Welcome to S. Michael’s today. Friday was Waitangi Day and in our Mass today we remember and give thanks for the Treaty, and we pray that our nation will continue to grow towards the aspirations of those who signed. There is often a level of tension around Waitangi Day as some Maori air grievances and Pakeha face uncomfortable aspects of our history. As much as that is important, we also need to be thankful for the measure of progress that has been made in settling Treaty claims and in developing opportunities for Maori to flourish as New Zealanders. It remains a challenge to us as a nation, though, that Maori continue to be well over represented in our prison population and statistically have poorer health and education outcomes. There is no ground for complacency.
The early Anglican missionaries were the midwives of the Treaty, in many respects.That history has led our Church to reflect in a serious way about how we as a Church could provide a governance model that demonstrates partnership. Hence the development of the Three Tikanga structure. This represents a journey rather than a destination, and the Church still has much to do to fulfil the vision embodied in our revised constitution.
Each parish unit can work towards this vision itself. For us, it was a highlight last year to welcome Bishop John Gray to bless and re-dedicate the wakahuia. The wakahuia, which hangs centrally in our church and contains the Blessed Sacrament, embodies the living presence of Christ in this place. The blend of Maori and English tradition which it represents, as well as the Gospel and Maori motifs in the carving, make it an extraordinary bicultural taonga.
This week the School returned and it was with joy that at the first School Mass we welcomed Marshall Diggs as Principal. I am sad to inform you that Barbara Byers has been made redundant from the School, as unfortunately the small numbers in the junior school had made reorganisaton necessary. Barbara was herself a pupil at the School, and over many years she has made a huge contribution to both School and Parish. We will miss her greatly and we wish her every blessing in the future.
This afternoon at 1:00 pm we are having a parish picnic at Riccarton Bush, and at 2:00 pm we will be entertained with a performance of Peter Pan. I look forward to seeing you there and enjoying a relaxing time together.
Yours in Christ,
Fr Andrew Starky
Congratulations to Fr Andrew on his appointment by the Bishop as Warden of the Community of the Sacred Name, renewing the close ties S. Michael’s has always had with the Community.
Preparations for Lent:
• Ash Wednesday 18 February: Masses at 8:40 am, 10:00 am and 7:00 pm.
• By next Sunday please return your palm crosses to be made into ashes.
• Our Lent Study will begin on Thursday 19 February at 7:30 pm in the lounge.
We will be following the book Gratitude and Grace: Through Lent with John, by Lynda Patterson and Peter Carrell. All are welcome.
• Stations of the Cross will be at 5:00 pm on Sundays during Lent.
• Sunday School today and every Sunday during the 10:00 am Mass. Details Marla Hughes (960 0753).
• Sales Table: in the hall after Mass. Details Anne Ladd (981 5012).
• Parish picnic today at 1:00 pm. Details Michael Graveston (385 9766).
• You are invited to a cup of tea or coffee after the evening service each Sunday.
• The Meditation Group: tomorrow at 5:15 pm in the church. Details Kathryn Starky (385 0197) or Margaret Maclagan (359 9215).
• Vege Co-op: orders and deliveries on Wednesdays. Details Kathryn Starky.
• The Parish Trust meets on Wednesday at 5:15 pm.
• Celebrating 75 years at Taizé: events at the Cathedral on Wednesday. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
• Saturday Breakfast: 14 February, 9:45 am in the parish lounge. Details Anne Ladd.
• Marlon Williams: concert at S. Michael’s on Saturday at 8:00 pm.
• The Bible Study Group meets next on 16 February at 7:30 pm in the school staffroom. Details Peter Oakley (960 0974).
• The Lent Study Group begins 19 February at 7:30 pm in the parish lounge. All welcome. Details from Fr Andrew.
• The Needlework Group: details Ros Calvert (322 6078).
• WW1 Centenary Project: anyone interested in knitting or crocheting poppies please speak to Jill Woodside (338 9590).
• Inasmuch basket: please continue to support the City Mission with your gifts of groceries and other household items.