I am in a position that I never expected to find myself in, and I am honoured to journey with you as a community of faith at this moment in time. It is a challenge trying to sift through the thoughts of my mind and focus on how to greet you.
I was born on a farm in mid-Kent, the county between London and Dover in the UK. I am the middle child of three. My older brother continues in the farming tradition of the family and my sister is a Consultant in Care of the Elderly. I began my working life as a teacher and taught for many years in the UK. My husband, Charlie, and I moved to New Zealand thirteen years ago. I was accepted for ordination training soon after our move here. After completing my theology degree through Otago University and ordination training I was ordained a deacon at the end of 2007 and priested a year later by Bishop Victoria. My curacy was undertaken in the Parish of Opawa-St. Martins and followed by a few years out in the Parish of Ellesmere before I returned to the city and took the position of Chaplain at the Cathedral Grammar School.
What of us together in the here and now? This prayer by Rex Chapman, Canon of Carlisle Cathedral, fell out of a book that I was reading: Into your hands, Lord, we commit our spirit, into your hands, the open and defenceless hands of love, into your hands, the accepting and welcoming hands of love, into your hands, the firm and reliable hands of love, we commit our spirit.
Our hands are as much barometers of our feelings as our faces, how we hold them, if we hold our faces in them, how we shake another person’s hand or how we literally hold one another. John Pritchard, the recently retired Bishop of Oxford, wrote of this prayer: “We’re easily seduced into thinking that every problem needs to be resolved as quickly as possible, whereas often problems need to be held in the ‘open and defenceless hands of love’, while the Spirit resolves our pain at a deeper level and over a much longer period. Here is my life offered up to God, and I need to make that offering without strings. Closed hands might conceal much, open hands reveal all to the One I choose to trust. As he takes my life, I’m both relieved and, if I’m honest, a bit anxious about offering so much with so little control. But that’s faith, that’s the deal.”
When all seems hard and incomprehensible, hold out your hands and return yourself to the gentle place of rest, the ever-present, ever-loving God’s hands. Allow yourself to be embraced and held.
The Reverend Anne Price.
- Parish AGM next Sunday 11:45 am in the hall.
- Art Exhibition: Diana Smith would like to express thanks to those who bought paintings at her recent exhibition in the parish hall. She also thanks the Music Group, and all others who gave their time and effort to make the exhibition a success. Twenty-two paintings were sold, raising a total sum of $3,690 for the S. Michael’s Vicarage Fund.
- Easter flowers: sincere thanks for the very generous donations this year.
- Receipts will be issued under the new arrangements, ie end of March 2018.
- Fundraiser: fresh stocks of marmalade are now available in the parish lounge.
- Meditation Group: Wednesdays 12:00–12:30 pm in the Pilgrims’ Chapel. Details Margaret Maclagan (359 9215).
- Bible Study Group meets next on 15 May, 7:15 pm in the school staffroom. Details Peter Oakley (960 0974).
- Needlework Group meets monthly. Details Ros Calvert (322 6078).
- Christian Vocation Seminars: Alistair Mackenzie and Don Rowlands. Details from firstname.lastname@example.org or S. Barnabas Church Office (351 7064).
- Angel pockets/ blankets: Jill Woodside is collecting completed wraps from now until the middle of May.
- 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.