GRACE NOTES June 2020

An inclusive Christian community in Auckland, New Zealand

GRACE NOTES June 2020

Winter 2020 but so far the weather has remained warm with little use
yet for my electric blanket and warm woolly coats and scarves.
Strange times make us decide to do strange things like taking an
unexpected holiday. My husband Fred and I decided to take a small
trip in the campervan complete with its joys and challenges. We have
never been away in a campervan before so everything was strange and
new. You can imagine the two of us, quite large people (!!) moving
around and trying to sleep in a confined space, not so easy. To top it
all we were caught in a very wet and windy storm on Sunday night
with a leak right above Fred’s head. For all that, the drive away from
Auckland was lovely and the van was comfortable and easy to drive,
not so good to get caught in rush hour traffic on the way home on
Monday night.
Pat & Colin
During the more leisurely time on our walks in lockdown we have
taken more interest in the abundant bird life around our favourite
walking area, Onepoto Basin. There are always the ducks, the
ubiquitous pukeko and seagulls and lately the pigeons. (I have to
admit we cannot forget the Tom Lehrer song, “Poisoning the pigeons
in the park,” one of our sons put us onto!) More uncommon are pairs
of grey herons or oyster catchers. The paradise ducks with their
family from last spring of young ones remained early in lockdown,
then disappeared. Just this week we have spotted mother and father
paradise duck, back alone. We wonder just where the youngsters have
gone to live now.
But the birds that fascinate us the most are the Californian Quail.
They live under a low spreading, hollow conifer on a property nearby
and can often be seen in the morning foraging around the streets near
Onepoto basin. We thought there was a family of seven but one day
we spotted the whole congregation. On our approach sixteen of the
cute little creatures, their high crest feathers trembling, all went
skittering away with their legs running nineteen to the dozen in that
distinctive run they have.
Dalia
Last week I had a number of occasions when I was saying how lucky
and blessed we are to live in NZ.
It was my first time to help someone with mental issues. Mental team
members were working hard to provide professional help,
accommodation, emergency clothing, mobile phone and food for a
person who became mentally unwell.
It is a difficult journey for a stranded foreigner but medical staff made
it very smooth.
Every day I pray and say how lucky we are in NZ. It is a great
country. People are so caring.
Isabel. Perspective by an Unknown author,
WE ARE NOT IN THE SAME BOAT …I heard that we are all in the
same boat, but it’s not like that. We are in the same storm, but not in
the same boat. Your ship could be shipwrecked and mine might not
be. Or vice versa….. For some, quarantine is optimal. A moment of
reflection, of re-connection, easy in flip flops, with a cocktail or
coffee. For others, this is a desperate financial & family crisis… For
some that live alone they’re facing endless loneliness. While for
others it is peace, rest & time with their mother, father, sons &
daughters….With the weekly increase in unemployment some are
bringing in more money to their households than they were working.
Others are working more hours for less money due to pay cuts or loss
in sales….Some were concerned about getting a certain candy for
Easter while others were concerned if there would be enough bread,
milk and eggs for the weekend…Some want to go back to work
because they don’t qualify for unemployment and are running out of
money. Others want to kill those who break the quarantine…Some are
home spending 2-3 hours/day helping their child with online
schooling while others are spending 2-3 hours/day to educate their
children on top of a 10-12 hour workday…Some have experienced
the near death of the virus, some have already lost someone from it
and some are not sure if their loved ones are going to make it. Others
don’t believe this is a big deal…Some have faith in God and expect
miracles during this 2020. Others say the worst is yet to come….So,
friends, we are not in the same boat. We are going through a time
when our perceptions and needs are completely different….Each of us
will emerge, in our own way, from this storm. It is very important to
see beyond what is seen at first glance. Not just looking, actually
seeing….We are all on different ships during this storm experiencing
a very different journey….Realize that and be kind.
From Rachel …How about this joke: A priest, a rabbit and a minister
walk into a bar. The bartender asks the rabbit “What’ll you have? The
rabbit replied “I don’t know, I’m only here because of auto-correct.”
Edith
I have to admit that, once I caught on to the idea of “Lockdown” and
realised that I could live without my swims at Takapuna Beach, I
actually “enjoyed” the feeling of relaxation that it brought! I didn’t
have to ‘rush’ anywhere and I had all day to get things done -!
The glorious autumn sunshine was a treat and we took our coffee to
the chairs outside, looking at the lovely garden, and enjoyed it
together. Great way to get to know one’s “flat mates” better. The
flower and veggie gardens at Northbridge have lasted remarkably well
– always colourful – with beautifully scented roses to enjoy. Healthy
garden produce in abundance – people have had more time to look
after them.
Hopefully the “rain at last” will help in a small way to raise the level
of the dams so that the anxiety associated with Auckland’s water
supply is relieved for a while.
Some interesting ideas have emerged from this experience – some folk
find they work well from home; less traffic makes for less stressful
driving; reduced crowds less pressure; distancing while exercising
perhaps better concentration.
Worshipping “on line” has been a new experience for us and we find
we can communicate satisfactorily this way, but for me nothing
compares with the warmth of personal fellowship. I look forward to
seeing everyone again and sharing our experiences of
Lockdown. Hopefully we will soon witness the end of corona virus
in N.Z.
I remain thankful that our government has worked to keep the people
of NZ safe from the pandemic, thankful also for the examples of
human character we have learned from the life of Jesus Christ,
Culture, politics, morality, justice, philosophy, compassion and
human kindness.
GO WELL
Grace

And some birthdays to remember…
Rosemary Bold has a significant birthday on 23 June when
she turns 80.
Our eldest member at St Andrews is Marjorie Nicol who
turns 104 on 24 June! We wish you many more happy
memorable birthdays.