Thursday, May 31, 2012

Click here to protect the Denniston plateau

One of the things I remember from doing zoology is that so much of our flora and fauna is unique to this country, and precious. From that point of view it is important to protect it.

I also believe that how we treat our environment is a sign of how we will treat people. It is shown that people who treat pets badly are more likely to grow up to be serious offenders. So when a government ignores the environment, it is a sign for me that things will be bad for people in the country. I could go on to talk about this government, about who a cabinet that mostly chooses to send their children to private schools is now making detrimental decisions for the vast majority of children in this country, simply to help pay for tax cuts for the wealthy we could not afford.

At some point we must stand against this insanity, and speak for those who cannot speak for themselves. We must stand for God's creation, and seek its good.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Pentecost Sunday

Pentecost Sunday was great. We focused on two things;  the miracle of hearing the gospel in your own language, and that we can all hear and see something and interpret it differently. At the main service we had readings in french and Maori, and prayers in Afrikaans and Nicaragua. In my sermon I explored just what a miracle it would have been for those people to hear the gospel in their own language, espeically given the difficulty being in a place where you do not hear that language. I also explored how hearing those stories in different languages, and so in different contexts means you will find different meanings. People seemed to enjoy what we did, and coped again with the amount of Te Reo we used. there will be more this Sunday with a baptism for a family that speak only Te Reo at home.

Last night I went to an ecumenical Pentecost service, which was not my cup of tea, but i survived. the singing was not too long, and some of the songs were good. I wasn't really sure what the point of the 35 minute talk was, but I wasn't offended by it. I only went because I was asked to organise prayers for the city that were image based (in PowerPoint) with a backing song. I am not sure many people got that, but I did what I was asked to do.

Today I took the morning off, watching the programmes I missed last week. It was beautiful. I so miss my mornings. This afternoon I wrote my report for vestry. It is always good to see what has been done over the last month, and a little frightening to see what needs to be done over the next month or so.

Friday, May 25, 2012

The week that was

This has been an interesting week. Most of it has been on retreat with Justin Duckworth, the new Bishop of Wellington (well he will be in July) who helped us think about where the church is today by using the story of the Exodus. We were asked to think about the world as it was (Egypt) and how much of that we still carry with us, what it is like being in the wilderness, what the signs of the promised land might look like, and what resources we have in this journey, as a church and as individuals. I might even blog about this sometime.
I did the same thing with another group a year ago. I was feeling very despondent then and realised how much that retreat turned me around and allowed me to become anchored in God's hope. Nothing has changed, but I approach it all with hope. I don't have any more answers, but I have hope.

Today we had an awesome pre-school music session, and then a good visit with a parishioner. This afternoon I have been working on the Service and Sermon for Pentecost Sunday. It is going to be good fun.

Monday, May 21, 2012

The Sun and Moon Over Assisi A Personal Encounter with Francis and Clare by Gerard Thomas Straub

I have been reading this book on and off for the last year or so. I really enjoyed this mix of stories from both Francis and Clare, and his personal reflection on these, and being in Assisi and other places. I learnt alot, but also reflected alot on what it means to seek to walk in the footsteps of Francis, who walked in the footsteps of Christ.
I also really appreciated that Clare is named as important in the story, and is presented as more than an "also ran". I also enjoyed learning about Giotto, and just how revolutionary both his style and how he presented Francis was. A grand read.

See here for more details

Friday, May 18, 2012

a frantic friday

Yesterday I visited the parishioners at Hodgson House, and Anglican Care facility for the elderly. I also visited a great story telling couple in the village, which was a lot of fun. 
Today has been spent dealing with pre-school music, and then trying to get organised for this Sunday, and to get pretty organised for Pentecost Sunday, which I am not feeling at all good about. The issue is that I am on retreat next week from Tuesday to Thursday, so the pressure is on the get it all sussed this week. Epic fail on my behalf.

One of the things I have noticed about this job, apart from it being full time, is that sometimes I am not sure what I am supposed to be doing. Some friends of mine suggested the three headings for a vicar are preside (at the services, i.e. make sure they are well organised and run) manage (all that people management stuff) and pastor. I suspect that mission needs to fit in here somewhere. But they are good starters. What I need now is to fill that out a bit with some goals. So a goal is to set some goals.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Anglican Communion News Service: Ecumenical panel kicks off UN forum on indigenous issues

Thought provoking stuff. I wonder how this "doctrine of destiny" continues to shape our attitudes to Maori today. When we pakeha say Maori should get over the treaty issues and get on with life, that is I think shaped in some way by this doctrine. How then do we as a church stand against that and work for God's peace and justice.

With Te Pouhere Sunday coming up I wonder how I can use this as part of our celebration of the constituion of our church. Hmmmm

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

New York Here She Comes

A tear leaks as
I walk down a quiet
hallway. Mounds of
memories lie on, under
and around beds. She
has taken her presence
into a new world
leaving me wondering
how I will ever remain
so humble.

Going, going, gone

Today I went a Geriatric Hospital to help take a communion service. It was pretty depressing really, everything I did not enjoy about taking these services 25 years ago. There were about 40 people there in varying degrees of being awake and having any idea what was happening. Part of me wonders why we are doing this, where is mission in this? And yet something is happening and people appreciated what we did. It is an important. And part of me fears that one day I will there among, going, going gone.

Today I also did some work on some draft job descriptions for the various roles in our services, something that came out of a meeting about a month ago. There is so much to get my head around, plus meeting the weekly demands of services, plus getting out and visiting people. Gadzooks!

Now I need to work out what I need to get done this week, and then attend a mangament committee meeting for our OpShop. Maybe I will get to the gym after that and do some reading for the sermon?

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

When to stay and when to go

I did some visiting today. I visited an older couple resisting moving out of their home. Both are unwell, the wife is really unwell. The daughter would like them to move into a retirement home where they can be cared for. But they are resisting. They like living in their own home. They are committed to looking after each other in their own home. All laudable. And yet their health suffers because they do not visit the doctor as soon as they might when things start getting worse. And it all puts added stress on their daughter who is trying her best to care for them and her family. It makes me wonder.

Part of me applauds their courage and determination. And part of me wonders if I will know when it is the time to move out of my home and receive the care we need (if we live that long): for our sake, and for our families sake. God grand me the wisdom and the humility to let go.

Monday, May 14, 2012

His Question

The man sits on a hill
and asks his soul and
any who will listen,
“what is mine to do?”
Love whispers through the hut
stirring long grass,
cool touches on a warm day.
Love a heart beats tired
by the struggle to hear
unsure.
My love invites the one
placed on a cross beside his
table, out of harms way.
Be loved echoed this valley
silently in the greens.
Give all for love cried
the universe as sheep
crawled under his hut.

Engaged.

Numbed headache. I
sit in my chair waiting
for my resurrection
waiting for
roots to go deep
enough to touch eternity.
Love
I read of it in
profound words written
elsewhere by another
while I sit numb
in my chair.

You wait silently
within, without
offering resurrection with
intent gaze deep
into my hesitation
my little intent.
Love
waits silently
a flicker in the numb
for my accidental glance.

Some Poetry

While on retreat I spent some time every morning reading some of R.S. Thomas. I was moved by both his style and his haunting imagery. It had quite the affect on what I wrote myself, not that I am in anyway comparing myself to him.

I Am

Where am I now?
In the middle
the pasts shadows uncertain
slinking forward covering
where next my foot might tred.
Faint light bobbles to
possibilities and tentative
dreams. Its soft shadow
mingles to make my present.
In the middle I linger.


A Fresh Day

To day is a fresh day
          A new day
A day to let go of what has been
to open hands flat
          letting all within float away
          allowing new gifts
          to caress and land
Today is a new day.

A New Beginning

At the farewell dinner

So, today we said goodbye to my big girl who has gone to Connecticut for a year (although she will be back for a week in November for a wedding). She really drives me nuts, and yet I really enjoy having her around. So we are down to one person at home, which is a little scarey. I feel like I am getting old. Blah!!

I have decided that I need to use this to do two things. One is to record what i am up to so that I have a record somewhere for reports and such. The other is to have a place I can reflect on life as a vicar. What it is like for me, and how I am making sense of it all. I hope to also put up poetry when I write any.


So, here is a posting.

One of the things that i have come face to face with over the last two months is my mortality. Visiting people who have just turned 70, and thinking that that is only 16 years away. Well, that seemed close until I wrote it. Actually, that is still quite a way away. But not the far distant future it once was.

It has also been quite sobering visiting these great old couples struggling with each others ill health, doggedly taking each day as it comes. These people who only a couple of years ago were key people in the parish, now not even able to come to church. is this what awaits Bonnie and I? if so, lets make the most of now I say.