Letter from the Vicar 11 October 2015

Fr Andrew Starky

Dear Friends,

Welcome to S. Michael’s today. We gather to ‘seek the Lord and live’, as the prophet Amos puts it. This is the essence of our call to praise and worship God in all things and at all times. The purpose of our presence in the Liturgy is to recall us to this way of life, which so easily slips away. Whether we come with overwhelming problems or joys or some mixture of both, the reminder is always needed that the praise and worship of God in all things is the way to life. Lest we be confused Amos includes the words, ‘seek good and not evil that you may live.’ This calls us to avoid the trap of thinking that we can somehow separate our spirituality or spiritual practice from the ethics that govern our life and behaviour.

This separation has always been a particular challenge to the Church. It is much easier to pray liturgies, sing songs and hear sermons about things, than it is to actually change our ethical behaviour in the way the prophet indicates. Jesus’ response to the man who approaches him thinking that he can gain eternal life without laying down his own life is challenging to hear. It cuts like a double-edged sword to the very depths of the thoughts and intentions of our heart. We sit with this challenge knowing that our first action is to celebrate Eucharist. We find here the pattern for aligning our spirituality and our ethics in a way that traces the outline of the cross. I offer a couple of possibilities to ponder:

Anglican Advocacy Volunteer Mentors: As the Justice Precinct continues to take shape next door, consider whether you may have a spare 8 hours? Anglican Advocacy is looking for people to become volunteer mentors for low-risk offenders who appear before the Community Justice Panel. There is an information night on Wednesday from 7:00–8:00 pm at Theology House, 31 Yaldhurst Road. If you are interested in knowing more, please email Grace Le Heux at researcher@anglicanlife.org.nz for details.

The Anglican Care Trust Board AGM this year will include an address from Bishop Justin Duckworth of Wellington on serving the least, the last and the lost. This is at 6:00 pm (5:30 pm for refreshments) on 20 October at the Community of the Sacred Name, 300 Tuam Street.

Yours in Christ,
Fr Andrew Starky

Parish Notices

Sales Table: in the hall after Mass. Details Anne Ladd (981 5012).
• There is a cup of tea or coffee after the evening service each Sunday.
S. Michael’s School: Term 4 begins tomorrow.
CWS celebrates 70 years since the first Christmas Appeal: Rod Oram How small change makes big change. Cathedral Tuesday 6:30 pm.
Vege Co-op: orders and deliveries on Wednesdays. Details Kathryn Starky.
Heritage Week: volunteer hosts still required for next Saturday and Sunday 11:00 am–3:00 pm. Speak to Louise (379 5236).
S. Luke’s Day: we are invited to join the people of S. Luke’s for Evensong next Sunday, 6:00 pm at the Knox Centre (note no Evensong at S. Michael’s).
The Bible Study Group meets next 19 October, 7:15 pm in the staffroom. Details Peter Oakley (960 0974).
Celebrating the Gospel in the Market Place: Mark Powell, CEO The Warehouse, speaks at Evening Prayer at the Cathedral 25 October 4:30 pm, followed by discussion with Bishop Victoria and Ngaire Button. Details Michael Graveston.
The Needlework Group meets monthly, details Ros Calvert (322 6078).
Department of Theology and Religion: University of Otago Distance Studies. Brochures for next year available now in the parish lounge.
Book Swap: modern books available for exchange, Sundays in the parish hall and weekdays in the lounge. Koha to parish funds.
Inasmuch Basket: please continue to support the City Mission with your gifts.

Supper after Evensong and Taizé
The Vestry has acknowledged with thanks the ministry of Jenny Daniels
who for a number of years has organised the supper following the evening
services. It has now been agreed that the servers and those preparing for
Taizé worship will set up beforehand. Catherine Axcell has kindly agreed
to serve the supper and clear away afterwards and it would be helpful if
others could lend a hand as required.