Robyn's Ramblings

All Things Bright and Beautiful

When I set up the computer at Kaeo on Sundays, the congregation are sitting waiting and it's difficult when there are things I'm not planning for them to see.  It happened recently for the sound file for Simple Gifts, the Shaker Song.  It was a video by Jewel, which ran during the service with a blank screen.  Setting it up meant showing the picture on the video file – the singer wearing a rather low cut garment.  As I tried to be speedy in case the sight was not pleasing to the gathered community of faith, Michael piped up: “All things bright and beautiful”.

I'm OK because we are all OK

"I'm OK because you're not OK."

That's what I reckon I've been hearing from certain big voices in the news.    Or in the less blunt form: "We're OK because they are not OK."

It's being expressed in group terms, us versus them.   This collection of "I" individuals over against that lot out there, other than us, beyond the pale.  They are different kinds of people.  They belong somewhere else, not in our place.  They behave badly, against the principles of our who we are.  They are a threat to our security and our identity. 

Being in St John

Why are you here?

I can tell you it's a question I ask when it comes to awards, being recipient thereof.   No fuss please.   Just let me get on with doing the mahi.

And yet we're here.   Those being recognised, good on you.    Those in support, good on you for being here and for your support.  

We're here also to take a moment too to reaffirm what we're on about together, together as St John.

For the real question is: what motivated you, what motivated us, to get involved in the first place?  And what motivates you to keep being involved?

Prayer - however it is for you

Aoraki Mt Cook

Prayer – a topic that pops up every now and again in our talk together at church (surprise, surprise!). Like many faith topics I think we assume there's an official understanding of “prayer” and an officially correct way of doing it. That is, a set definition and a fixed pattern for prayer.

If I'd stayed with that assumption, then I don't think we'd have ever met up. I probably wouldn't have been part of church let alone a minister, because I'd have assumed I failed in the prayer department.

Do you feel connected?

We've been talking a lot about making others welcome. It's at the heart of our mission as a parish and our vision for our new building.

What about this question: do we feel welcome?

I know what it is like to be in the midst of a group and feel a bit of an outsider. I get involved in groups that are not really my expertise but I'm keen to extend myself and contribute as much as I can. Often I have the question: do I belong here? Is anybody really interested that I'm here, or could they carry on fine without me? Do they care?

Even family can feel like this. Or church.