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Our service  - and Jennie's address today is focused on supporting the Australian Religious Response to Climate Change (ARRCC) Weekend of Climate Action where religious groups - including the Unitarian Church of SA  - acknowledge the interdependent relationship between human welfare and that of the planet, between social justice and ecological integrity and the threat posed to these by human-induced climate change. Today, we acknowledge the uniqueness of our varied religious traditions and celebrate that we stand united - in working for an ecologically and socially sustainable future. And as they represent our hope for a sustainable future, our children play a significant role at the commencement of today's service - with the launch of their poster - and in their concluding contributions. In seeking effective and prompt political action on climate change, Jennie asks - "How is it possible to ask for something within the realms of the (politically) possible whilst still being sufficiently in line with the science - so as not to be too late?" Listen on for a special celebration of the unity within the religious response to climate action - led by our Sunday Club children and by Jennie - our lay Leader.

In introducing the Transcendentalist poet, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Peter Whitham, a member of our church takes us back to the socio-political milieu of England in the late 18th Century, when revolutionary ideas - fueled by inequality, poverty, unemployment, hunger and a life expectancy of less than 40 years - had spread from France. A paranoid British Government suspected Unitarian free-thinkers and reformers such as Joseph Priestley and Thomas Fyshe-Palmer of sedition. Into this political maelstrom came the Transcendentalist Romantic Poets - Wordsworth, Coleridge and - later, the American poet, Ralph Waldo Emerson. They argued for a Transcendent God. Coleridge - and other Unitarian idealists helped shape the Unitarian, reformist values of the time: adherence to an idealistic system of thought based on a belief in the essential unity of all creation, the innate goodness of humanity and - for the revelation of our deepest truths - the supremacy of insight over logic and experience. listen on for Peter's insightful address.

Great Expectations

As as you might half expect from the title of today's address, Jennie's starting point is a brief "recap" of Charles Dickens's novel of the same name. But - to quote Jennie's intro - "if you've come to this address with "Great Expectations", you might as well resign yourself to having them dashed to the ground!" - Or should you?
According to one best-selling author, life-coach and podcast host who has made a career of steering people and organizations to their highest potential - having no expectations, accepting what is - would be infinitely easier and you'd be happier. Or would you? While this advice seems somewhat inconsistent with what we might expect from a life-coach's business plan, Jennie asks us "Should we have great expectations or not?" And what expectations should we have in relationships?…in marriage? And what about women's expectations and the under-utilisation of their talents in music, medicine and many other fields? Expectations shape reality.
Listen on to a wonderful address given in our Adelaide Church on Sunday, 3rd October!

Lumpy in Lycra

Miranda, one of our younger members - leads us in today's service today held on 26th September 2021. Miranda's subject is allodoxaphobia - the fear of what others might be thinking of us or - even worse still - overhearing other people’s opinions about us that confirm our worst fears.
Miranda raises the question - "If all of us a little allodoxaphobic, how can we move beyond this fear and live our lives to the full?" Our seven Unitarian Universalist (U.U.) Principles challenge us to do so.
Under Miranda's direction and involvement, we then form into small groups to discover - through sharing - how our UU Principles may help with our allodoxaphobia. Listen on!

Now I‘m a Believer

Jennie's address today, this 19th September, 2021 - is on the subject of Belief ... e.g. belief in Love! - even love that may …..at times....frequently? fall well short of Bliss!
Jenny also acknowledges the recent death of the former Episcopalian Bishop of Newark, John Spong who subjected all the unbelievable bits of scripture to a rational, 20th Century scientific scrutiny that is so congruent with Unitarian Universalist beliefs today. Listen on!

Flower Communion

This early Spring Sunday - 12th September, saw us celebrating our annual Unitarian Flower Communion, first held by Unitarian minister, Norbert Čapek in Prague, Czechoslovakia in June 1923. Each person would bring a flower to church. Early in the service, each would place a flower in a large central vase and at the conclusion of the flower communion, each would depart with a different flower. This sharing of flowers within the Flower Communion is a celebration of the uniqueness and diversity of flowers - and of each other. We also remember the martyrdom of Norbert Čapek in 1942, when he was taken to the Dachau concentration camp, imprisoned, tortured and eventually gassed.
Norbert Čapek leaves the Flower Communion to us as his lasting legacy.

About Fear

Our Lay Leader, Jennie Dyster's address today is on Fear. Jennie begins with the reading of a letter written almost five Centuries ago by Martin Luther to the Rev. Doctor Johann Hess, a pastor at Breslau. Hess had earlier sought Luther's advice on whether taking steps to avoid the Bubonic plague sweeping Germany in 1527 showed lack of faith. Or should the faithful let the will of an Almighty God decide who lives or dies  - and do nothing?
Luther's advice is reminiscent of the best medical advice for avoiding the global Covid-19 pandemic and the fears, wisdoms and fictions it has generated.
Fears are not necessarily true. They are the stories we often tell ourselves, and fears  - like all stories  - have characters, (us!)  - and plots, imagery and suspense! They make us think about - and plan for - the future. Through the cautionary tales we were told as children about fears, we learnt to distinguish between fact and fiction: wisdom and stupidity.
Today, Jennie asks: "How should we deal with our fears?" We should take seriously the idea of being the author and the reader of our own fears. Listen on!

About Fear.

Jennie's address today is on Fear. She begins with the reading of a letter written almost five Centuries ago by Martin Luther to the Rev. Doctor Johann Hess, a pastor at Breslau. Hess had earlier sought Luther's advice on whether taking steps to avoid the Bubonic plague sweeping Germany in 1527 showed lack of faith. Or should the faithful let the will of an Almighty God decide who lives or dies  - and do nothing?
Luther's advice is reminiscent of the best medical advice for avoiding the global Covid-19 pandemic and the fears, wisdoms and fictions it has generated.
Fears are not necessarily true. They are the stories we often tell ourselves, and fears  - like all stories  - have characters, (us!)  - and plots, imagery and suspense! They make us think about - and plan for - the future. Through the cautionary tales we were told as children, we learnt to distinguish between fact and fiction: wisdom and stupidity.
Today, Jennie asks: "How should we deal with our fears?" We should take seriously the idea of being the author and the reader of our own fears. Listen on!

Sleep and Dreams

In today's address titled "Sleep and Dreams", Jennie ponders the functions and purposes of sleep according to sleep researchers. Jennie informs us about some of the health benefits of a good night's sleep and some of the possible consequences for us when we are sleep-deprived.

Freedom

Today's service - 22nd August, 2021, was conducted by our President, John Hall.

In the context of the Covid 19 lockdowns and protests against police-enforced restrictions on freedom of movement, John argues that our rights and our freedoms are never absolute and must be tempered with responsibility.

John's main focus today is on freedom of expression, and the caution and restraint we must all show in the choice of words we use to describe others - especially when they are drawn from prejudices that demean. Listen on!

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