Today was Saturday (sabbath), my main “work” day, busy with events and usually filled with people, including invites to lunches…and my fledgling herbivore status was briefly challenged and compromised by half (!) a salmon cake that one of the church members had baked and whose hospitality I felt was more important at that moment than sticking strictly to ‘plant-based’.
Another thought was brought up by my wife this morning, and after the busyness of the weekend is over, it will become quit prominent. And that is PLANNING…
I have some books, there’s the Internet, so resources are available… But that will have to wait for another day.
Now back to CNN, remembering Whitney Houston, the muse of my youth, who died earlier today.
Yesterday my wife brought home a DVD from the rental. “Fork Over Knives”
I had heard about this film, something to do with plant-based (or vegan) diet, stuff that in my brain was usually promoted by do-gooders, animal lovers, and food saints. In my life, both personal, but more often professionally—I’m a pastor—I had my fair share of diet advocates, and the more militant they were, the more I reacted with that special blend of derision, humor, and a pinch of blazé.
But having finished watching the film, I repented and made a decision to try a plant-based diet. I had tweeted about this last night, and received a number of well wishing replies.
So today was day 1.
On my way home I decided to stop by a supermarket to put my new found resolve into practice. I bought some salads incl baby spinach, nuts, and bread. Not spectacular, neither cheap.
At home I made a tossed salad with home made dressing. I’m not a frequent food-maker, so this successful arrangement of leaves and oils filled me both with pride and nutrients.
My wife and daughter both ate it too when they got home. I must have done something right.
I’m trying to keep this up till the end of March, at least, and hope to journal (of some sorts) my experiences…quite a commitment on both fronts.
Here’s a picture of my purchases… ($50+)
I am not a fan.
I was asked to prepare a slide presentation of various countries and their flags, for a church parade of nations. Part of this preparation has been to jot down some information about the various countries, and I discovered a rather flabbergasting discrepancy.
Now, we need to take a step back and look at the larger picture. I am a pastor in the Seventh-day Adventist church, which is represented in almost every country on the planet. The administrative structure of this church is quite elaborate. There is the General Conference in Silver Spring, MA (USA) which is the world headquarter. The world church is administered through 12 “divisions” which themselves comprise a multitude of “union conferences”. These Unions are made up of conferences and missions. And each conference is a collections of local churches. Usually Unions are countries, or cover a few countries. The administrators of these Unions are part of the global (General Conference) executive committee, so they carry a fair amount of responsibility. The same would apply to the administrators of the Divisions.
The discrepancy that was so shocking to me is this. I grew up in Germany, which consists of 2 Unions and is part of the Euro-Africa Division (EUD). These German Unions look after a combined membership of about 30,000 Adventists. The total membership of the EUD is about 177,000. When I moved to England I moved to the territory of the “Trans European Division”, with a membership of roughly 110,000. Both European Divisions (the fact that there are two is in itself a conundrum) represent less than 300,000 Adventists. Yet there are 2 division presidents, and 24 Union presidents.
In my research today I came across the Democratic Republic of Congo in central Africa. This country is the home of almost 400,000 Adventists. There is not a single Union Conference in the country, only two Union Missions (i.e. 2 Union presidents), and one “Attached Territory”. It was that last area that finally led me to write this. An “attached territory” is not much in the administrative world of my church. Yet this territory in the DRC covers more members that the entire Trans European Division. The DRC is part of the East Central Africa Division. (Remember both European Divisions cover less than 300k members) That Division has a church membership of over 2.5 million.
So I went to the General Conference online year book and looked at who is part of the GC executive committee. There are 17 representatives of the East Central Africa Division (remember 2.5 million church members), and 38 representatives of the two European Divisions (representing less than 300,000 members).
How can it be that at the highest level of our church Europe is represented numerically much stronger than the much more populous African continent? I have my ideas, but I give my church brethren the benefit of the doubt.
OK, I have to be fair…. there are three Divisions covering Africa. The total number or representatives from these Divisions at the table is 50. But they represent 6,700,000 church members. If the same ratio that is now representing Africa were to be applied to Europe, this would be the number of their delegates: 3.
[Disclaimer: I gathered numbers from the GC website and may have missed some figures; my calculations may be off; I may have overlooked some important factors, I am not an administrator; my conclusions and flabbergastedness are my own and do not represent an official statement or comment on the operation of my church]
So I got a new phone. And just that might be worth blogging about. But with this phone comes access to a world apps. (No, it’s not a fruit phone, but the other… little green robot)
So here I am, getting to grips with the new virtual keyboard. My old phone (another fruit) had physical buttons…
If/when I’m getting good at typing, I just might post some more, real, thoughts.
Until then… (thank you spellchecker and automatic corrections)
This world island is not my home, I’m just a passing through… or so I believe the song goes. Due to Bermuda’s (lack of) size, non-Bermudian workers, like myself, can only stay for a limited time—how long has been the subject of debates. But one day, we will have to leave.
However, until that day, we actually live here. And that creates an interesting conundrum. What, or where, is “home”?
Is home where one was born? I guess in days past, when travel and relocation was the privilege of the few, one’s home did not change. Born, bred, and buried in the same place. I left the city of my birth in 1982. Since then, I moved at least five times. Including Bermuda, I have six homes. Or do I?
Does residency count as a home? One can argue for or against that. Can I call a place my “home” merely by virtue of having lived there a number of years?
Having been a resident of Bermuda since 2006, I think it’s more than just living in a place. Does one become part of that place as well? When in Rome, do as the Romans—and mix with them. And with that in mind, Bermuda is “home” (for now).
PS: a lot has happened since my last entry (July 09…!) I need to write a few more posts to catch up