Welcome to S. Michael’s. Today we complete our series of readings from the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus calls us to a consideration of what actually drives our concerns and what we trust in ultimately. Will it be God or money? The reading asks us to consider the things we worry about and to think about where the seat of our worries is to be found. His message is that if we want to truly live life abundantly, then trusting in God and seeking his kingdom is the way to go.
This week we have witnessed two very moving services focused on Oi Manawa, The Canterbury Earthquake National Memorial, adjacent to S. Michael’s. In the first on the eve of the anniversary, the families who lost loved ones and those who were seriously injured in the 22 February earthquake were present for the unveiling of the names of those who died, among them Beverley and Earl Stick of S. Michael’s. In the second service on the anniversary itself, the memorial was formally dedicated and opened by the Governor-General, and many wreaths were laid in remembrance. On both occasions the connection with S. Michael’s was noted and appreciated, and our involvement welcomed. This is a privilege and creates a responsibility for us to have our doors open to welcome those who come seeking solace after their visit to the memorial. Otakaro, who planned both services, are to be commended for organising these two very moving and appropriate occasions so well.
This Wednesday is Ash Wednesday and marks the beginning of Lent. Lent is a time of preparation for the great festival of Easter. I encourage you to attend Mass on Ash Wednesday to mark the beginning of your personal pilgrimage to Easter as part of this church community. During Lent it is customary to adopt some extra spiritual disciplines of prayer, fasting and almsgiving. We have often spoken of prayer and fasting, but less about almsgiving. Almsgiving means giving to and helping people who are poor, as distinct from the general running of the parish.
In the life of the parish almsgiving is administered through the Vicar’s Discretionary Fund. For Ash Wednesday and Maundy Thursday the Vestry has agreed that during the Solemn Mass there will be an alms collection which will be added to this fund for the purpose of helping those in need.
We have all been delighted to see how the two historic banners have been so beautifully framed and positioned on the back wall of the church. Today we pause in the introit procession to dedicate them once again to the glory of God.
Yours in Christ,
Father Andrew Starky
- Palm Crosses: please return these in preparation for Ash Wednesday.
- Lenten Appeal for Anglican Missions: envelopes available at the back of the church.
- Angel Pockets/Blankets: the Women’s Fellowship invites parishioners to join them in knitting and crocheting wraps for stillborn babies. Details and patterns available from Jill Woodside (338 9590), who is also collecting the completed wraps.
- Tree maintenance: parking on site will be limited on Tuesday morning.
- Vestry meets on Tuesday, beginning with Mass at 7:00 pm.
- Meditation Group meets weekly beginning this Wednesday 12:00–12:30 pm in the Pilgrims’ Chapel. Details Margaret Maclagan (359 9215) or Kathryn Starky (385 0197).
- Youth Group: Do you know anyone who would like to join our Youth Group? We have two groups on Wednesdays—Year 7/8 (4:00–5:30 pm) and Year 9 and above (5:00–6:30 pm). Details from Shaun Graveston.
- Lenten Quiet Day: Gratitude and Risk. Thursday 9:00 am–4:00 pm at CSN Retreat House. Leader Revd Megan Herles-Mooar. Bring your own lunch, tea & coffee provided.
- Canterbury Shakespeare Society meets Thursday 7:30 pm in the lounge.
- World Day of Prayer: Friday 10:00 am at Knox Centre. Details on poster.
- Bible Study Group: meets 6 March, 7:15 pm in the school. Details Peter Oakley (960 0974).
- Needlework Group: meets monthly. Details Ros Calvert (322 6078).
- Sales Table: in the hall after Mass today. Details Anne Ladd (981 5012).
- Book Swap: Sundays in the hall and weekdays in the lounge. Koha to parish.
- Inasmuch basket: please continue to support the City Mission with your gifts of groceries and other household items.
- Lent Book Reading Group begins after morning tea next Sunday Being Disciples: The Essentials of Christian Life by Rowan Williams 12 noon–1:00 pm in the parish lounge
- Stations of the Cross: weekly during Lent, Sundays 5:00 pm in the church