Letter from the Vicar 11 December 2016

Dear Friends,

Welcome to S. Michael’s on Gaudete Sunday. Gaudete is a Latin word meaning
‘Rejoice’. Advent is a time to identify with those who share a great desire for the
coming of Christ. Often this desire arises out of the experience of suffering and
trial, yet with the coming of John the Baptist, the herald of Jesus, we experience
the joy of expectation that indeed the Saviour is about to appear. We live long
after the first coming of Jesus, which we remember and celebrate at Christmas. In
Advent we pray and long for the second coming of Christ and the fulfilment of his
kingdom in the reign of God. We can also talk of a ‘third’ coming, that of Christ
into our hearts now. It is this ‘third’ coming for which the season of Advent
prepares us personally and as a community.

Kathryn and I were delighted to return to S. Michael’s last Sunday and receive the
warm welcome of the parish. We know how well the parish has been served by
Canon Craufurd Murray as Priest-in-charge and the school chaplaincy by Revd
Anne Price. I thank them both warmly as well as the Wardens and all who have
helped support the parish in these months. My Study Leave has been an important
time of rest, reflection, learning and prayer, and I look forward to sharing our
journey with you in due course and the fruits of what I have learned.

Last week it was wonderful to see the special Christmas Sales table set up in the
hall and I want to thank Pat Evans and the Women’s Fellowship for all their efforts
and generosity towards this sale. More than $1,200 was raised towards the cost of
new robes for our excellent choir.

Next Sunday we celebrate the Nine Lessons and Carols at 7:00 pm. This is one of
the highlights of our church year at S. Michael’s. We would like, once again, to
offer a supper in the hall following this service, so please, if you are able, bring a
plate of finger food to share.

Maranatha—Come, Lord Jesus!

Father Andrew Starky