Then, on Sunday, it was icing on the cake, with the slightly anarchic bonhomie of Port Chalmers in the morning and St. Matthews in the evening. I attended the 5:30 service in St. Matt's hall where some of the people not often see in Anglican churches gather for a meal, prayer and a gospel message. I was a stranger and probably a little too well dressed, so I was warily avoided until some of the folk from Friday Light recognized me, and by speaking to me let the others know I was safe. Afterwards it was into the church for the ordination of David Booth to the diaconate. The service was somewhat different than the last ordination, the 2 hours of glorious pageantry when James Harding was priested in the Cathedral a few weeks ago, but no less moving and in its own way just as grand. David is a fine man with just the sort of analytical and practical mind we will need as we reshape our world in the next couple of years. I am intrigued and excited at the calibre of people - exemplified by James and David- God is calling into orders at the moment. To me it's a sign that something big lies ahead of us.
This week doesn't seem to have slowed down much. Tonight I am parked beside St. Andrews Cromwell, the first church in our diocese to have been inspected for earthquake worthiness and the first to be given the unsettling news about its condition. The lovely little schist chapel outside my window meets only 15-20 % of the building code when it needs to meet 67%. Bringing it up to scratch will be expensive, beyond the immediate resources of the small congregation, but this well kept, much loved little church is just too precious to easily let go of. Tonight I dined with Noelene, the church warden and was moved by the ingenuity and imagination the congregation is putting into thinking through their predicament. There is no need to make quick decisions on the direction for the future, and there are some interesting possibilities.
Tomorrow early I will pray in the church then drive to Wanaka for a meeting about the proposed community house mooted for the land beside St. Columba's. Then I will meet a few parishioners in that end of the parish before returning here to pick up the caravan and trundle home. Life is nothing if not interesting.