Hare Street Uniting Church

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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Going Deeper...
Some UCA Resources

One Man's Web
Rev Andrew Prior
Old Testament Lectionary
Rev Dr Anna Grant-Henderson
Lectionary Resources
Rev Dr. Bill Loader
Sarah Tells Stories
Rev Sarah Agnew
The Billabong
Rev Jeff Shrowder
Stepping Stones
Rev John Maynard

 

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
 Sundays
Hare St. UCA 10.30am 
Liberty Baptist 12.00pm
GPdI Filadelfia 3.00pm
 
 
 

 

ABC Religion News

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Why is there controversy over Turkey declaring Hagia Sophia a mosque?

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Turkey recently converted Istanbul’s sixth-century Hagia Sophia back into a mosque and declared it open for Muslim worship, but why is the decision causing so much controversy among international leaders?

Sudan ratifies law criminalising female genital mutilation

- - 11-07-2020

Sudan's ruling body ratifies a law banning the widespread practice of female genital mutilation in a country where the practice had been performed on some 87 per cent of women and girls.

Turkish President declares Hagia Sofia a mosque

- - 11-07-2020

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan formally reconverts Istanbul's sixth-century iconic Hagia Sophia into a mosque and declares it open to Muslim worship, sparking rebukes from Orthodox leaders.

Notre-Dame's rebuild won't have a modern twist after all

- - 10-07-2020

Authorities have agreed on how Paris's iconic Notre-Dame cathedral will be rebuilt, more than a year since the centuries-old structure was gutted by fire.

'For Buddhists it's like, 'This is our moment'': How faith has offered solace during coronavirus

- - 09-07-2020

Shu Xian Leong has spent most of 2020 in a tiny apartment, thousands of kilometres from family. She fell into a "bad cycle" of stress and binge-watching TV, until an ancient book gave her solace.

Taiwan says Dalai Lama is welcome to visit, potentially infuriating China

- - 06-07-2020

Beijing views the Dalai Lama as a dangerous separatist, and the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader has not visited the Chinese-claimed, democratic island of Taiwan since 2009.


 

ABC Religion and Ethics Report

Saudi Arabia's dilemma over Hajj

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Srebrenica - the shocking massacre the world witnessed 25 years ago

- - 01-07-2020 Today we look back 25 years to a shocking massacre in the heart of Europe and ask how much religious and ethnic tensions were to blame. Also, Australia, China and a question of patriotism. Is praising a foreign autocrat an act of disloyalty to your own country?

Coronavirus, ethnic communities, and Putin's Orthodox Church

- - 24-06-2020 New research on how religion and ethnicity have shaped the way particular communities have responded to COVID 19. Also, as Russian president Vladimir Putin tries to shore up his power with a referendum next week, he is co-opting religion for his campaign.

Were ethnic communities manipulated in the Victorian ALP branch-stacking war?

- - 17-06-2020 What are the broader issues raised for ethno-religious communities following the Victorian Labor Party controversy? And, why the label “fascist” for leaders like Trump and Orban is misguided, allowing elites that created the conditions for populism off the hook. Also, reviving one of the greatest legacies of Martin Luther King. A new poor people’s campaign aims to reach 140 million. 

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The George Floyd killing: Will anything good come from the violence convulsing America?

- - 03-06-2020 America, divided racially and now in flames. Did Donald Trump stoke the fire when he declared war on protestors as he waved around the Bible? Also, how hardliners in the Catholic Church have turned the Pope’s cautious response to the Covid 19 crisis against him.

The sting operation in Israel that could lead to the extradition of former principal Malka Leifer to Australia

- - 27-05-2020 A sting operation inside Israel's ultra-Orthodox Jewish community that could lead to the extradition of Malka Leifer - an Australian woman who is accused of sexual abuse of girls in a Melbourne school. And, the latest front in the coronavirus culture wars - President Donald Trump calls on places of worship to reopen. Also, it really is hip to be square. Why young people find old-fashioned religion hotter than Christian rock and ministers in skinny jeans.