Tonight was my first YMG (Young Men's Guild) meeting.
Well, actually it was my second meeting - the first was one I attended whilst still in Phase One, and to be honest, as a non-member of this particular uniformed organisation of the Methodist Church of Southern Africa (MCSA) at the time (having visited in my capacity as minister), I was not exactly made to feel overly welcome. Tonight was different, as we received hearty welcomes from our colleagues who are already YMG members.
At this stage I don't know too much about the organisation, other than that it is the largest men's movement within the MCSA, and a veritable institution within the historically black section of the church. And I'm sure that the sight of the "Three Mlungus" (Nuno, Wesley, and myself) dressed in our black jackets and grey trousers must have been the source of some amusement - especially as I was wearing a stiflingly-hot black long-sleeved clerical shirt and collar, as against a white shirt and black tie by the other two members of the pale trio. Lord alone knows how much perspiration I'm likely to shed once a red waistcoat is added to the whole ensemble!
The YMG is also known for its music - which provided its second moment of mirth of the evening, once again at my expense. During the singing of the first hymn, one of my colleagues loaned me his hymn book, and I was doing fine with the first two lines, but the next two were somewhat different to what the rest were singing - until I realised that I was using a Zulu hymn book while the rest were singing in Xhosa! (Note to self: Take Xhosa hymn book next month!)
It should become interesting as the months unfold...
It may have been the sampling of that pineapple beer in Standard 8 that resulted in me choosing accountancy as my first career (and not touching alcohol since), but a far stronger Spirit has called me into my second career as I prepare for the exciting journey towards becoming a full-time minister in the Methodist Church of Southern Africa.
Being married to my wonderful wife Belinda, and having been blessed with an amazing son, James, is living proof that accountants DO have a personality. (Or maybe Belinda just felt sorry for me, perhaps?)
Judging by the blogs of Dion Forster, Wessel Bentley, and others, it looks like being able to blog is one of the requirements for being a minister (!), so here goes...