Dunedin, New Zealand, my city - my people

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Tuesday comes to an end...

Blossom on plum trees in our backyard. .. spring has sprung.
Today I visited a prison, or in this PC world a "Correctional Facility". My friend John and I talked to some staff there about "Phoenix Lodge" the transitional accommodation facility we have linked to the Dunedin Night Shelter. It was an interesting experience getting into the prison. We had to go through a very sensitive metal detector thing like out at the airport. We were issued with ID numbers. We were issued with a gismo that if we felt under threat we could push a button and an alarm would go in a control room somewhere, and help would find us. We were very impressed with these staff members who were responsible for the reintegration of prisoners into the community. They challenged us with questions, but they also allowed us to pick their brains.
I also enjoyed the drive out there and time spent with my friend. He shouted me coffee and lunch. It was good have time to just chat. Since getting back to my office the day has been all go. There were emails to answer, some planning to be done for a Radio Church service and emails to send out about that. I had fire stations to visit. I must say I am enjoying my fire service chaplaincy. Every visit lately I feel that I am having real connection. I feel close to so many fire fighters.
I returned to the office to prepare for an evening Church Elders Team meeting beginning at 6 p.m. It was around 9 p.m. by the time I got home. The elders mentioned that they were having a meeting at some stage without my wife and I to begin to plan what they would do when I retire at the end of next year. It will be strange to step down in some ways, I have invested a lot of my life in this ministry, but I do think I will be more than ready to begin a new phase of my life exploring different avenues.
In Dunedin the air is getting warmer, (though it hailed briefly today) and the new life of spring is all around us. For that I am pleased.

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