Dunedin, New Zealand, my city - my people

Friday, December 12, 2014

Beyond comfort zone times three.

We have community paper called "The Star".  For two weeks in a row I had my photo in it. (once on the front cover) Then I had a letter published in the Otago Daily Times. One related to the fact that we did the Christmas Dinner for 25 years, the others were Night Shelter related. Whenever I went into a chaplaincy people passed comments like, "Sick of seeing your face in my paper Father Ted!" (I think it will be in the Star next week too - but don't tell anyone!)  One comment started out quite positive. A paramedic said something like, "You know how Richie McCaw is the face of rugby? - well, for Dunedin you are the face of caring for the poor. It's good. People will look at it and know you are caring again." Then he added, "They will also say - there's that guy who does things for nothing.  What else can we get him to do?" 
On Tuesday one of my mates on the Night Shelter Trust and I had a fifty five minute dialogue session on the radio with a guy who runs a program called "Community or Chaos". I found it fun. A month or so ago three of us were part of a documentary about the Night Shelter on the local TV station. Again I enjoyed the participation. 
If somebody had told me as a boy at school that within the space of a few weeks I would feature on TV, Radio and newspaper, I would have laughed at them. I was a very shy boy/teenager and withdrew from up front stuff. I still am that shy teenager, but now compelled by an inner pull to reach beyond me.

This morning I prepared power point slides for the Church service I am running on Sunday. I took the sound system and computer around to the Church and tried out the technology. ... now I am unhappy with the sermon I have prepared... and a little nervous about Sunday. I have run church services for 40 years, but now I am out of practice and again out of my comfort zone. What a strange journey life is!

Another feature of my work as Chairman of the Night shelter is I am the one who negotiates and deals with staff employment issues. I have spent a life time working by myself with volunteers. Now I find myself an employer... and it too is a bit out of my comfort zone. I am likely sometimes to be too soft. But at other times, when pushed, I could say and do things that break employment law. Again, what a strange journey life is. 

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