Generally Assembling#1 – Mart the Rev

Well Hi there, I am safely in Dunedin ahead of General Assembly 2016.
Safely, as in I survived the North Canterbury earthquake of the day.  I must say it seems kind of wrong to leave after an event like that.
Dunedin, as in the city of my birth and the place of abode for an initial stint of 1 year, a further stint of 5 years, and another stint of 5 years.
Ahead, as in it doesn’t actually begin until tomorrow (Tuesday) evening.  But there is a minister resourcing day tomorrow to take up the slack.  I am not sure which part of me needs resourcing so it could be interesting.

The intention with this week’s blog is to offer an anticipatory entry and a summary entry each day.

So to anticipation… Tuesday…
It is raining.
It looks like it will continue raining.
I think I am going to get wet.
I think the idea of resourcing ministers is a good one, but I wonder what a gaggle of them will be like.  They can be prickly things, these ministers, they are used to getting an uninterrupted word in week by week and (unhealthily) being set slightly above the contradiction line.  Put over 150 of them in a room together and it might be like a shed of snorting pigs, and equally smelly.
Then again, everyone there will find a few someones they have a crossed paths with, mostly joyfully, so hugs and handshakes and nods and smiles will set the day up nicely, until the dreaded theological difference monster will rear its head and we will be Presbyterians ‘together’ again.
Then again, maybe I haven’t had the required sleep (earthquake stuff) and I am still feeling slightly nauseous after hours of rocking aftershocks and I can’t think straight.
So wait and see…

In the evening we have the powhiri and opening of the General Assembly at Knox Church.
But I am not sure if I am attending.
I want to attend very much, but I am from earthquake country, I have experience, and some very recent experience, and in Canterbury buildings like Knox Church got munted – all of them!.  I cannot imagine that Knox Church is up to the kind of NBS rating that we would demand in Canterbury.  In Canterbury any church building with a soaring tower like Knox Church’s tower no longer has a tower.  Just saying!
So tomorrow I will investigate.  The Highgate church community, where I have served, has bravely closed their church building because of it not meeting the kind of compliance standards our Church recommends.  So, what about Knox?  Will anyone know, or care?  I think they should know and care, but I am a northerner these days.
I might end up designating myself as the person who officially stays away just in case a calamity happens and wipes out all the rest of the church leaders.

That’s it for tonight!
As they say down here in the south, it’s time for a wee sleep.

Note: This is the first of several posts from Martin sharing his thoughts about General Assembly. Read other posts in the series by going to the Candour Blog home page and selecting “Assembly Blog” from the topic cloud at the right-hand side of the page. – Jose Reader

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