Letter from the Vicar – 19 February 2017

Welcome to S. Michael’s,

 

In the past week we have been astonished by the large fires on the Port Hills and very saddened by the loss of life and property in them. We are also just a few days away from the sixth anniversary of the deadly earthquakes of 22 February, which are still so fresh and troubling in many memories.

This year the National Earthquake Memorial is being opened on the Avon River adjacent to S. Michael’s. We have watched its careful construction over many months. This has been matched by the care of Otakaro who have sought to surround its opening with as much sensitivity as they can. Let us pray that after it is opened it will be a place where the deep groaning of people’s spirits will connect with the everlasting arms of God, to provide solace, comfort and hope to all those in our city and beyond who have suffered so much in the earthquakes. S. Michael’s stands nearby with our doors open to welcome all who are troubled and those who mourn. Our prayer is that they will be comforted and find peace.

Today we continue our reflections on Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. Once again he stretches the boundaries of the Christian life well beyond the traditional understandings of his day and of ours. The readings from both Leviticus and 1 Corinthians pick up this theme by emphasising the call to holiness. This is what we understand when we speak of the journey of sanctification which begins at our baptism and is nourished every time we celebrate the Eucharist. In the season of Lent, which is just a few weeks away, we take this call to holiness to heart with even greater depth.

Serving at Sunday Low Mass: currently we have just one server available for Sunday Low Mass at 8:00 am. This server would like some relief from having to serve every week, so if you think you could help out, please contact me. Training will be given as required.

 

Yours in Christ,

Fr Andrew will offer a presentation on his recent study leave next Sunday 12 noon–1:00 pm in the parish hall after a light lunch at 11:30 am.

 

Parish Notices

  • Lent Studies—a Book Reading group with discussion on Rowan Williams’ book Being Disciples: The Essentials of Christian life. This book has six short chapters and is written in a simple and easy to understand style. It contains the wisdom of a remarkable Bishop and scholar, of our age, about living the Christian life. Sundays during Lent beginning 5 March, 12 noon–1:00 pm in the parish lounge. Please indicate your interest as soon as possible so that sufficient copies may be ordered.
  • Appointment: the Vicar and Wardens are delighted to announce that Alice Bates has been appointed permanent part-time Parish Administrator.
    Her hours will be Tuesday to Friday 9:00 am–12 noon.
  • Palm Sunday: 6–8 large palms are required to decorate the pillars in the church on 8 April. Contact Jill Woodside (338 9590) or Lawrence Watson (359 3054).
  • Palm Crosses: please return by next Sunday in preparation for Ash Wednesday.
  • Bible Study Group: meets tomorrow, 7:15 pm in the school. Details Peter Oakley (960 0974).
  • Women’s Fellowship meets in the lounge on Tuesday, 10:45 am (after the 10:00 am Mass). Speaker Kathryn Starky on her recent travels. All welcome. Details Pat Evans (358 0127).
  • Angel Pockets/Blankets: the Women’s Fellowship invites parishioners to join them in knitting and crocheting wraps for stillborn babies.
    Details and patterns available from Jill Woodside (338 9590).
  • Closure of Oxford Terrace: no access to our car park on Tuesday 4:00–10:30 pm, and Wednesday 10:00 am–3:00 pm.
  • Voices of Aotearoa—A Time of Trust: Joy Cowley. Wednesday 7:00–8:30 pm at Mary Potter Community Centre 442 Durham St Nth, $10. Details on poster.
  • Needlework Group: meets monthly. Details Ros Calvert (322 6078).
  • Sales Table: in the hall after Mass today. Details Anne Ladd (981 5012)
  • Book Swap: Sundays in the hall and weekdays in the lounge. Koha to parish.
  • Tree maintenance: there will probably not be parking available on site during the
    morning of 28 February.
  • Meditation Group will meet weekly beginning 1 March 12:00–12:30 pm in the lounge. Details Margaret Maclagan (359 9215) or Kathryn Starky (385 0197).
  • World Day of Prayer: 3 March 10:00 am at Knox. Details on poster.
  • Inasmuch basket: please continue to support the City Mission with your gifts of groceries and other household items.