Letter from the Vicar 15 February 2015

Fr Andrew Starky small

Dear Friends,

Welcome to S. Michael’s today on this last Sunday before Lent begins. Inevitably our thoughts today will be tending towards preparation for Lent. The purpose of Lenten disciplines is to increase our capacity for liturgy as we approach Holy Week and Easter. In those liturgies, which mark the climax of our calendar, we have the opportunity to grow up yet more in every way into him who is the head, into Christ. In our prayer today and in the days ahead let us reflect on the things we might do during this period that could be useful to this end. Lenten disciplines traditionally come under three headings, prayer, fasting, and almsgiving.

Our intentions in prayer during Lent might be to set aside special time for personal prayer. The Meditation Group is one good place to receive encouragement in this. You could make an intention to attend an additional Mass during the week or to increase your Sunday attendance. Another option is to attend Morning Prayer, which will be offered at 8:00 am on weekdays in the church. We will also offer Stations of the Cross at 5:00 pm on each Sunday of Lent. Prayer is intimately linked with study, and you could resolve to attend the Lent Studies or the parish Study Group. Sometimes during Lent people have been moved to offer themselves to the choir or to the serving ministries.

Fasting during Lent involves altering our usual routine in some way. It may be that this involves food or alcohol or regular exercise. Spiritual disciplines need to be holistic so that we come to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. Some things can start to dominate our lives in unhealthy ways, and today those things can frequently be electronic. Lent is a good time to work on anything that has begun to get out of proportion in our lives.

Almsgiving means giving to the poor. Perhaps our fast frees up something that can be offered for the good of others. There is much need in our city as well as in the world at large. Lent is a time to engage anew with the poor and needy. This means being prepared to build relationships with them so that we give more than a few coins, indeed we share our very selves with them.

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. Details Anne Ladd (981 5012).
• You are invited to a cup of tea or coffee after the evening service each Sunday.
• The Bible Study Group meets tomorrow at 7:30 pm in the school staffroom. Details Peter Oakley (960 0974).
Vege Co-op: orders and deliveries on Wednesdays. Details Kathryn Starky.
Finding your place in God’s story: Alistair Donaldson, 11 Mondays from 23 Feb. Details Laidlaw College (354 4270 ext 901).
Lunch at Regatta on Avon: 1 March at 12:15 pm, all welcome. Cost $12. Details Kathryn Starky (385 0197).
World Day of Prayer: 6 March, 10:00 am at Knox Church. Details on poster.
• The Needlework Group: details Ros Calvert (322 6078).
WW1 Centenary Project: anyone interested in knitting or crocheting poppies please speak to Jill Woodside (338 9590).
Inasmuch basket: please continue to support the City Mission with your gifts of groceries and other household items.

Gratitude and Grace: Through Lent with John
All are invited to join a Lent Study Group
either at S. Michael’s or Holy Trinity Avonside
Tuesdays 10:30 am at Holy Trinity, after Morning Prayer at 10:00 am
Wednesdays 7:30 pm at Holy Trinity

Thursdays 7:30 pm at S. Michael’s