Friday, August 27, 2010

In and Out of Sync

It was never going to be a large print run, but a mere dozen copies of my "notes for my life story" is pretty modest. Even for a dedicated short-run publisher.

The title says it all: "In and Out of Sync". At least it does if you remember the days of movies in which the sound and the picture sometimes got out of kilter. It's a metaphor for my life: sometimes running smoothly, sometimes slipping into rough patches.

It's been great therapy putting it together. I wrote it primarily for the family - they will probably read the alternate chapters and skip the church bits ! But the latter also reflect my experience in a denomination which also has been "in and out of sync" over the fifty years since I commenced ministering in Hauraki Plains. I've tried to document some of the important aspects of those changes as I affected them and they affected me at different times.

When I started writing it seriously, the story looked like it might end sooner rather than later. Now, I may even have the opportunity of commencing a new book! There's another mystery dinner... Helping with bookings for our parish's outreach in "Time Out" (see Jun 12) ... Learning how to merge addresses in an unfamiliar program... Finding lost pages on our website...
Not exactly a "bucket list" but a life that just goes on. What could be better!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Another Warrant of Fitness - and some Fine-Tuning

I phoned Penny at the medical centre a little while ago and my PSA is still "not measurable". That's a technical way of suggesting that my prostate cancer is continuing to be inactive - after eighteen months.

Of course on Tuesday I will be back there for my quarterly injection of Zoladex and every day I take the little white bicalutamide tablets. And every day I have a dozen to twenty hot flushes and - even at this time of the year - freezing chills afterwards. And noticeably, as a sort of endcrinological girl, I am much less able to stand up in public without emotional stress.

But nothing would have stopped me stepping in as DCI Holmes last Friday night, in my new mystery dinner show DEATH IN THE BAY. Our usual Holmes was out of town and I was delighted to play the role. It was great fun for everyone, not least of all for me after a couple of years' work in devising it. It needs a little fine-tuning but we will be doing it again on 3rd September.

To bring so much laughter to people is a rare privilege in these days. For all the slightly off-beat humour, it has been a ministry of a sort. And, in many ways, more satisfying than a lot of what has taken place in my career as a minister. Like the man, says - funny, that.

And this afternoon? Another Oh-so-serious Parish Council. I wouldn't for a moment play down the importance of the main issues. But I do hope that we can enjoy ourselves... Life is so short...

Monday, August 16, 2010

Subtle winds of change in LSM

Our Local Shared Ministry Team doesn’t have any one coordinator personally responsible for parish administration at present. The work in this key role is being done very efficiently by a small team of people with responsibilities in clerical, property and financial matters but there isn’t just one person on the team who holds it all together.
It’s been suggested that the parish should “appoint” someone to join the team, attend team meetings, and look after this role. But this cuts across the fundamental principle that Team members are “called”, not “appointed”.
That may sound like a very small point. Well, take a look at our improvised satellite TV dish outside our bedroom. It’s not nailed down to the deck so it has been blown about in the wind a lot lately and we lose signal. It’s always blown to the same side. All we have to do is put a hand through the door and jiggle the stand and we’re back on air. Simple solution, eh?
But – what you don’t know is that the dish was originally a metre to the left. With the north-easterly winds nudging the stand to the left and our quick re-alignments kicking it back to the right, the entire outfit has crab-walked along the deck. In fact, it’s come so far that it now blocks the ranchslider door. We can’t use the door for its designed purpose any more. Sooner or later, the dish will have to go back to the place that was designated for it.
There are some principles in life and ministry teams that can't be re-aligned casually. They need to be thought through, planned carefully and changed cautiously. Otherwise something really important may be lost.