Sunday, June 16, 2019

Lady Wisdom and the gender diverse community of God

Once upon a time, long, long ago, Lady Wisdom called out at the public places—the city gates, the crossroads, the mountaintops—and she said: “The Lord began the work of creation with me ...

Read here, or listen here.

Sunday, June 9, 2019

The Path to Christian Unity



When I first think of Christian unity, what comes to mind are those powerful commentators who are agitated by bedroom behaviours, who deal in moral absolutes, and who claim to speak on behalf of all Christians—and do so loudly, and often. Unfortunately, their attitudes and actions have led many in the wider community to perceive such people, and Christians in general, as puritanical, hypocritical, judgemental, reactionary, homophobic, sexist and fundamentally irrelevant. Yet when I look around at the people gathered here—faithful representatives of the combined churches of Warrnambool—I see something quite different.

Sunday, June 2, 2019

A Story of Courage and Freedom



The adventures of Paul and Silas are so very dramatic. Shipwrecks. Exorcisms. Courtrooms. Preaching. Beatings. Jails. Earthquakes. Freedom. And people turning to faith wherever they go. There’s such an urgency and a power in their activity that, when we hear their stories, we might be tempted to look around at our little congregation, so young, so busy, so distracted, so tired, and throw up our hands. Where is the urgency? Where is the power? Where are the conversions and the parties into the night?

Read here, or listen here.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Not me, Lord!



You are lying by the pool, daydreaming a little. Clouds are scudding across the sky. Your eyes are gently closed; the sun caresses your face; shades of dark and light flicker across your eyelids. You’re half awake, half asleep. As you doze, you hear the gentle lapping of water against the pool wall ...

Read here or listen here.

Love, Be Wounded, Forgive, Repeat



“Love one another as I have loved you …”: Jesus says these familiar words at a critical moment. He has just washed the feet of each and every disciple. Now Judas has left the building. He’s heading to the authorities, to hand Jesus over to be tortured and killed.

Read here, or listen here.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Radiating Resurrection



How long, O Lord, must we wait? How long until a saviour comes and sweeps through this nation, and puts everything right? How long until the corrupt are thrown out of power, the violent are contained, the poor are cared for, and the earth is restored? How long until political leaders show compassion? How long until religious leaders repent for the damage they have done? How long until asylum seekers are freed from detention? How long until children in foster care find stable healthy homes? How long until Australia’s First Peoples receive recognition and justice? How long, O Lord, must we wait?

Read here, or listen here.

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Satisfying the Hunger Within



What are you hungry for? What are you craving? Food? Friendship? The dulling of the pain? An end to loneliness? The lighting up of the darkness? The warm embrace of love? To be hungry is to be human. To feed ourselves is to be human. And we live in a ravenous age. We are all barraged daily with advertising for things which promise to sate our hunger, to quench our thirst, to satisfy our desires, to heal the pain, to end the craving, to fill the emptiness within.

Read here, or listen here.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Predatory foxes and powerless hens



“Where was God?” a friend once wrote to me. “Where was God when my father was on the rampage, trying to break down my bedroom door? Where was God when I was hiding under the dining room table, shaking and terrified? Why didn’t God keep me safe?” There’s an old children’s song that goes like this: “My God is so big, so strong and so mighty, there’s nothing my God cannot do …” And when I think of my dear friend, who sang songs like this in religious education classes at school, and who begged God to keep her safe from her father at home, my heart breaks ...

Read here, or listen here.

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

#40ways40days in Lent - Ordinary Saints



This Lent our congregation is reflecting on discipleship in Luke's gospel. Each day, we will post something on our website on how one aspect of discipleship might play out in daily life: perhaps a personal reflection written by a member of the congregation, perhaps an excerpt from a book, perhaps a poem or a prayer. You can read them day by day starting with the introduction here.

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Journey to Jerusalem: A roadmap



Transfiguration isn’t a once-off event. Instead, it is happening and it keeps happening to us ...

Read here, or listen here.

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Context, community, and the sermon on the plain



The Zen Master Shichiri Kojun sat reciting sutras when all of a sudden a thief burst in, brandishing a sharp sword. He demanded his money or his life. “Do not disturb me,” said Shichiri. “You will find the money in that drawer over there.” Then he continued with his sutras ...

Read here, or listen here.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Blessed are those who ... suffer?



On the day my mother died, we crammed into her ugly poky hospital room. She had been sick for years, and in and out of hospital, but none of us had understood that she was so close to death. We were given just a few hours to prepare. So there we were: shocked, dismayed, terrified; and totally, totally heart stricken ...

Read here, or listen here.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Going deeper at work with Jesus



Close your eyes, and consider your workplace: the place where you put regular time and effort; the place which demands your experience and skill. It might your home, where you raise children, cook and clean. It might be a classroom, where you teach or learn. It might be an office, where you negotiate and communicate. It might be a garden, where you help things grow. It might be a courtroom, or a library, or a factory, or a studio, or a hospital. Wherever it is, whatever you do: consider your workplace. Imagine yourself there ...

Read here, or listen here.

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Seeing through God's eyes takes practice



Here we are, forty-one days after the hype of Christmas and just starting another year at kinder or school. We are a group of lovely ordinary people with lots of children among us, and we are gathered tonight to worship God and receive a blessing, just as, two thousand years ago, like every other ordinary Jewish family, Mary and Joseph went to the Temple forty days after their firstborn son’s birth to worship God and receive a blessing.

Read here, or listen here.

Sunday, January 27, 2019

The Way of Jesus Christ



The Australian politician walked onto the stage, glanced at his iPad, and said: “The spirit of the mob is upon me, because the mob has appointed me to bring good news to the rich. It has sent me to place boat arrivals into indefinite detention, to close the eyes of the clear-sighted, to extend mandatory sentencing, and to proclaim the day of violent judgement of our God … And this prophetic work is for the benefit of straight white middle class Australians who call themselves Christian—and no one else.”

Read here, or listen here.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Epiphany, or Understanding Papa

Papa was my husband’s grandfather. He’d been a milkman all his life. By the time I met him, he was long retired; but he could still recite his old milk runs perfectly: Mrs Smith at number nine: 2 pints and a half of cream; Mrs Jones at number eleven: half a pint, no cream. And he could recite all the Melbourne Cup winners and place getters, and their trainers, jockeys and colours. He loved horse racing, and he spent Saturdays nipping up the back lane to place bets with the illegal bookie; or, later, at Moonee Valley gambling on the horses.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Let's make a splash!



Baptism. It’s something John offered, and something Jesus underwent, and something his disciples are told to do. It’s got something to do with water and washing and sin: but what is it, actually? What are we doing, what are we declaring, who are we becoming when we are baptised? What does it all mean? Tonight’s story offers a few clues, but to explore the depths, we’ll first need to zoom out a little.

Read here, or listen here.
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