Many roles

When I first started this Blog, I was expecting to be ordained priest a year after being ordained deacon. The plan was to re-name it ‘Speaking as a deacon and a priest.’ My path has gone in a different direction, but I’m still not sure that the calling to priesthood has gone away.

After the very busy time we have had as a family, I could call it ‘Speaking as a deacon and a mother’. My son Josiah has been in hospital recently for appendicitis, which he is now recovering from. I find the mothering role quite demanding, because there is no plan to it. Yes, he had his operation, came out of hospital with three small wounds, but it took a week for him to recover from the anaesthetic, and he still has pain in his tummy which has restricted him from joining in the Kapa Haka festival and other physical pursuits.He gets really grouchy too! As a mum, I cannot plan when I may have to give him a ride, persuade him to take pain relief, and many other things.

Added to that, our daughter is struggling with life at the moment, especially with the transition from childhood to adolescence. I won’t go into details, but please pray for her!

We all have many roles, and my deacon role is not compromised by my mother one. No, rather it is enhanced. Our congregation cares for all our family, and in sharing some of our troubles and triumphs, I can become fully embedded into the church family. I think it’s important for deacons to do that – maybe the priests need to be a little more aloof, but incarnational ministry for a deacon must surely mean going deep with our church, being real, letting ourselves be known, warts and all. Only then can we fully appreciate each other.

The parish where I work is going through a time of change – our wonderful priest-in-charge has just announced that she is to leave us in a few months to focus on God’s call for her to concentrate on Missions in Polynesia. What will this mean for me? I will be journeying as part of the congregation during the change, during the self-searching as they/we look at themselves to discover how they feel they need to be led gong forward. I love working at this parish, with these people. There are different opinions among them over many things, but surely my role as deacon is to encourage everyone, to nudge them a little step forward on their discipleship journey, whether I agree with them or not.  I don’t believe it is my task to impose my ideas on them, but rather to enter into dialogue and encourage creative discussion. I love doing this!

May God bless you all as you find your way forward in the journey God has for you this week.

Felicity

The phone rang…

I was asleep, when the sound of the phone started to weave itself into my dreams. Why is the phone ringing? It’s the middle of the night!

Something told me I shouldn’t ignore it, so I found my glasses and stumbled to the kitchen, where the phone promptly got to its allotted 8 rings and stopped to go to answerphone. I checked the number that had called – my parents’ number. Oh no. Dad. Continue reading

Helping hands

it has been a very eventful week with Kevin’s health, but he’s home now from hospital. On Monday morning, we needed to call the ambulance, as his heart rate was way too low. The paramedics were very caring and professional, and apologised whenever a procedure they were doing caused Kevin pain. The staff at the emergency department were also caring and professional, as were those in the cardiac care ward where he spent two days.

I got me thinking. First, thanking God for these people, who saved my husband’s life. But then, I started to think, what is it inside people that makes them want to care, want to love?

As Christians, we can say, we love because He first loved us. But I don’t know what was the motivation for all the health-care professionals – did they love because they knew that God loved Kevin too?

All around me, I am seeing evidence of people made in the image of a loving God, people who care enough about their community to get in there and help people. But most of these people are not doing it in the name of Christ, but because it is the ‘right’ thing to do.

What is the role for the church then? The church was instrumental in making health-care available for the poor, and developing education. It has had a huge role in pastoral care, but now it seems that the community is doing fine without the church. The need never goes away, but surely the church has something else to offer.

Are we too shy about the “why we do what we do” to let people know that we love them because God loves them? Why is that? Perhaps we need to develop more intentional strategies to tell people why we love them.