Letter from the Vicar 22 November 2015

Fr Andrew Starky small

Dear Friends,

Welcome to S. Michael’s on this Feast of Christ the King. This celebration comes at the end of the long sequence of Sundays in Ordinary Time which follow Pentecost. During this period we have heard much about the growth of the kingdom, and the work of the Holy Spirit acting through believers. Today we acknowledge the kingship of Christ, to which all that growth points. It is a kingship that is quite different from the kind of power grabs that we see happening around us in the world. Indeed it is to be a reign of peace that is not gained by suppressing opponents. Sadly, we must acknowledge that such suppression has been all too common in church history.

Having acknowledged that, we must speak out strongly against the savagery that we are witnessing in the world at present in Sinai, in Beirut, in Paris, in Damascus and so on. We are seeing a spiral of violence that must be contained and turned back unless we are to see an even greater catastrophe.

The kingship of Christ that we celebrate on this day has arisen from his offering of himself on the altar of the cross in a perfect sacrifice of peace. This is what we celebrate every time we pray the Mass. On this day we give it particular focus with the procession of the Blessed Sacrament in the wakahuia at the conclusion of the Mass. The use of the wakahuia to hold the presence of Christ for this community represents an intentional desire to incarnate bi-culturally this kingdom of peace in our own land.

This year as we do this we can’t help remembering the late Bishop John Gray, who came and re-dedicated the wakahuia following its reinstallation last year. Last Sunday I went to Te Hepara Pai to offer condolences to Whaea Helen and her family and to recognise the unique contribution Bishop John made in our Church at many levels. May he rest in peace and rise in glory.

Next Sunday we begin Advent, when our focus becomes waiting and praying for the coming of the Lord. This heralds the beginning, once more, of the liturgical cycle. In preparation for this I encourage you to consider how you will enter this Advent season afresh this year. It is too easy to become like a stuck record travelling again around a well-worn path. A healthy Christian journey is one that looks more like a spiral. It takes account of our growth in Christ over the past year and the particular joys and challenges in our life now. This is called the journey of sanctification.

Yours in Christ,
Fr Andrew Starky

Introducing the CWS Christmas Appeal

Christian World Service has been for 70 years the trusted agency for overseas development, justice and aid of the combined NZ Churches.

CWS is committed to stand by Gospel campaigns that ‘bring good news to the poor’, that challenge the causes of poverty, hunger and injustice, that question any issue incompatible with basic Gospel values and a just social order.

CWS works with local partners in each country, not with governments, to get money swiftly to where it is needed for those suffering from war, disease or natural disaster. Undaunted by the scale of the challenge, they tackle problems one child, one family, one village, at a time.

This Christmas we again have the opportunity to help CWS rebuild resources and bring hope to people in Gaza, Nicaragua, South India, Vanuatu and Uganda.

The theme for Christmas 2015 is Help rebuild lives.

Parish Notices

• Sales Table: Sundays after Mass. Details Anne Ladd (981 5012).
• Christmas Raffle: please speak to Anne Ladd if you can donate items suitable for prizes.
• Liedertafel Concert today at 2:15 pm, at St Margaret’s College in the Charles Luney Auditorium. Door sales $15.
• Induction of the new Dean: today 5:00 pm at the Cathedral.
• The Meditation Group meets tomorrow at 5:15 pm in the parish lounge. Details Margaret Maclagan (359 9215) or Kathryn Starky (385 0197).
• The Vestry meets on Tuesday, beginning with Mass at 7:00 pm.
• Vege Co-op: orders and deliveries on Wednesdays. Details Kathryn Starky.
• Stand against family violence: White Ribbon Day on Wednesday. The Anglican Diocese is supporting this international day, joining the CDHB, the Police, City Council and others in a rally and barbecue, 12:30–1:30 pm in Cathedral Square.
• Charity Concert for Habitat for Humanity: at S. Michael’s Saturday at 7:00 pm.
• The Bible Study Group: final meeting for the year 30 November. Details Peter Oakley (960 0974).
• Garden City Orchestra Messiah Sing-Along: combined choirs, 5 December, 7:30 pm at S. Michael’s. Door sales $15 and $10.
• Book Swap: Sundays in the hall and weekdays in the lounge. Koha to parish.
• The Needlework Group: meets monthly. Details Ros Calvert (322 6078).
• Inasmuch Basket: please continue to support the City Mission with groceries etc. Reminder also of the urgent need for clothing and furniture.

Climate Action March
Before world leaders meet in Paris to plan a global response to climate
change, local action is planned. To help provide a Christian voice
S. Michael’s is joining with other churches in a parade on Saturday,
leaving at 12:30 pm from Victoria Square. This march will express the
desire that genuine, serious and urgent action be taken. It is not a protest,
it will be a family-friendly event for all. Details Claire Preston (342 4650).