Letter from the Vicar 28 June 2015

Fr Andrew Starky small

Dear Friends,

Welcome to S. Michael’s today. The winter has surely been upon us in recent weeks!

Lately there have been major statements about climate change and social justice in the worldwide Church. These are in preparation for an important international meeting on climate, to be held in France in December. Pope Francis has gained wide attention for his Encyclical on the environment Laudato Si. This is a substantial document which is well worth reading and pondering on, and I commend it to you (full text at w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/encyclicals/index.html).

In addition the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew have made a joint statement highlighting a report soon to be released in the medical journal The Lancet which points to the ‘inalienable and undeniable link between climate change and human health’. They say that ‘climate change has the potential to dismantle decades of health developments, while also threatening the wellbeing of future generations through ongoing detrimental impact on air and water pollution, as well as food security and malnutrition’, and that the impact will be most strongly felt by children and the elderly. They call for attention to the root of the problem: the need to assume moral responsibility not only as regards health, but in economic and general policy.

These statements challenge well-off ‘western’ nations such as ours to a radical rethink of our priorities and our responsibilities to the world at large. Let us hear the words of Paul in today’s Epistle, “I do not mean that there should be relief for others and pressure on you, but it is a question of a fair balance between your present abundance and their need… in order that there may be a fair balance.”
(2 Corinthians 8: 13, 14)

It’s easy for those of us who are not world leaders to think that we have no influence over these events. If everybody takes that view and remains passive and indifferent, then we also play our part in consigning even our own descendants, together with large swathes of the world’s population and creatures, to a miserable existence in the decades to come. Rather than focusing on what we can’t do, if we do what we can, that may well turn out to be enough.

We can become more informed about these issues, we can use our influence to help change the tide of public opinion, we can make changes to our own lifestyle. If people did these things that would be enough.

I am sad to tell you that Malcolm Laird, the husband of Margaret who sings in our choir, has died suddenly while they were travelling in South America. Our prayers are with Margaret and her family in this distressing time, and may Malcolm rest in peace and rise in glory.

Yours in Christ,
Fr Andrew Starky

Parish Notices

Christchurch City Mission: many families and individuals are struggling to cope in winter conditions. The City Mission helps as many people as possible and is very grateful for our donations of food and household items. Please continue to give generously. Clothing and larger items may be delivered directly to 276 Hereford St.
Organ Recital: Denis Guyan. Today 2:00 pm at S. Michael’s. Door sales $20 (fundraiser for S. Barnabas).
• There is a cup of tea or coffee after the evening service each Sunday.
• The Meditation Group meets tomorrow at 5:15 pm in the parish lounge. Details Kathryn Starky (385 0197).
• The Rolleston Home Group meets on Wednesday, 11:00 am at 107 Tennyson St, Rolleston. Details Jenny Daniels (347 7629).
Vege Co-op: orders and deliveries on Wednesdays. Details Kathryn Starky.
Phantom of the Opera: the original 1925 silent movie with live sound track by organist David Briggs. Wednesday 6:30 pm at the Cathedral. Tickets $25 & $15 from eventfinda.co.nz or the Cathedral shop.
• The Canterbury Shakespeare Society meets on Thursday at 7:30 pm in the parish lounge. Details John De la Bere (981 7582).
S. Michael’s School will be on holiday from Friday until 20 July.
Lunch at the Regatta on Avon: 5 July at 12:15 pm. Details Kathryn Starky.
• The Bible Study Group meets next on 6 July, 7:15 pm in the school staffroom. Details Peter Oakley (960 0974).
• The Needlework Group meets next on 7 July, 7:15 pm in the parish lounge. Details Ros Calvert (322 6078).
Residential Retreat A New Heart: Wellington 17–26 July. Cost $817. Details from arrupenz@xtra.co.nz or phone 04 383 7769.
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.