Letter from the Vicar 1 March 2015

Fr Andrew Starky small

Dear Friends,

Welcome to S. Michael’s as we continue our pilgrimage in Lent. Today our reading from the Gospel recalls the Transfiguration of Jesus. One way of understanding the Transfiguration is that on this occasion Jesus’ divinity shone through his humanity.

When we come to Mass we begin spiritually to climb a mountain, as Jesus and his disciples climbed Mt Tabor. Our steps are marked quite deliberately. The first is our intention to come to Mass, and our preparations as we clarify our intentions for prayer and our need for forgiveness. When we arrive it is customary to dip our fingers in the stoup (the small dish of baptismal or holy water by the door), and make the sign of the cross. We do this as we enter the church to remind ourselves of who we are, a baptised child of God, and to whom we belong, the triune God. Some will then choose to light a candle near the statue of Our Lady for a particular prayer intention. Before taking our seat we genuflect in reverence to the Blessed Sacrament, which is held in the wakahuia. This is the living presence of the Lord in our midst. Then comes a time for silent prayer as we await the beginning of the Mass.

In the Mass we become part of a community as we continue our journey together up the mountain. We begin with praise and then offer our communal confession to God for the ways in which we have fallen short as a people of God. Following the Absolution declared by the priest, we pray the Collect. Next is the Ministry of the Word and we hear the Scriptures read and reflected on, followed by the Prayers of the People. As we draw near to the summit we exchange the Peace with each other, knowing that it is only the gift of the peace of Christ shared among us that enables us to make the final steps towards the celebration of the Holy Eucharist. After receiving communion we begin to descend the mountain in the Prayer after Communion and the Dismissal, as we are sent out to be the people of God in the world.

During Lent it is good to be even more mindful about our journey in the Mass and to remember that in this journey we also will be transfigured. The celebration of the Eucharist enables something more of the divine life of the Holy Spirit within us to shine through our humanity as we go about our daily lives and ministries.

The Vestry were heartened to receive notification from Christian World Service that our contribution to the Christmas appeal was $2790. Well done, S. Michael’s!

Yours in Christ,

Fr Andrew Starky

 

Parish Notices

Sunday School: during the 10:00 am Mass. Details Marla Hughes (960 0753).
Sales Table: in the hall after Mass. Donations welcome for prizes for the Easter raffle. Details Anne Ladd (981 5012).
Lunch at Regatta on Avon: today at 12:15 pm, all welcome. Cost $12. Details Kathryn Starky (385 0197).
• You are invited to a cup of tea or coffee after the evening service each Sunday.
• The Bible Study Group meets tomorrow at 7:15 pm in the school staffroom. Details Peter Oakley (960 0974).
• The Needlework Group meets on Tuesday, 7:15 pm in the parish lounge. Details Ros Calvert (322 6078).
• The Rolleston Home Group meets on Wednesday, 11:00 am at 10 Elizabeth St, Rolleston—reflections on the first two Lenten Studies from Gratitude & Grace. Details Jenny Daniels (347 7629).
Vege Co-op: orders and deliveries on Wednesdays. Details Kathryn Starky.
Lent Study Groups: times on previous page.
• The Canterbury Shakespeare Society meets on Thursday at 7:30 pm in the parish lounge. Details John De la Bere (981 7582).
World Day of Prayer: S. Michael’s joins with other inner-city parishes for the annual service on Friday, 10:00 am at Knox Church. Details on poster.
Christopher’s Classics: concert on 12 March by highly talented 13 year old pianist. 8pm.
Retreat in daily life: 14–21 March, S. Christopher’s. Contact Margaret Shearing shearingz@inet.net.nz for details.
Keeping Good Company presents a contemporary Passion Play 27–29 March. Details davenjo@xtra.co.nz or 348 5653.
Inasmuch basket: please continue to support the City Mission with your gifts of groceries and other household items.