Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Easter

Easter! A time to reflect on what meaning Jesus’ death and resurrection has for this world we live in, and for our day to day lives. I went to a very good service on Thursday night at the Methodist church in town. PowerPoint of English stain glass windows of the Stations of the Cross, with good music and excellent readings and prayers. My 13 year old thought the whole thing had been 20 mins max, not the 45 it was.
Friday I did do church, but spent much of the day writing a reflection based on my own walking of the events on my last full day in Jerusalem. Still not finished though. Then I went for a 14 km walk for the last half of the afternoon, while the rest of the family went to a kids programme Bonnie was running. Saturday was spent with family (ish) well, Michael and friend, and Bonnie. Sunday was spent with friends (and church) Monday was the highlight. We set up our living room as a theatre and watched all three Lord of the Ring movies, extended version. I think it was about 11 ½ hours of movie all up. Fantastic stuff!
I have been fretting since Sunday about some comments our friends made. One 9actually several) was about the new NCEA system, which they declared was a mess. Actually it isn’t. Employers think there is too much information. Only if they are morons really. It gives employers information about what each young person can and can’t do. Like my daughter did well at maths, but failed number. So if she was applying for a job which needed good number skills (percentages etc…) she is not the person for them. Easy! I hope employers don’t make any other commercial decisions based on the oversimplified information they seem to want from schools. Finally I was told the best are those who pass exams with the highest marks. Interesting concept really. I am not sure I agree. Surely passing an exam shows you are the best at passing exams. But are you the best at for example being a doctor??
There was a news item about the tribe from near here going to the Maori Land Court to establish customary title. The new item said this would not restrict access to the beaches (which it can’t) and Liz was very sceptical. I am intrigued that we foist our pakeha values on others, (keep off my land) and then vilify them for it, even when the specifically say that that is not even up for discussion. Our news media have sold such a good lie for ratings.
Any how, I can recommend the 3 in a row for the LOTR! Good Christian mythology!

Friday, March 25, 2005

Meetings Galore

It has once again been a while since I last wrote here. In that time I have been to, visited or met with:
• Wellington for a meeting of Strandz (Anglican Children, Youth and Family Ministry Unit: tikanga pakeha). There we worked hard on a proposal for two very part time children’s ministry enablers to work across the 7 Dioceses. This has also been endorsed by our ministry council. We also worked hard on a web site, to be launched later this year.
• commissioned as the National Guardian for OSS
• my Board of Oversight meeting.
• the new Taranaki-Waikato Youth Network Co-ordinator
• 2 Centre for Youth Ministry Studies Management Committee meeting in Auckland
• a meeting of the Anglican Ministry Educators Network in Wellington
• the Diocese of Waiapu’s annual Top Parish weekend, this year held in Rotorua.
• Churches Youth Ministry Association.
• The Tikanga Pakeha Ministry Council (TPMC)
• My own spiritual director
• Several of my supervisees and spiritual directees, as well as being approached about being a spiritual director for two new people.
• A reaffirmation of ordination vows service in Rotorua.
Weeks of meetings, and no time in between to do any of the jobs I have picked up at these meetings. You could think I spend too much time at meetings. Sometimes I do as well. But the reality is that there would be no church if those early disciples hadn’t met to even decide to be together, and how that might work. Meetings have allowed the church to grow in its mission and ministry. But they also can suck the life out of us as well. As I reflect on which meetings I enjoy, it occurs to me a lot depends on the attitudes of others present, and whether we see this as a way forward to advance mission, or something we have always done. While not a lot was achieved at any of these meetings, in fact the opportunities opening up because of some of the more institutional meetings could be profound for our church, and for people under 40. Sadly, some of the less institutional seem to have lost the umph to go anywhere.

Friday, March 04, 2005

Busy time flying

It has been a while since I lasted blogged. I am now back in Aotearoa – New Zealand. The flight home was great, although it took 36 hours from the time the Sherut picked me up in Jerusalem until I got home. The highlight was getting an upgrade to business class from Hong Kong home. Not only did I get the nice comfy seats, better level of service (2 air hostesses to 9 passengers), and the slightly yummier food, but also (and almost more importantly) access to the airline lounges in Hong Kong (where I whiled away 4 hours after wondering around the airport for 2 hours and made sure of good enough coffee at Starbucks) and then a further 3 hours in Auckland (including a shower. Man I needed that) It also meant I was first off the plane in Auckland, first through immigration, my bags were off first, and so first through customs and the x-ray machine. Wicked!
One notable moment was forgetting my backpack at Hong Kong security, and then having to find my way back down to security when I worked it out, and explaining how I could just forget a bag. Duh!

Since being home, I have had a weekend meeting in Christchurch to organise the National Anglican Youth Forum (Tikanga pakeha) in July, and a day meeting in Auckland for the Centre for Youth Ministry Studies. Tomorrow I am off to Wellington for the weekend for a meeting of people involved in youth and children’s ministry, and to be commissioned as the national guardian of OSS. (For more info see www.oss.net.nz).
Shalom