Letter from the Vicar 8 November 2015

Fr Andrew Starky small

Dear Friends,

Welcome to S. Michael’s to the Holy Eucharist. Today our readings about scarcity and plenty demonstrate God’s providence. Yesterday we farewelled our dear brother John Fowler in a Funeral Mass. John was a very faithful servant of God and of this church and we will miss him greatly, possibly more than we already realise. We also know that John was a brother to Gwen and Karen, a doting owner of Tiffy and Scarlet, and a true and loyal friend of many people. The side we saw of John was his ministry among us in the liturgy, on the Vestry and as Verger, which covered a multitude of tasks.

When the Church loses such a person it is natural to wonder how we will manage for the future, bearing in mind the many things that John did in the life of our parish. It is like a mighty tree falling in the forest, yet when this happens space becomes available and small seedlings begin to grow. This is the way that we discover that ‘the jar of meal will not be emptied and the jug of oil will not fail until the Lord sends rain upon the earth’. The waiting is a time when faith is tested and sacrificial generosity called for. The widow of Zarephath demonstrates these qualities in the hospitality she gives to Elijah, which was remarkable considering the desperate situation she was in. As a Church we need to trust the faith at this time.

One of the things that I found most endearing about John Fowler was the joy with which he carried out his ministries. He had a real desire for excellence in the liturgy, which could at times be a bit taxing for those around him, but his great love was to worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness. S. Michael’s was a great gift to him as he was to us. As you’ve heard me say before, our vocation is where the deep joy of our heart meets the deep need of the world. Let us be guided by the gift of deep joy placed in our hearts by God.

John’s passing will mean some rearrangement of responsibilities which will need to be worked out over the next months. I am particularly grateful to Colin McKay and Nick Webb for offering to help cover extra Low Mass serving in the short term, but in due course we will need to find another server for weekday Masses.

Yours in Christ,
Fr Andrew Starky

Parish Notices

Sales Table: in the hall after Mass. Details Anne Ladd (981 5012).
• There is a cup of tea or coffee after the evening service each Sunday.
Walking Group: anyone interested in a walk in Hagley Park on Mondays meet at the west door at 8:40 am. Details Kathryn Starky.
• The Meditation Group meets tomorrow at 5:15 pm in the parish lounge. Details Margaret Maclagan (359 9215) or Kathryn Starky (385 0197).
• The Needlework Group meets Tuesday, 7:15 pm in the parish lounge. Details Ros Calvert (322 6078).
Trumpet deadline next week: Wednesday noon (because of Show Day holiday).
Vege Co-op: orders and deliveries on Wednesdays. Details Kathryn Starky.
• The Parish Trust meets on Wednesday at 5:15 pm.
Father Baker’s ashes will be scattered in the garden near the west door following the Mass and Saturday Breakfast on 14 November. His family welcome any parishioners who would like to attend.
• The Bible Study Group meets next on 16 November, 7:15 pm in the staffroom.
Outreach Committee: meets next 16 November, 7:30 pm in the parish lounge. Details Michael Graveston (027 358 0010).
Installation of the new Dean: 22 November 5:00 pm at the Cathedral. Parish representatives are invited; speak to Louise by 18 November if you wish to attend.
Book Swap: Sundays in the hall and weekdays in the lounge. Koha to parish.
Inasmuch Basket: please continue to support the City Mission with groceries etc. Reminder also of the urgent need for clothing and furniture.

Climate Action March
Before world leaders meet in Paris to plan a global response to climate
change, local action is planned. To help provide a Christian voice
S. Michael’s is joining with other churches in a parade on 28 November,
leaving at 12:30 pm from Victoria Square.This march will express the
desire that genuine, serious and urgent action be taken. It is not a protest,
it will be a family-friendly event for all. Details Claire Preston (342 4650)
S. Michael’s Climate Action Petition: there is still time to add your
name to the sheets at the back of the church before 15 November.
Details Mary Hamilton (337 0833).