Nelson DeMille, Night Fall (Time Warner Books, 2004): Page 161.
I don’t know this outer borough very well, but when I was a young rookie, cops who screwed up were routinely threatened with being exiled to Staten Island. I used to have nightmares of me walking a beat through woods and mosquito swamps, twirling my nightstick and whistling in the dark. But like most places whose mere mention makes your blood run cold, like Siberia, Death Valley, or New Jersey, this borough of New York is an okay place […] It was also home to many city cops who may have been sent here originally as punishment, and who liked it and stayed—sort of like how Australia was settled.
Saturday, 31 January 2009
Friday, 30 January 2009
Thursday, 29 January 2009
About twelve years ago they started an English service for the young people growing up here in Aus, who's preferred language is English. This is the group I'm ministering with. I'll be their second minister - there's already an older man, Sami Gerges, who's the main minister for the English congregation. I think they want me because I'm closer to the second generation - like them, I grew up here in Aust. My main responsibilities will be:
- sharing the preaching load with Sammi;
- training in ministry & leadership;
Last weekend I attended the church camp. It was a really good opportunity to get to know people. I think I was well accepted by both the youth (English-language congregation) and their parents (Arabic-language congregation). When I say youth, they're not children - they're high school, uni/TAFE and young workers, at that age & stage of life with maximum ministry potential. Should be fun. Stay tuned for more news.
Wednesday, 28 January 2009
- I am now officially old. During the conference I started reminiscing, with a couple of other old fogies, about the bad old days, when the conference was still called KYLC, and we used to meet in Katoomba High School, and the convention centre had a dirt floor, not nice bitumen like today. I found myself saying things like "you young people don't know how good you've got it. When I was your age…"
- The quality of delegates is improving. I studied Strand Three, Systematic Theology, in 1997 (I think—or was it '96? See, told you I'm getting old…). At the time, I definitely knew less than the delegates in my group last week. As part of the study in the small group, they had to come up with a plan for a series on a topic of their own choice. The topics they selected were impressive: the role of music in worship; is every Christian an evangelist?; women in ministry; what does it mean for the Bible to be simultaneously a human and divine document?; and so on. And their proposed series were even more impressive—they were coming up with stuff that I could only think of after a four-year, formal degree in theology.
Monday, 19 January 2009
Saturday, 17 January 2009
This is a bit of an open secret – most of you know I’ve been negotiating with Merrylands East Presbyterian Church. I’m still haven’t been formally appointed – Committee of Management still need to authorise my salary (!!!) – but I think I’m in. I’ve been introduced to the English-speaking youth congregation - they'll be my major ministry - and I’m doing one talk at their church camp next weekend. Details will follow in future posts.
I told you: Edinburgh! You know – the one in North Parramatta.
I’m living in a unit block in North Parramatta, named Edinburgh. Appropriate for a Presbyterian, especially a Subcontinental one (*huh...???*). It's a little two-bedroom unit - real bachelor pad - which I've got all to myself. I've turned the main bedroom into the LIBRARY!!! (*Yahoo!*) Pics in future posts. And I'll have a housewarming once I get the rest of my furniture & set the place up (yes, I did the most important room first: the library. Anyone surprised?).
Ah yes, this is the best secret of all. Let’s just say I’ve been working on a major publication project. I expect it’ll take at least another six months to finalise – by which time my co-author and I will have been working on it, on & off, for a whole year. What is it about? You'll have to wait & see (*heh, heh, heh...*).
Tuesday, 6 January 2009
Monday, 5 January 2009
Saturday, 3 January 2009
The responses were:
- Reepicheep - because you're always up for a fight, no matter the odds (Mark);
- Mr Beaver - because he tells the kids about Aslan, and guides them to him even at risk of his own comforts, while looking after their welfare and also being very cuddly... (Sash);
- Reepicheep - because I think he is just like you. Always willing to do what it takes and not afraid to say what you think (Vera); and
- Mr Beaver - cos he looks like you as a teenager! (my Mum) (*sigh*).
As for the most interesting reason: I was torn between Sash and mum - both went for Mr Beaver, which is interesting - but it's boring to give a prize to one's mum, and family members are usually exempt from competitions, so I think I'll give this prize to Sash. I'll get her something from my holiday in the Snowy Mountains - maybe something on beavers... :)
Friday, 2 January 2009
Edinburgh? Castle? What???
Also, I'm one step closer to knowing where I'll be ministering this year - but it's not yet signed, sealed or delivered, so I have to hold off on making it public. Let's just say that the meetings so far have been very encouraging. One of the church leaders, when he met me, said "it's so good to have you" - putting it in the present tense, as if I'd already been employed.
I'll be away for a week, on holidays with my parents in the Snowy Mountains. I'll explain everything when I get back - Edinburgh, castle & all.