Friday, August 31, 2012

Ministry School

It’s been a busy week for me being away a bit. I went to the Anglican Diocesan of Waikato and Taranaki Ministry School as our church is without a vicar/minister at the moment and we were able to send a lay minister instead. I wasn’t sure what I was going to experience but I was hoping it would be a lace of encouragement and growth for me in my walk as a Lay Minister.

It was at Finlay Park Camp which is really only 20 minutes down the road over the Waikato river but I wanted to be able to be a part of the school in all that it was rather than turn up maybe even late each day and miss out on that feeling you have when you are building relationships etc with those around you. And as Harry said “it’s only a couple of days”.

The food was good and even more so that I didn’t have to cook or clean up for it. The sleeping was OK but I seemed to toss and turn a lot, I think the bunks were a bit narrow or something. I shared with two ladies from Morrinsville and it was wonderful to build new friendships. Straight out the cabin door we had a view of the ‘lake’; Waikato River at Horohoro.
The days were pretty full on with prayer/Eucharist services. School sessions with meal and tea breaks in between but as most times went over their allocation there was little time in-between to take a lot in. I did manage to take notes in most sessions and will spend time going over them. There seemed so much to take in but it was a time of feeding for me.

The theme was on Tikanga; a coming together of the three strands of the Anglican church as recognised in this region, - the Maori, Pakeha (European) and Pacifica.

One new aspect of recognition for me was that I didn’t know a lot of Maori Reo (Language) and there was a lot of Te Reo being spoken, sung and prayed. I was not alone in this either but for me I realised that living in New Zealand I needed to know more than I do. I must admit I have been rather stubborn in this whole area, but it has only meant that I am the one missing out! I have since bought a dictionary to help me learn some basic things.

Another topic that caught my attention was the need to be real. Not just for me and my own sake but for those I am with so that they will truly know who I am and so be relaxed and confident to be real to me. Also that I have to make time – five minutes of total attention to a person means an enormous amount of compassion to the person I am with. Talking and so called listening to someone for half an hour, but looking over their shoulder or answering a txt, fidgeting with items etc. shows little concentration towards the person and they will sense that.

Some would hate to go to a school like this that had aspects of adhering to a book of rules so to speak without allowing individuality in worship, prayer and communion. But having ‘order’ so to speak allowed all to know where we were at, especially when in a different language you didn’t understand.

I came away quite tired but filled afresh with new ideas and a feeling of being on the right track with God. It also helped my build connections with others and those that I often deal with/talk to over the phone in my administrative position at work.