…by God’s Grace

Leave a comment

Today’s preacher was originally from the Church of North India. It was an occasion to sit back and appreciate that we don’t usually get evangelical missionary minded sermons at Opoho Church. For the last service of the month we put together a music group to introduce the service. This was the first occasion this year that we put this group together. We did not know until we got together before the service if we had the numbers of musicians left to gather a music group. The singers got up voluntarily at the end of the service to sing the Arohanui Blessing, which can be translated as the Blessing of Great Love:

May the mystery of God enfold us, may the wisdom of God uphold us,
may the fragrance of God be around us,
may the brightness of God surround us,
may the wonder of God renew us, may the loving of God flow through us,
may the peace of God deeply move us,
may the moving of God bring us peace.

The lyrics were written by the New Zealand author Joy Cowley, and the music, called Marlborough Sounds, is rather beautiful.

Rural Art Deco

Leave a comment

Argh! It is barbarism to have a computer system decide to crash half way through a long journal entry and there is no way to save it. It’s not that it is a windows box, it is a hardware problem, as far as I understand it.

Anyhow two days’ write-up coming up – again.

Jane brought The Art of the Return of the King into the archives. I spent over an hour at lunch time browsing through it. There were some hints of things to be restored in the extended version: the Halls of Healing; the statue of the fallen king in the Morgul vale; and the Mouth of Sauron. Either the reader will know these references or they are not relevant.

Friday night was an overnight trip to Becks for Mike and myself. Felicity, from Friend-Link, has a crib out there. Yvonne the archivist’s partner Lisa works with Felicity. We were to travel with Yvonne and Lisa’s son Campbell on Friday night at half past four. There was a lot of drama before we got out of the city.

I walked into the university to use an ATM to get money out. There was sufficient money to pay for my kitty money this weekend but no more. Presumably one of my automatic payments went out to the YFitness gym, so that is not a problem. The benefit of this trip out of the city will have to be paid later when money comes from the Wellington office of the Presbyterian Church. I though it would come in overnight so I could get some money out on Saturday in Ranfurly (Alas it did not come to pass and Yvonne will have to make some inquiries on Monday).

I passed one person on my friends page walking back to the university, but I did have the time and mood to acknowledge him and his companion.

I arrived back home. Yvonne had was there to collect us. I packed everything I needed. It was not until we had left the city that I found that I left my jersey lying on my bed.

Mike had only had the first part of his thesis printed and he needed the whole thing printed, bound and posted before we left the city. There was no way he could print it at home. We took it back to the archives for printing; to the Stationary Warehouse for binding, and to the Dunedin North Post Shop to mail away by quarter past five. During this time I sat in the car with Campbell. After that we left the city for Felicity’s crib, with stops in Dunback and Ranfurly. The trip was just a few minutes too long for Campbell, who is 23 months old.

In Ranfurly they were celebrating an Art Deco weekend, although Ranfurly has none of the 1930s architecture that would be thought necessary to celebrate such an event. Some of the locals were already deep into the atmosphere of the event.

Felicity’s crib was an old house comfortable for the eleven or so people who were there overnight. Most of them were clients of Friend-Link, which provides social contact for the mildly-intellectually handicapped in the community. For these people their problems come from a slowness in thinking and interacting. Most of them have problems accomodating other people in their lives. The pace of the evening was marked with bodily ejaculations: belching, farting and snoring. The highlight of the evening was a barbecue. Everyone drifted off to bed about midnight.

The crib occupies five acres of land between the road and a willow-lined stream. One overnight stay was not enough to appreciate the full beauty and relaxation of the place. I would look forward to a longer stay in the future.

Saturday was a leisurely day of eating and enjoying the company, even from my preferred position off the edge of the group. In the middle of the cleaning and packing one person set about dying her hair which she cultivates as a flamboyant red. That exercise took up an hour in itself. Back in Ranfurly Felicity had to organise getting one party member home to Alexandra. We retraced our steps back to Dunedin, into the rain. I sat in the back and kept company with Campbell, until he fell asleep after Palmerston.

At Dawn in Rivendell

Leave a comment

The weather is cold enough that Tao has taken to snuggling under the blankets with me. I got up at four in the morning to take Fremen to her foodbowl. Tao was unhappy when I re-occupied my space. She burrrowed all the way down to the bottom of the bed. Much to her disgust she found that all the bedclothes were tucked in down there and she could not go any further. She was obliged to turn around and come all the way back to the head of the bed so she could free herself from her confines.

Yvonne the archivist is unhappy about the current political round. Her son works in the Prime Minister’s office and and specialises in environmental policy. With the PM’s number one person on holiday he had to take charge of the the minister of immigration’s dismissal from cabinet. Now Yvonne is hearing her son’s name in the news. She is sensitive when political affairs touch on her son’s reputation.

I started reading The Summer Tree by Guy Gavriel Kay again. I like the feel of the language. The story lingers with me in my mind.

Jane asked me my opinion of the Tolkien Ensemble. I decided I liked even though parts of it were not quite ‘right’ – the voices used for elves and hobbits are too deep. She says I may keep it as she bought it cheaply in Australia last week, and as she doesn’t like the voices either she won’t listen to it again. Cool!

I’m now about halfway through listing the staff files for the Overseas Mission Committee on the archives computer – 300 entries.

Ash Wednesday

Leave a comment

The winds have blown our plastic peg basket about on the clothesline, and have broken one of the handles off it. It will have to be replaced.

At least the winds didn’t lift the roof like it sounded it threatened to do.

Mike has gone out early this morning. I guess he has entered the final stage of his essay, when he polishes up what he has written before he posts it. He has already lost 5% because he has taken a week longer than it was necessary. He became stuck because he tried to go over the same material in two chapters. He did an essay about NZ hymns, and attempted to do the hymnbook Alleluia Aotearoa and the prolific hymnwriter Shirley Murray in two different chapters, even though a third of the Hymnbooks is made up of her works. Also he didn’t start with a coherent question to organise his essay around.

Joe has been down to WINZ today to organise the details of his accomodation payment. They won’t backdate till when he stopped being paid by Griffler Enterprises and the University, but he will receive some payment now.

I paid the power bill as I went to the gym tonight and I find that my finances are not good. My benefit has stopped and my first wages from the archives have not been paid yet. Yvonne had given me a cheque for services rendered in the meantime. I deposited it on Tuesday because I noticed my accounts were getting low. When I got some money out to pay the bill today, I noticed that that money was recorded as a ledger balance, not yet as available balance. This concerns me as it could mean that my automatic payment for rent will bounce when it is paid on Thursday and I will have to catch up on arrears.

Mike has been at a meeting with WINZ today, part of their indoctrination programme for people starting a new benefit. After a couple of cups of coffee he is in a better frame of mind. It appears that he is one of those people who convert caffeine into ideas.

Nominations Committee tonight. We are closer to reaching the point of identifying whom to call to Opoho. Next month we should be in a more certain position. A couple of people are unhappy with the process which sees the whole calling system in the context of a minister’s carreer, rather than the parish’s needs. One person has identified me as someone who enjoys the colour of a meeting more than the meeting itself. Guilty as charged!

It being Ash Wednesday Mike ate separately from Joe and myself as he did not want to eat meat this day. Apparently fish doesn’t count as ‘meat’ as he opened a can. One day I plan to include that as a feature of a created language – a distinction between different meats depending on what animal they come from..

Leave a comment

Normally after I get up I go to the bathroom, shave, then return to the bedroom to dress for the day. Today I dressed first thing so I didn’t bother shaving before I went into the archives.

The rain came up at two o’clock and the covers were put over the cricket pitch at Carisbrook. The wind is wuthering around Knox College.

Finally finished all the bays in the vault of the archives that I am working on.

Afterwards I went to the gym as Mike is cooking tonight. One regular that I talk to has returned and has started back at the gym again. Mike was unaware that Joe does not eat his meal before going out to Tai Chi on a Tuesday night.

I walked up to Grandview House after tea, but Graeme was not home. I came home to watch tv for the evening.

The latest connundrum to guess in Ill Bethisad is whether Winston Churchill is Kemrese or English. John Churchill, the first Lord Marlborough came from Dorset (which places him in Kemr), but his family could have easily have been English.

The church-less future?

Leave a comment

Mike’s essay-writing has come to a head. He has 6000 words to go and does not know how to proceed. He should go to bed but he cannot sleep.

The School of Ministry began with its inaugural lecture today. There was a morning tea beforehand. Yvonne and I went across. Four ministers who entered the Theological Hall 50 years ago were honoured. I think that they each got an engraved mug. I went to the inaugural lecture at which one of the lecturers spoke about trends in secularisation leading to a ‘church-less’ society. What has happened he argued is that people have stopped belonging, but they have not stopped believing. This is a universal trend and has affected voluntary and sports organisations equally as religious organisations. Rather than a church-less future the lecturer argued that the future will be less-church.

I came home early, but Felicity is held up and it looks like there will be no meeting today. I can’t get a hold of Robert there is nobody answering his phone.

My mother rang in the evening. She has won this week’s competition on Concert FM: a cd with two Rachmaninov concertos. It has been six years since the death of my twin brother (12/02/1998).

Epiphany 7

1 Comment

The church service today was a welcome to the students of the School of Ministry at Knox College. I made sure I got up early to by on door duty. I also had to give a notice for monthly newsletter and read from the gospel. As well as that I sat with Graeme. The other person on door duty did not appear and I grabbed another person to take up the collection with me. There was a very generous collection today. The preacher spoke about forgiveness and responding to insult creatively and not passively. Afterwards there was a morning tea for the students with three types of chocolate cake that I could see. I can’t complain about that it was sufficent payment for my work.

Harry came for me after lunch for the first session of Majellan. Joe stayed at home to meet with a friend. I did a quiz at Harry’s: What Level of Dante’s Inferno would I be consigned to? While he has a bedsit among the righteous pagans on the second level, I have sunk to the fifth level where the wrathful and the sullen hang out, writhing together in the fetid marshlands of the Styx, singing incoherent broken hymns. Despite my religious nature, or because of it, King Minos judged me more harshly.

We started a new campaign, set in the north-American colony city of Braskë on Majellan. I played Alec Lauder, a slacker pothead too stupid to realise that five years flipping burgers at the BioniCorp staff cafetaria had robbed him of a future. He has bad hygiene, which seems to be a consistent hazzard with characters I play, and low surprise reactions, another consistent hazzard. Life in Braskë is precarious as in this version of Majellan the Metallean inflection threatens to overrun the colony. Alec is recruited by a g-man to infiltrate a biological project on the secret sub-levels of BioniCorp. When the project goes terribly wrong the whole campaign group is forced to flee to the dead zone of the city or risk being ‘contained’ by the authorities.

I stayed at Harry’s to watch the latest episode of Top Gear then one member brought me home. Swordfish was 30 minutes in when I arrived and I decided not to watch it.

Older Entries