Welcome to S. Michael’s; it is a joy to join with you to offer our worship to God in this place. This coming week marks Alice Bates’ final days as our Parish Administrator. I would like to acknowledge the hard work and dedication that Alice has brought to the role and offer her our prayers as she returns to full-time study (we are pleased that she will be continuing as our Children and Young Adults Minister until September).
Our celebration of Corpus Christi was a highlight for me last Thursday and I would like to extend my thanks to everyone who was involved in the celebration of the Mass and Procession of the Blessed Sacrament. It is an important aspect of the Anglo-Catholic tradition that we foster here at S. Michael’s. A tradition that we offer as a gift to the wider Church and the people of our communities.
In today’s Gospel reading we find Jesus condemned by the religious elites of his time; first for allowing his disciples to ‘harvest’ a few heads of corn, and then for daring to heal a man with a paralysed hand on the sabbath. The sabbath was one of the most important Jewish observances, recalling God’s rest at the end of creation, and his liberation of the people of Israel from their captivity in Egypt. To stop, to
put aside work and give an entire day over to God was a symbol of Israel’s freedom as a people. Yet, what we can see in the Gospel passage is that this law of freedom had been twisted into a burden. Jesus is not about to allow this, for there is no day on which God will cease to care for us, and to work for our good and wholeness. Just as there is no day on which we are forbidden to show care, charity, and love for our neighbour. Suzanne Guthrie, considering Christ’s provision of food and healing on the Sabbath, offers us this reflection to consider:
Keeping a Sabbath means opening yourself to restoration of mind, heart, soul, body. You replenish your intuition, creativity, instinct. Miraculous! You do this by practising to live outside of time, one day
a week, near the thinnest layer of the veil this side of paradise. To keep sabbath, to intentionally set aside time for God, is important, but only so long as we allow that time to be what it is truly meant to be, a time to experience the true freedom.
Fr Ben Randall
- Church Grounds: volunteers sought for garden and/or general grounds maintenance work around the church. Please speak to the Wardens.
- Church Hosts: volunteers are needed especially for Wednesday and Thursday mornings and Friday afternoons, starting mid June. Details Alastair Scott (343 5153).
- Lunch at Regatta on Avon today at 12 noon.
- Bible Study Group meets tomorrow, 7:15 pm in the parish lounge. Details Peter Oakley (960 0974).
- Organ Recital: John Linker at the Cathedral, Tuesday 1:10 pm.
- Needlework Group: at Jill Woodside’s Tuesday 7:15 pm. Details Ros (322 6078).
- Meditation Group: Lady Chapel Wednesdays 12 noon. Details Pat Evans (358 0127).
- Faith in Film—Thomas Cranmer: Geoff Haworth Wednesday 6:30 pm in the Tui Room at S. Barnabas. Shared meal. Details 388 6882.
- Canterbury Shakespeare Society: Thursday 7:30 pm in the parish lounge.
- Gospel of John: Paul Trebilco Thursday & Friday 7:00 pm, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Centre for Ethics & Spirituality: Daniel McKay, Thursday 7:30 pm, Chapman Room at Christ’s College. See poster for details and bookings.
- Saturday Breakfast: 9 June 9:45 am in the parish lounge. RSVP Alice.
- RSCM Music Sunday: a celebration of music and musicianship in the Church. Next Sunday 2:00 pm at Oxford Terrace Baptist Church. Details on poster.
- Anglican Missions: Michael Hartfield. Saturday, 10:00 am at S. Silas Church.
- Theology Papers for Semester 2: enrolments due by 25 June. Details email@example.com or phone 03 479 8901.
- St Michael’s School is collecting pairs of glasses for donation to the Lions’ Four Eyes Project which re-gifts them to the Pacific Islands. Leave at the parish office. Electronic Devices wanted for recycling: old mobile phones, tablets etc.
- Book Swap: in the parish lounge. Koha to parish.
- Inasmuch basket: please continue to support the City Mission with your gifts.