It was good to hear the Croft Pipe organ again on Easter Sunday.  Although the grand piano and the Baroque organ have served us well , we were glad to welcome home the “BIG ORGAN”.  It gives an added depth and texture to our worship.

The fund-raising for the restored organ has been amazing.  The target was $500,000 and at end of March we were only $18,196 short of the target.  Since then, the Jams and Jellies stall last Sunday raised $513 and ticket sales for the concert will reduce the balance even more.  The end is in sight!

It has been a huge effort and many people have worked hard to raise the money.  It’s amazing what can be done when people work together towards a target.

The “Team of 5 Million” have been working pretty well too to fight Covid 19.  But have you noticed the increase in criticism and apathy?  I was travelling in on the train earlier this week and was amazed at the number of people not wearing masks.  It was the younger people and students who were all wearing masks.  The “culprits were all “oldies”.  Is there a complacency that because there hasn’t been the number of deaths experienced in other countries that we are safe?  And have you noticed the criticism in Parliament and in the news media when there is a glitch in the system?  But not too much appreciation for those who work hard to keep us all safe!

I am not saying that those “glitches” shouldn’t be addressed – it is important that they are.  But we do need some balance in the way we look at things.  When I was studying in Chicago we had an interesting method of assessment.  It was based on two questions: What do I like about this? And: What would make it better?  It was an excellent way to assess our work.  I remember when I was asked to comment on a video of me preaching.  I began to criticise and tear my endeavours apart.  The Professor stopped me. He said: “I am not interested in what you don’t like I want you to tell me what you like about what you did.”  I was surprised at how difficult that was.  It is much easier to criticise negatively that be positive.  Once I had done that I then had to point out what would make my presentation even better.  As we learned to do this for ourselves and for others in the class our attitude to what we were doing changed.  We took more risks in trying out new things because we knew we were to going to be attacked by a barrage of negativity.  Instead we got feed-back in a positive way.

So maybe I should have made my comments about masks different!  I could have said: “Isn’t it great to see all these younger people doing their bit to keep us all safe.  It would be good if the “oldies” followed their example!  Or “Isn”t it wonderful the way that people are keeping the rules to keep Covid 19 at bay.  It would be good if everyone did it.”

In these days when we tend to feel a bit low because winter is coming, or because of a myriad of other reasons, and it’s so easy to make a negative criticism about someone or some thing why not try “the Chicago questions?   Ask yourself what do I LIKE/APPRECIATE about this..?  Then ask: “What would make it better?”  It changes the way you look at life and the way you respond to it.  It also makes you feel much better about yourself.

See you Sunday?  Its good to belong to St Andrew’s congregation!  It’s even better when we are all there.  Have a good weekend.


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