e-fish a weekly offering to help feed you and your congregation.
The evangelical network of the Methodist Church of New Zealand has as its one of its objectives, the encouragement and resourcing of local congregations. This weekly newsletter is different from many newsletters which are offered in that each month there will be a different editor/compiler. Not only does this prevent one person from being over-loaded, it will mean we are able to enjoy a wider range of thinking and input.
Perhaps you would like to take a turn. Maybe you have something to contribute. Then please contact me. email@example.com And if you think this is worthwhile, tell your friends about e-fish. They can subscribe at www.methodist.org.nz by going to the Evangelical Network page. An archive of e-fish is also be available.
I hope you have missed e-fish. There have been a couple of weeks break due to Methodist Conference. Now it seems like a sprint to Christmas. With too much to do, and too little time. The Christchurch Church Leaders have a guided retreat each year in October. This year I seemed to have ‘a million things to do’ and it would have been easy to find an excuse. But I didn’t, and what a valuable day it was. Much of it spent in quiet reflection. It is amazing how much can be sorted in ones mind, when the proper space is given to it. Why I have to ask myself do I so easily forget this, and become caught up in the rush.
I have made a good start using daylight saving this year however. Last summer I started cycling with a group two evenings a week, when other commitments allowed. On other nights I would spent time in the garden. Not only is this often the best part of the day, the different focus brings energy and concentration to the rest of my day. There is little time for television.
It is interesting when we read John Wesley’s journal that we find him concerned about all aspects of life. Diet, avoiding working in occupations dangerous to the health of body and spirit, reading good books to exercise the mind, experimenting with new discoveries. I want to try and foster that sort of opennness to God’s world, and not let myself become so absorbed with the mundane and the rush, that I miss the beauty of the journey of life.
Most will already have plans underway for family and children’s times in Advent and Christmas. AT Shirley this year the children are acting out ‘The Grinch who stole Christmas”. We have reworked some bits to make it fit the Christmas story better and will present it as a family service in December.
The story can also be read. When I do this I copy some of the pictures onto acetate and put them on the OHP. Now if only I had a data projector.
I have found it difficult to get children’s book from the library. They have a rapid turn around and are not as well sorted as Adult fiction. So buy a copy or search on the web.
If you have favourite books for children at Christmas, drop me a line.
Girls Brigade Parade.
Last Sunday night we had a combined Church parade and Final Night Prize giving. It came together like this in part because of the weeks I was away, and the Captains Son was married and Husband had a significant birthday…. So it all ended up on one night. And it was an amazing success. We met at 6pm, so the youngest girls would not be out too late. We had all the parents because it awards were being given out, we had people from the church family because it was a service and church parade, because it was in the evening we didn’t have to fit around the conventional expectations for a service. In short. it was great. The girls presented items just as they would normally do. Some ‘church songs’ some fun songs.
I suspect we may do this again.
Now I wonder what else we do would take on new life if the setting was changed a bit.
I was e-mailed the following article this week. It has disturbing implications. Not only the emotional authenticity of those in helping professions, but is the requirement to stuff things inside one of the causes of the many varieties of ‘rage’. Road rage, supermarket rage, spectator rage seems to be the overflowing of strong emotion when the dam which holds it in is ruptured by another, possibly minor, event.
The Managed Heart
In a Christian Century column, Barbara Brown Taylor referred to a book called The Managed Heart by Arlie Russell Hochschild in which the author noted that one-third of us have jobs that demand some form of emotional labor, where our livelihood depends on the careful management of our feelings, e.g., flight attendants, sales people, customer relations personnel, social workers, counselors, teachers, nurses, clergy.
Taylor suggests that the hidden cost of managing our hearts, when we agree to do emotional labor for pay, is the impoverishment of our own emotional lives.
“The one instruction [flight attendants] receive over and over again is to smile – and beyond that, to smile as if they mean it. Customers can detect strained or forced smiles… The emotional labor must not show… The point is to win the customer’s repeat business. The flight attendant gives the airline a human face by personifying the care of the parent company, leading the passenger to choose the same airline next time.
“Hochschild found that most flight attendants cope by learning a form of ‘deep acting’ that helps them produce the desired feelings in themselves. They learn other strategies for repressing negative feelings so that they do not erupt on the job. After a while, many say they have a hard time recovering their true feelings once their shifts are over. They begin to lose track of when they are acting and when they are not. Eventually they become aware that the hidden cost of managing their emotions for pay is the impoverishment of their emotional lives. They have sold their hearts, and do not know how to buy them back…
“What surprised me was finding out how much clergy and flight attendants have in common… I also represent a ‘parent company’ that depends n me to personify its values. I too was hired to serve people on their journeys… My company was only one of many that offered this service. If I wanted people to ‘fly’ with my church… then it was important for me to provide them with as positive an experience as possible…
‘It seems extremely important for those of us in professional ministry to protect our hearts from overmanagement. If we teach them to lie, we may never get them back. One way to safeguard them, I believe, is to separate the gift of our feelings from our salaries. As a good friend once reminded me, people can pay us to proofread the bulletin, watch the budget, attend committee meetings and deal with denominational bureaucracy, but they cannot pay us to love them. That part of the job we do for free.”
[Christian Century, Nov. 4, 1998]
The Mother of:
Jacob __ __ B __ __ __ __ (Gen 25:20-26)
Dan __ I __ __ __ __ (Gen 30:5-6)
Solomon __ __ __ __ __ __ __ B __ (2Sam 12:24)
Joseph __ __ __ __ __ L (Gen 30:22-24)
Eunice __ __ I __ (2Tim 1:5)
Timothy __ __ __ __ C __ (2Tim 1:5)
Samuel __ A __ __ __ __ (1Sam 1: 20)
Dinah (Gen 34:1) L __ __ __
Jesus M __ __ __ (Mtt 1:18)
Dancing girl [Salome] __ __ __ O __ __ __ __ (Mtt 14:6)
Obed __ __ T __ (Rth 4:13-17)
Ishmael H __ __ __ __ (Gen 16:15)
John Mark __ __ R __ (Acts 12:12)
John the Baptist __ __ __ S__ __ __ __ __ (Lk 1:57-60, AV)
Reflect on these questions:
Which mother from the Bible would you least like to be your mother?__________
Which mother from the Bible would you most like to be your mother? __________
ReBekah, BIlhah, Bathsheba, RacheL, LoiS, EuniCe, HAnnah, Leah;
Mary, HerOdias, RuTh, Hagar, Eve, MaRy, EiiSabeth.
Ó Evangelical Network of Methodist Church of New Zealand or Author where identified. Permission is given for non –profit use with aknowledgement.