Monday, December 31, 2012

Christmas at Church

I am back in cool Dunedin. Thankfully Christmas day was cool in Sydney and it was the wettest Christmas day for 70 years although I felt sorry for the many who would have planned to eat outside and in parks and on beaches. Choral Eucharist at St James was packed and the choir sang beautifully. However as I get older I do find it hard to stand through their rendition of Palestrina and am happy to join my sister and other oldies sitting down. I do though enjoy all 8 verses of 'O come all ye faithful' including the first in Latin as a processional hymn with a stop to bless the crib.  I am thinking seriously about next Christmas. I wish I could afford to fly over for just a few days.  I would miss Christmas at St James and lunch with my sister but prefer to be away from Sydney in Summer. I have a reunion of my class of 1973 (every 10 years) at the beginning of November and would not miss that for the world so might stay in Dunedin for Christmas next year.

Yesterday I went to Sung Eucharist at St Paul's Cathedral, Dunedin. A contrast as the numbers were small. Some tourists, possibly from the cruise ship in port, came in late. That was okay as they stayed for the service but one rude man walked around taking photos during the sermon then departed.
The final hymn was also a favourite of mine, obviously Londonderry Air but I also find the words moving. I was surprised to find it was sung at the same Songs of Praise in Belfast as ''Tell Out My Soul' a week ago.
'I cannot tell why He Whom angels worship'
But this I know, the skies will thrill with rapture,
  And myriad, myriad human voices sing,
And earth to heaven, and heaven to earth, will answer:
  At last the Saviour, Saviour of the world, is King.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Sydney Hate merchants

They are at it again. A letter this week in the Sydney Morning Herald by Rev Nigel Fortescue, who continues to try and put himself forward as next Bishop of Sydney.

In places where the Anglican Church has abandoned the biblical teaching on headship, sexuality and church roles, it is dying. Where they are upheld, it's thriving. Why not check out your local Anglican church this Christmas and see for yourself?
Nigel Fortescue Senior minister, Campbelltown Anglican Churches

A reply the next day
All that your letter really indicates, Nigel Fortescue ), is that a proportion of the community, including many parishioners of conservative churches, are living in the past, when women had no rights and people of alternative sexual preferences were often stoned to death.
Christ preached a gospel of love and inclusion, which many found, and still find, difficult to grasp or practise. Conservative Christians seem to forget he ''knocked around'' with people on the fringes of society and was criticised for associating with ''sinners''. Perhaps you should examine your version of ''reality'' and ask yourself if it is really valid.
Derrick Mason Boorowa ( a country town outside the dicoese of Sydney)
My email to Fortescue
Three years ago I migrated from Sydney to Dunedin. While I enjoyed worshipping at St James, King Street, a vibrant yet inclusive church which often has women preaching  generally priests from outside the diocese, I found the journey too long.
I moved to the diocese of Dunedin where Penny Jamieson  was the first diocesan woman bishop in the Anglican communion. Juan Kinnear, a  same sex partnered(over 20 years) man had recently been ordained a priest. He was an associate in the cathedral but this year has moved to assist in a nearby parish, he has a full time job at the university.
The vicar of St Johns Roslyn welcomed me although he was full aware of my sexuality. He is now Bishop of Dunedin. In the interim we had a woman archdeacon running the parish. The new vicar is similarly welcoming of me.  Two women  in the parish have been ordained as deacons in 2012 and will probably be ordained priests next year. 

My main point is I find parking hard on sunday morning outside the church. St Johns, Roslyn is a growing vibrant Anglican church even though women are in positions of leadership and homosexuals are welcome.

Moving from Sydney to Dunedin was the best thing I have done for my spiritual life. They preach a gospel of love not hate as found in Sydney.  I am back for family at Christmas and will again enjoy worshipping at St James, King Street on Christmas day, certainly I will not go anywhere near the cathedral.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Approaching Christmas

I am now in Sydney counting the days until I can return to Dunedin next Thursday. The forecast there is for 12'C on Thursday, perhaps a bit extreme for mid summer but much preferable to the heat and humidity of Sydney. It is only 28'C now but the humidity is high.

I have now bought a new MacBook Air. The salesperson convinced me it would be all I needed for my purposes. I needed to buy a superdrive despite Mac now believing we no longer need CDs and DVDS and I also bought an external hard drive. That was a bit like shutting the stable door after the horse had bolted.

I had problems connecting to my sister's wifi and we decided the modem/router I purchased for her just before moving to NZ, 3 years ago was on its way out.  So yesterday we bought a new one which led to about 6 hours of frustration trying to get it to connect.  It now works well except some sites are blocked. There is no obvious reason eg Dunedin newspaper but not the Sydney paper, some banks but not others.  I have disabled the firewall without success and it now seems we will have to ring the ISP support tomorrow.  Perhaps life would be easier if we did not have computers.

I went to Sung Eucharist at St James, King Street this morning.  I had hoped to hear a sermon by Rev John Beer.  He is an associate priest and often helped maintain my sanity with his acerbic comments about those who run the Sydney Diocese.  He could be more open as his day job was a teacher, he is now retired.  He was invited to the investiture as Presiding Bishop of Katharine Jefferts Schori so obviously has little in common with the archbishop of Sydney and his demand that women be submissive.
Anyway I was disappointed that he only preached at 7.45am and 11am and we had the children's pageant, my second in 8 days. At least it was fairly brief and we still had Eucharist.

I realised I am now more at home at St John's Roslyn.  None of those officiating were present in my time and yet none asked who I was or welcomed me as a visitor.  While St James does liturgy and music very well, it has never been a friendly church despite attempts to remedy the problem.  Much of this is due to the congregation coming from all over Sydney (seeking a real Anglican experience) and it still having a status as the society church of the city.

Last Sunday evening I attended 9 Lessons and Carols in the cathedral at Dunedin partly to recover sanity after the children's pageant that morning.  While only a small congregation, there were others from Roslyn and people I knew from my other activities in the city.  That is the advantage of living in a small city of 130,000 rather than one which has passed 4 million.  I now greet passengers on the train from the cruise ships as being welcome to the "best little city in the world".

St James has 9 Lessons and Carols this evening. It promises to be packed as usual but as my sister is still recovering from a painful knee operation just over a week ago, she is saving up to make it there on Christmas morning.  I went alone to Eucharist this morning.

I am looking forward to a full Choral Eucharist at Christmas. That will be St James at its best.

However the final hymn this morning was one of my favourites, of course appropriate for Advent being based on the Magnificat.  I love to sing it at full volume.
"Tell Out My Soul"   Enjoy

Monday, December 10, 2012

Mini disaster

I know my problem is nothing compared to typhoons in the Phillipines or people dying of cancer, however.
I bought my current laptop way back in 2007. My previous desktop is sitting beside my desk but I have not switched it on since shipping it to New Zealand. The big mistake was in July 2011 when I bought an Ipad2 instead of a new laptop. I have hated the Ipad and only used it under duress when travelling. I did not realise it is not a substitute for a proper computer just a very poor but light for travelling accessory.
In January this year I upgraded my laptop to mountain lion or whatever the latest version was (there is now another update). It was much easier when the just used numbers, 10. 6 is obviously an upgrade to 10.5 but who knows where one is with lion, tigers, cougars or whatever.
I was horrified to discover that my much loved AppleWorks program had disappeared. I had to buy and learn Pages and Numbers. They are far too complicated for my small needs. My Christmas card list was on a database and that has completely gone. I use to love Apple, now it is a swear word.
I took the database on a thumb drive to Australia and printed it out.

The week before last I composed my 2012 Christmas message. Last Monday I began to print it out. While it was printing, I decided to create a spread sheet of the names and addresses previously on the database. One address was very long and not complete on the printout and so I thought I would email the person to obtain their correct snail mail address. Disaster struck as the computer completely seized up. I tried to restart and a blinking question mark appeared. I had not seen that since the bad
old days in the early 90's when I ran a bank of apple computers in a school library. Then it appeared almost weekly on one or other machine. I searched and tried all the repair methods I once used. No success. I took it to the local Apple dealer and paid $30 to be told the hard drive had collapsed and
was unrecoverable. I took it to another repair shop and paid another $30. They rang to say they also could not repair but could send it to a forensic lab with a high success rate. Only problem it will cost $750 to $800. However it holds all my photos of travels from 2007 to 2011. The only photos on the lipad are my travels this year. Also my accounts but I think I backed them up in September. I am not sure as I cannot put the USB drives into an ipad.
Having been assured I only need to pay if successful, I agreed and should know the worst by the end of this week.

I have always intended buying a new machine when I go to Sydney next week. They are cheaper there because GST is 10% in Australia and 15% in NZ. I was thinking of buying a MacBook Air  and selling the Ipad on trademe. Now I will buy a MacBook Pro and continue to struggle with the Ipad when travelling. At the moment I am backing up the Ipad and this years travel photos onto ICloud but it has been going for over 24 hours and still says another 6 hours to go.

I have friends my age who do not own a computer. I am beginning to envy their uncomplicated life.
I have drawers full of slides taken on holidays from the 70's and 80's including 3 trips to Europe. I never look at them but have plans for one day. I even brought the slide projector from Australia for that one day. Photos of the 90' s and up to 2006 are printed outand in folders, more easy to access but still rarely checked. So why should I worry about these on the computer? It is just nice to know they are there and some are still a bit too recent to lose.

If I had my laptop, I would research and include a cartoon to illustrate but do not know how on an Ipad. Grrrrrrrrrrrrr.

Hard drive is completely wrecked and data unrecoverable. Unsure whether to be happy that I have saved $750 or sad that all my photos including 3 trips to Europe and one to North America have gone. Only exception are those on this blog.