contradicted later. (So no Father Christmas stories.) Yet children can understand analogies, like the Good Shepherd, for example. There was an Italian woman called Sofia Cavalletti who along with others developed a Catechesis for young children based on the Good Shepherd. They did that because they discovered that the Good Shepherd was both an attractive entry point for children which contained the full depth of the Christian faith, indeed all that is essential.

Children can realise that the Good Shepherd knows the sheep by name, and that the sheep can learn to recognise the shepherd’s voice. When the children come to understand who the Good Shepherd is and who the sheep are they gain some deep knowledge that draws them towards friendship with Jesus. They realise Good shepherd also searches for us when we are lost and brings us home. Those of us who have been on this journey a while will most probably have experienced that. We also know that the Good Shepherd lays down his life for his friends, the sheep because he loves them and we begin to realise how the whole paschal mystery relates to us personally and as a community.

It follows then that the Shepherd will lead the sheep to the good pasture. It is a short leap to realise that this is what is happening when we gather for Mass. A celebration of the Mass is a celebration of the New Covenant. The words of the liturgy convey this but so do the actions of the priest. In the epiclesis we call on the Holy Spirit and the priest’s hands come down recognising the initiative of God in the incarnation. The elements of bread and wine mixed with water are from God’s creation and they have been formed by human hands are consecrated and become for us the body and blood of Christ. When these are raised at the end of the prayer we are offering to God our praise as our part in the covenant.

These things are the basis of fruit that lasts. That fruit, that discipleship, is founded upon a deep and sure conviction that there is a God who loves us abundantly and personally no matter what. Everything else about our faith is commentary on that. As we grow older life throws up other issues that need to be explored, and in their time they must be, because every age and stage has its particular questions.

I think all this is so important that I am exploring the possibility of starting the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd in conjunction with the after school programme at our school so that our children can be offered fruit that will last so that they might come to abide in God’s love so that their joy may be complete.

When we come to worship there is really only one thing to learn, and it doesn’t really matter how old or young you are, or how experienced or new or learned you are. That thing is how to worship God. We are here because God first loved us and we learn how to love God through liturgical worship. We come, eventually, to realise that our whole life is worship, not just the times we spend in liturgy. In the rest of our life we worship God by loving our neighbour, by seeking for justice, by caring for those in need, in short, by proclaiming the good news Jesus Christ. In the Covenant we are blessed by the love and grace of God and our part in gratitude is to be the hands and feet of Christ, indeed his body, in the world.

Children also need to learn how to worship so that is why we are using the term Children’s Church to underline that. This means that the children are having a liturgy of word and prayer in parallel with us. They will be hearing the Gospel; they will be reflecting on it and making prayers of intercession and thanksgiving before they rejoin us for the Peace. The idea is that they are doing it in such a way that it clearly reflects how St Michael’s does things. We have paid some attention to the setting for their worship so they have a gospel book, a table that is dressed with fine linen, candles and so on. Today we are putting our toe in the water with the Young Voices to see how this might develop here at St Michael’s.

The point of it is that we might bear to the children fruit that will last so that their lives will be enriched as have ours. So that indeed their joy might be complete. In this we offer them a great gift of coming to abide in Jesus as one of his disciples because they are chosen just as are we. And when this happens the promise that was made to our ancestors Abraham and Sarah of many descendents will be fulfilled among us and then our joy will be complete.

Letter from the Vicar 10 May 2015

Fr Andrew Starky small

Dear Friends,

Alleluia! Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia!

Welcome to S. Michael’s as we continue to celebrate the risen life of our Lord in these great fifty days of Easter. Today we continue the theme of drawing close to our risen Lord by abiding with him in love. I am delighted, too, to welcome the Young Voices and their families with us again this morning.

Thank you to all who attended last Sunday’s Annual General Meeting. I thought it was a very positive meeting and had a buoyant mood about it. Our conversations were wide-ranging, from the rebuilding city of which we are a part, to the school’s life and future and the financial affairs of the parish, to name just a few. We certainly live in times of great opportunity and challenge.

Today in the Mass we will commission the new Vestry as it takes up its task for the next twelve months. At the meeting I paid tribute to and thanked Robert Maclagan for seven years of sterling service as Vicar’s Warden in the parish and I announced that Michael Graveston will be the new Vicar’s Warden. Also Peter Daniels and Shirley Richards did not seek re-election to the Vestry, and we thanked them for their work. We gladly welcomed Gloria Moyle and Gerald Ginther as new members of Vestry. I spoke in the meeting about how the Trust and Vestry will spend the day together next Saturday. The purpose of the day is to begin to seek a direction for the parish in the light of all the changes that have arisen through the earthquakes and the rebuild going on around us. Please pray for us on this day, and we will be reporting to you what comes out of it.

Next week I will be away at Clergy Conference until Thursday. Bishop Victoria has asked me to chair the conference this year as she has to be away, and I ask for your prayers as I do that.

As usual we are invited to join S. Luke’s to celebrate Ascension Day on Thursday. The Mass begins at 6:00pm at the Knox Centre, on the corner of Victoria St and Bealey Avenue. I hope we will support this well as their new Vicar, the Revd Jenny Wilkens, welcomes us for the first time.

Yours in the risen Christ,
Fr Andrew Starky

Parish Notices

Keeping the church open: volunteers are needed to cover absences in June.
Please speak to Robert Maclagan (359 9215).
Sales Table: if you have items to donate please speak to Anne Ladd (981 5012).
Lunch at Regatta on Avon: today at 12:15 pm. Details Kathryn Starky.
• There is a cup of tea or coffee after the evening service each Sunday.
• The Rolleston Home Group meets on Wednesday, 11:00 am at 111 Tennyson St,
Rolleston. Details Jenny Daniels (347 7829).
Vege Co-op: orders and deliveries on Wednesdays. Details Kathryn Starky.
• The Bible Study Group meets next on 18 May, 7:15 pm in the school staffroom.
Details Peter Oakley (960 0974).
• The Needlework Group: details Ros Calvert (322 6078).
Week of Prayer for Christian Unity—Annual Ecumenical Service: 20 May.
7:00 pm at the Transitional Cathedral. There will be a cup of tea or coffee afterwards.
Book Swap/Donate/Share with a Friend/Give as a gift:
Modern books that you have enjoyed. Fundraising koha to Anne at the sales table. Books do not need to be returned after reading. Available in parish lounge during the week, in the hall on Sundays.
Box lots of books are welcome at any S. Christopher’s Dove Book Shop.
Inasmuch basket: please continue to support the City Mission with your gifts of groceries and other household items.

Letter from the Vicar 3 May 2015

Fr Andrew Starky small

Dear Friends,

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

Welcome to S. Michael’s today as we continue celebrating the risen life of Christ. During the great fifty days of Easter the focus of our Gospel readings shifts from its initial gaze upon the appearances of Jesus following his resurrection to the way his risen life is experienced in his body following his ascension and up to the present time. Last week we heard about Jesus the Good Shepherd, and we heard of the costliness of his relationship with the sheep in the fold and how his risen life is taken up among them. Today and next Sunday we dwell on Jesus the True Vine and our place and purpose as fruitful branches on the vine.

In these weeks we can reflect on the risen life of Christ within the Church and how he feeds us with the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist. We can also consider the precious unity of the Church in preparation for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, which takes place between Ascension and Pentecost.

Today following Mass we will hold the Annual General Meeting of the Parish. We will have read the reports that have been prepared, and the meeting is an opportunity to reflect on the life of our parish as part of the Church. The AGM is an important opportunity for parishioners to give voice to affirmations and concerns about the life of the Church, all for the purpose of building the body of Christ in love. The meeting then elects the People’s Warden, the Synodspeople and a new Vestry, who will govern the parish for the next year, having heard the voice of the meeting and of course continuing to listen to feedback from parishioners.

Following the Mass it will help the meeting to get started promptly if parishioners can please make their way to the hall in good time. The Vicar will try and set a good example!

Yours in Christ,
Fr Andrew Starky

Parish Notices

Cecilian Singers Concert: today 2:30 pm at Heaton Intermediate, $15.
There is a cup of tea or coffee after the evening service each Sunday.
• The Meditation Group meets tomorrow at 5:15 pm in the parish lounge. Details Kathryn Starky (385 0197) or Margaret Maclagan (359 9215).
• The Bible Study Group meets tomorrow, 7:15 pm in the school staffroom. Details Peter Oakley (960 0974).
School Open Day: Tuesday 8:00 am–4:00 pm.
• The Needlework Group meets on Tuesday, 7:15 pm in the parish lounge.
Details Ros Calvert (322 6078).
Vege Co-op: orders and deliveries on Wednesdays. Details Kathryn Starky.
• The Canterbury Shakespeare Society meets on Thursday, 7:30 pm in the parish lounge. Details John De la Bere (981 7582).
Saturday Breakfast: 9 May, 9:45 am in the parish lounge. Details Anne Ladd (981 5012).
Lunch at Regatta on Avon: next Sunday 12:15 pm. Details Kathryn Starky.
• The Rolleston Home Group meets next on 13 May.
Week of Prayer for Christian Unity—Annual Ecumenical Service: 20 May. 7:00 pm at the Transitional Cathedral. There will be a cup of tea or coffee afterwards.
Book Swap/Donate/Share with a Friend/Give as a gift: Modern books that you have enjoyed. Fundraising koha to Anne at the sales table. Books do not need to be returned after reading. Available in parish lounge during the week, in the hall on Sundays.
Box lots of books are welcome at any S. Christopher’s Dove Book Shop.
Inasmuch basket: please continue to support the City Mission with your gifts of groceries and other household items.

Letter from the People’s Warden 26 April 2015

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Dear Friends,

As a nation we have joined with each other in the remembrance of Anzac Day and the effects that war has had on all families in this country. We join also with our Australian brothers and sisters in their remembrance.

I remember the Anzac services that I attended as a child, compulsory for us, though Mum stayed home to get lunch. We would join with other citizens at our local suburban memorial to those who fell. Standing in a respectful hush, we listened to the approaching measured marching of the retired servicemen and others in the parade. I remember the sharp noise of the rifle salute given by the big schoolboy members of the army cadets in their uniforms, and the rattle of the spent cartridge shells falling on the roadway after the sharp and frightening blast of the shots (and the little boys who would attempt to run out from the crowd and pick up the spent shells). I remember the laying of wreaths by representatives of various groups, both adult and children, the poignant rendition of the Last Post by the school bugler, and the sight of the poppy wreaths on the cenotaph. Then we would walk home for lunch. I don’t think there was much measured marching by those who served in our armed forces and no going home for lunch.

As we offer our thanks and pray for the peace of the world, we commend to the love of God all who are involved in war, also the homeless and refugees. Our readings this morning reflect the example of Jesus and his direction to lay down our lives for each other. We can all do this in simple but costly ways. Words are cheap, as the saying goes, but change of attitude and action are not. As we try to act in his name, let us remember what Jesus told us of the Good Shepherd who would lay down his life for his flock, Jesus the one who gave his life for the sake of the world. We remember also that Anzac Day falls very close to Easter, and think about the themes of sacrifice that are common to both celebrations.

Jesus Christ is risen—Alleluia!
Claire Preston

 

Parish Notices

There is a cup of tea or coffee after the evening service each Sunday.
S. Michael’s School: Term 2 begins on Tuesday.
• The Vestry meets on Tuesday, beginning with Mass at 7:00 pm.
Vege Co-op: orders and deliveries on Wednesdays. Details Kathryn Starky.
• The Bible Study Group meets next on 4 May. Details Peter Oakley (960 0974).
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).
Week of Prayer for Christian Unity—Annual Ecumenical Service: 20 May.
7:00 pm at the Transitional Cathedral. There will be a cup of tea or coffee afterwards.
Book Swap/Donate/Share with a Friend/Give as a gift:
Modern books that you have enjoyed. Fundraising koha to Anne at the sales table.
Books do not need to be returned after reading. Available in parish lounge during the week, in the hall on Sundays.
Box lots of books are welcome at any S. Christopher’s Dove Book Shop.
Inasmuch basket: please continue to support the City Mission with your gifts of groceries and other household items.
City Mission winter clothes appeal: there is a waiting list of people needing blankets, and always an urgent need for winter clothing at this time of the year. Many people in Christchurch are still living in substandard accommodation, in garages or even tents. You can help by donating good quality clothing and bedding, which can be placed in the large marked box by the font. Large items should be taken directly to the City Mission, 269 Hereford Street.