Message from Peter Beck
09 July 2021
Dear Parish family
Kia Ora e te whanau!
This Sunday our Parish Eucharist is at 9.30am in Knox Chapel.
I’ve called my sermon ‘Shall we dance?’!
The readings tell the story of two very different dances. The Old Testament readings are in 2 Samuel 6:1-5, 12b-19 and Psalm 24. King David dances a dance of utter self-abandonment and of delight in the presence and blessing of God. He dances the delight of creation.
The gospel passage is Mark 6:14-29. This recounts a very different dance, one of violence, brutality and death, the death of John the Baptist. The contrast is striking: David’s dance of life, the banquet of heaven, and Salome’s dance, a banquet of death.
We gather on Sunday in Knox Chapel to dance! Foolishly, unapologetically, and beautifully we dance. Paul and I will dance up the aisle in our flowing white gowns! We will sing to each other hymns, ballads of our common history, punctuated by gestures of stillness, of standing, and sitting, of clasping the hands of another. Our bodies, our voices, and our movements become vehicles for expressing our relationship with the divine. And coming forward to the altar, we present those gifts, gifts of ourselves, to God and to one another, a feast, a holy banquet open to all who would join us.
The question I ask is how are we as individuals transformed by our dance, transformed by our liturgy? By our gathering? By our faith? How are we, like David, expressing what we know of God, what we have seen of God, and God’s relationship to us, in this moment of dancing?
Like David, our dance must be done ‘with all our might’. It must be a dance that acknowledges the unique, limited, often uncoordinated way in which each of us tries to embody and express anew the music and breath of the spirit moving in us. It must acknowledge that the dance we do is an expression of our humanity, and it must be a dance that with ‘all its might’ seeks to draw together instead of dividing, to empower instead of belittling, to interpret rather than dictate.
There will be the usual service of the Holy Eucharist on Wednesday at 10am and Thursday at 9.30am in the Knox chapel.
I am on leave for the next couple of weeks. Gay and I will be on grandparenting duty on the North Island. Lynn will celebrate on the Wednesday masses and Carol on the Thursday masses. Next Sunday, Carol will preside and Gareth will be the preacher. Thank you, all of you.
The vestry meets this Wednesday.
Coming up this week at Sister Eveleen House there is a silent retreat focussed on texture, colour and movement on July 16-18 entitled Contemplate/Regenerate/Create.
Sister Eveleen is also offering a retreat called ‘A beginner’s guide to contemplation’ on the weekend of July 30/August 1. For details go to their website www.sistereretreat.com/event.
Focus on Modern slavery
Slavery was not abolished.
Does it still exist here?
Human trafficking is not only alive and well, it is active and evil.
Come and hear three top speakers on Sunday 18 July at 3pm at All Souls Church
Matt Little, who is Commercial Partnerships Executive with The Crusaders. As a young man he witnessed trafficking in SE Asia but like many he didn't realise what he was observing.
Don Lord, the Executive Director of Hagar whose aim is to support folk who have been rescued. He is a most empathetic businessman and a strongly driven Christian.
Alanna Chapman who with her husband witnessed slavery/prostitution in SE Asia and wanted to do something about it. She worked for Hagar and then they set up 27 Seconds wine. [Every 27 seconds someone is enslaved]
The presentation will be followed by afternoon tea and more....! Be prepared - you might find this challenging!
Anglo Catholic Hui 2021 at St Michael and All Angels, Christchurch
You are warmly invited to the third Anglo-Catholic Hui, August 12–14, at St Michael and All Angels, Christchurch. The Hui is for anyone (young or old, lay or ordained) interested in the ministry and mission of the church from an Anglican Catholic perspective.
This year’s Hui, through the theme ‘Food for the Journey’, will help us to use the resources of the catholic tradition of Anglicanism as a positive force for the Gospel and as a model for effective mission in Aotearoa New Zealand and Polynesia today.
As well as local workshops, our keynote speaker Fr Richard Peers, Sub-dean of Christ Church, Oxford, UK, who is well known as an educator and has extensive experience as a retreat giver and spiritual director will join us remotely. There will be opportunity to worship, socialise, encourage each other, learn from each other, challenge each other, and have a great time together.
For further details see: https://anglocatholichui.nz
Anglican e-Life Message from the Bishop
On Sunday 2 May 2021, at a Special General Meeting, parishioners of the Parish of Christchurch St Luke’s voted unanimously that the Parish be dissolved on St Luke’s Day, 18 October this year. This is a very significant moment in the history of this parish and of the Diocese of Christchurch. St. Luke’s parishioners have shown courage in facing the reality of their situation and creativity in setting out a way for the mission of St Luke’s to continue in other ways.
The decision taken represents a significant rearrangement of our ministry to the inner city of Christchurch. As we move forward in the Regeneration of the Diocese through this decade, there will be changes and some of them will be painful as well as potentially very fruitful. But where possible, as in this case, I look forward to the initiative for change being taken from within our parishes rather than imposed by the Diocese.
AnglicanLife 12 May 2021
The Anglican Parish of St Luke’s in the City is to close on 18 October this year, its Feast day, St Luke’s Day. This was decided at a Special General Meeting held on 2 May 2021. The recommendation to close will go to Synod to be ratified in September.
For 162 years St Luke’s has been a liberal voice for the gospel in the heart of Christchurch, sustained by a deep commitment to a contemplative style of spirituality and outreach.
Since the earthquakes St Luke’s has been at various venues but has not found a permanent home, and congregation numbers have declined.
Currently the former site of St Luke’s Church is leased to the Side Door Arts Trust who have the 185 white chairs art installation there.
St Luke’s parishioners are grieving deeply over the loss of their parish, but are also courageously looking forward. The parish is not merging with another but closing and their assets are being gifted to both the Cathedral and the Cathedral Reinstatement fund.
Rev’d Peter Beck says, “Parishioners are very clear that they would like the financial assets of the parish to be invested by the Church Property Trustees in order to fund a fulltime priest or deacon as part of the Cathedral team. This person’s main ministry focus will be chaplaincy to the inner city (e.g. to businesses, to ministries engaging with those who are poor, to the creative arts) as well as ensuring that a regular celebration of the Eucharist in the St Luke’s style is maintained at the Cathedral. Parishioners would also like funds to be available to support contemplative spirituality projects as well as social justice and service projects in the inner city.”
Additionally, once the Side Door Arts Trust’s lease is finished, in 2023, the parish recommends that the land be sold, with preference for a sale which leads to positive ’social impact investment’ and the proceeds be contributed to the Cathedral Project.
The Special Parish Meeting’s full parish resolution for recommendation to Synod :-
Media statement on behalf of
St Luke’s in the City
12 May 2021
St Luke’s in the City to close
The Anglican Parish of St Luke’s in the City is to close on St Luke’s Day, 18 October this year.
For 162 years St Luke’s has been a liberal voice for the gospel in the heart of Christchurch, sustained by a deep commitment to a contemplative style of spirituality and outreach. Situated at the corner of Kilmore and Manchester Streets the Parish Church was fatally damaged in the 2011 earthquake and had to be demolished. The parishioners became homeless.
Over the last 10 years the parish has ‘camped out’ in other church communities. Churchwarden Jenny Drury has been quoted as saying “We are grateful for their generosity in enabling us to have a place to worship, but it is not possible to re-establish and nourish our outreach and ministry without our own permanent base in the central city. All our efforts to find a new home have been unsuccessful. Even so the parish has maintained its contemplative style of inclusive worship and its commitment to such social justice and service projects as ProTXT, the safety alert system run by the Prostitutes’ Collective.”
While there has been a very deep commitment to the parish and its heritage, there has been a slow and consistent decline in membership over the last ten years and it is an increasingly elderly congregation. “There does come a point where there are insufficient people resources, and flagging energy left to maintain and grow a parish,” says Drury.
St Luke’s parishioners are grieving deeply over the loss of their parish.
Usually in such circumstances a parish merges with another parish. But the people of St Luke’s in the City are determined that all that St Luke’s has stood for should continue in a new and transformative way. They want a legacy for the inner city which is not guaranteed by merging property and assets into another parish in the usual way. At a Special General Meeting of parishioners it was unanimously agreed to recommend to Bishop Peter Carrell and the Standing Committee that the parish be dissolved subject to successfully agreeing with the Diocese on a way forward which enables a legacy mission for St Luke’s.
Current priest in charge, Rev’d Peter Beck says, “Parishioners are very clear that they would like the financial assets of the parish to be invested by the Church Property Trustees in order to fund a fulltime priest or deacon as part of the Cathedral team. This person’s main ministry focus will be chaplaincy to the inner city (e.g. to businesses, to ministries engaging with those who are poor, to the creative arts) as well as ensuring that a regular celebration of the Eucharist in the St Luke’s style is maintained at the Cathedral. Parishioners would also like funds to be available to support contemplative spirituality projects as well as social justice and service projects in the inner city.”
Currently the former site of St Luke’s Church is leased to the Side Door Arts Trust who have placed their 185 white chairs art installation there. At the end of the lease in 2023 the parish recommends that the land be sold, with preference for a sale which leads to positive ’social impact investment’ and the proceeds be contributed to the Cathedral Project.
“If these recommendations are agreed to by the Diocese at its annual Synod in September it means that what St Luke’s in the City has stood for all these years can be continued into the future,” says Beck. “It’s a real Easter story of death and resurrection.”
For further information:
• Rev’d Peter Beck: 021 654445 / email@example.com
• St Luke’s is currently operating out of Knox Presbyterian Chapel, 28 Bealey Avenue, Christchurch.
KEEPING IN TOUCH: If you would like to be on our parish e-list for occasional emails, or if you have changed your address or phone number(s), please send details to firstname.lastname@example.org Thank you.
ST LUKE'S WEBSITE: Information updates and sermons are posted on the parish web site: www.stlukesinthecity.org.nz
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Studying Theology is a great way to explore and deepen your faith
Gareth is a member of our vestry as well as the Director of Theology House . Here’s some more information about Theology House for us all to consider:
Whether you are considering starting study or continuing with an existing programme, there are some great options.
Regardless of what programme you are considering or whether you are a new or an experienced student, Theology House is here to advise and help you on the journey. Our theological library and other resources are available whether you’re in formal study or following your own journey of discovery.
Further information can be found on the Theology House website.