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Today's service, prepared for Sunday, June 28th, 2020 whilst the church is still in lockdown - is led by Jennie Dyster, our President.

Jennie commences her address with the words of a song that is familiar to many. This address is entitled "'taint necessarily so!" - a quote from the character, Sportin'life in Gershwin's opera Porgy and Bess.

This podcast is part II of an exploration of two different modes of thinking speaking and acquiring knowledge. These are Logos and Mythos.
In part 1, ironically entitled 'Give that old-time religion' Jennie framed the ascendancy of logic at the expense of myth, as a loss of the ability to process the more elusive puzzling and tragic aspects of human existence.
In Part 2, (this address) entitled "'Taint necessarily so" she explores the dangers of conflating the two modes of thought and the wisdom of keeping them both going, but separate.
'The mind is everything: you are what you think'.

Today's service, prepared for Sunday, June 14th, 2020 whilst the church is still in lockdown is led by Jennie Dyster, our President. Jennie commences her address with the words of a hymn that may be familiar to some.

"Give me that old time religion
Give me that old time religion
Give me that old time religion
That’s good enough for me!"

A singularly un-Unitarian opening, you might think? So, what is the appeal of that song for a post-Christian Unitarian? Jennie really had to think about this. She writes: "It’s not a hankering after 1950s Methodism with its Sunday School anniversaries and picnics and church camps. It ain’t hankering after the simple life. I like my car, my "handy" - as the Germans so delightfully call their mobile phones, my digitally streamed music, my laptop, my smart tv. …. I think it’s more related to my addiction to Bach cantatas, Vivaldi’s Gloria, Mozart's Ave Verum Corpus and Requiem or Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater. All of these are bulging with a theology I do not accept or condone. It’s not only my love for music that seduces me. The pull of this music is religious.

"So why am I still attracted to it?" Jennie asks? Listen on for her answer!

John maintains that the current Covid-19 virus is nature's way of controlling the "human pandemic". He also also explore how new wisdoms found within the "toolbox" of our seven Unitarian Universalist Principles may guide us towards a future that is sustainable.

John reflects broadly on the ancient, Old and New Testament wisdoms that have helped shape our laws and bind western nations into cohesive nation states. In the context of Anzac Day, he ponders the disparity between belief and practice in professedly Christian countries, and their historical preparedness to open their war chests to wage war against each other, despite the moral imperatives of these ancient wisdoms for peace.

The Baltimore Story

In the context of our search for a replacement minister, Jennie tackles the issue of women in leadership roles - hitherto the domain of men. The example she focusses on in her talk today is the career of Marin Alsop, music director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra whose career saw her become a pioneer in what was then - a non-traditional area and rose to be one of the leading figures in classical music around the world.

As a young girl, Marin Alsop decided that she wanted to be a conductor. On being told women were not meant to be orchestral conductors, Marin was even more determined to become one. She became a protégé of Leonard Bernstein and went on to become the Music Director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in 2005, the first female conductor to head a major American orchestra. In 2009 she was named Musical America’s Conductor of the Year. She is just coming to the end of her 14 years as Musical Director.

Jennie raises the following issues:

  • How do we feel about women in leadership positions - at work and in the pulpit?
  • Do we judge them differently from men?
  • What obligations do we have to speak if people criticise their fashion sense?
  • How do we handle a mildly worded "it's just not my cup of tea!"

Listen on!

During the "Lockdown" I've been pondering the causes of the Covid-19 Pandemic and the implications for us all. Today, I briefly look back 200,000 years BCE to our human origins: homo erectus, "morphing" into homo sapiens. Ancient and Natural wisdoms, combined with traditional hunting and gathering, enabled homo sapiens to live in balance with the Natural world. However, the exponential growth in human population following the Agricultural and Industrial Revolutions has resulted in an exponential loss of global biodiversity due to human greed, ignorance and apathy - as to the consequences.

I mention an increasing body of scientific evidence, including the origins of the current pandemic and the emergence of Zoonotic diseases - overseas - and in Australia, that reminds us of an overarching Natural wisdom - that we destroy the "Web of Life" at our own peril.

Homo sapiens faces two challenges that must be addressed urgently:-

  • to halt the commercial exploitation that is accelerating the loss of global biodiversity, and -
  • to repair what we can - of the web of life that we are destroying.

But there is Hope! Listen on!

The Kingdom to Come

In this address, presented originally on YouTube on 5th April, 2020, Rev. Rob MacPherson, the Minister of the Unitarian Church of SA and Chaplain of Pembroke School reminds us that "Crisis" used in the context of the Covid-19 Pandemic lockdown and social isolation means "Turning Point".

"The land belongs to Us"?- From today's "Story for All Ages" emphatically No! Ancient wisdoms would say that we belong to the Land - to Nature!
In this address, Rob asks what will be the "New Normal"? "What will be the new reality"? Robs looks positively at issues like leadership and the affirmation of positive emotions, such as the compassion and "Loving kindness" that arise during such a crisis. Rob suggests that there is the possibility of a great awakening, a new compassion, new social directions - and a much more inclusive social fabric. Our response as a national - so far - suggests that there is hope ahead. There will certainly be change! Listen On!

[Sound editor's note: We apologise for the quality of the sound in this recording. It has been amplified and bass-treble adjusted for maximum clarity. This has resulted in some minor distortion but it is quite listenable!]

In his second pastoral message on March 26th, 2020 - podcast here but originally on YouTube, our Minister, Rev. Rob MacPherson provides some positive affirmations to reflect on during the Covid-19 social isolation and lockdown.
..."Feel the feelings. Emotions are like the weather... They change... They also change faster if you allow them to move through rather than block them...
And- as most News is usually bad news, Rob's advice - when you find yourself developing "News psychosis"- "It's OK to take a break from the news cycle."
"We all deserve to be cared for - and there's nothing wrong with asking."
"Use this time to spend some extra time on yourself....and to do all the things we might not normally have had the time to do: There's hay to be made."

Listen on!

A pastoral address given on the 24th March, 2020 by our Minister, Rev. Rob MacPherson and delivered on YouTube. Rob talks about the grieving process that many are experiencing during this time of National and Community social isolation needed to "flatten the curve" and minimise the spread of the Covid-19 virus. As Rob is now the Chaplain at Pembroke School, what he has to say will also be relevant to the students and parents of the Pembroke School community. Listen on!

Syncretic Religion

This is a podcast of an address given on Sunday 29th March by Marcus Hamilton-Smythe, a member of our Church, to an empty church, closed soon after the declaration of the Covid-19 Pandemic.
In this address, under the title "Syncretic Religion", Marcus uses the definition of the Collins Dictionary: "To combine or attempt to combine the characteristics of the teachings, belief and practises of differing systems of religions or philosophy". Marcus explores the commonalities and differences he has found in the world's major religious traditions and how they have influenced each other as well as his own, personal beliefs. Listen on!

Visitors and members are advised by the Committee of Management that our church will remain closed for gatherings in compliance with the Law and until further notice. However the Church Committee will ensure that recordings of addresses will continue to be available each week via this podcasting site, and videos will also be available via YouTube as advised via Facebook and other Social Media links.

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