Welcome to S. Michael’s. We certainly are in the depths of winter at present with
cold winds and bleakness. I am aware of much sickness in our parish at present. I am
so thankful for the Pastoral Team which is getting under way, and for the continual
acts of kindness and mercy which are so much the hallmark of S. Michael’s. We are
also very aware of the unrest going on internationally in many settings at present. Let
us not lose heart, but rather renew our life in prayer. The readings today encourage us
to be constant in prayer, and we hear the story of how Jesus gave us the prayer which
is so central to our life as Church, the Lord’s Prayer.
Next Sunday afternoon Kathryn and I will begin our sojourn away from S. Michael’s
for some months. We start with a month of holiday in Canada visiting Kathryn’s
family, which will be a delight. My Study Leave begins as we travel to England. First
we will visit churches in Oxford, Watford and London, including All Saints,
Margaret Street. Then we will travel north to spend two weeks at the Community of
the Resurrection at Mirfield. In these weeks I hope to gain a broader understanding of
Anglo-Catholicism in the UK. My particular interest is to understand more about the
inner dynamic of how we celebrate the seasons and festivals of the Church’s Year,
and how these celebrations can become an even stronger proclamation of the Gospel
to people of all ages, and of varying Christian knowledge and experience.
After this we travel to York to stay with Revd John and Stephanie Day. John has just
been appointed to a mission position working closely with the Archbishop of York.
As well as giving us the chance to explore York, this time will enable me to begin to
put some of my experiences into a New Zealand perspective. In October we will
return to New Zealand for a period of reading and reflection before going on retreat in
November in Wellington. We intend to undertake the Spiritual Exercises of
S. Ignatius in a 30-day silent retreat.
As S. Paul writes to the Colossians, we seek to deepen our rootedness in Christ as we
are built up in the faith with thanksgiving. Kathryn and I are most thankful for this
opportunity to rest, study and pray, and we wish to thank everyone who is making this
possible by carrying extra responsibility here at S. Michael’s.
Yours in Christ,
Fr. Andrew Starky