I can’t quite believe that we are already in the month of September. It is incomprehensible as to where time as gone, in fact it seems to be speeding up. As you are all well aware, I do battle with my desk on a regular basis, space on it is always at a premium. I generally have all that I need to work close at hand, but not always discoverable without mounting a crusade against paper and books.
In today’s crusade I have found some interesting tomes. One of which is John Pritchard’s ‘Going to church’. It is a much used and heavily marked book. I opened it and read. Chapter 5 is titled ‘Vicars – all shapes and sizes’. As you ponder, as a parish, your next Vicar keep this in mind.
They have the highest ideals. They are called by a vision which is sometimes so breathtaking it is almost embarrassing to articulate. They experience human life in the raw, often stepping into places of pain and darkness that few would dare to enter. They’re sacrificial and altruistic in a way that’s rare these days. They work all hours and turnout on the darkest nights without a thought of renegotiating their contract (which they don’t have anyway). They’re physicians of the heart and poets of the soul, although they often have to be technicians of the church as well. They think about the biggest issues (God, the universe and everything) while also having to keep an eye on the parish magazine accounts and the squeak on the vestry door. They pray and ponder and love and teach and train and organise and lead worship and trouble-shoot and encourage the fallen and visit the sick and fall asleep in front of the television.
The following prayer was written by R. L. Stevenson (1850 – 94), born in Edinburgh, but spent the last five years of his life in Upolu, an island in Samoa. Here, he established himself, after much work, upon his estate in the village of Vailima. He took the native name Tusitala (Samoan for “Teller of Tales”, i.e. a storyteller). Here he found peace and it was during this time that most of his prayers were written.
Grant to us, O Lord, the royalty of inward happiness, and the serenity which comes from living close to thee. Daily renew in us the sense of joy, and let the eternal Spirit of the Father dwell in our souls and bodies, filling every corner of our hearts with light and grace; so that, bearing about with us the infection of good courage, we may be diffusers of like, and may meet all ills and cross accidents with gallant and high-hearted happiness, giving thee thanks always for all things. Amen
The Reverend Anne Price
- Climate Petition to the next NZ Parliament: copies are available for signing at the back of the church and in the parish lounge. Details Mary Hamilton (337 0833).
- Pre-Synod briefing meeting: today at 11:45 am.
- Lunch at the Regatta on Avon: today at 12:30 pm. Details from Alice
- Communion at Three: today. All welcome.
- Anglican Care AGM: tomorrow 5:30 pm. Details Christine (332 7143).
- Bible Study Group meets tomorrow, 7:15 pm in the school staffroom. Details Peter Oakley (960 0974).
- Climate Action Group meets Tuesday, 1:30 pm in the parish lounge.
- Needlework Group: meets Tuesday, 7:00 pm at Jill Woodside’s home. New members welcome. Details Jill (338 9590).
- Meditation Group: Wednesdays 12:00–12:30 pm in the Pilgrims’ Chapel. Details Margaret Maclagan (359 9215).
- Canterbury Shakespeare Society meets Thursday, 7:30 pm in the parish lounge.
- Saturday Breakfast: 9 September, 9:45 am in the parish lounge. Details Ros (322 6078).
- Fundraiser: jars of marmalade and lemon curd are available in the parish lounge.
- Book Swap: on bookshelves in the lounge. Koha to parish.
- Recycling Electronic Equipment: please put unwanted phones etc in the box at the back of the church or take to the parish office. Details Jenny Daniels (347 7629).
- Inasmuch basket: please continue to support the City Mission with your gifts of groceries and other household items.