A few days ago I took the “river garden walk” at Geraldine.
A narrow strip of rough woodland runs between the buildings and the river at the back of the main street is. Locals have been cleaning up the scrub and carving a one kilometre path along the riverbank. Everywhere they are planting new shrubs on the tidied up grounds. It's looking stunning.
This achivement, apparently, is not the work of the District Council and certainly not the Government. It’s being done by local volunteers who are taking a little pride in their community.
Another example of that DIY spirit by which people pitch in and get something done for their own place, their own environment.
Last night we visited the memorial to Richard Pearse, New Zealand’s pioneer aviator. It’s a simple replica of the machine in which he made the first powered flight of the British Empire, if not the world. It’s sited almost exactly where that first flight ended in a hedge,
Only his own modesty and conflicting eyewitnesses accounts about the actual year denies him the certainty of beating the Wright Brothers into controlled flight by several months.
Considering that Pearse had no training or qualifications of any kind, his flight was an absolutely extraordinary achievement. He solved problems without the benefit of knowledge already available in other parts of the world. He wrestled with the equipment and supplies he had and improvised to create his own solutions produced an amazing result. And at the end of the day he put his own body on the line and flew the thing.
It’s that kind of spirit that impels people in some small congregations to tackle Local Shared Ministry. They choose to realise on their own assets in ministry instead of waiting for someone else in some other setting to provide ministry for them.
Retired Presbyter of Methodist Church of New Zealand. Passionate pioneer in Local Shared Ministry, consultant in small churches, publisher of niche market books, producer of prosumer video, deviser of murder mystery dinners and former private pilot.
I trained for the Methodist Ministry at Trinity Theological College and eventually completed MA, Dip Ed as well.
Bev and I married just before my first appointment in Ngatea where our two children arrived. We went on to Panmure and Taumarunui. Longer terms followed at Dunedin Central Mission and the Theological College. During this time I was also involved as co-founder and second national President of Family Budgeting Services and adviser to the (government) Minister of Social Welfare.
My final four years were part-time, developing the first Presbyterian or Methodist Local Shared Ministry unit in this country and promoting the concept overseas.
Retirement has brought a whole lot more opportunities and challenges. We are now living in our own villa in Hibiscus Coast Residential Village.