Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Wicked Women Welcome

Mary Anoints the Feet of Jesus, by Frank Wesley
A sermon by Alison Sampson on Luke 7:36-8:3
South Yarra Community Baptist Church, 12 June 2016

My last sermon at the South Yarra Community Baptist Church! If you prefer to listen to it, click here and follow the link.

Many years ago, both my husband and I had dealings with a particular Christian group at university. Back in the mid-eighties, when my husband was first involved, it was a group whose members sat around at lunchtime talking about faith, asking difficult questions, and wrestling with difficult answers. But it soon changed, and by the time I had arrived, eight years later, it was led by staff workers who were deeply concerned with right doctrine. In my first year of university, I was living at college and thinking a lot about faith. But as someone who asked lots of difficult questions and didn’t accept most answers, I quickly became a target. I found myself in conversations I never wanted to have, in which the acceptability of women in leadership, the doctrine of evolution, questions of sexual identity, and many other issues were put under the microscope, and my position was always shown to be wrong.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Love despite fear, fear despite love

What sort of crazy person would buy this building?
I have staggered to the end of another semester, a semester in which I overcommitted to study, kept working, kept raising children, kept combing out nits and cooking meals and sweeping floors; and somewhere in the midst of everything, a whole new surprising project took root. Now I am emerging from the fog of study and the chaos of family life and the demands of work to discover that I am moving to a regional city in a few weeks’ time to start a new church. I should be thrilled and excited—and there are many times when I am—but I am also just as likely to feel overwhelmed. I think often of Leunig’s observation that there are only two emotions, love and fear, for the new project certainly arose out of love, and yet it fills me with fear.
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