Dunedin, New Zealand, my city - my people

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Dunedin Christmas dinner & a weak week's end....

 Pictures from a Multi-cultural night held at Space2B recently.

Sunday Blues
My brother (Now very sick in hospital after a fall off a ladder last Sunday) is a minister in Australia. He has the "gift of the gab", the sort of guy who could sell fridges to Eskimos. He is older than I am and runs a successful church in Melbourne. I was interested to hear him say, "It's the preaching I find hard to cope with these days." I find the same, but probably for different reasons. Today after Church I said to my wife that "next year will be a long year. Can't I retire early?" (we are retiring at the end of 2013) To my surprise she responded with "Yes." Even she, who is the stable, optimistic, never-say-die, workhorse of the family is growing despondent. I guess I don't fit the ministry role any more, I feel I am on a different wave length than my congregation and it is difficult, probably for them and for me. Anyway a measure of Sunday blues has dogged me this afternoon.
Bounced back from the flu.
I had three days at home early this week feeling very ill with the flu. Over the last three days I have been improving. This afternoon with my friend I have jogged for 25 minutes. (walking back to the cars) I am not 100% yet but I was pretty pleased with how I coped. It was a good feel being active again. On Friday I had some concerns with my "bionic plumbing" (Catheter & bag) and rang my district nurse. She was busy telling me that such things happen if you are a bit strenuous. I informed her I went running and she had a laugh, asking, "Do you really?" 
Night Shelter Annual General Meeting
The Dunedin Night Shelter Trust has its AGM this Thursday night. I have yet to prepare a report. We are hoping to make it a bit interesting with the use of power points etc. I have a lot of work to do so that I can look semi intelligent at Space2B at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday. I spent a bit of time at Phoenix Lodge this week. I really think we are meeting a need and the potential for helping young men makes this venture worth while.
Christmas dinner preparations
My wife and daughter are buying things for the Christmas Day dinner. Pavlovas were on special at a shop so these were snapped up. Today lemonade was going for $1 a bottle at a supermarket, with a limit of four. My daughter and son-in-law bought 4 each. My wife visited the supermarket twice buying four each time. We have guests ringing up to book in and thankfully volunteers phoning up too.  I will enjoy the day, I always do even though this is the 24th year of running it. You might like to volunteer? Here is the blurb we send people interested in volunteering... It will give you some idea of what we do.

"This will be our 24th year that we have provided this meal. We offer a free meal and company on Christmas day. It is a hot Christmas meal and we seat people in tables of about eight to ten people with a host, so that there is the opportunity of conversation and care. People receive a small gift as part of the celebration and we sing a few carols just prior to dinner.
It is for any who would like company or need a free treat on Christmas day. We have sometimes had families who are in need, often had pensioners and others who find Christmas alone tough going. Transport is offered if that is needed on the day.

If you would like to volunteer there are three ways where we use volunteers. 
1.    On the night of 23rd we set up the tables, prepare vegetables and decorate the area. We start at 7 p.m. and people go when they want to. We try to make it a fun night with cups of tea, Christmas music playing and Christmas cake. Generally people come and enjoy the setting up process.
2.    On Christmas day itself we need responsible people with cars who can assist to transport people to or from the dinner. We give drivers a list of people (Generally just one trip each) and you are asked to ring your passengers on Christmas Eve to confirm pick up information etc. We get people delivered to the church by about 11:30 a.m. and generally taken home at about 1:45 – 2 p.m.  You may be willing to help in this way.
3.    On Christmas day we need people to do various things for a start. There are Pavs to cream and final things to prepare. Then when people arrive we need people to welcome them, give them a drink and chips and make them feel at home. We have one or two hosts per table who look after the people at their table. They get their guests’ food from the servery and eat their own meal with them, encouraging conversation and friendship. Then of course there are endless dishes to do, people take turns doing that. ;-)

Most volunteers we have really get a kick out of the day. It is simply good fun to be part of a big celebration. We try to treat all people with respect and friendship. There are a wide number of reasons people are there and a wide range of different types of people.

Feel free to ring me if you have any enquiries."

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