home! Wesley home.

 My friend sent this back to me after 15 years… god! how time has flown.. but the situation on the ground has only gotten worse… the analogy of a train with it’s breaks not holding and going downhill has been most used to explain the earth’s deterioration…  the same would analogy can see more clear and very visible physical manifestation in the corrupt ways of our Churches and diocese.

Your words on 9th May, 2001 – Flashback to an interesting read 🙂

Aashish Joshua

 Mar 2
to me
Dear friends,
Greetings! a little something i want to share with you.
On May Day laboring on another morning, got a call from Manoj to meet him at the old Peoples’ home.  A long while since I ‘d been here and this sure wasn’t something that would have pulled me away from a book and music on a holiday.
A plethora of images passed before mine eyes.  It used to be a place I looked forward to going, not so long ago.  We went there for prayer meetings, to sing, dropped in cause we were passing by.  Somewhere along the way all this changed, haven’t been there since the work on a new place began.  I asked myself why the change occurred, and got some very petty excuses for answers and an insipid one ‘I was busy, didn’t have time’, which in the next 30 seconds was already dismissed as very lame.
Well, we ventured out to the place all the same to find answers along the way.
We walked in and introduced ourselves as guests from Wesley to the warden a kind old lady, Rasathi in her 60s in a youthful zest (a warden in a youth hostel before she came here).  It has been 4 months and she should  now start to age a decade every month.  More about her another time.
A sure way for me to have a disastrous experience is to do something because “it will be good for me”. **
We went around the place, nostalgia completely removed- the harsh reality didn’t even allow me that soft cushioning.  We looked at the size of rooms in the new building from the roof top, the new rooms that are ready are not accessible because they say the contractor has not been paid and he will not allow possession of the rooms. Does not you anger well up? we downed it with a glass of warm water from the kitchen.  We weren’t ready for the inmates (that’s what they are called, a prison they know no escape from).  We walked among the ruins, a comforting sight to most who saw their very lives in such imagery, a feeling at home.
The Home is a row of rooms along the path way- 4 doors that lead into cells which house these old bodies, hands that a few years ago led young lives by their little fingers, who have led exciting lives and traveled around, whose eyes filled with tears of happiness at new life and wept into hungry cold grounds at the loss their loved ones.  Today they will ask you to pray that the Lord take them to an abode we are so accustomed to think is rosy.  A land where your limbs will get new strength and your teeth will be back, wrinkles will only be laugh lines (what else, in a land where there is no sorrow).
Now, as we walked round and round quite embarrassed to meet those that reside in these walls, one of them came out and confronted us,  she said, ‘ you don’t want to come inside and meet us, you would have come in if there were girls, wouldn’t you?’.  We walked up to her not knowing quite what to say. Where these accusations right?, were we afraid to see at close quarters what we were inevitably heading for? Were we afraid to know what goes around and make it difficult to justify our deeds at a later date?  Well, we reached her before we could quite figure out, she burst into a rich laugh and repeated her question to help sink it in deeper and then a little more louder (once more with feeling).  We didn’t come up with any answers but told her we were from the church.
She kept us in splits with episodes from her eventful life, she introduced herself- ‘Mrs. Mary Benedict- but no benediction’, she laughed.
She regaled us with her tales and having told us about marriage and mortgage she spoke of her children in distant lands and of fat pay packs
– pride and regret, sighs and smiles.
We also met Ruth Solomon and Mabel David quite pleased to hear her name though it be to summon another.  One asked that we pray to ask Him to call her to His side at the earliest.
Throw away the wine bottle, put out the candles, no one is coming by this way- said a poet about oldage.
The garden has a few lovely blossoms – no lawn, no evenly laid flower beds, a bright contrast to the garden in Church – what for? Who comes here?
At the new block we climbed the steep stairs that will lead to rooms – god!, they must think that some spring chickens coming to stay here. No thought absolutely about disabled and geriatrics (or is this something Jim Carrey specializes in).  We are to blame – we didn’t question the plan when in sat there beside the alter staring in our face and we saw nothing wrong with it then. Why complain now?- well, our unlearned mind and untrained eyes didn’t see it – and please brethren come behold the sight, a reality jolt.  Will we look at it only when it happens in our
homes, or will we lock them in such closets?   Will we continue to look
the other way?
I remember 2 years ago when a few of us thought some things were going to change for the better, we set up a cool mailing list to correspond with each other, to help build a community in virtual space- to build a home for these old people, we deliberated and we build them a castle in the air, well, some didn’t even bother with that.
This here verbose outburst is not another attempt at building community-
do whatever you think is right at the time you encounter it.   I am
guilty of not being in church and talking to you guys and now suddenly I have all my fears to pour out to you, am angry and very sad, and in impotent rage I have no one to talk to but you who I once knew so well.
Forgive me my outburst, but you sure must ask yourself some questions, the answers are not hard they are blowing in the wind, and what the
world needs now is love.   We must awake and ask these our elders who
are involved in these projects, what they are up to – don’t you want to know about the house your parent is building?  Would you not know his blind side and throw more light onto his lea side.
Does this place not matter to us Wesleyans, are we so far removed from our own, are we so blessed that we are in a land where we will never grow old!
… death under the force of a hurricane is better than life in the arms of  old age*
After such triviality do I have anything to offer you?  Yes, I have a sight that is such a horrid shame to any school of architecture. And the callous behavior of all those involved with the building I will not even get into. They say that there was 10 lacs spent on it, it sure is a
sight to behold!   The future residents will on reaching here believe
that they have at last reached the tunnel and now need only wait for the light.
And when you have reached the mountain top, then you shall begin to climb And when the earth shall claim your limbs, then shall you truly dance.*
more later, love
david.
*Kahlil Gibran
**Hugh Prather
Ps: I have no hope of knowing that I have said the right things, or if these are self-righteous ramblings, I might never know.  I must also hereby request a space for these things I have said.  You would write us, call if you think you need us, or you could do your things your way, but for your own and these old people’s sake do something.  And feel free to write me about my short falls or anything you would want to say.  especially mail me if you don’t want me to write you.
God bless.
D.

explain yourself…2 examples

Every now and then you are asked to explain yourself.   Sometimes the frequency is on an everyday basis.

Eg:  yesterday I was accepted as as belonging to a Church.  Today, I have to state if I am, cause otherwise I am not.  They had a new rule put in a personal dairy and it looked beautiful on those pages, even as it manifested her own glory.  It said, must not sing songs with that bunch of them who sing songs of love and stuff… (yes, mustn’t say ‘and stuff’) but said it is.  So, it was then declared, and now she will go about building that army against those who have no need and don’t use arms.

 

Eg 2: yesterday I was a nice guy.   Today there is big doubt… selfish fellow, hasn’t called me or hugged me in a long time.  He is actually evil.   Fuck him!  When he pings I am not looking his way,  if he comes and asks ‘what’s for dinner?’  my answer: what’s dinner?

And like this we go on and go on… then every now and then someone will die and we will say, ‘ iyooo how short this life is?’  feel good for a while. And go sit on the garbage heap again.    We will soon build a house and then She wakes up and says, I can’t be mixing with those pariahs,  we will call other kind of friends home..  and then we go on and go on. ..

And now you can go and scream that you have not come to that side of theirs and so they are justified in hating you.   Yes, yes, Hate!   Whatelse? Despise?   No! hate is what we jump to, straight.. we have come a long way you see… from them dark caves…

Another letter to Wesley …

Greetings!,

At the outset the ‘BIG’ issue…

Let me say, I am all for Rev. Florence staying at the Home or wherever she wants to. Poor and alone as she is, as we are being informed (doesn’t say so in the application). And am sure all of us at the Wesley home committee would want that too, she was our Pastor, not of just a few with familial connections (which I also have?!) or only of those whose personal lives was blessed with worldly bliss. We(the home committee) didn’t discuss her personality or any-such to come to the decision, we addressed the application and the process (we still have) and her needs (as mentioned in her application). And that we should NOW be privileged to serve the Priest who served the diocese many long years, even in foreign lands, and us for 5 years. Not that it should matter, but it would bring some perspective when we want to take it upon ourselves to serve the lady, undoing all that the Wesley Home represents… Should we not ask why the diocese condemned it’s own with the havenots? Why the lady who served in such high offices should be thrown amongst those that survive on the funds collected from our rather small congregation? Is this the ideal system the KCD created?, (oftentimes called an empire for the land and money it owns and abuses). If this is it’s wont, then by all means let us the congregation know and let us serve ourselves. Like we so want to and seem good at!. We were called to church to serve!? WHO?

So, let’s hurry to serve this poor, alone and sick who is at our door. Not one of us in the Committee turned a person like that away, at our meeting… So, go ahead lovely people and hasten to bring down the rubble upon us. We must have put you all up there for that. Yes, with our apathy and callousness! Thank you for going so out of your ways to show us the way. May you and your lot prosper!

Maybe we are so totally evolved we are back to needing the abuse of a Monarchy (so diktats) , democracy be damned!!!, the last wo/man be damned!!! the Church’s teaching and Christ’s example?? oh that is archaic too. We have attained material/urban nirvana!

After this (no rules PC meeting) there will probably be none (process). Then those of us who sit on committee can be GODs! Ah! Damn all that loser stuff of sERVing!

Where and how the Reverend will reside with her attendant?! I suppose greater minds who ridicule those that are working on the ground will figure, we are sure. Like it has been many times before to suit ones own wants.

I suppose cause we call ourselves family I will be more familiar (or is that personal) NO, not the way a PC member did with his shouting and screaming at me on the Church grounds on Sunday, even asking to see what my pants hide. IN his tirade against what he called (my)inclusiveness.

(those busy stop here and go straight to the last paragraph, my bit on the burning present – a pastor in the Wesley Home)

While I go on and talk a lil’ bit more about the other stuff that bear upon us such a situation. We are effected by a butterfly flapping it’s wings in Brazil and closer home ; the garbage that we dropped in front of another’s house still bring illness. Therefore our connected ways are direct cause for the disease that is upon us. Well, any way I just speak the obvious…

Committees:

It is such a waste of time! we spend long hours and then go away and nothing, nothing really comes of it. Just another one of things I understood wrongly! I always understood committees to mean to adhere to process and rules and be just. Compassionate too within the (moral) codes of the institution.

NOW: Let’s talk Wesley Home a while:

The Home, was a privilege, a responsibility, given us, to serve. Given to us the community of Wesley, to take care of those that have nothing or very little. The famous OPH road even got it’s name from what is now called ‘Wesley Home’. There are many others who know the history better, and that knowledge or proof of it is what continued to keep the Home in this community’s care.

A few back pages:

We, the Wesley Home Committee some time ago deliberated on urgent needs of the HOME and came to that the home needs some level of nursing care and most absolutely a watchman. This was about 2 years ago, the then Treasurer who also sat on the Home committee agreed that was totally essential. But, that Watchman happened only a couple of weeks ago after someone broke into the Home. The treasurer in a few days of the Home committee meeting refused to make the appointment, even on repeated coaxing and having done all the ground work to find a personnel. No money for it, she said. The nursing care? Ah! Right! What about it? DON”T know!

Oh right, it’s out of great compassion that we want a lot of allowances to be made, not at our homes, but in Church and Church run institutions. Of-course the person who asks for a residence in our outreach-program (Wesley home) is more equal than us and those that reside at the home presently. I am sure that’s the way to go, that’s the way we do things. WE LEAD! Sigh!

We must definitely give her a place. There is place of-course. A ‘gent’ who stays there takes up room meant for atleast a couple more, but then, NO! And no amount of coaxing and asking him to go to his room has worked. Why? Go figure!! And he also uses the home as his own, which is nice, coming and going as he feels fit, NO! Most times nobody at the Home is aware of his movement and keeping the rooms he occupies in stinking garbage niceness. He refuses regular cleaning cause he locks the rooms and does not allow anyone in. That’s how one must treat common spaces, I suppose.

This kind of great leadership and value is what exists at church – a ‘value’ institution of over a century which we only have the privilege of using to meet in His name, keeping it open and welcome to all (but, then I digress). We have built big gates and tall walls and put in spikes which help keep out rather than bring in. Wesley might be fast slipping from being a union of people to just brick and mortar. Who is the church? Oh well, the last few years the loudest questions have been, WHAT? And WHAT is a Church? And more often, what is a A+ Church? Nice question. Oh yes! NICE again!!

So when we click your tongues sometimes when watching the news: when the uncouth, unruly forces ask some of our favorite public personalities to leave their (our) own country. Oh NO!, maybe some of us (can’t exclude, we are inclusive) applaud such crassness. Maybe we celebrate such diversity in such regressiveness, taking a break from long leisurely apathy. So the church really is for those who shout the loudest and who think it’s right to talk to the priest loudly from the pews, in the middle of a solemn service. Where Everything (or anything) goes!

And now for a lil while about the men who rule:

The PC members, most all of them absolved themselves of all the ridiculous decisions they made. ‘Not me!’ they said. Even our previous secretary said this so often in the last biennium cause that poor man couldn’t even make most meetings, his busy job kept him out. But his office in the church remained empty, that’s fine! just saying. So, when today we have a man in the office who may not even know YOU but does your house, you are thankful!?. Really? Yes! Or like the young would like to say, whatever.

So, now I think that’s enough. It’s not like we want to do anything about even the great wrongs and our systemic corrupt practices. We take solace in saying, that ‘it exists everywhere’. And all that we say and write, the people who make decisions claim they don’t understand. Even if it be that, it’s in English and sent/addressed to Wesley “English” Church. Oh, yes, they are of this church itself. OH! Are they? What does one say to people who don’t have the time for most programs of the church and only come by to make major decisions on the PC. They will not attend the sub-committee meeting but will only some PC meetings. Why! Cause the PC OVERRULES! They represent us at various ‘prestigious’ occasions and gatherings but they know us not.

Oh! Yes, I speak for myself!

Speaking for oneself here: (again) and then again!

And therefore not wanting to waste your time or mine by being on the Home committee, I will leave! To those with superior minds to decide and run it the way (any which way)… What point is it us pleading and crying??- that‘s our bedroom (outreach)’, when you come along and pee in there. ‘oh, it’s just the 2 or 3 of them’ a kind lady told me, let it be, we must continue to serve … but with such toxicity of force and being of a higher caste (just sitting on the PC for a long period entitles you that)… that few will force that turn, taking all the silence and apathy to mean a resounding YES!!. And so be it, if that is the way of this world. I will go lay my head elsewhere. So, the Very Best guys. I suppose it’s progressive to have no rules, Rules that were made to help us live together and with each other. But, don’t stop the shouting and whipping of others (the lower class -useless committees and convenors) with stringent ones. What else would it mean when you turn down the suggestion of the people(also volunteers) who are working on the ground?, on the ‘outreach-program’ called Wesley Home. I came to serve cause I understood it to mean the above, so if it is not that, then NOT it is. You call us to a cricket game and play monopoly instead. I also don’t see any need to serve our own rich uncles and aunts, or us (church) raising money, and people sacrificing time for them, that I will, or should do, on my time and space. Not demand that of my community. We strive and aspire as a community/Church for higher ideals… well, I suppose we got that wrong too!

Thank you for understanding. (there’s one word for that too – ‘never-mind’) verily, verily…

god bless

David.

“I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but not everything is constructive. No one should seek their own good, but the good of others. 1 Corinthians 10: 23-24 (a verse from the Bible) JLT

of crows and ravens – a fable

Tell us about togetherness Teacher!raven

The Teacher began:

of crows and ravens – a fable

A flock of birds together built a big Nest and set it aside to meet together once a week. Soon other evenings of special days like birthdays and no flying days got added on. And later a few other days for departures and accidents from amongst them were also named and observed. It was warm kindly place, they even sang when there. And in the niceness of that togetherness found strength and happiness. They had soon began to worship the Unknown, in songs of praise and flapping of wings and prayers. To that Presence that sent them that feeling – that feeling of being embraced by The Hands that gave life, just like that, out out nothingness! and they raised their best voices.

Many moons sailed past the trees: a few birds having flown to other lands and seen new flashy toys, showed impatience with the old ways, and wanted to do their kind of singing and praying which they insisted was better (not complimentary), when the rest were just content with singing and praying together. There was much complaining by the new Nesters and some debate among the old-birds.  They were after some passage of time, asked to come up to the alter, and they did, and sang loudly, and all was good for a short time.

The teacher chuckled, drank water, slowly from the tall glass tumbler. And continued his tale..

Some of the old-birds let them do this singing and talking and screaming out whatever came to beak, and ever so regularly too (we are in an era wherein 6 months of a regular activity was called traditional practice) – a cleansing rituals from another nest, said a wise bird, when asked. And most times sung very badly cause no one would know the difference, they said, and a few others that maybe did know the difference, abhorred the lack of  sensibility – ‘kept peace’ however. Time to practice to get their voices to go with the others, they didn’t have. Most of them were busy building their own nests. So, they gave time very grudgingly to the big Nest – very little.

And when one bird asked, ‘why this and not the meditative and solemn ones more often’?, one old-bird who demanded importance for one thread alone, (he could trace the papaya roots that lined his nest walls to the ones which had gone into the making of the big Nest), gruffly pushed straight his haunches and chimed, Shut up! Don’t ask questions! It hurts!

The teacher clutched his stomach and pulled in the sound of the symphonic rich long laughter that danced in his eyes for few long minutes.  NO audio!

And many more moons sped by shamefacedly hiding behind clouds … many birds gave up coming to the Nest on the special days at the time everyone congregated. Many of them did however stop by to offer a bird seed, which entitled them a birthday song in their name, and a few other privileges the allegiance to the Nest had begun to provide. And some other birds started to bring in other activities like shops and then decided to charge birdseeds for every little service they could offer. Some shiny-feathered elders offered flying instructions at a reduced special rates for those from this nest. That kept a few coming here occasionally for just such ease of service.

And more moons leapt over trees and hills… now a few other birds also started t do other things on the special day meant for all.  Most birds didn’t even care to talk to the other by now. An extension of the nest was rented out to a dour band of ravens, and they would also deal with the rubbish the big nest produced.  The pollution and noise grew louder…. A few birds smoothed their ruffled feathers, made up their inner strength and asked a few questions. They hoped, that would help connect back to the meaning of their existence.  Hoped to be back on the road they departed from.  This they thought was what everyone really wanted but were a bit lazy and worldweary to ask or do anything about.  Let’s try and get it’s policies back to a time of niceness, of songs, and holding hands, and easy smiles.

Oh shut up, don’t ask questions! We are interesting in worship. That old bird was still around, one tail feather painted yellow the other feathers were all pale shade of gray.  A few ravens piped in a chorus with fresh new harmonies.

The teacher laughed that sad laugh and softly whispered: Worship? What worship! They shout and scream at each other instead of offering a prayer of thanks. Blissful, unaware, shameless and arrogant!

The teacher put on his big voice again and continued… many birds invested in plastic beaks with smiles, which they wore to the Nest.

And so it continued… the ravens hang around about the Nest (no free will and not just) are now fighting amongst themselves for the dead flesh left. There is no singing now, the song birds having flown!

Those who have ears, hear! The teacher sighed

Luke it’s that guy david again…

To,

The Pastorate Committee , Pastor, and all of you elsewhere,

It’s with a joyous heart I write you. It’s not everyday ‘the church’ wants to speak with me. And I am glad you did speak with me and allowed me some speak too. Well, in some way, this – asking for an apology and also the insinuation of me getting into serious trouble is in keeping with the times. Even though I think it unbecoming of an institution of over 125 years to belittle itself with this task that infringes on free speech. And the revered elected body should readily come after me with this task of gagging me.

But glad however, that there are printed copies of the article I shared on the Open Wesley Group. Wesley English Church online is an open Facebook group, welcome to all, and presently consisting of friends and members who attend Wesley and those who once did and those in far away places, as open as the hallowed grounds of the address on Promenade road is meant to be (our sign boards still says, ‘all are welcome’). I hope free speech and love that what our lord spoke of will be honored in our land and so too our Church. Just stating a very basic fact – more and more we seem to have departed from the core (and basic) itself, therefore the need to state the obvious. The very departure which bade you come to me with this situation.

So, now I write you my response, and I hope this missive too brings you all some mirth…

1) Apology: I do apologize for the hurt sentiments of those 2 or 3 people in the church, I am truly sorry, I didn’t mean to offend anyone, those 2 or 3 included. It’s as much their place as it is all ours. And that article in question was shared cause music and Church I love too. Oh, no, not at all a personal take on anyone doing things in our church. In the article Bill Blankschaen was talking about a church-singing, so why am I answering for Bill!.. but, I do however apologize, as requested by you, and will apologize online too – trying to work that into 144 characters. Why was I not asked about sharing the Pope’s message? Maybe the complaints missed that: Let the Church always be a place of mercy and hope, where everyone is welcomed, loved and forgiven.

2) Dear Family, that’s what I believe we are, and we can’t even look each other in the face(book). Is that not what we should deal with more vigor as a committee and community? But, we sit even at that rare opportunities we get in these hurried, harried, Modern Days of so little time; we choose to condemn and be exclusive?!

And all this was about my facebook update on Wesley Facebook page. And the link and post went thus: hmmm! wow! by George! NO!NO! introducing this would be like the Church Secretary giving you a gist of a 45 minute sermon in a minute… http://bit.ly/1CJiqER

That was such inspired writing by Bill Blankschaen:. And all I did was share it cause Blankschaen articulated his feelings and warm analysis and his insights into working at being a good community. And this I completely happened upon by chance. Well, there are no accidents I suppose. And yes, I feel him, when he talks of the music he can’t/won’t sing.

3) PC hears the voices from the church?!, well, in this case it did listen to one of it’s own, but still! Cause we don’t see the PC much, we assume they don’t. Well, not true I suppose! Some guys who actively want to be on the PC, believe that their material wealth is tied up in this Church and must actively try and mine it and take it home. Oh! And our Lord, didn’t call us to be submissive, stupid or not ask questions. Now where did you get that? That also from the Good Book. Aren’t we called the people of the book?

The church has moved Hate into it’s operation, and the bigger tragedy – love, the very core of our Christian being removed from all it’s operations. A church that has no other value than the material/money will have only it’s real estate/material, which really is not like holding on to the hand of the lord. Our core is being destroyed. Here’s a verse for some comic relief: * That’s how far we can go with material stuff – split and some casting of dice perhaps. They stole Him, when we were counting our money. So, then like Christ said, Peace I leave with you!

4) Recalling a Parable. We linger on the returning son and the fatted calf. But if you did look at the brother that was left out? Do now please! And after you read the verse wherein things were explained to him. Imagine what happened in the years after: they beat the older brother every time the prodigal even cried in his sleep?! ***

5) Random Pressing issues: now that the PC is listening to my whispers here’s a shout out of some random thoughts, not in any order of importance. And also just because I think we could work some real things together, with enabling love and forgiveness and that the Lord may wipe away our tears. Here goes:

  • The cross is not been lit for nearly a year now,
  • there is no light in the premises when there is an evening function,
  • the place near the gate needs repair,
  • the postbox is falling off…
  • the evening service?
  • the sign board that hasn’t reflected the change from over a year?
  • and then there is the big problem of negativity more than positivity in our church, not only are we not going after that 1 sheep that is lost.. we have stopped caring completely for the flock itself ** – where are some of those faces we used to know?,
  • maybe try and have that annual general body meeting (which hasn’t happened for the longest time). Well, maybe all this is not the PC’s concern!? How about the new venture of the school, which the Church knows not more than the limp flex that flaps in the wind. All I am saying is that there is so much to deal with in our little church that can only be dealt with as a committee, but the PC????!… Just saying. No, not at all complaining.

Thank you for taking the time to talk with me and now listening to this, my reply

Peace,

David.

21 April 2015

* Jesus said,.. And they divided up his clothes by casting lots. Luke 23:34
**Luke 15:4: “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it?

*** Luke 15:11-31: ‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours.

Soundtrack: We can work it out- (the Stevie Wonder version)