Monday, May 31, 2010

Winter in the North

3pm 28th May - Paihia Beach enjoying 18 degrees of sunshine while South Otago drenched and the South Island is blanketed in snow.
It ain't always so but we really need to tell church people about our parish's two-bedroom flats at winter rates of only $70. Every "paid" guest-night subsidises a free night of "time out" for a family under stress.
This innovative mission project was made possible in 1998 with the sale of the church house when we decided for Local Shared Ministry instead of a paid minister.

Preach on the Trinity? Who? Me?

When Ann, one of the lay worship leaders in our Local Shared Ministry congregation, happened to mention that she was having trouble preparing her sermon for Trinity Sunday my immediate response was “Much better you than me…” I encouraged her not to feel bound to deal with so difficult a topic in the context of our little congregation.

In the event she tackled the Trinity. She blew us away us with the depth of her research, yet without boring or confusing us. She introduced us to the issues that gave rise to the Nicene Creed – and then got us to recite it! She pointed out the difficulties for present-day Christians – and she did it all in the context of our own lives which themselves are full of mystery and need tolerance in relationships.

The liturgy was themed around names of God. Prayers and really apposite hymns helped us reflect on what we understood of God and two short discussion periods sharpened our involvement in the topic.

I am sure she had some help from Andre Le Roux’s brilliant on-line resource “Ten Minutes on a Tuesday” but she integrated his material into her own life experience. She infused the service – and her congregation - with that mystery that is God. It was a sacred hour. Thank you, Ann.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Back to work?

It’s more than seven weeks since my “half-knee” replacement and I’m much more cheerful than I was a month ago.
The recovery process has been slow and quite uncomfortable sometimes. And it’s involved a lot of simple medication. But it’s been helped by a few days on Waiheke Island, a visit from our friend Joan Carter from Dunedin, and the last ten days with Bev’s sister Joyce in Upper Hutt. And we had a great time with our Murder Mystery Dinner in our old family church at Waiwhetu.
Back home this week, one of the first things I had better do is get in touch with the local Hospital Physio Dept and get a clearance to do some normal things including driving. Actually, over the two thousand kilometres, I’ve found that driving is more comfortable than most other things involving my right knee…
Even in the terrible weather of the last couple of days the trip back up-country has been a pleasure. We are fortunate to live in such a beautiful land. And especially to be back home in this part of it.
Now, tomorrow, back to work!