Sunday Afternoon and the Church still on my mind…

Back from church and a quick lunch later, am at the comp, looking for a movie to see, but then decided to type out a few lines of the happenings at Wesley today, and then I went back a lil bit more.

The church I go to is a small beautiful place, made further small by the games we play on them grounds. It’s really a large space in the sense of a fast shrinking city spaces. It’s a Church of over 129 years, and though we say we are that old, we really are a small lot with a history (memory) of one generation. Memory so weak that we rely on the letter of the constitution which big made men and god’s chosen use to whip its sheep, we also have the memory of men who speak loudly telling us how a festival or event should be, and add a emphatic fullstop to discussion with: it’s ‘traditions’! (because of the previous year precedent)

Vast Riches

o feed my sheep*. This reading has been interpreted rightly as, feed off the sheep. The definition of the kingdom JC spoke about in the words that come out of the pulpit sounds so limited, that most in the congregation would feel that they could go out and buy it. So, the sanctity that would heal has been so diminished we cling to our purse dearly as if it was the lord himself, and thus our riches are vast here. The fears manifest as greed and we hoard up enough to live the heaven on earth. The relevance of our succor being the lord, a very thin tale whined out of the old wood-works of the pulpits and lecterns and alters. So much so, that the decision of the priest that churches like ours need is a person who has a degree in management. The present incumbent is no less in that degree, he played out the first corporate boardroom maneuver (read as the manipulation of the naive people who opted to serve the congregation in its vision and mission). And that very man, this morning said, he will work the next two weeks (the only time left before he moves to another site) to see that there is no one from the present committee will be in the next PC. This right after a Big Man asked him about the election processes he has to start before he left us in the care of another Priest. I thought you wanted the new Priest to conduct your elections? He retorted in his big voice reserved for big men. So, I chipped in with my small reedy voice: they still want that Pastor, they only want you to start the process which is a need given the specified time.

heaven waits only for those who congregate

Damn me!

I made it worse by asking him, if the destruction he set out to achieve was not complete? He retorted to that, with the reference to Paul, yes, the man from the bible, no, not the one who walks our grounds, though that would have been more apt. So, when I realized it was the man whose scales fell off he was referring to, I begged, ‘aren’t we going too far with this?’. Well, in tamil that sentence has the right meaning (neego engyo poyteengo)

He unleashed a poison dart and spat a Molotov spittle spray into my face. I straight batted with a smile, also reserved for Big Men. He continued, with his eyes reddened and aglow with the teachings of the lord of the Sunday: I will see to it that I do that, it’s my duty as a shepherd!. My smile slipped into my coffee cup and came out full grin: ‘you will do work, when the last 5 years you didn’t?’ and then as my stupid genes prompted me I said, the lord must be speaking to you. He blew a hot breath he had borrowed from Lucy (formerly) in the sky, and I wilted under the summer sun. He pronounced his curse: yes, you have to sit inside (the church he meant) to know the lord. Hey Don (Williams ie) eat your hat: heaven does wait only for those who congregate! **

I left the preist in the company of the Big Man who ofcourse didn’t want the heaven on earth he works for to be put on the same table as the unfortunate few who will face the wrath of the shepherd, when he will work to get them out. This Big Man has served many terms on the Pastorate Committee. And he also was on the PC of the last term and therefore would want the God-man to not add his wrath to the position he needs absolutely for his very relevance. We have in our shallow history a dude who serves a lifetime on the committee to attach the 2 letters with the full power of the Police Constable to his beloved name.

So moving further on in the compound, I introduced the talk of the man to a few who were around: the ring of the tittle ‘encounter specialist!’ rang clangy true as the bell in our Church tower that never ever rings to the clock hour ever. It is said that the bell strikes nine o clock on a Sunday morning when the pastor shows up. Oh! for those wondering about our traffic issues, he lives in the same compound which is 100 feet from the church building. The encounter reference is to the many killings that UP witnesses with the new CM who is a godman and an askance it to the encounter with the lord he said only he with the white robe was privileged to!

The Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector

A lady told me about the parable of the man who stood outside the temple and said, ‘I am not like that fellow….’ *** Ah! Nice! She told me this cause she thought the priest’s view of god was very limited and very troubling therefore and she offered me this bigger god. And yes, I sure was glad that I was not the only one who came there to lean on to the invisible hard.

Live @ a funeral!

The first incident of this Sunday came with this one: Hey, K asked, did you see, that dude was live on FaceBook at a funeral. Ah! Right! Oh death where is thy sting! All in keeping with the season (passion) I suppose. The Lazarus pit did need a resurrection! Oh lord! Ofcourse we need healing!

But then, that dude was the same guy who went live on FB at a Church service, rather officially, and he nor the ‘shepherd’ nor anyone else informed (let alone ask) the sheep (the congregation with apathy as wool cover). And, yes, nobody seemed to have any thought on this act. Who is this nobody? Nobody (or everybody as the case maybe) is the silence that is taken for consent by the folks who do as they please in this public place.

It’s like informing a father about his son having a camera placed in the bedroom, and he says, ah ok! Yes eh? Oh! and make some such sounds. When I asked this powerful priest who is going to work hard in the next 2 weeks and also after he leaves the place officially, if he allowed such an act? Oh no? I did not ask the bedroom question just the one on having the camera on a service without informing the congregation, I hadn’t even asked who permits such acts. Just the question: did you know there was a camera on our service today and it was being beamed to the world outside? He answered meekly (this was last week), no, I did not know of it. And? I prompted. And got how bad it would be for him… and I waited to hear more, and he said: I don’t know what they do. I left with my think coat of apathy over my shoulder, which refuses to stay on.

But, this much he will work towards: take the people down ie, and the women especially who are anyway a lesser race. The 7 women shed tear and wrote bitter letters with it, but, the torrent or abuse and disruption from the top office continued, and he just with the supreme power bestowed on him from the lord above, he declared them defunct and took the secretary (the man who is in charge of calling the meetings) who understood his role as taking the pastor around in his car and other such personal acts as his role, with him to sup and drink, which has lasted more than 6 months to this day.

Just a Sec

A line on the secretary, this man came to our church only a couple of years before this priest was posted to our place, he was new to the faith too, and the priest sold to the rest his good intention of doing much for the church because he was a business man and with us easy going folks must have seemed like heaven sent. We are also the same lot who had the service under a shamina because someone decided to give it to us free. Oh, you must hear of the things we got for nothing. it’s a long list. We got a decoration of the church at a carol service for free. But, no one knew of the church premise he used to store his many furniture and other articles, and the catering service contracts to all the events on the grounds. Free free!!!! I shouldn’t mention the bell here, which we got 125 years after the church was built and no member to beckon to service staying anywhere close to this lovely building to hear it’s chimes.

The Purse and our idea of…

And now it is time for farewell (because good bye is too good a word) and a Purse for wonderful service to the flock. This purse is a custom that a congregation gives the priest for his service in the ministry in their midst. Well, what to give now? The coffers itseems is empty and our outreach programs don’t make money! Oh yes, the treasurer once made an announcement that the Sunday School was not making money. The people who heard thought that was a joke, or the dude was having a senior moment. But, itseems not, that announcement was made with a powwow that involved the sec and shepherd too. Sweet no?!

…OUT Reach

Oh you found that sentence problematic? We have no outreach, the one we called and were proud of and were aware of was the Old Age Home for Women. Which in our path to self serve, now houses men and pastors who have ‘served’ us. So much for outreach. So help us lord. And it is so with most other services we work at in Church. The Sunday School is run by parents whose kids are of SS going age, and they drop it once their children are out of it. The p & w team is a one-family affair, I think it’s cool really, they are the only ones who make lot of ‘sacrifices’ to come in early every sunday. I don’t know many who can say they do that or even want to do that. The church kind of fills up around the time the 4 songs and mini sermons are done about 45 minutes into the service. So, really, it’s big sacrifice. So the problem with it?: it is not part of our worship structure but we continue even though it involves very few. It is an emotional whip-up which works in the evangelical and Pentecostal set up followed by a moon-walking priest with hi-octane sermon in multiple octaves. Not at all intented for the meditative and please bring your brains to church kind of service that is our tradition. Some of the CSI churches adopted this p & w (really just a session of chorus singing, like the ones they have at the start of sunday school), which the ‘church elders’ at that time thought would help stop the flock migrating to new age churches which delivered gratification, instantly, and Sunday after Sunday at that, for a lot of folks. This has been reversed in many churches that had adopted this, and they have gone back to reinforcing the real meaning and fellowship and message of love to tend to the flock, knowing that half baked was never going to get the bread ready for the wine. But, no, we can’t have that conversation, cause the guitar will weep more melancholic than Sir. George (Harrison) . And tears are good tender at our place. It is said, a man was given a position on the PC one more time, which he had held for a few decades before that, because he wept.

To be continued….

More history and such like when we encounter the ridiculous in our midst and I am moved again.
===========================================================================

*The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my sheep. – John 21:17

**https://youtu.be/utdhk0ri9zY

***Luke 18:9-14 New International Version (NIV)

Advertisements

another letter to Wesley :) a response to one, really!

Dear Manoj and everyone,IMG_0827.JPG

Dear Manoj and everyone,

Thank you for the letter.

It’s indeed sad that we don’t seem concerned (well, it could be silence of helplessness) about what happens on our church grounds.   Or could it be that we (the congregation) like children in our homes leave it to parents and feel secure to go about living life and thus adding color to all lives (the parents included), did we then just, leave it to the PC?   And then came a grandpa and chased away the parents?  And the children now have to grow up overnight?

The charges are serious, and even though we know that there has been correctives and reprimands that has followed this letter, it has been outside of those addressed here – at the diocese offices.   And because we as a Wesley family are unaware we might be waiting on a larger discrepancy, a sin of omission perhaps, therefore not so serious we may contend!   But, it really just leads us further into our cocoon of apathy.  And that really is just a wasted chance of experiencing the Joie de vivre of togetherness… The 2 or 3 in His name and He will be in our midst?!

When we do away with the processes or not replace it with better ones it will lead us to this bleak deep darkness.    These processes and the guidelines to lead us in spirit were laid down in wisdom and by invoking the presence of the Maker by those who came before us (founding fathers/mothers).  So in our doing away with systems that are to be followed, we mock the creator and then His creation.

 

In these 3 years of this new PC we have had zilch done because all committees have been brought to naught by the Chair almost immediately after the meetings are done – even just speaking of the committees I have been on.  Reduced to the expenses incurred on chai and vadas for that evening.   And talking of the PC:  it has led into some dark depth and was soon condemned to non-existence, and is now the furthermost from the good intentions the many newcomers and young had brought to this present PC.  I suppose most of the intentions now roast on the kitchen-fires they have been asked to ‘go blow’!.   How actively the office worked to keep people away from the grounds as much as possible:  and leaving people with nothing to do, and let them hide their light under the bushel also allowed them to keep their money away from here too.

So, when the grounds suddenly went abuzz 2 Sundays ago, after the treasurer asked for money/contribution into the empty coffers, the questions were the same, how has it come to this?  Shouldn’t the Treasurer bring this to the elected PC first?   OH!  There is no PC!   Well, if there is no PC why are the Treasurer and Secretary still called by their offices?

“Who said we could have a school in our grounds, who?  How can we run something we know nothing of? And that is eating up all the money, is it not?” one loud voice dared to ask of the bell tower, cause the other walls had not spoken in years.   See how our lack of process manifests itself?  People didn’t even know the major projects taken up, people don’t know of major projects being subverted and readied for the kill.  People with the capabilities and willingness to contribute are kept away so that small minds can expand their chair space in this public space.

As there is no-thing as too late as long as there is life, I suppose we must take this as a big kick in the posterior to wake up… no no, not to smell the coffee, that ship sailed!!

 

Going forward:

Our lessons therefore would be to find out who this ‘our church’ really is now, and not be defined by people who are not of us at all; even though theirs’ be the high offices.   In this age of narratives, we have been sunk by a loudly declared perception.   Let me give you a physical evidence of a narrative I refer to, even though that narrative may have failed in getting a letter from the pastor’s office into the Minority Cell Office. The evidence:  Wesley has been posted a new pastor!   He is a nice person we hear, though we hear lots of not nice about people from the diocese, and lots of not nice about the newly proposed incumbent too.  And like a senior pastor told us a couple of days ago, ‘every member of the clergy is brushed with a coat of slander, so that is nothing to go by’.  I can only but agree!   So, what we have been handed is a pastor who will serve out his last 2 years here!  And this step was taken because we (Wesley) are but a small bunch of old folks.  Yes! a few from the stationing committee stated that too.   Nothing wrong with a senior pastor for Wesley!  But, here is what maybe wrong for us, just from how it played out for us in the last decade:  if we thought that we will find direction only from the Shepherd we may be waiting on the apocalypse.

 

The other thing also is that, the corporate board room style is not for us (church) and the clergy and corporate takeovers and slime and personal slander, that is not how we conduct business at a public place of sanctity we call Church.  For Christ sake?!

 

My priest has often asked me, ‘what is this atmosphere we need to clean, that you talk about,  I don’t understand’.  Oh, that was easy like Sunday morning!   So, when people complained to him about the empty pews, his answer:  ‘what do you want me to do, stand at the gate and call people in?’.   if these are all accepted answers (well, even though they are just question for question) then the role of nurturing our community really lies in our hands – the spiritual and the bodily too.   The priest just comes to live in our compound for a few years.

May god help us to be the people he called us to become/transform.

The Church or being part of it is not a calling to come and be at the church all the time, that’s what is asked of by people who question the drastic deeds.  We just need to give our best to him in the time we got and let others do so too, this then will allow for all of us to work in the field.  This present system has very few participating, and therefore our giving is small and the name calling loud.    We!  Yes, We are the body of Christ, not I and my family alone.   So, if we continued the way we are today, of taking the office and position and keeping it at home.  We are doomed.   Our mandate as a church is to be open and love (charity) all!  And not like the charity of alms which really is not charity. Eg:  expecting the unquestioning obedience and gratefulness and meekness from the maid who was given your shirt that didn’t fit you anymore.   We have to continually work towards undoing wrongs and connecting again.   We must live the WORD that makes us the Church!  Just the loud utterances and whining about the other being be sinner is the way of the world, that the lord called us out of.   No shinning white cloth can hide our inner stains nor any Surf wash it away.  We will have to cling to the cross and believe and then take it up and walk.   Difficult?  Oh yes, and then NO!  He sent us an enabler/counselor/ Holy Spirit (John 7:38-39) and then love and our being together.

 

We live in a world in which we need to share responsibility. It’s easy to say “It’s not my child, not my community, not my world, not my problem.” -Fred Rogers, television host

 

So as much as there is clarity in looking back, we have to live forward with the lessons we got and go beyond the values that only money can bring.  Oh yes, money will get us new generator and stained-glasses and an office assistant to blame for all our wrongs. But no! No right?   His kingdom has no end!   Our behavior of not believing in the abundance brings about the destruction of His Church!

Ok! Enough said!  Now I will go and try and find my daily bread.

Oh and this lil quote: “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” – Edmund Burke  (http://www.padfield.com/1997/goodmen.html)

 

God bless you all

Love

d

PS: Dr. Tony, we must be careful what we ask for, we might get it.   You definitely got me to do this  J.

PPS: all views addressed here are just my limited ones!

Ps: Dr. Tony, we must be careful what we ask for, we might get it.   You definitely got me to do this  🙂

and all views addressed here are just my limited ones!

 

the above is a response to this mail below!!!!

letter to PC 060218 – Building

 

 

All Saints – inspiring reel take of the real!

Featured

 

Ah! It’s been said, that books pick you! Yes, they do and so do movies in this age of downloads and streaming. And All Saints was so timely; one’s belief finds thirst quenching sparking water. Timely for me in my microcosm, am sure it talks in deeper and urgent tones to others too.

So, to the movie:all saints

Michael’s (John Corbett) first assignment as newly ordained Parish priest, is a small job: clean up the church and its premise and ready it for the market. He sets out to do so earnestly. Ah! Right, cleanup has been reduced to this these days, not quite what Christ did with the rope around his waist, whipping the merchants out of His father’s house alone. Today the merchants own it fully. In our small church by the park, the voluntary position of the treasurer is usually with the guys who love money – they will treat it with care, like handing over the keys to the thief and he is thus reformed. Well, that theory is as whopped as all those solutions that grow back hair or pills that will rid you of envy and jealousy.

No big deal, there are only a few people who come in on Sunday mornings. I have heard this being said of the church I go to as well: it’s a church of just senior citizens and a handful of them. We should ask them to move to a church close by and do something else with the large plot that houses the church. The small difference being that in our case there is so much devious activity in an already demonic thought fueled atmosphere, thankfully not so with All Saints.

And Michael works at being a good priest, works out a couple of nice sermons and talk to the few old who still continue to hang in there on Sundays, before they are sent off to a larger parish. close by. Yes, you sigh, sitting here in a new urbane India, it seems the initial scenes of the movie is where we (our church) would be at in less than 5 years from now, if we continue down on the road we are on. The west has, we assume again, easily let go off its churches for more creative purposes. We see our future played out in another land’s history, and with the prayers of waiting on the messiah to come as our only hope in our rather stubborn apathy. Our solutions are all outside. Like a visiting priest who told me the other day, the solutions to the trouble the South Indian churches finds itself will come from the laity. I almost choked on my smile. This small congregation of ours believed our solution was the next Clergy in flowing shining white robes. So there goes that!! So, we continue looking into the dark clouds that offer no rain. 

Like empty hopes filled to the brim with superhero movies, I waited for a bishop/messiah to step in and give this tale which was also turning melancholy with the misty-eyed -camera looking sadly on at the small congregation. No! Messiah is not coming! But Yes! God is at work though.

And into this gloom several refugees come in, misery does love company! They’re members of the Karen people group, farmers from Burma who’ve been transplanted to the little town of Smyrna, Tenn. They don’t speak much English but they are Anglicans. And its right fit for Anglicans in this episcopal Church.

And about this time God starts to talk to Michael. One rainy night and he reads the signs and His voice in the thunder. The roads will smoothen out with god on your side, the angels will plough you land! We think, and we will sit through like we do at sermons that are soothing, like common candy, sweet only for as long as it lasts and soon forgotten. Michael now just has to say and the red sea would part! Well, if our Christian/life journey were to be thus, would not Christ have turned those stones to bread? Michael all inspired and with the light bursting out of him meets the bishop and tells him, that he will make a Church of All Saints, the property should not go on the market. Ah! The red sea lays still to the gesturing of his rod!

Yes, the story, true story, is more the real gospel, quite unlike the tele-evengalical spiel that ends with your cheque books and their promise of comfort and lots of money pouring straight out of our leaky roof and into our bank balance. This movie does not attempt to proselytize, just tell a transforming tale is all. The story is well told, and no, it’s not just a ‘Christian’ story, it’s a story of transformation, of love, and the reassurance that in humanity is our hope.

Oh yes, the movie is based on a true story and adapted for the screen wonderfully. Many of the church goers that are shown in the movie are from the actual congregation and the real-life Karen refugees from Burma too. It was filmed at the actual All Saints’ Church where the events took place, located outside of Nashville. It is definite impetus for sagging faith, most definitely for guys living in urban milieus; going with the generalization that all cities are just the clone of a big city we aspired to be and become, Became!

And importantly God’s voice was not in the thunder; the voice is so finely intertwined in the lives of all who have now become part of the community and from there comes salvation. The strength: to withstand the lashing of the storm, to bear a loved one leaving, the disappointments. There are thanksgivings and joy of providence of grace, there is all of it and the light that makes life come alive with meaning, God with you.

And meanwhile in a small town in Bangalore, in our little church amidst the apathy there rests this hope that the present priest will go and then will come a new shepherd and a sheep whose fleece will from years of apathy suddenly start to sparkle and crackle. God does work in mysterious ways, but it still would need us to put our hands and voices into what he called us to. We presently have left the church to come to when you absolutely nothing else to do, we come looking for some fun amidst weltering flowers expecting them to all perk up for us. Ah! Well, it’s beautiful to find momentary solace and a stirring in our hearts from the goings-on on the silver screen. Hopefully, and until such time as we heed that voice inside so dulled with material possession and consumeristic delight. And the hollow eyes and emptiness inside we continue to beg the outside to fill.

So going back to the story, it lives in you; am writing about this movie, month after I have seen it. It continues to be the flickering little light in my finding love and warmth in my brotherhood – at the moment cold awaiting the messiah from a pool that’s already quite deplete. Yes, as bad as the water table of our city, 2nd in line in the list of cities to run out of water after Cape Town. And Cape Town already has been hit. And like empty court verdicts that we think are cures, we await the man in white cloth to wake up the living-dead. While we continue to sing the lord inside to sleep, with songs of new cars for bad roads, and one more house in the country (good investment boss!!! She said! – to the Janis Joplin tune) But ofcourse there’s hope: there were only 25 members when Michael Spurlock took over as pastor and a mortgage it couldn’t afford. We have a few more than that at our Services.

All Saints reiterates the truth (that humans are gregarious) that we are meant to live together and we are made humans to be thus, there are no answers in cutting and running away and hiding behind material fortress. Nay! NO!

A good nice cinema: not preachy and the message not taking anything away from the script.   A very enjoyable uplifting tale!   could easily fit into list of : ‘movies at lent’.

 

Elijah at Horeb: And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice. – 1 Kings 19:12
the link to the reel / real:  http://www.historyvshollywood.com/reelfaces/all-saints/

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