Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Well, I Could Have Entered the Triathlon

Mary Ann's Idea of a Triathlon View

Finding Washington Apples in the Victoria Market

As it was Sunday, we had a choice of being in the Wellington Triathlon or returning to the Wesley Methodist Church to see how they got along with just the English congregation. The triathlon started at 7:45 a.m. so that was definitely out. Church was at 10:00 a.m. so that seemed so much more civilized. You might expect that with just one congregation, instead of four, the attendance was much lighter and the service was exactly one hour. My kind of minister!

Whether it is a visited church, or a visited service club, you always learn things about how people do things differently in other parts of the world. For starters when you are identified as a guest or newcomer at Wellington Wesley you are given a newcomers packet. It included a lot of very interesting information: the Wesley Counseling Service Brochure (are they telling me something?); a ”There’s a place for you at Wesley Wellington” guide; the Wesley@10 quarterly newsletter; a Wesley Wellington bookmark with the pastors, hours and emails (to use with a bible?); a flyer describing the Drama Christi cooperative theatre group, and a Wellington 2008 Official Visitor Guide. All this was handily packaged in a small plastic bag to make it easy to get it home.

Another interesting document included with today’s church Liturgy Guide was a small pamphlet called the Stewardship of Creation: A Thirty Day Discipline – Week Four. New Zealand is politically very green and this document was teaching you theologically how to practice personal Christian ecology. The document comes from the Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago who advocates, and supplies materials for becoming a Green Congregation. For this week the daily study was pests, cleaning products, You’ve Got Feet, Use “Em!, Reduce Gas Mileage, Work for Peace, Public Policy and Advocacy – National/Global, and To Whom Do You Give Money? For each day there is a Daily Scripture, a Fact paragraph, Commitment paragraph, and Daily Prayer. It is a fascinating action tool. You can find it and other materials at the website:

Obviously, Sunday was the day for street markets in Wellington. After church we visited two very busy markets on Victoria Street and Chaffers Dock Marina. It is late summer/early fall here in New Zealand and the fresh fruit and vegetables are huge. The prices are much lower than the supermarkets so the markets were very busy. When at the marina we saw the aftermath of the triathlon so I did have a brief connection with such a strenuous event. I feel much better for that!

To overcome my guilt about the missed exercise, we went to brunch at Mac’s Brewery, just down the waterfront. I know I have talked a lot about beer, but this is really just an academic investigation for Amanda and Geoff, our daughter and son-in-law, who seem to take quite an interest in micro brews. Today I sampled Mac’s Hop Rocker. Where do they get these names? Very hoppy! Next it was time for a nap. Must be a carry over from last years Mexico training.

Quirky Living Note: Everyone will tell you there is just a bit of wind in Wellington – all the time. I had gone out for a short walk assuming Mary Ann could handle all domestic duties at the apartment (ouch, ouch, quit hitting me!). She heard a crash and when she got to the master bedroom she found that one of the interior sound proofing windows had completely blown out. It must have been quite a gust, as it had pushed the outer window to full open, and then destroyed the inner window. The management lady arrived quickly to help remove the glass. Between this incident and the fire alarms they will be glad to see us on our way.

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