15 October 2021

 

Dear Parish family

Kia Ora e te whanau!

 

This is my last weekly parish letter as on Monday our parish will be formally dissolved. Last Sunday’s liturgy acknowledging our grief and sadness was very moving for all of us who were able to be there. Thank you to all of you.

This Sunday 17 October, there won’t be a service in the morning. Instead we gather at the Transitional Cathedral at 5pm for a Festal Eucharist for the Diocese and City, to give thanks for 162 years of ministry of our Parish and to pray God’s blessing for the future.

 


 

Because of the restrictions under level 2 limiting us to 100 in the congregation, we have had to forgo the choristers [there are 14 of them and they would have been counted in the 100]. Instead one of the choir men will sing two solos during the service. Pihopa Richard Wallace will welcome us as Mana Whenua. Bishop Peter will be the celebrant and I will preach. Our St Luke’s icon will be prominently displayed as an aid to our worship. There will be a glass of ‘bubbles’ for us all at the end of the service.

Because we are limited to 100 people attending as the congregation, only those who have accepted the invitation can be assured of a seat. Please would you make sure you arrive by 4.50pm.
The service will be live-streamed for those who cannot be there. 
TO WATCH A LIVESTREAM OF THE SERVICE, please go to:  https://youtu.be/Q3aj6OXKVJs

 

The Gospel passage for Sunday evening’s service is from John 15:12-17

 

 

On Monday 18 October, St Luke’s Day, our final service will be a Sung Mass for our parish family and friends to celebrate our Saint’s Day at 6.30pm in the hall at Knox. This will  of course be followed by drinks and nibbles [it is the St Luke’s way!]. 
The service will be live-streamed for those who cannot be there. 
TO WATCH A LIVESTREAM OF THE SERVICE, please go to:  https://youtu.be/LTtHXtB1ysU  

 

Before this at 5.15pm you may like to join me at the church site for some prayers giving thanks for the churches which have stood there. [The site will be retained until the end of March 2023 as the home of the 185 white chairs].

 

As we are at level 2 this means:

  • You asked to wear a face-mask [we will have disposable masks available].
  • On arrival a welcomer will mark your attendance on a register. Hand sanitizers will also be available.
  • The seating will be arranged to maintain 1m distancing
  • There will be singing in this service, with us all wearing our masks
  • There will be no physical sharing of the Peace greeting. We can look at one another and smile/nod a greeting
  • Communion will be in one kind. We will use wafers rather than the pita brea

 

 

The weekday Eucharist in the style of St Luke’s will be on Wednesday 20th October at 12.05pm in the Transitional Cathedral.

 

I have had the privilege of being the Priest in Charge of St Luke’s for only just over a year, and through this time I have been graciously infected by the essence of mutuality and love which at its very best is St Luke’s in the city. I have truly experienced the work of the Holy Spirit amongst us, bringing us to a point where we can as a parish give our life for a new venture with God:

  • The St Luke’s Inner city Chaplaincy with its focus on ‘touching the sacred’ in life in the city with people of all faiths and none;
  • The association with the cathedral as the heart and soul of our city and its contemplative heartbeat;
  • The commitment to ongoing support for the marginalised people we have sought to serve;
  • The desire for our precious church site to be used in due course for social, community purposes.
     

Here is a legacy. Here is a new life. Here is a model of future church which we can offer to others to reflect on the way they are stewarding the resources that they have and hold for the service of Jesus Christ.

 

On Monday there is a death. But this is not the end. On Monday the parish is dissolved. It is not what we wanted but circumstances largely beyond our control have brought us through the grace of God to some radical and adventurous decisions. We have truly felt the hand of God guiding us.

 

The decisions you have made are brave and spirit filled. Fr.David Moore in a poem he offered to us last Sunday written by David Whyte quotes ‘Sometimes with the bones of the black sticks left when the fire has gone out, someone has written something new in the ashes of your life’.

 

St Luke’s, you are not leaving as the light fades quickly now, you are arriving.  These last 10 years, these last few months tell the story of the passion, death and resurrection into new life of this faith community. We may as individuals not be sure of the way ahead for us, but what we can be sure of is that God who has been our guide and sustainer up to now, will never leave us to face our future alone.

 

So let us pray

For all that has been, thanks,

 For all that will be Yes.

 

Thank you for allowing me to be part of your life

 

Blessings
Peter