Dunedin, New Zealand, my city - my people

Saturday, December 8, 2012

What a week?

I thumb my nose at old age and ill health.
A half hour run - in long trousers!
I have just been for a run/walk. We ran for half an hour before walking back to the cars, though I must admit it was a slow run. Because of my catheter and bag I had to wear long trousers and I must admit to feeling a bit stupid running in these.  It was a warm afternoon so I got quite hot, but I love the fact that I ran. It is my way of thumbing my nose at illness and old age. I am 64, I am waiting for an operation and am wearing this catheter and bag, but I am still running! Get stuffed old age! Get stood on ill health! You will not beat me - yet! 
A mad week.
I began the week knowing that I had a lot of work to get through. We had the Night Shelter Trust Annual General Meeting and I had to write up a report, prepare a leaflet, and print off the annual accounts, the report, minutes and agenda. I also wanted to do a powerpoint presentation to go with the report. I had to do my chaplaincies, we had an elders' team meeting, we had a new immigrants orientation tour happening on Thursday and I had a radio church service to prepare and record. I had my week sussed out and knew that every minute would be taken up. On Wednesday I began "work" at 8 a.m. by mowing the lawns at the night shelter. I finished the day turning off my computer at midnight. ...In the midst of all this the phone kept ringing with volunteers and guests booking in for Christmas Day dinner.  On Wednesday around lunch time I learned that a 94 year old lady, one of the elderly ladies of the Church, had died and the family wanted me to conduct the funeral on Friday at 3 p.m.  I had booked in to record the radio service at 2 p.m.  I agreed to it but my heart sank. I generally put a lot of work into a funeral (about 8 hours) and I wondered if I could do it justice? I had known this family since I was a teenager. When I got off the phone I had a bit of a melt down for a minute in my office. "I can't do this!" I repeated to myself out loud, "Ill never make it!" ....  But I did! By the feedback I got, I did it well. I am so grateful, by the grace of God I managed to do all the stuff to a reasonable standard.

  • The Night Shelter Trust meeting ... I got all the paperwork printed and stapled. I did a good looking leaflet introducing Phoenix Lodge. I did some power points to make the presentation of the reports more interesting. A couple of weeks ago I had printed off invitations which our secretary and treasurer had sent out and I had sent out a number of email invitations. Last year we had the Trust Board members plus one other man at our meeting. This year we had about 30 to 40 there with some great positive discussion taking place. I was so pleased, it was worth the effort.
  • The Radio Church service... I negotiated with my daughter for her to do part of it. (She had offered to do it) I did the first half and during a song dashed off to the funeral. It was not our best effort, a bit different but it was OK and we managed it.
  • The funeral... I typed up the first draft, then went on to the radio church service. I came back to the funeral making alterations and adding bits so that it fitted this person and this family. As I presented it I felt I was not on top of my game, but thought, "This is the best that I can offer given the brief time I've had." I was surprised, however, with the positive responses I received afterward. All sorts of people commented favourably. I would respond with my usual sort of, "Thank you, I hope it was OK?" and again and again I was scolded. "OK? It was more than OK, it was excellent!" So, much to my relief, I managed OK.
I hate choosing songs at Christmas.
At Christmas we hear and sing a whole lot of ancient Christmas carols. I am expected to happily choose and sing these carols, but I do not like them.

  • I believe the virgin birth and the birth stories to be metaphor, but the carols treat them as literal, and draw some questionable theological conclusions.
  • There are some horrible ancient world views within the carols. They depict a three tiered universe with a basically absent God, suddenly deciding to break into history, because humankind was in a mess.  As an example of these ancient world views; what's with "Lo he abhors not the virgin's womb?" Like the womb is something unclean?
  • They often express a substitutionary view of the atonement, which I think taken literally is a ghastly abomination.
It saddens me that these are perhaps the Christian songs most often heard by people outside the Church yet they give such a distorted view of what Jesus was on about. Anyway I console myself that I only have this next two weeks and next year's few weeks of Christmas and then I will no longer have to choose or sing them. 

1 comment:

Linda Myers said...

Yay, you, for running!