Letter from the Vicar – 5 February 2017

Dear Friends,

Welcome to S. Michael’s. Last week I wrote about how Candlemas marks a move from our celebrations since Christmas of the Incarnation of God in Jesus Christ, towards a focus on preparing for Lent, which begins this year on 1 March. Over the next few weeks we are invited to consider our lives and what will be a helpful spiritual discipline to adopt during the season of Lent. We begin to think about what will help us to grow in faith as disciples. Today’s Gospel reading speaks about disciples being salt of the earth and light to the world. This calls us to examine both the authenticity of our life as a disciple of Jesus and our willingness to engage in the kind of works that will bring glory to God.

To help consider these things I am proposing to run a Book Group during Lent, based on a recent publication called Being Disciples: The Essentials of Christian life, by Rowan Williams, the previous Archbishop of Canterbury. It has six short chapters and the idea is that we would read them and then meet to consider the discussion questions and any other aspects that arise from it. The current Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, writes about the book, “Here is quite the most beautiful writing on discipleship I know. I am grateful for the inspiration that I find in these pages. I commend it to those who have been on this journey for a long time, as well as to anyone who wonders what on earth following Jesus is all about.” My comment, having read the book on my study leave, is that it is written very simply and is easy to understand. I think the book distils the wisdom of a remarkable Bishop and scholar, in our age, about living the Christian life. If you are interested, please let me know as soon as possible so we can order the books in time to begin Lent. We will determine the time and place of meeting once we know who wants to participate.

Also, during Lent both the Youth Groups, Years 7–8 and Year 9+, are going to be using a resource Growing as Disciples: A Youth Resource, by Christopher De La Cruz, published by The Thoughtful Christian.com. These youth groups will take place on Wednesdays beginning at 4:00 pm and 5:00 pm respectively at the church. Please contact Shaun Graveston or Alice Bates for further information.

Yours in Christ,

Father Andrew Starky

Parish Notices

  • Keeping the church open: for this important ministry we need more volunteers, especially for weekends and for people able to cover occasionally when needed. Training and support will be provided. Details Alastair Scott (343 5153).
  • Bible Study Group: meets tomorrow, 7:15 pm in the school staffroom. Details Peter Oakley (960 0974).
  • Needlework Group: meets Tuesday, 7:15 pm in the parish lounge. Details Ros Calvert (322 6078).
  • Saturday Breakfast: 11 February 9:45 am in the parish lounge. Details Anne Ladd.
  • 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.
  • Theology House Courses 2017: Diploma of Christian Studies (NZQA): Theology of Church, Being Anglican, Building Intergenerational Community, Gospel of Luke. Information http://www.theologyhouse.ac.nz/anglican-studies-at-theology-house/ including dates for registering and enrolment. General ministry training: Preaching, Te Reo for Liturgy, and others. http://www.theologyhouse.ac.nz/learning-events/ Contact Jill Short, admin@theologyhouse.ac.nz or 341 3399 for more details.
  • St Mary’s Addington 150th anniversary: 18 February: Parish Dinner 5:30 pm at S. Martin’s, Lincoln Road. 19 February: Morning Service of Thanksgiving to be followed by a celebratory tea party at 1:00 pm in Church Square with food, fun and music. anglicanstmary@gmail.com for details.
  • Narropera: If you are interested in joining a party to attend the German opera gala on 19 February, or Der Freischütz on 19 March, please contact Yvonne: yvonnepasea@gmail.com
  • Inasmuch basket: please continue to support the City Mission with your gifts of groceries and other household items.