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Pride In Our Welcome

An address by the Minister, Rev. Rob MacPherson - recorded on Sunday, 21st October, 2018 in the Unitarian Meeting House in Adelaide.

In this address, Rob explores the diversity of human sexuality in expressing Love for others. Rob traces a story of three interconnected journeys that follow the same spiritual arc:
- his personal journey;
- the journey of the wider Unitarian Movement, in being alive to no dogma but Love thereby proudly at the vanguard of lgbt acceptance;
- our journey as the Unitarian Church community in South Australia, welcoming lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans-gender people into the loving Unitarian Universalist community that is our Church.

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Rob's address "Breaking the Seal - the Confessional and the Law" is prompted by the findings of the recent Royal Commission of Enquiry into Child Sexual Abuse which recommended mandatory reporting by priests of instances of Child Sexual Abuse heard during confession. This puts them at risk of either breaching their sacred Seal of Confession or risk criminal penalties and imprisonment should they fail in their mandatory duty to report instances of child abuse as required under State Law. When conflict occurs between the Law of the State and The Law of the Church over a confession regarding child sexual abuse, which is to prevail? As a Unitarian Minister, and as a former Catholic - himself a victim of Child Sexual Abuse, Rob is uniquely placed to consider this ethical dilemma.

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An address by the Minister, Rev. Rob MacPherson - recorded on Sunday, 7th October, 2018 in the Unitarian Meeting House in Adelaide. This address was prompted by the rescue efforts underway in Palu, Sulawesi - in Indonesia after a devastating earthquake and tsunami tore through the region a week ago. Rob observes that when charities make headlines by failing to live up to our expectations, an element of cynicism creeps in. Altruism and cynicism wrestle for our souls. Thus we are conflicted: to be generous souls - especially when our neighbour's needs are so acute, but also not to be duped! Rob uses his participation in a St Vinnies sleepout for CEOs to identify and clarify this conflict. Today's service ended with Brendan Moyse singing and playing Tom Waits' 'On the Nickel' - sometimes known as 'The hobo's lullaby'.

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An address by Christine Mason, a member of our church - recorded on Sunday, 30th September, 2018 in the Unitarian Meeting House in Adelaide. With frequent reference to Forest Gump's analogy that "life is like a box of chocolates", Christine describes unwrapping the chocolate-like positives in her spiritual journey - life in the London's Dockside as a Salvation Army Officer and Nurse - serving first as a mid-wife (echoes of "Call the Midwife") in London's dockside, marriage, then her Salvation Army service as a young mother and mid-wife in Brazil and the Bahamas. Then, after settling in Adelaide, she journeys on to the Quakers and Unitarianism.

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In this address, punctuated by much audible balloon-blowing - before the balloons finally "go up" - Rob explores the physical, psychological and spiritual benefits that laughter brings to our lives and how it may enrich spiritual comunities such as ours.

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An address by The Rev. David Johnson, Unitarian Universalist minister from the United States, recorded on Sunday, 2nd September, 2018 in the Unitarian Meeting House in Adelaide. David served as a full time Unitarian Universalist Minister in the USA for 30 years - before retiring in 2017. For the 20 years prior to his ministry, David was a marine geologist. In this address, David uses several vignettes to illustrate the need for steadfastness and hope when confronted with of our human frailties and making do, innovating - when things go wrong, for it is our lot as humans to remain "eternally incomplete and undeveloped" but always with the potential to be fashioned "into the Image of God" - or in Unitarian terms - to strive towards betterment - if inevitably - falling short of perfection.

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Falling Upwards

An address by the Minister, Rev. Rob MacPherson - recorded on Sunday, 2nd September, 2018 in the Unitarian Meeting House in Adelaide. In this address Rob ponders the purpose and meaning of human suffering and the traditional Church's failure to find a believable theodicy that reconciles Good (or belief in an omnipotent and benevolent God) with suffering and evil. This has pastoral implications for spiritual communities.

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An address by the Minister, Rev. Rob MacPherson - recorded on Sunday, 2nd September, 2018 in the Unitarian Meeting House in Adelaide. In his Fathers Day Address, Rob draws the distinction between "fathering" and "fatherhood".
No two men do 'fatherhood' in the same way. While there is plenty of direction - there is no script - both Jesus and Buddha forsaking fatherhood.
Rob introduces the notions of "differentiation", "mindful discernment", and "reciprocity" and shows how these lead us to mature parenting - for "we are forgiven as we forgive".

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An address by the Minister, Rev. Rob MacPherson - recorded on Sunday, 29th July, 2018 in the Unitarian Meeting House in Adelaide. In constructing our personas - so as to be socially acceptable to others - the dark, less socially acceptable side of our personas are repressed. Rob suggests ways in which we can recognise and face up to our darker side and integrate it into our persona as an essential part of our journey towards spiritual maturity.

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In constructing our personas - so as to be socially acceptable to others - the dark, less socially acceptable side of our personas are repressed. However, our best and brightest qualities inevitably cast shadows. Our"shadow-self" - our "dark side" that we are taught by parents, peers, religion and the media to repress, excise and feel ashamed about - becomes part of our shadow-selves and is the price of becoming a social being.
In bringing our shadow side into consciousness and integrating it into our persona requires "fearless and searching honesty".  In doing so, we begin a journey towards greater spiritual maturity. Should we fail to integrate both sides of our persona, there can be little chance of deep, nourishing relationships or any true relationship to any divinity we might be striving for. In this address, Rob suggests ways in which we can recognise - and face up to - our darker side and integrate it into our persona as an essential part of our journey towards spiritual maturity.

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