It seems such a long time since I last wrote. So much has happened.
Today we farewell Bishop Victoria at a service in the Transitional Cathedral. She has served this Diocese for just on ten tumultuous years. I feel very privileged that I was the first Deacon that she ordained a Priest. No other Bishop has had such trauma, in recent times, of such a devastating earthquake and its after-effects. This parish has been on its own tumultuous journey in that time.
One of my favourite authors is Timothy Radcliffe, a Dominican Friar. In his book ‘What is the Point of Being a Christian?’ he writes, beginning with a quote from D.H. Lawrence:
“The optimist builds himself safe inside a cell
And paints the inside walls sky blue
And blocks up the door
And says he’s in heaven.
“Maybe the Church endures moments of crisis so that God may demolish the optimistic cells in which we take refuge. He knocks down the blue walls so that the sunlight may shine in and we may come out. At a solemn profession the then Provincial of the English Province, Ian Hislop preached. He was a craggy fierce Scottish convert from Presbyterianism. He said,
“I am coming to the end of my religious life and you are now beginning yours. As I look back over my religious life, and it has been a long one, I think of all that I have laboured to build and support. Often I have laboured hard to construct something, to leave some monument behind me, when, inevitably, some idiot has come along after me and torn down all that I have built and called it progress. So, I want to give you this piece of counsel, whatever schemes you may hatch, whatever plans you may formulate be sure of one thing, God will frustrate them.
“This may look like Calvinist pessimism, but it is not. Our dreams are too small, and if God demolishes them it is so that we may venture out into the larger space of his life. God liberates us from small ambitions so that we may learn to hope more extravagantly.”
On this the day of our AGM, we are also asking you to reflect on how we will use the time, skills, money and resources at our disposal, both as individuals and as a parish. At the back of the church is a letter and a leaflet asking us all to consider the gifts of God’s Grace.
The Reverend Anne Price
- Today 11:45 am: Annual General Meeting in the parish hall.
- Today 5:00 pm: Bishop’s Farewell Eucharist at the Cathedral.
- Giving receipts available today at the back of the church.
- S. Michael’s School is on holiday until 30 April.
- Bible Study Group meets tomorrow, 7:15 pm in the parish lounge. Details Peter Oakley (960 0974).
- Women’s Fellowship: Tuesday 10:30 am in the parish lounge. Claire Preston will speak about the Franciscans. All welcome. Details Pat Evans (358 0127).
- Meditation Group meets in the Lady Chapel on Wednesdays at 12 noon. Details Margaret Maclagan (359 9215).
- Vicarage Building Fund: soup and home baking next Sunday, delicious food for you to buy and enjoy, so please remember to bring cash. Many thanks to parishioners, S. Michael’s School and friends who supported the Easter raffle drawn last Sunday.
- Anglo-Catholic Hui with Bishop Steven Benford: Dunedin 9–11 August. Programme to include presentations on sacraments, mission, the Holy Spirit, Church growth, work with children and youth, and spirituality. Enquiries: Fr Michael firstname.lastname@example.org
- Easter flowers: thank you for your generous donations.
- Book Swap: in the parish lounge. Koha to parish.
- Inasmuch basket: please continue to support the City Mission with your gifts
of groceries and other household items.