"Some days in ministry are focused: I'll spend the day tackling just one or two major tasks. Other days are very scattered. This past Wednesday was an example of such. On Wednesday I devoted bits of time to setting priorities, dealing with undertakers, the Church fête, our Church youth, 'leadership' matters, our charitable giving, the Church website, my Sunday sermon, our preaching programme, fraternal relations -- and various things I don't even remember. OBSERVATION: Those are the days one may feel one didn't get much done -- though perhaps one did."
Sunday, June 13, 2021
Every minister must know the feeling. This is an old post from 2013.
OBSERVATION: Today, most Banabans live on Rabi island in Fiji, where they were relocated. This may be the only photo of the monument on the Internet.
Saturday, June 12, 2021
Through most of my ministr(ies), I have put out a monthly Church newsletter. With every newsletter, I have sought to do two things:
1. Focus on what we are most basically about, andUsually, I have scanned earlier newsletters for perspective. OBSERVATION: Sometimes it seems as though there are a thousand things to write about. I have typically settled on just one. A newsletter is, I think, an important part of keeping a Church focussed. It is not an optional extra.
2. Share the most important news.
OBSERVATION: We had a few very different choirs over time. The choirmaster here is Henry Isaacs. You may click on the photo to enlarge.
Friday, June 11, 2021
Ministry continually intersects with problems -- and sometimes malevolence. I have had the custom, when engaging with an unkind problem, to make notes about my next step. By the time the next step is required, one might have been bumped off balance. Those notes are useful, then, for one's stability. Also, they serve as a reference point. One's thoughts are not scattered, but have a place to start. OBSERVATION: The next stage of a problem may, however, be completely different to what one thought might be. This is therefore subject to being completely flexible.
at 9:31 AM
OBSERVATION: I shall probably continue to write proposals, but hold them back. The image shows the cover of the current draft.
Thursday, June 10, 2021
OBSERVATION: When finally I met her father, I didn't know it was him I was greeting. Out of respect, he wouldn't look me in the eye, which is not ... the American way. Like wife E, they are a treasure.
Wednesday, June 9, 2021
OBSERVATION: My ring isn't like that. But are companies using one's data only to bounce back advertisements, or might they poach designs? Whether they do or not, it would seem possible.
Someone once said that I had a thriving Church, but how many conversions had there been? My ministry wasn't worth anything if there hadn't been conversions. At that time -- which was in city ministry -- I had made a note of conversions. At 200, I stopped counting. That is, conversions as best one can tell, where people made a decision for Christ, and said so. OBSERVATION: In an important sense, though, ministry is not about converting people, but simply about ministering. In Jesus’ parable of the sower, the sower simply sows. Ministry is not about what ministers are accomplishing, but what God is accomplishing -- often in ways beyond our understanding. Even without conversions, therefore, we are hopeful.
Eye Witness News reported yesterday, "6,812 PEOPLE VACCINATED IN SA OVER LAST 24 HOURS". The report was critical of government -- however, it did not spell out just what this means. The sums reveal it. The population of South Africa is 60,002,614. If we should continue with 6,812 vaccinations a day, that means 8,808 days, or more than 24 years. In reality, 1.5% of the population has already been vaccinated, which reduces that to a little less than 24 years. Say 12 years to vaccinate half the population. OBSERVATION: We hear confident predictions from government, about a vaccination drive. It seems hard to believe that it could -- so far -- unfold like this.
Tuesday, June 8, 2021
I think that many of our modern problems may be put down to pluralism -- yet are not recognised as such. My parents’ cultures were monocultural. My father told me of the excitement when the first Black man walked through town. My own culture is now bicultural. I transition between two very different cultures, and we accommodate each other, with warmth. Many people, though, need now to negotiate pluralism. It is a potpourri. OBSERVATION: I needed to unite various cultures in my city Church in particular, so I have some idea how to do it. Yet there were some who were still pulled very strongly towards monoculturalism (culture is not the same as race).
Monday, June 7, 2021
I had an interesting experience this morning. When one submits one's work to a publisher, one ideally surveys what they are putting out. When I surveyed a certain publisher, I found a book in the mix, published this year, which had the same title as the closing chapter of my book, the grand summation of my work. That caught my eye. In fact, I had shown the author a complete draft of my work in 2018. He had a bound copy of it, and we briefly communicated. Is there any connection? Without being able to see inside his book, I cannot tell. It is What is Metaphysics? by John Heil.