Last week my father in law died. It was sudden, although not entirely unexpected. He had had a bad stroke nearly four years ago and had been gradually going downhill ever since.
I always found him slightly intimidating. But as I read the cards and listened to the stories, I realized this man was a great man, and I had missed out on getting to know him better. I had never asked the right questions about his community group involvements, his passions. I hadn't quite know how to. And I am so much the poorer for that.
On the day of his funeral I read a Tui ad which said, I know an interesting accountant. Yeah right! - My father in law was a really interesting accountant, who at the age of 37 was given a 20year service to swimming and life saving award. And that was just the start. He spent 20 years with IHC. He changed peoples lives through his support of them, his mentoring people to run business ventures for community groups, his fund raising nous. I wish I had got to know how interesting he was while I could.
So, what did I learn, that I need to not be intimidated, take a deep breath, and learn to ask the right questions, so that I can meet the great people while they are alive, and not hear about them at their funeral.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
We have just held our 18th National Anglican Youth Forum, Tikanga Pakeha. It was the 16th I have attended, and the 9th I have had some role in organizing, the 7th as AYNF.TP, which is slightly frightening really. And it was awesome. The theme was Front yard Christianity, doing mission rather than talking about mission. We used Open Space Technology to raise issues in our business day, which worked really well. The topics discussed included: Being Anglican at tertiary institutions (how to encourage each other, and even have a presence) Being Anglican at School, The environment (including Fair trade and justice issues) T3 relationships, where to next, and homosexuality. The passion and commitment from these young people was unbelievable. One young man went home and set up a website. I just hope we can keep this going. It was so good to see such passionate young people who were not embarrassed about being Anglican. It was young people engaged in home grown mission shaped church (so to speak). Thanks to the speakers, and the Forum Exec, and Auckland for hosting it. Next year in Waiapu.