Letter from the Vicar 13 September 2015

Fr Andrew Starky small

Dear Friends,

Welcome to S. Michael’s. Today we celebrate the baptism of Madi Tucker and Braxton Ellis, and we welcome you both and your families.

The reading that we will hear this morning comes from Paul’s Letter to the Romans and reminds us that we are one body in Christ. Paul carries that image further to develop the idea of the different ministries or functions by which each member contributes to the whole. Each person has gifts that differ according to the grace that has been given them in baptism. This means that we are really members of each other and we cannot function as a whole body unless everyone is doing their part.

In S. Michael’s people undertake many different kinds of ministries. Some are very obvious and up front. Others are not as immediately obvious. Indeed even though I’ve been here as Vicar for nearly two and a half years, I am still discovering the wonderful work and ministry that people of this parish do. Some of this is done when we meet for worship, but much is done at other times. For example, after I spoke about refugees last Sunday I had a parishioner approach me who has for many years had a role supporting them in this city.

Many people who do not profess to be Christians also do these things, and good on them. Christians, though, see it as a ministry, something that will transform them by the renewing of their minds, as much as it may help others. This is because we recognise Christ in the poor and needy, the hungry and the thirsty. It is this activity, when it is coupled with the spiritual worship gathered together in the Church, that provides the living sacrifice that pleases God.

In John’s Gospel we hear Jesus say that he lays down his life of his own accord, no one takes it from him. He lays it down in order to take it up again in the power of the Spirit. This is at the heart of baptism. Of our own accord, we lay down our life as a living sacrifice to God, so that in the power of the Spirit we may take it up and live abundantly. This is our prayer for Madi and Braxton, and indeed for all the baptised.

Yours in Christ,
Fr Andrew Starky

Parish Notices

Sales Table: in the hall after Mass. Details Anne Ladd (981 5012).
Revd Anne Price will be inducted as Chaplain of Cathedral Grammar School, today 5:00pm at the Cathedral.
• There is a cup of tea or coffee after the evening service each Sunday.
Prayers for Healing with Fr John Rea: today 2:30 pm at the Burwood Christian Centre, 52 Bassett Street, hosted by the Lamb of God Community.
Meeting to discuss forming a Women’s Group: Tuesday after the 10:00 am Mass, in the lounge. Details Kathryn Starky (385 0197) or Pat Evans (358 0127).
Christopher’s Classics Concert: Tuesday 8:00 pm at S. Michael’s.
Vege Co-op: orders and deliveries on Wednesdays. Details Kathryn Starky.
Forum-Dialogue: What sort of city are we building? Four Thursdays at 5:30 pm, beginning this week. See www.knoxchurch.co.nz/news for details.
St Michael’s School will be on holiday from Friday until 12 October.
• The Bible Study Group meets next on 21 September at 7:15 pm in the staffroom. Details Peter Oakley (960 0974).
Michaelmas Festival Mass: 29 September at 7:00 pm, Bishop Victoria will celebrate and preach. Supper in the hall, details Claire Preston (342 4650).
• The Needlework Group meets monthly. Details Ros Calvert (322 6078).
Book Swap/Donate/Share with a Friend/Give as a gift: Modern books that you have enjoyed. Fundraising koha to Anne at the sales table. Books available in parish lounge during the week and in the hall on Sundays.
Box lots of books are welcome at any S. Christopher’s Dove Book Shop.
Inasmuch Basket: please continue to support the City Mission with your gifts of food and other household items.

St Michael’s School presents
Ali Baba
Wednesday at the McFadden Centre, McFaddens Road, St Albans,
1:00 pm and 6:30 pm
Details from the school office