Dunedin, New Zealand, my city - my people

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Mid week sound off!

Still sick!
It is now Wednesday and I am still not fit to be in public! I have improved dramatically but am still coughing and spluttering. I have been tidying my study at home and sucking appropriate medications. I have gone to bed to rest, sermonise and do some thinking... but first a bits and pieces sound off.
No women bishops!
At breakfast I read a report about the Church of England decision not to have women Bishops. I also have a Catholic friend who tells me they have been told to use the older version of the Lord's Prayer in their worship locally.  REALLY?! There are all sorts of issues in the world that demand attention. There are incredible needs throughout the world and even here in New Zealand! In the midst of this world it seems absolutely incongruous that "God's people" are still arguing about women in leadership and wording niceties of worship! GET REAL! When is Churchianity going to die the death it deserves?
My brother in trouble.
My older brother is a Church minister in Melbourne, Australia. He just visited NZ recently and I had coffee with him. On Sunday he was working on top of a ladder at his place, two floors up, and he fell. Now he is in hospital struggling with his injuries, needing lots of surgery and really battling for his life. I have been watching facebook where my niece keeps us up to date. Part of me wishes I could hop a plane and be there. It brings to vivid memory the time in the late 70's when he had a car accident and was expected to die. It is strange, at a time like this many of the things in life we think are so important are revealed to be not so important after all. 
Winding down? Or changing gear?
I have taken the opportunity while being stuck at home with illness to tidy some stuff in my study. Ministers keep stuff. We will keep articles, leaflets, poems and other resources for some future time when we might need them. As I have been sorting stuff I have come across such little gems. Now, however, I realise that most of them I will never use.  I have only a year to go until retirement and I look at the shelves of precious books and other resources in my study and I think, "Most of this I could chuck now!" I am never likely to use it.  Apart from anything else, I have changed and grown beyond the thinking I once thought relevant.
A basis for peace.
TV in NZ is rubbish with very little worth watching. I sometimes take off and watch a TED talk or search a name worth listening to on YouTube. Among other speakers last night I listened to Tom Harpur. He suggested two legs to stand on in the search for World Peace that could be accepted by people of all religions. A Global Ethic;  The Golden Rule - Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. And then to enable us to have the power to follow the Ethic he suggested a global metaphysic: In the heart of each human lies the divine. That is a way of looking at each other which sees the other as the dwelling place of God. Last Sunday I played a video that gave Hindu teaching in Church. I love the basic concept of "Namaste". Fancy that, teaching another religion in Church and I have not got fired? I am exploring further inclusive ethical/spirituality based thinking.
Helpful hint for Catheter bag wearers.
From the sublime to the very practical. Wednesday is the day I change my catheter bag that is strapped to my leg. It has button holes in it through which buttons on the leg straps go to hold the bag in place. When I looked at my first bag I thought these button holes looked flimsy and sure enough in the first day or so one of them split. It is bad enough wearing a bag and all the time wondering if something embarrassing will go wrong. It knocks your confidence when you are out and about to feel that your bag is fragile. Now before I put a new bag on I strengthen the button holes with duck tape. A boring bit of knowledge but so handy if you are unfortunate enough to wear one of these contraptions and want to still be active.  So far the only embarrassing thing for me (apart from going for runs in long pants) happened last Saturday when I was clambering under the Church floor. Somehow the little tap that empties the bag got switched to "open" and as I crawled out I discovered a wet shoe and sock! I was glad there was only two of us around to laugh about it.

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