Hare Street Uniting Church

Christmas Day Service: We are meeting at 7pm on December 24, Christmas Eve. There is no morning service on December 24, or on December 25.

We've been referencing the work of James Alison and other Girardian theologians in Bible Study.  Andrew puts some of it together here.

You can listen to it  here (26 minutes) or read:

My change in understanding "life after death" seems to have come from an appreciation of the absoluteness of physical death. As a new Christian I had assumed that Jesus gave us, in some way, life after death. That was not something I had explored. It was more a way, I think, of avoiding death. It basically took death off the table, but if the Terror Management Theorists and the Girardians are correct, it was basically a denial of death. I was using my religion "under the table" to avoid the issue of death, just as other people immerse themselves in sport or computer coding.

The next step came as I understood the finality of death in its physical aspects. If we are merely physical, then death is completely destructive. If we are merely physical, we are dependent upon the physical substrate of our brain for our consciousness and being. And so I learned to live with that. I accepted it as given, and as inevitable. I began to cease the denial of my death. It's one of the side effects of burying your friends. Read on >>>>

Bible Study for July 26 was based around this post from Andrew.

For 40 years, this farm kid has read the Parable of the Mustard Seed with a nagging question: who in their right mind would plant mustard? Mustard is a weed. Blinded by my father's love of Dijon and English Hot, it has never occurred to me that the Farmer might not be growing condiments, but might be sowing a weed called Jesus.

And the Woman is hiding yeast in the unleavened bread of Passover.

After this pithy introduction, I am about to embark on a long exploration with lengthy quotations. I think it's worth following through. The parables of the Kingdom of Heaven, here in Chapter 13 of Matthew, and again in Matthew 25  expose a radical reorientation of our way of being. We tend to reduce them to something less, which has lost its edge.

Matthew 13  can appear to be a somewhat disconnected compilation of stories. But what if "he means what he says and knows what he means," as Mark D Davis puts it? What if we read the text as a whole— as having a driving purpose, rather than leaving out pieces,  and reordering our reading of the parables, as the Revised Common Lectionary does? What do we hear then? ... Read on >>>>

Andrew's take on The Parable of the Sower

There is a farm house out in the Hills which stands in a 30 acre paddock on some of the prettiest land in the state. Over the years, the owner has collected car bodies and old farm machinery which lines the farm drive, and is also scattered in a couple of hundred random clumps over the whole 30 acres like a demented mechanical cemetery.

I often wonder how some farming families can stand to have a dozen pigsties lining the drive up to their house— this place has pigsties as well, but this farm takes mess to a new level. 

Most likely, the cars, and the pigsties, are invisible to the owners. We become habituated to the place where we live, and blind to the features which seem most obvious, and even appalling, to fresh eyes. My wife could be tempted to suggest, at this point, that instead of talking about my desk, I simply clean it up! We are all like this.... Read on >>>>

This was the sermon for Matthew 11:16-30

We all know how hard life can be. I think most people have times when they'd just like to throw in the towel; it all gets too hard.

There are a couple of ideas floating around which really don't help us when life is hard.

The first idea is that some people have life all together. They are living the dream. They don't have problems. Everything is easy for them. Why can't I have that? In fact, we can beat ourselves up over not doing the right thing to get there,

...   or we can drag ourselves down with resentment.

There can be a grain of truth in the idea that some people are more fortunate. Life is easier without arthritis ... than with arthritis. It helps a great deal ... to have enough money to pay your bills easily. And it's far better to live in a place  where you are not being abused.

But what I notice, is that some folk who live, or have lived,  in absolutely terrible circumstances, seem remarkably at peace. They even have a level of ... contentment. And other folk who have everything--  or so it seems--  are miserable.... Read on >>>>

These are the sermon notes for Trinity Sunday in 2017.

Listen here. The Hymn Bring Many Names can be found here on Youtube and in other videos.

Gospel: Matthew 28:16-20

 Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. 17When they saw him, they worshipped him; but some doubted. 18And Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.’

When did people decide there was something… behind the world? Nobody knows when we decided there is something greater than us, but we know that people called this "something" God.

And we know they thought there were probably quite a few of these Gods. You thought, or you hoped, that your God was the best God, or the strongest God. That's an understanding called Henotheism… you can see echoes of it in the Old Testament: God has taken his place in the divine council;    in the midst of the gods he holds judgement, says Psalm 82

But by the time of Jesus, Jewish people had come to understand there is only one God. That's called monotheism, and it's central to our understanding of God.

Monotheism says there is only one God. The rest are fakes... Isaiah 44 says a carpenter

plants a cedar and the rain nourishes it... 16Half of it he burns in the fire; over this half he roasts meat, eats it, and is satisfied. He also warms himself and says, ‘Ah, I am warm, I can feel the fire!’ 17The rest of it he makes into a god, his idol, bows down to it, and worships it; he prays to it and says, ‘Save me, for you are my god!’

In the Old Testament, God is not merely a distant, high God. God is tender… When Israel was a child I loved him, says Hosea 11. ... Read on >>>>

Given a name of my own! Listen here

 

 

The menu has been updated to the beginning of August.

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A place where we try to live the life lessons of
Jesus of Nazareth

with food
Sausages on the barbecue

and new friends
and love
Woman preparing communion
Join us
Church Building
10am Sundays
GPdI Filadelfia meets at 3.00pm
 
 
 

 

ABC Religion News

CCTV footage shows gunmen attacking Pakistan church

- - 18-12-2017 Two suicide bombers attacked a packed Christian church in Quetta, south-western Pakistan, killing at least nine people and wounding up to 56, officials said.

Suicide bombers kill nine after storming church in Pakistan

- - 18-12-2017

Two gunmen wearing explosive-filled vests attack a packed Christian church in south-western Pakistan as Sunday services begin, killing at least nine people and wounding up to 56, police say.

'Poor timing': Ribbons for sex abuse victims cut down by Catholic parishioners

- - 17-12-2017

Catholic parishioners in Ballarat have lined up to cut symbolic ribbons off their cathedral's iron fence in a move described as disrespectful to sexual abuse victims so soon after the royal commission findings.

Pope says sex abuse royal commission findings should be 'studied in depth'

- - 16-12-2017

Pope Francis says the findings of Australia's child sex abuse royal commission "deserve to be studied in depth", after the Catholic Church was urged to overhaul its traditions, including confessional and celibacy, in the final report.

The abused are many, and so are the dead, but do Church leaders really get it?

- - 16-12-2017

The 'few bad apples' scenario is untenable now. The royal commission has shown that what is wrong pervades the whole orchard, writes Tom Keneally. But will the Church acknowledge it?

Royal Commission hands down child sex abuse findings

- - 15-12-2017 Five years after it began the Royal Commission has handed down the results from its inquiry into child sex abuse in Australian institutions.

Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, by the numbers

- - 15-12-2017

After five years, 1,200 witness accounts and more than 8,000 private sessions with survivors, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has come to a close. Here are some of the numbers revealed in the 17 volumes that make up the final report.


 

ABC Religion and Ethics Report

The Royal Commission

- - 06-12-2017 The child sex abuse crisis was a vast tragedy. Five years, 1200 witnesses and an estimated 60,000 survivors of child sex abuse from Australian institutions.

Interfaith marriage, western culture and the Bible and Gideon Levy

- - 29-11-2017 A new study shows that second generation Muslims are changing the cultural landscape of marriage in their community. Many are marrying non-Muslims. And, Gideon Levy, one of Israel's harshest critics speaks to Andrew West .

China and religion, chaplains and schools

- - 22-11-2017 How is religion reshaping cultural life in China? And a new faith-based program in NSW schools that promises only love and support.

Tolerance, gay marriage, Indonesia's Pancasila

- - 15-11-2017 Negotiating pluralism and social justice

Pope Francis, Black Lives Matter, and Aung San Suu Kyi

- - 08-11-2017 #blacklives matter. Racial justice and the movement that's resonated around the world.

The Protestant Reformation

- - 01-11-2017 Did the seismic events that followed Martin Luther's challenge to the Catholic Church lead to today's liberal secular societies?