God's Word for today

Monday, 2 June 2008

Synod - the lighter side

Talk about flogging a willing horse?! My Circuit decided that seeing as I was required to attend our recent District Synod anyway (because I was appearing before the screening committee as a candidate), I may as well represent the Circuit as a delegate as well. I guess that this means that I will need to present a report from Synod at our next Circuit Quarterly Meeting in July, so I may as well update my blog at the same time.

However, since I am still trying to gather my thoughts together concerning the proceedings at this year's Synod (not to mention still pinching myself to make sure that being accepted as a probationer minister wasn't a dream), the "heavy stuff" will have to come later. In the meantime, allow me to share some of the lighter moments in these humorous quotes from Synod 2007:
  1. In response to my question concerning a Youth Synod resolution proposing the establishment of a Sports Desk aimed at "ensuring that all Methodists participate in sport", which I considered to be a noble sentiment that was however worded rather prescriptively, Bishop Paul Verryn (in reference to my "full Gospel preacher" waistline) remarked that I "needed more participation in sports".

  2. "Never trust a preacher who says 'finally'..." - Bishop Verryn, interrupting during a rather long-winded report from a group who shall remain unnamed... (This cartoon first appeared on the website "The Ongoing Adventures of ASBO Jesus" - my kind of humour!)

  3. "We are the Grade Noughts of 2008" - a reference to the newly-accepted candidates for the ministry, who will commence Phase One of their probation in 2009.

  4. Someone got a bit tongue-tied in an attempt at protocol. Instead of the customary "Bishop and the Synod-at-large", this person addressed us as "Synod and the Bishop-at-large" (sweet revenge for Point 1 above, perhaps?).

  5. "Now we are going to enjoy some organised chaos" - Bishop Verryn again, as he invited the whole of Synod to celebrate with the newly-accepted candidates by coming up to greet us. Many hugs, handshakes, and tears followed!

  6. At the first mealtime, one of the delegates questioned why there were two queues, one much shorter than the other. Rev Brenda Timmer, superintendent minister of the host Circuit, indicated that the shorter queue was for diabetics and vegetarians. "Goody - that's for me, then", he responded, making for the shorter queue. (To my knowledge he was neither diabetic nor vegetarian!)

  7. "You think that now you have been accepted as a candidate, you can come dressed casually?" This was a comment by a disgruntled Phase One probationer wearing a clerical shirt that looked two sizes too small around the neck, which was in response to the fact that while I wore a tie on the Thursday for the candidates' screening, this was dumped smartly in favour of an open-necked shirt on the Friday.

  8. "The males in my family have a congenital defect - our bladders are located between our shoulder-blades and connected to our eyes!" (Bishop-elect Peter Witbooi, explaining why the tears flowed so freely when the results were announced confirming his election as Bishop commencing in 2010, and again that evening when he paid tribute to his family in the service that evening.)

  9. "Some people will do anything to get out of having to attend Synod!" (a reference to Rev Kym Bishop, who is currently on maternity leave.)

  10. "I'm sleeping like a baby at the moment - out like a light for an hour, followed by an hour of crying..." This came from a tired dad, Rev Michael Bishop who, unlike his wife Kym, was not granted dispensation from attending Synod.

  11. "I think I'll try that next year!" (the response from a jealous male Phase One probationer to the female Rev Bishop being granted dispensation. A bit of confusion around gender roles, perhaps?)

  12. "I have bad news...South Rand Circuit still needs a new Circuit Treasurer next year." This was my response to one of our Circuit Steward, Jane Valla, when I was informed that the screening committee sanctioned my acceptance as a candidate, meaning that I would be leaving the Circuit at the end of the year.

  13. "Oh well, Steve ... I tried." These were the first words from Brian Hovelmeier, another of our Circuit Stewards, when he shook my hand during the period of "organised chaos" referred to in 5 above. For the past two years he has been questioning my sanity in giving up a well-paying career in corporate finance to become a full-time minister.

  14. "Well, I always said I was called. I never said anything about being sane!" (My response to Brian.)

  15. "Wow - talk about confidence! What if you didn't make it?" This was the response from a member of the screening committee who was chatting to me afterwards about the need to purchase clerical clothing once I had been accepted as a candidate, after I had informed her that due to the price of such clothing, I had already started buying one shirt a month from January! (The minister who gave me the advice to stock up early just happens to have the same shirt size as me ... should I read anything into this?)

1 comment:

Rock in the Grass (Pete Grassow) said...

congratulations - and I will keep praying for you.