This week has been a real marked improvement over the last few weeks, even month!!
Over Monday and Tuesday, the biannual senior staff conference was held. I got to head along to see what was being planned for the next year(s) at St Paul’s. It was some interesting times!! Most of the things discussed are confidential, so I’m not at liberty to say much.
We did read through the whole of Mark over the course of the 2 mornings; taking in the landscape and commenting on chapters as we went through it. It was a good reminder of Christ, and also of what I’d studied last year at Moore College, how the narrative of Mark has a strong time emphasis and slows right down for the finale of Jesus‘ death on the cross.
It was also interesting to see the different personalities and dynamics that exist within the team, to laugh with them and sit in awkward silences as well.
On the Monday night, we had dinner with the staff and their families. It was fun, especially with all the kids there. Annabel Koo came over and talked to me, asking me plenty of questions and answering plenty of mine. So cute!!
After dinner and packup, I came home and hung out with Geoff, playing Mortal Kombat and chatting.
On Tuesday evening, I headed out to Fook Yuen in Chatswood with my family for a celebratory dinner of my Dad’s birthday. We had a tasty menu of scallops, abalone, soup dumplings, lobster, abalone mushrooms with vegetables and orange pork chops.
As the meal wrapped up and we were waiting on dessert, a Chinese couple walked in, the man sporting a lovely wispy beard, spanning about 10cm long. I motioned to my Dad to take a look in jest, or to compare with his own. To my surprise and my sisters, the bearded man was known to my mum and dad from their days at Milson’s Point CCC, so they ended up having a small talk. When they left to move on to their table, my sister asked how I knew that my folks knew this couple, to which I said that I didn’t, but that I’d pointed them out because of his beard….
Wednesday night for growth group, we headed down to North Parramatta for dinner at Thai Garden House and a prayer night afterwards. Out of our group of 18, we only managed to get 10 along, due to illness and assignments and work. One of those illnesses also meant that we couldn’t have our prayer night afterwards, so we just had dinner and fellowship. We had some interesting conversation about graceat6 dinners and the fact that people more and more are turning up for fellowship and not actually eating. People were trying to come up with a solution to that and thinking about the food that was on offer, and how/if it could be improved or changed…
Whilst it was good conversation and good ideas, however realistic or unrealistic, the problem that I see and still remains is actually having people to serve in a leadership position. We all seem to be very willing and able to step in and help to cook, but there’s a reluctance to take the responsibility to carry the responsibility of leading a team in the kitchen, which is where the greatest need is.
Thursday evening I was invited over to the Sutton Residence to have dinner with them before Nicky and I headed out to Hugo’s Lounge in Kings Cross to take some photos of Random Soul, me teaching her how to use her new camera in the process. When we actually got in there, it was a little difficult to find the boys as it wasn’t obvious where they were playing, and the music being pumped through the system just didn’t sound like them at all. There were a couple of functions happening at the time: a French business school thing, which we saw Josh Davis at, and a fund-raising auction for a little English girl with an aggressive brain cancer.
When we couldn’t find the guys we sat down on the couches and listened to some of this auction. The auctioneer was losing his voice, and was really struggling to hold this crowd. He had to keep on “shhhh”ing the crowd… It was horrible….
After a while we found the guys; they were where the auction was, and as such weren’t actually playing, and didn’t start until after that function had finished… Shooting in there was pretty difficult because it was so dark, I couldn’t autofocus, and when I went manual, I still couldn’t see well enough to focus.
Friday night touch was fun, I was out on the wing again, except this week I managed to put down 4 tries, and had opportunity for another 2, which were foolishly fumbled away… SALT also was pretty enjoyable. Got to take some great photos which are up at saltyouth.com.
Yesterday was an extremely long day. I think I travelled about 130km to numerous destinations: Jack & Katie’s engagement party in Newtown, James & Kym’s engagement party in French’s Forest, Above & Beyond at Hordern Pavillion via Pennant Hills (for dinner with Mum and Dad, Carlingford and Epping. Everything was good fun, got to chat to a bunch of people that I don’t normally speak to, take some photos and have a boogie.
Today has been pretty quiet. I’ve been trying to set up my computer in preparation to take it to AWESOME which is less than 2 weeks away!!!
At graceat6 tonight, we had a guest preacher Michael come speak from Acts 1:1-11 giving us a background of the book, and running through 3 “New Beginnings“; that of Jesus, the Apostles, and us, the Church of today. It was a bit of a different sermon from what we’re normally used to at graceat6, but the seemingly blunt challenges were refreshing and to the point. It’d be interesting to hear what some of the non-Christians that came thought, or took it.