Welcome to S. Michael’s today as we celebrate the Dedication Festival of this wonderful church. Last Tuesday we celebrated Michaelmas in fine style, when we praised God for S. Michael and for the angels who are our patrons. Today our focus comes on to our own church, which has been dedicated to the glory of God. The building that we have the privilege of worshipping in is truly beautiful. It is what some people call a ‘thin place’. This means a place where it is easier to pray, and my experience is that children can be particularly sensitive to such places. God is equally available anywhere, of course, but there are some places, whether in the natural environment or of human construction, where people experience a desire to pray. These are called holy places. They are set apart in some way.
One of the challenges that many churches face in the Christchurch rebuild is how to balance the idea of a ‘holy place’ with the need for a multi-purpose facility. Our understanding of the Incarnation is that God, in his Son Jesus, came and dwelt among us. This would suggest that our ‘holy places’ should be accessible and useful for serving people in need whatever their age. One of the best examples of this, from our own heritage, is the Mission House at Kerikeri. This was where the missionaries lived and engaged in teaching, worship and helping people. The times have changed, yet I think this holistic idea of keeping missionary presence, worship, teaching and pastoral help together still has merit, and represents a real possibility on this site as we look to vicarage options here.
What a wonderful celebration we had at Michaelmas, and thanks are due to many people for making this so special this year. In particular I would like to thank Claire Preston, our People’s Warden, who was the one with the long list at Vestry of things to remember, and to those Vestry members who served the supper and stayed behind to clear up. Our thanks go to the hard-working sacristans, and to the Trumpet team, who received a special commendation from Bishop Victoria for their work. The music was sublime, and thanks to Paul Ellis and all our musicians for all their tireless efforts. The flowers were abundant, the brass sparkling, the grounds trim, the linen smooth. We were, in short, at our best and I give thanks for all who helped in any way, great or small, and to the God who made it all possible.
Yours in Christ,
Fr Andrew Starky
• S. Michael’s School is on holiday until 12 October.
• Synod 2015 Reports: copies available at the back of the church.
• Sales Table: in the hall after Mass. Details Anne Ladd (981 5012).
• Lunch at the Regatta on Avon: today 12:15 pm. Details Kathryn Starky.
• 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 Margaret Maclagan (359 9215) or Kathryn Starky (385 0197).
• The Bible Study Group meets tomorrow at 7:15 pm in the staffroom. Details Peter Oakley (960 0974).
• The Needlework Group meets on Tuesday. Details Ros Calvert (322 6078).
• Christopher’s Classics: concert Tuesday 8:00 pm at S. Michael’s.
• The Rolleston Home Group meets on Wednesday, 11:00 am at 10 Elizabeth St, Rolleston. Details Jenny Daniels (347 7629).
• Recital: Paul Ellis with singer Anna Hoetjes, Wednesday 1:00 pm at S. Mary’s Pro-Cathedral, Manchester Street.
• Vege Co-op: orders and deliveries on Wednesdays. Details Kathryn Starky.
• Forum-Dialogue: What sort of city are we building? Series continuing on Thursday at 5:30 pm. See www.knoxchurch.co.nz/news for details.
• Concert: The Church Tour, Thursday 8:00 pm at S. Michael’s.
• Saturday Breakfast: 10 October, 9:45 am in the lounge. Details Anne Ladd.
• Poverty, Inequality and Decision-Making: lecture by Bryan Bruce, author and documentary-maker, Cathedral Saturday 7:30 pm, supper provided. See poster.
• Volunteers required for Heritage Week: details Louise (379 5236).
• Book Swap: modern books available for exchange, Sundays in the parish hall and weekdays in the lounge. Koha to parish funds.
• Inasmuch Basket: please continue to support the City Mission with your gifts of food and other household items.