Dunedin, New Zealand, my city - my people

Monday, May 28, 2012

Sounding off...

What part of "turn all electronic devices off" don't you understand?
On both our flights to and from Auckland I was astounded by the non-compliance of many passengers. We climbed aboard in Dunedin and the announcement came several times. It said something like, "We are refueling the plane so we ask you to turn off all electronic devices, this includes cell phones, lap tops etc. etc." To my astonishment people in front of me, beside me and behind me kept sending and receiving texts and phone calls as well as doing stuff on their lap top and ipad.  The announcement was repeated several times but as far as I could see it was only when the plane was moving toward the runway that these folk made any attempt to turn off their cellphones. When we landed both at Auckland and Dunedin we were instructed well before landing time to turn off all electronic devices. People on both occasions delayed turning off their devices through several announcements asking them to do so. On the return flight even though the instruction was repeated the people in front of me kept playing games on their ipad until the plane was just about to bump down on the runway. When the instructions asked us to "please stay in your seats until the plane has come to a stand still" they seemed to see this as a signal to stand up and start getting stuff out of the overhead locker. I had to be amused - at the beginning of the flight the man in the seat in front (one of the offenders) was ranting on about NZ flying conditions and how "you would expect a meal at least". He complained about all sorts of things. He was, in my opinion, an arrogant loud mouthed Australian and I would liked to have reminded him that it was an Australian airline we were flying with. I do not know all the dangers involved in electronic devices being turned on. I suspect they are not that dangerous, but I do think passengers should obey the instructions of the crew!
It is the Church's decision and a theological decision.
We once lived in a little rural town called Apiti. We had a part time ministry at Levin 70 miles away so did not attend the local Presbyterian Church very often. We went to their mid-week study group from time to time and had a combined camp with them. We knew some of the elders well because they gave me work on their farms. The poor little church had small attendances most Sundays and it was suggested that it combine with the one in the nearby rural town so that the services were more encouraging. All hell broke loose in the town. People who had never darkened the doors of the church complained and agitated to keep the Church open. (For weddings and funerals I guess) They did not help to pay to keep it open. They did not intend to attend. They just wanted a church in the village.  It seems a similar thing is happening in Christchurch. The Bishop and the Church have decided it would be wrong to spend millions rebuilding the old earthquake damaged Christchurch Cathedral and want to pull it down to build another one. People are marching to save the Cathedral in their hundreds! I bet they never attended! I bet they never put their offering in the plate! My guess is they mostly are not active Christians. It is just a civic icon to them. The right stewardship of God's money does not enter the equation for them. They are not interested in the mission and purpose of the Church or "the Kingdom of God".  I am not a Christchurch person but I say the Church is the body to decide what to do with the Church resources! If I were a Christchurch Anglican Bishop I could think of all sorts of new and interesting ways to replace the Cathedral. A multi-faith gathering place? A centre for community concern and care? I don't know what they will do, but I do know it is a theological question and the Church hierarchy are the ones to decide it.  They can listen to the needs of the community, but the agitators should MYOB ... mind your own business!
Night Shelter Work continues.
I have spent today working at the Night Shelter. We moved into new premises on Saturday and there were a number of handy man jobs that needed doing to help it function as best it can. Today, Monday my weekly "day off" was spent doing these jobs. During the course of the day we had assistance from various other members of the trust, again asking how they can help. I am physically tired but happy to have got the jobs done.

1 comment:

Linda Myers said...

The same thing has happened on recent flights I've taken, but the flight attendants go down the aisles and make sure it's happening.