Feed on
Posts

An address by the Minister, Rev. Rob MacPherson - recorded on Sunday, 10th February, 2019 in the Unitarian Meeting House in Adelaide. Rob talks about the excess of "stuff" in our lives. Post-war consumerism and mass-produced goods have been changing our culture since the Industrial Revolution. But the rise of supercharged industrial manufacturing and the use of the modern mass media by the Advertising Industry since World War 2 have greatly increased demand and affordability, prompting people to want even more. Shopping has become a leisure activity if not the dominant cultural activity. Globalisation has seen manufacturing shift to India and China where "stuff" could be made even more cheaply.
However, a reaction away from mass-produced "stuff" has seen the resurrection of "crafted" (hand-made) goods - with something bordering on the spiritual. The previous week's blessing of the school bags left Rob wondering about our relationship with objects, how they might be blessed and how we might bless them - even common everyday things. Can the objects we use in our lives become truly sacred? How may we become more aware of the spiritual dimension of objects?

00:0000:00

An address by the Minister, Rev. Rob MacPherson - recorded on Sunday, 3rd February, 2019 in the Unitarian Meeting House in Adelaide.

In this address Rob describes the pastoral and spiritual challenges of a (Unitarian) church that professes freedom of religion as well as freedom from religion. He also faces similar challenges in his role as Chaplain of a non-denominational private school.

Rob asks: How do you develop a spirituality that is meaningful to members of a church or school community and which embraces all religious perspectives - or none, a spirituality which is inclusive rather than exclusive; subjective rather than objective?

Rob uses anecdotes to illustrate that the well-springs of Love and Spirituality are subjectively and innately human and not necessarily bound by religious dogmas.

00:0000:00

Our Annual In-gathering Service conducted by our Minister, Rev Rob MacPherson on Sunday, 27th January, 2019 in the Unitarian Meeting House in Adelaide. It involved an in-gathering of our Children and Church members to bless (the schoolbags of) the children prior to the commencement of the first school term. This was followed by our Water Communion and an address by Rob.

00:0000:00

An address by the Jenny Dyster - recorded on Sunday, 20th January, 2019 in the Unitarian Meeting House in Adelaide.
Drawing closely upon James Boyce's book, “Born Bad: Original Sin and the Making of the Western World” (Publ. Counterpoint, 23 Jul 2014), Jenny contrasts the Unitarian belief in Universal Salvation with the development of the doctrine of Original Sin within mainstream Western European churches - especially Catholic, Calvinist and other protestant traditions - its political impact on western civilisation and how “human beings were born sinners, subject to the just wrath of God. Ultimately this doctrine was used to gain institutional power and influence over the lives of "the faithful". It also shaped "the Work Ethic" - and Western Civilisation itself. Jenny also explores how "Original Sin has since morphed into the “selfish gene” - or "meme" of Richard Dawkins - evolutionary biologist, ethologist, and atheist.

00:0000:00

The Big Question

An address by the Rev. David Usher - recorded on Sunday, 13th January, 2019 in the Unitarian Meeting House in Adelaide.

In this address, David explores the really Big Question - "Does God exist?"
David believes that "God" - as a physical presence in a material universe - doesn't exist, but asserts that this doesn't make him an atheist.
David resolves this apparent 'dissonance' by drawing an analogy with a doubting child's question to a parent "Do you believe in Santa Claus?" and uses a wise parent's answer to explain his understanding of God.
The Reality and Presence of God is expressed through such dimensions of spirituality as Wonder, Awe, Mystery, Love, Kindness, Generosity - and Belief - all the things that we can't see or touch or reduce to a precise formula - but which are manifestations of the loving presence of God in our lives and which we lose to our spiritual peril.

00:0000:00

Kindness

An address by a member of our Church, Charlie Madden - recorded on Sunday, 6th January, 2019 in the Unitarian Meeting House in Adelaide. In his address, Charlie explores kindness anecdotally - reminiscing over his first experiences of kindness as a new arrival to Australia from the UK. He also explores kindness - to each other and to our planet.

00:0000:00

Reflecting on his own childhood, Alex ponders how the traditional Masai greeting - "And how are the Children?" might affect our consciousness of our children's welfare and how it might engender a feeling of social well-being - were we to adopt it as our greeting.

00:0000:00

A Blue Christmas

An address by the Minister, Rev. Rob MacPherson - recorded on Sunday, 22nd December, 2018 in the Unitarian Meeting House in Adelaide. In this address - "A Blue Christmas", Rob reflects on the many people who are depressed this Christmas - such as the lonely who may feel rejected, unloved, those who are isolated from family and friends or whose hopes have fallen short of their expectations. Rob reflects on the myriad of ways in which they - or for that matter - we - have touched the lives of so many others - just by our being "Us".

00:0000:00

An address by the Minister, Rev. Rob MacPherson - recorded on Sunday, 9th December, 2018 in the Unitarian Meeting House in Adelaide. In this address - "There's something about Mary", Rob ponders the benefits for human advancement of an emerging world order where women leaders take their rightful place in an equitable partnership with men. In searching for the real Nativity, Rob delves back into the historical, political and cultural realities of Roman-occupied Judea - over two millennia ago and finds a very different - but much more likely - scenario for the Christmas Story than the mythologised, self-serving, sanitised, male-generated, New Testament account of the birth of Jesus.

00:0000:00

John - as a Unitarian - observes the widening credibility gap between fundamentalist, dogmatic certainty about God and scientific understandings and explanations premised on Heisenberg uncertainty. He identifies the contribution of Christianity to Western Civilisation as part of our rich Christian heritage - teachings that have shaped human conduct and ethics, magnificent cathedrals, iconography (through art - in all its forms) and religious music that have shaped Western Civilisation, governance and culture. It has also been our Unitarian heritage.

But was this what Jesus had in mind? Jesus would have preferred his "cathedrals" to be in human hearts and minds rather than in powerful institutions. He suggests that the growing cognitive dissonance between Faith and Science is causing Christians to reconsider Church dogma regarding perceptions of God, formed over the past two millennia that have now dated. He rejects the traditional notion of an omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient God and outlines instead his personal construct, informed by science - of what "God" and "Divinity" mean to him.

00:0000:00

- Older Posts »