I spoke to the Presbyterian Assembly in Dunedin at about 5.30pm on the first full day of business. I am here as an international guest representing the Uniting Church.
I already know that I'm usually comfortable with an audience of up to about 100, and after that it comes down to script and/or my feeling and energy at the time, otherwise I'll be running on sheer anxiety.
So it's 5.30pm. We've had the proposals about change to the Beneficiary Fund. We are all low energy. I have rewritten my 8 minute address 5 times. The keynote speaker from the US had already mentioned pointedly that he was born in Ireland, to general laughter. I have already decided not mention sport. (Mind you, over meals people keep asking about the cricket.)
The microphone falls out of the stand as I am about to speak. I am somewhat nervous, so my opening "Kiaora" comes our rather badly stuttered and repeated. I feel extremely embarrassed at the outset.
After greeting the Moderator and Assembly in the name of Christ, I go on to explain that in my church we begin by offering respect to the First Peoples.
However, was I open my laptop with my speech on it, all of these login windows keep popping up.
I say "In my church, we have a custom of saying... oh, sorry all of these windows are popping up. I need to turn off my wi-fi..."
After I recover and turn off the wifi, the acknowledgment of First People feel less than I had hoped it would be. (This is an understatement)
I hope it went uphill after that...
more to come...