Christ is risen! Alleluia!
Welcome to S. Michael’s today as we come towards the end of the fifty days of Easter.
The readings begin to anticipate both the feasts of the Ascension, which we are
celebrating on Thursday, and that of Pentecost, two weeks from today.
Ascension Day also marks the beginning of General Synod this year, which I will be
attending as a representative of this diocese. It is very helpful that we are meeting
during the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. Much of the focus leading into it has
been around the report A Way Forward, which seeks to find a possible way for the
Church to move forward on the blessing of same-sex relationships whilst maintaining
unity with those who disagree. This is one of the most divisive issues that the Church
has faced in recent times, and we find sharp differences of opinion expressed at all
levels from families, congregations, dioceses, provinces and the Communion
worldwide. In some of the weekday Masses this week we have been reflecting on the
account of the Jerusalem Council in Acts 15, when the young Church sought to
address issues which arose through the Spirit’s outpouring on the Gentiles, alongside
readings from John 15 about the Vine and the branches, and the need to abide with
Jesus in the Father’s love so that our joy may be complete.
O God, from whom all good things come, grant that, by your inspiration
we may discern what is right, and by your merciful guiding may do it;
through Jesus Christ who is alive with you, in the unity of the Holy
Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Today following Mass we will have our Annual General Meeting, and I encourage
you to attend. You will have seen the written reports, which the meeting will largely
‘take as read’. This is a good opportunity to reflect on the life of the parish as we look
ahead, and to elect a Vestry and Wardens to carry things forward.
As I mentioned, this Thursday is Ascension Day, and as well as our regular Mass at
10:00 am we will be joining once more with S. Luke’s in the Knox Centre at 6:00 pm
for Mass, followed by supper. This year the preacher will be the Venerable Dr Peter
Carrell. I encourage as many of you as possible to be present at this important festival,
and to support our friends at S. Luke’s.
He is risen indeed! Alleluia!
Fr. Andrew Starky