Last Sunday the crozier , ring and pectoral cross I am going to use were blessed and laid on the altar of our Cathedral, waiting for Saturday. And I too, have been trying to lay myself on the altar: a living sacrifice The last few days have been a time of reflection. Rather than go off on retreat, I decided to stay at home in order that Clemency could have some part in my preparation, so I had a sort of a retreat in situ . Apart from yesterday when the phone and doorbell didn't stop ringing, it's worked out pretty well. I managed to fit some lengthy meditations in around the daily offices and every day I went to the beach and did a walking meditation. I also read large chunks of two very good books: Anthony De Mello's Walking on Water and Stephen Cottrell's Hit The Ground Kneeling . The latter is a very wise take on leadership and maybe should be required reading for ordinands. But it is the late Father De Mello who has spoken to me most profoundly. Walking On Wate
This is a first for this blog: an advertisement. For a play in the Wellington Fringe Festival. I'm doing this because a) my daughter helped produce it and is in it and b) the other documentary theatre piece she was involved in was so darned good I would hate you to miss out on seeing this one if you possibly can avoid it. How awkward was your first kiss? When was the last time you experienced a death? Have you ever had to tell someone for the first time that you were gay? They say everyone has a story to tell – and we’re telling them. Bare Hunt Collective brings you back/words, a new piece of documentary theatre. Five of Wellington’s freshest acting talent have gone out into the community to interview a range of Wellington individuals – everyone from an eight year old girl, to an elderly couple, to a young gay man. Their stories have been recorded on film, and will be acted out on stage – word for word. Every movement of the person, every voice quirk, every shifty sideways glance
I finish as Vicar of St. John's Roslyn this Thursday, so today was my last Sunday. I was awake at 4:30 am, so had no bother being on time for the 8:00 am Eucharist . I wasn't very pleased with the way my sermon went at the early service: it seemed more like something for starting the next chapter rather than finishing this one; so between the services I swapped it for something else. Just before 10 I gathered with the choir for the last time and said my vestry prayer, then, also for the last time walked down the aisle as Vicar of St. John's. Or as Vicar of anywhere as a matter of fact. It's been 11 quick watch us as we zip past so darned fast you won't see us unless you're very sharp years here in Roslyn. But it's been 28 years since I first walked down an aisle as the Vicar of somewhere else. Half my life, more or less. Today we had two visitors, so I knew who the other 162 people were although that didn't stop me having a couple of mental blocks re
Yesterday morning I went to the 7:00 am Eucharist in St. Mary's New Plymouth. With all that old stone re- radiating the February sunshine the church felt warm . The military hatchments are still there, and I knew 8 or so of the dozen people gathered to worship in the soon to be cathedral, so, even after an absence of more than a decade, it all seemed very familiar. Appearances can be deceptive.: it wasn't actually very familiar at all. In the time I have been away the Taranaki Bishopric has undergone a change; use whatever nifty theological word you like: resurrection, redemption, revival, they all seem to fit. It's not the place it used to be and I mean that in the nicest possible way. When I left it was the bottom bit of the Diocese of Waikato , newly cobbled together from the leftovers of two dioceses, with not many parishes, not many clergy and not much money. There was a lot of history, some great church buildings and some even greater people, but what with ru
On Thursday I had a novel experience - at least, new to me, anyway: a Diocesan Council meeting that I actually enjoyed. Partly, it was because the meeting was very well chaired by our dean, Trevor James. We got through the agenda precisely on time, made crisp and recognisable decisions, and nobody felt harried or rushed. Partly it was because there was a great deal of goodwill around the table, amd people seemed, genuinely, to want to listen to each other. Mostly, for me, though it was the fact that we looked forward, and made some significant choices about the road we might take together as a diocese. This wasn't a regular meeting of the council, but was rather, a sort of brainstorming session and the recommendations will need to be presented to a proper meeting of the council at the end of the coming week; but it was encouraging. Exciting, even, to see that there is a way ahead and to catch a glimpse of what it might be.
One of the things I have enjoyed most about this blog has been the comments left by readers. Sometimes these comments have led onto some very stimulating -well to me, but maybe I am too easily excited - conversations. Over the past few months though, the blog comments have been increasingly swamped by spam , which are machine generated rubbish in English, Korean and Chinese advertising electronic tat, penis enlargement, pornography and get rich quick schemes. These get screened out by the moderation process, but it's tedious to have to do it, and means that comments have to wait a while before appearing, so now I am trying out word verification: you know, typing in some nonsense word to get your comment published. Let me know what you think of it. In the meantime, would you like to buy this handy electronic gizmo for increasing the size of your dangly bits, thus allowing you to make gazillions of dollars from starring in videos for raincoat wearing audiences?