Letter from the Vicar – 5 March 2017

Dear Friends,

Welcome to S. Michael’s on this first Sunday in Lent. On Ash Wednesday we began our Lenten journey. Today we celebrate Mass and hear readings that go right to the heart of our human predicament. But they don’t leave us there. We hear also about how Christ, through his obedience to God, has opened the way for us to be made righteous in the sight of God through his grace.

This season culminates in the Easter Vigil when, traditionally, new believers were baptised and brought into the Church. The readings during Lent are carefully chosen to provide the basis for catechesis, or preparation for baptism. If you are considering baptism and would like to be baptised at the Easter Vigil, or you know someone else who is interested, please approach me. At present we have one candidate in preparation.

For those of us who are already baptised, Lent provides a time to revisit the fundamentals of the life that we have chosen to lead. A key part of this is reconciliation both with God and with our neighbours. We can find ourselves estranged. Lent is a time to ask for the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that we may both receive the forgiveness of our sins, and be able to grant forgiveness to those who have sinned against us. This is the tough part of Christianity because it calls us to open our heart to trust in God’s mercy and forgiveness, and to let go of the grudges that strangle our soul. This Church offers the Sacrament of Reconciliation, which is an opportunity for you to confess your sins to a priest in total confidentiality and then receive the gift of mercy. I encourage you to make time for this during Lent and approach one of our clergy.

During Lent there is an invitation to adjust our lifestyle and try out some new practices to help us prepare for Easter. Such changes will bring new order and holiness to our life so that we can indeed live out the abundance that Jesus promises. Forty days is long enough for new habits to emerge, and the continuing provision of feasts of the resurrection on the Sundays (which are not counted as fast days) keep the goal of redemption before our eyes.

 

Yours in Christ,

Father Andrew Starky

 

During Lent S. Michael’s supports your journey by offering:

Daily worship: Morning Prayer 8:00 am Monday–Thursday in the Lady Chapel,

Mass 10:00 am weekdays 9:00 am Saturday. Sundays as listed on page 7.

Study and Meditation

Bible Study Group Mondays 7:15 pm, Reading Group Sundays noon–1:00 pm,

Meditation Group Wednesdays noon–12:30 pm, Youth Groups Wednesdays 4:00 pm

The Sacrament of Reconciliation by appointment.

 

Parish Notices

 

  • Lenten Appeal for Anglican Missions: envelopes available at the back of the church.
  • Sales Table: in the hall after Mass today. Raffle tickets, $2 each or 3 for $5, available Sundays in the hall, weekdays from the office. Details Anne Ladd (981 5012).
  • Angel Pockets/Blankets: Jill Woodside (338 9590) is collecting the completed wraps.
  • Bible Study Group: Mondays 7:15 pm in the school. Details Peter Oakley (960 0974).
  • Needlework Group: Tuesday 7:15 pm in lounge. Details Ros Calvert (322 6078).
  • Meditation Group meets weekly, Wednesdays 12:00–12:30 pm in the Pilgrims’ Chapel. Details Margaret Maclagan (359 9215) or Kathryn Starky (385 0197).
  • Youth Group: Do you know anyone who would like to join our Youth Group? We have two groups on Wednesdays—Year 7/8 (4:00–5:30 pm) and Year 9 and above (5:00–6:30 pm). Details from Shaun Graveston.
  • Young Adult Gathering: next Sunday 2:00 pm at Beat Street Cafe. Invitation to join a group from S. Michael’s meeting with other young people (Year 13+) for fun, discussion, fellowship and faith exploration. Details Alice Bates.
  • Book Swap: Sundays in the hall and weekdays in the lounge. Koha to parish.
  • Inasmuch basket: please continue to support the City Mission with your gifts of groceries and other household items.
  • Thomas Merton and Mindfulness: Helen and Bosco Peters 16 March 7:30 to 9:00 pm in the Chapman Room at Christ’s College Thomas Merton, the son of a Christ’s College Old Boy, became one of the most influential spiritual writers of the 20th century and has influenced thinkers in the popular Mindfulness Movement. All welcome, see poster for more details.