Hare Street Uniting Church

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.

Wendy and her daughter Debbie were able to go to the Pentecost service at the Pantheon in Rome. Petals are shovelled! in through the occulus, which is nearly 30 feet wide, at one point in the service.

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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
10am Sundays
GPdI Filadelfia meets at 3.00pm
 
 
 

 

ABC Religion News

Muslim group calls for rethink on unisex toilets after family enters private showers

- - 18-01-2019

A lack of female-only showers at a popular Sunshine Coast beach prompts a Muslim organisation to call for councils to consider religious beliefs when designing infrastructure after a family used private amenities without permission.

Millions dip into icy cold rivers for Indian Kumbh Mela festival

- - 15-01-2019

A colourful procession of musicians and religious leaders parade to the riverbanks for a bathing ritual dating back to medieval times.

US judge blocks Trump's rules allowing businesses to deny women contraceptives in health insurance

- - 15-01-2019

Employers in the US will still have to provide health insurance covering women's birth control, after a federal judge blocked the Trump administration from enforcing new rules allowing employers to obtain exemptions from the Obamacare requirement.

'McJesus' exhibit featuring crucified Ronald McDonald sparks violent protests

- - 15-01-2019

A sculpture of Ronald McDonald nailed to a cross — a tongue-in-cheek spoof of the crucifixion of Jesus — sparks violent protests in Israel, with rioters calling for the "disrespectful" artwork's removal.

Detention of Melbourne-based refugee in Thailand 'a major screw up' says rights defender

- - 10-01-2019 Phil Robertson, deputy director of Human Rights Watch Asia, tells The World the events leading to the detention of Melbourne-based refugee Hakeem AlAraibi in Thailand was "a major screw-up" and those responsible should be "removed from their position".

Saudi women are controlled by male relatives — here's how the guardianship system works

- - 10-01-2019

The case of Rahaf Alqunun, which has exploded on social media and made headlines around the world, has drawn attention to Saudi Arabia's strict guardianship system. This is how it works.

Egyptian-American journalist Mona Eltahawy on the asylum case of Saudi teen

- - 09-01-2019 The plight of Rahaf Alqunun is a microcosm of the guardianship system and "gender apartheid" in Saudi Arabia, Ms Eltahawy says.


 

ABC Religion and Ethics Report

Is Liberalism dead?

- - 16-01-2019 In his latest book author Patrick J. Deneen writes that of the three dominant ideologies of the twentieth century—fascism, communism, and liberalism—only the last remains. In an in-depth interview, presenter Andrew West asks the author of the provocative book ‘Why Liberalism Failed’, whether liberalism supplanted religion as the organising principle of the West.  What then were the consequences?

What could replace religion in the West?

- - 09-01-2019 As religion withers in the liberal west, what takes its place? The provocative Canadian writer Jordan Peterson confronts this question.

An extraordinary life  

- - 26-12-2018 A special program about the martyrdom of civil rights leader and Baptist preacher Dr Martin Luther King. He always tried to reach across the colour line, comforting whites who feared black empowerment. But King also had a message about the poverty and violence that propped up racism, and that made the powerful very uncomfortable.

The history of the Bible in Australia

- - 19-12-2018 Author Meredith Lake on why an understanding of the Bible is incredibly important in understanding Australian history and identity.

Labor challenges, the AMLO factor in Mexico, and how to deal with an anxious Australia

- - 12-12-2018 How can the Labor Party keep socially conservative blue-collar voters onside while embracing liberal policies on sexuality and identity? And how Mexico’s new leftist president built a religious coalition that swept him into power. Also, Australia’s leading social researcher takes on the biggest question in public life today. How do we get along with people who distrust and even dislike us?

Defamation laws, violation of human rights, and the white Christian vote in the US

- - 05-12-2018 As major media companies push to liberalise Australia’s defamation laws, what are the ethical problems in running stories that can damage the reputations of innocent people? And, 70 years after the world’s leading powers signed the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, why are almost every one of its rules violated somewhere every day? Also, the white Christian vote is the key to Donald Trump’s survival. But with some fancy footwork by the Left, could this vote be up for grabs in 2020?