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
10am Sundays
GPdI Filadelfia meets at 3.00pm
 
 
 

 

ABC Religion News

Men disguised as hunters kill at least 134 Muslim farmers in Mali

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Pregnant women, children and the elderly were killed in one of the deadliest attacks of of its kind in a region reeling from worsening ethnic and jihadist violence.

Abby Stein studied to be a rabbi before she came out as a woman

- - 24-03-2019

Growing up as a boy in an ultra-Orthodox Brooklyn community, Abby Stein had no access to the internet and barely spoke English. It's a world away from the life she's now living as a transgender activist.

Seven changes the Catholic Church must make now

- - 24-03-2019

As a Catholic, the Pell verdict has shocked me deeply but these are the steps forward, writes Francis Sullivan.

'I was a spoiled brat': The girl who led 25 relatives to move to Syria to join Islamic State

- - 23-03-2019

At just 15 years old, Nur Dhania told her family she was going to Syria to live in the caliphate. They quit their jobs and followed her. Then they realised they'd made a huge mistake.

What it's like to work on legal cases against Pell and the Catholic Church

- - 23-03-2019

As the head of a large legal firm's abuse department acting for about 1,000 survivors, Lisa Flynn knows what it's like to work on a challenging case.

A single police officer in the Bias Crime Unit is monitoring hate crime across NSW

- - 22-03-2019

The unit was never properly resourced to deal with hate crime, according to a lawyer and community advocate, and a NSW Police officer says it would take a significant violent attack before policing hate crime is prioritised.


 

ABC Religion and Ethics Report

Angry language, religion and violence

- - 20-03-2019 Can we still talk about religion, identity, immigration, extremism – without it ending in bloodshed? And, the massive attempt by churches and other faiths to recognise the scale of the Christchurch tragedy. Also, the Israeli human rights lawyer who had a racist candidate thrown off the ballot for next month’s Israel elections.

Wrestling with George Pell's legacy

- - 13-03-2019 George Pell goes from cardinal to convict -- jailed for the sexual abuse of two choirboys in the 1990s. We look at how he came to dominate the Australian Catholic church and his legacy today. Also, how tribalism – religious, political and cultural – sets citizen against citizen and how we can repair the division.

International Women's Day and western assumptions

- - 06-03-2019 This week Kumi Taguchi hosts a special edition of the Religion and Ethics Report. She asks Noha Aboueldahab if Movements like these fail to account for the diverse grievances, needs, and expectations of women in various contexts. Also, how are the ripples of the Me Too and Nuns Too movements being felt by women religious in Australia? And, how you can hold the church in the palm of your hand.

The fallout from the George Pell saga

- - 27-02-2019 Cardinal George Pell has been convicted on five counts of child sexual abuse. A psychologist who advised the royal commission into institutional sex abuse will explain the impact the verdict is having on the broader community. And, the brave priest who first warned the Catholic church about the abuse crisis – 35 years ago says the Pell conviction must trigger a radical shift in power across the Catholic world. Also, the Islamic State group is defeated on the ground but will its ideology survive?

A just war, the 'closet' in the Vatican and a historic child sex-abuse summit

- - 20-02-2019 Two major events have rocked the Vatican - the defrocking of Cardinal Theodore McCarrick for sexual offences, and the bombshell book claiming 80 per cent of clergy who work in the Vatican are gay. Also, could robots be programmed to fight wars according to a moral code? And what do reform-minded Catholics in the pews expect from this week’s Vatican summit on sexual abuse?

An emergency sex-abuse summit, why Donald Trump’s election was an act of divine providence, and why ex-evangelicals have united under the label “ex-vangelicals”

- - 13-02-2019 Pope Francis will host a sex abuse prevention summit next week - but will the summit deliver? Also, the late Billy Graham was the most prominent preacher of the 20th century, speaking directly to an estimated 200 million people during his life. But is his evangelist son Franklin Graham more politician than preacher – cheering on Donald Trump and his views on immigration and Islam? And what exactly does “ex-vangelicals”mean?

Banks, greed and profit, a landmark papal visit, and Northern Ireland’s Brexit dilemma

- - 06-02-2019 When does reasonable profit turn into greed? That’s one of the big ethical challenges revealed by the banking royal commission. And if the UK crashes out of the European Union seven weeks from now, the boom gates will go back up along the border between Northern Ireland and the Irish republic. But could the sectarian violence – Catholic versus Protestant – that scarred Northern Ireland for 30 years also return? Also, are autocratic governments in the Arabian Gulf using this week’s papal visit to Abu Dhabi to mask their poor human rights records?