Pilgrim Uniting Church

12 Flinders St, Adelaide, SA

SUN 17-DEC-2017 - 11.00 AM Sermon
Rev Vikki Waller   (Timing 19:26)
Advent 3 – The flavour of Christianity is joy – even when one's life is anything but pleasant. The gospel doen't just tell us to be joyful; it gives us hope against everything that gets us down. It is more than emotion – it is the whole of one's being responding to God's free gift of grace. Jesus tells us that he came with good news for the poor; to bind up the broken hearted; to give liberty to captives. We cannot manufacture these blessings, but with the right environment of faith, fellowship and obedience, the blessings can grow and flourish. Joy comes from a commitment to living in the light, enjoying it, revelling in it, and sharing it.
Isaiah 61: 1-4, 8-11; John 1: 6-8, 19-28

SUN 17-DEC-2017 - 9.30 AM Sermon
Rev Dr Greg Elsdon   (Timing 21:52)
Advent 3 – "Embrace Hope" – There is a harsh side to the story of the birth of Jesus, with a juxtaposition between Herod, the self-proclaimed King with enormous power over life and death, and the vulnerble, defenceless infant Jesus, proclaimed by the wise men as born King of the Jews. The baby's arrival terrified Herod, who did what he could to eliminate what he saw as a threat to his reign; but he was thwarted by wise men and angels. Jesus lived the subversive message that power, as the world knows it, is not the final word; against all apperances, he proclaimed that the people at the centre of God's compassion are the weak, vulnerable, used and discarded – current examples were mentioned. The final report from the Australian "Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse" had just been released, and the sermon concluded with prayers for those who have experienced abuse, for the Royal Commission, and for the Church.
Matthew 2: 16-23

SUN 10-DEC-2017 - 11.00 AM Sermon
Rev Dr Greg Elsdon   (Timing 19:30)
Advent 2 – Around the year 700 BCE, the prophet Isaiah was proclaiming a new understanding of the character of God, that we have a God of comfort, nurture and consolation who responds to suffering; but that God's access to his people first needs to be cleared of the spiritual rubbish that is blocking the way. A similar message was preached by John the Baptiser, who urged people to repent and realign their lives to what they knew were God's ways. Advent is a time of waiting, reflection and repentance; and we need to think about God waiting for us, as well as us waiting for God.
Isaiah 40: 1-11; Mark 1: 1-8

SUN 10-DEC-2017 - 9.30 AM Sermon
Rev Sandy Boyce   (Timing 15:40)
Advent 2 – "Tend Hope" – Matthew's gospel does not give a sentimental view of the Christmas season, and it does not quarantine us from the harsh and ugly realities of the time. Herod the Great ruled as a murderous tyrant, and it was in character for him to protect himself from a future rival by arranging for the slaughter of babies and toddlers. Joseph was told in a dream to flee to Egypt with the mother and baby, and to stay there until Herod's death. On their return they settled in Nazareth of Galilee; and as a young man Jesus was eventually captured and crucified after preaching against political and religious intrigue, violence, deception and injustice. But he rose again – and we can hold to the belief that the reign of God, of justice and peace, will prevail.
Matthew 2: 1-15

SUN 03-Dec-2017 - 11.00 AM Sermon
Rev Sandy Boyce   (Timing 14:46)
Advent 1 – We all live with darkness at different times, with experiences of change and loss. It feels like an ending; familiar things no longer work; the world seems to be falling apart; we lose hope of finding the presence of God. Jesus says to keep awake and have hope even in the darkness; it is an act of faithfulness. Let us choose an Advent that directs our gaze to this present moment, imperfect yet beloved, fragile yet important, flawed yet beautiful – the very time and moment when we find God with us, now, right before our eyes.
Mark 13: 24-37

SUN 03-DEC-2017 - 9.30 AM Sermon
Rev Dr Greg Elsdon   (Timing 26:39)
Advent 1 – "Choose Hope" – Matthew's genealogy of Jesus is not a clinically accurate representation of a family tree – it is very selective and intentional, describing connections in a lineage. Most unusual for a Jewish genealogy is the inclusion of the names of five women, of whom four are non-Jewish and tainted with impropriety and scandal. This is a deliberate critique of the place of women in history, in the face of a patriarchal society. God in Jesus works in unpredictable and scandalous ways – we are called to invest in love, not hate; generosity, not meanness; forgiveness, not vindictiveness; and peace, not violence.
Matthew 1: 1-17

SUN 26-NOV-2017 - 11.00 AM Sermon
Rev Dr Greg Elsdon   (Timing 22:23)
Christ the King – The reign of Christ does not involve unbridled power enforced by compulsion and fear; on the contrary, it involves compassion, deep empathy, justice, forgiveness and recociliation. Christ is to be found among the despised, forgotten, victimised and suffering, those who are desperate for recognition and worth. The King of Kings and Lord of Lords is also the Jesus who walked the streets of Nazareth. His reign is not identified with the power elite or the moral majority forcing their will on the nation – it is more likely to be found in hospitals and prisons than in palaces. True religion is religion that transforms lives.
Matthew 25: 31-46

SUN 26-NOV-2017 - 9.30 AM Sermon
Geoff Boyce   (Timing 16:15)
Reign of Christ Sunday – After escaping from Egypt and forcefully seizing Palestine from its indigenous inhabitants, the Hebrews found themselves in constant strife with their neighbours with violence begetting violence. After a few hundred years they demanded to be led by kings, against the advice of the prophet Samuel who had told them that God was their king. Many of their kings became despotic tyrants. The title of "Christ the King" can be traced back to a hope among early Jewish Christians that Jesus would follow in the line of Joshua and David and lead the people in an uprising against the Romans; but Jesus was not that sort of king; he rejected domination and violence as tools of power, and his mission was a transforming love that included everybody.
Matthew 25: 31-46

SUN 19-NOV-2017 - 9.30 AM Sermon
Rev Dr Greg Elsdon   (Timing 21:57)
Pentecost 24 – "The Parable of the Talents" – The parables of Jesus are intentionally disturbing. In this one, a master gives three of his slaves, or servants, some money before he goes away on a journey; and on his return he commends them of chastises them according to what they had done with the money, given to them to be used, celebrated and multiplied. But the master in this story is very different from the God revealed in the life of Jesus. The third servant's downfall came from his complete misunderstanding of his master – the servant was terrified of the man. How do we see God? God is revealed in the life of Jesus, and our perception of God has a significant impact on the way we see ourselves.
Matther 25: 14-30

SUN 12-NOV-2017 - 11.00 AM Sermon
Rev Dr Greg Elsdon   (Timing 25:29)
Pentecost 23 – This week's 9.30am and 11am sermons were both based on the "Parable of the Ten Young Women", in which the women had to wait a long time, well into the night, for a bridegroom to turn up; and when the bridegroom finally arrived, five of the women were excluded because their lamp oil had run out. In our 9.30am sermon, the parable was interpreted in terms of the lamp oil; whereas in this 11.00am sermon, the emphasis was on the period of waiting. We need to pay attention to the presence of God; to make space to recognise his presence in our complex and confusing world. God is not elsewhere. Are you being watchful and attentive, or are you just driftng?
Matthew 25: 1-13

SUN 12-NOV-2017 - 9.30 AM Sermon
Rev Sandy Boyce   (Timing 11:01)
Pentecost 23 – "Generosity of Spirit" – In the Hebrew scriptures, the term "oil" is often used as a metaphor for "good deeds". From the group of ten bridesmaids waiting for the delayed arrival of the bridegroom, five were well prepared with faith and good deeds, while the other five discovered too late that good deeds cannot be purchased. We need to develop a faith that endures during inevitable periods of darkness; faith cannot be topped up at the last minute.
Matthew 25: 1-13

SUN 05-NOV-2017 - 11.00 AM Sermon
Rev Vikki Waller   (Timing 15:15)
Pentecost 22 – Jesus was very critical of some Pharisees who taught the written law with great care but failed to practise what they preached. Outwardly they were clothed in garments of piety and correctness; but inwardly they were clothed in self righteousness, conceit, complacency and arrogance. Followers of Christ Jesus, on the other hand, strive to be clothed inwardly in garments of righteousness, humility, meekness and modesty. These are garments of salvation.
Matthew 23: 1-12

SUN 05-NOV-2017 - 9.30 AM Sermon
Rev Dr Greg Elsdon   (Timing 28:06)
Pentecost 22 – "Gospel, power and authenticity" – Jesus was highly critical of those in authority who imposed burdens on others with no intention of sharing in the burdens, whose decrees incarcerated rather than liberated, and who indulged in ostentatious displays of their high position and standing. We must use power not to coerce, but to liberate and bring healing to others. It shows our hypocrisy and lack of authenticity, if we preach the words of the gospel without practising what we preach.
1 Thessalonians 2: 9-13; Matthew 23: 1-12

SUN 29-OCT-2017 - 11.00 AM Sermon
Rev Sandy Boyce   (Timing 23:35)
Pentecost 19 – At the core of the gospel is the three-fold love of God, neighbour and self, loves against which all Christians must meaaure their lives. God is known and encountered in our following of Christ into different values and interactions with others, and different ways of being in the world with our neighbours. In this sermon our preacher describes the ways in which members of the UCCP, the United Church of Christ in the Philippines, in the Central Luzon region, are responding to the call to be companions to the poor and oppressed. The desperately poor and oppresed include indigenous hunters and gatherers driven off their lands by the wealthy and powerful, and now living in poverty and hopelessness with little chance of employment.
Deuteronomy 34: 1-12; Matthew 22: 34-46

SUN 22-OCT-2017 - 11.00 AM Sermon
Rev Dr Greg Elsdon   (Timing 21:35)
Pentecost 20 – "Show me the money!" – A deputation of religious and political rivals from the Pharisee and Herodian parties joined forces, to confront Jesus with a trick question – was it lawful to pay taxes to the Roman occupiers? A Yes would have Jesus in trouble with the ultra-religious Pharisees, who hated anything Roman; and a No would have him in trouble with the Romans and their Herodian collaborators. His response was neither Yes nor No; he pointed to the image of Caesar on the Roman coinage with which taxes were paid, and told them to honour God, in whose image all are created, just as they should pay taxes to Caesar in the currency that bore the image of Caesar. Everybody is created in the image of God, even the ones we find difficult or obnoxious – perhaps tarnished and distorted, but still to be treated with dignity and respect.
Matthew 22: 15-22

SUN 15-OCT-2017 - 11.00 AM Sermon
Rev Dr Greg Elsdon   (Timing 18:46)
Pentecost 19 – The gospel reading for the day, taken from Matthew's gospel, is a retelling of a parable of Jesus in which the kingdom of heaven is likened to a royal wedding banquet to which everyone was invited with generous impartiality. The same parable is recorded in Mark's gospel, in a slightly different form. Mark's banquet host was annoyed when people declined his invitation, but Matthew's banquet host, a king, was furious. It seems that Matthew's aim was to urge his readers to follow the example of Jesus, to do his Father's will and not ignore God's graceful invitation. More is required than simply hearing about God's grace; we need to respond with gratitude, and to live with one another graciously, generously and inclusively.
Matthew 22: 1-14

Induction of Rev Dr Greg Elsdon
  (Timing 1:14:49)
Service of Induction of Reverend Dr Greg Elsdon as Minister of the Word

Sunday 8th October 2017, at 7.00 PM
Presbytery leader: Rev Diane Bury
Preacher: Dr Deidre Palmer

SUN 08-OCT-2017 - 11.00 AM Sermon
Pastor Cyrus Kung   (Timing 9:05)
Pentecost 18 – When we come across beggars in public places, we often look away and hurry by. When Peter and John came across a lame beggar at the entrance to the Jerusalem temple, they stopped, engaged with him, and looked him in the eyes. There was a miracle - the man was healed of his lameness. Peter, after Pentecost, had become articulate and compassionate – his posture had become that of Jesus. May we, too, be able to look into the eyes of those whom we are trying to include in our life.
Acts 3: 1-10

SUN 01-OCT-2017 - 11.00 AM Sermon
Rev Vikki Waller   (Timing 18:51)
Pentecost 17 – The most powerful of people, including Moses, Shakespeare, Nelson Mandela and Mother Teresa, cannot use their power to satisfy the deepest needs of our souls – needs such as peace, meaning and love. The power of God is revealed most profoundly in love, and it cannot be manipulated by coercive force. Love is made perfect in weakness. The apostle Paul encourages the Christians at Philippi, and us, to be united, and to be like Christ in humility, service and self-sacrifice.
Exodus 17: 1-7; Philippians 2: 1-13; Matthew 21: 23-32

SUN 01-OCT-2017 - 9.30 AM Sermon
Geoff Boyce   (Timing 14:05)
Pentecost 17 – Turning Point of Time - A Service for Daylight Saving – Churches are not keeping up with rapid technological and social shifts but have lost their way; and at the same time a host of humanistic corrective bandaids have sprung up to help people cope with massive amounts of anxiety and depression. We need more than the pressure of having to keep working; we need to re-engage with being human, to return periodically and cyclically back home to where we came from. Jesus said, "The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath." A periodical Sabbath will help us to enjoy the abundant gifts and blessings that God wills for us.
Psalm 78: 1-4, 12-16; Philippians 2: 1-13

SUN 24-SEP-2017 - 11.00 AM Sermon
Rev Dean Eland   (Timing 16:14)
Pentecost 16 – Jesus tells a story about an employer who hires workers throughout the day, but pays them all the same at the end. When those who started at the beginning of the day complain, he challenges them, asking whether they resent his generosity to others. In God's new social order, all are included, not just the privileged. All are to be treated as equals, and everyone has a part to play.
Matthew 20: 1-16

SUN 24-SEP-2017 - 9.30 AM Sermon
Dr Elizabeth Boase   (Timing 23:11)
Pentecost 16 – Season of Creation – To follow God's law is to gain the wisdom to live a full and abundant life, at one with self, creation and God. The whole of creation is in harmony – including the skies, the sun, the moon and the stars. By following God's law we can live out a life of justice and compassion. But humans have failed to live at one with God's good creation, and as a result the whole of our world is suffering in this time of climate crisis..
Deutoronomy 5:31 - 6:8; Psalm 19

SUN 17-SEP-2017 - 11 AM Sermon
Rev Sandy Boyce   (Timing 15:16)
Pentecost 15 – Today in Australia we are faced with the contentious issue of whether our Parliament should be asked to legalise Same Sex Marriage; and in the first century the Christian community in Rome was being torn apart by the contentious issue of whether it was safe to eat meat that had been ritually slaughtered in pagan temples. When he wrote to the Roman church, Paul included some advice for dealing with contentious issues. – We need to deal humbly with one another, to listen and work to understand the other's perspective. We must not be arrogant, disrepectful and unyielding. Diverse practices can flourish side by side; and conflicts need to be resolved, in the process of forgiveness. Such is the way of Christ.
Romans 14: 1-12

SUN 17-SEP-2017 - 9.30 AM Sermon
Rev Lee Levett-Olson   (Timing 26:24)
Pentecost 15 – "Stories around the camp fire" – The teaching is based on the parable in Matthew's gospel, of the unforgiving servant, the man whose enormous debt was cancelled out of mercy, but who refused to cancel a small debt and had his debtor thrown into prison. Much the same is happening in Australia, especially in the Northern Territory, where Aborigines have forgiven the enormous debts owed to them for the taking away of their country, resources, languages and culture; but far too many who cannot repay small debts brought on by social disadvantage are thrown into prison. This is not God's way; in the letter to the Romans, we are urged to seek peace and mutual edification – to learn from one another.
Romans 14: 7-19; Matthew 18: 21-35

SUN 10-SEP-2017 - 11.00 AM Witness
Rev Sandy Boyce, Andrew Babirat & Georgina Evans   (Timing 16:52)
Pentecost 14 – In his letter to the Romans, Paul exhorted the believers to owe no debt to anyone except the ongoing debt of love, and to love their neighbours as themselves. And our two guest speakers talked of their particular expressions of this type of love, when they described their work as schoolc chaplains among the students at Adelaide High School.
Romans 13: 8-14

SUN 10-SEP-2017 - 9.30 AM Witness
Jeff Telfer and Ben Heyward   (Timing 37:15)
Pentecost 14 – "Responding to Climate Change – an Issue for All Faiths" –
The Bible and the Qur'an have very similar messages about caring for the God-given creation of which we are all a part. Jeff Telfer spoke on "What do Christians and Muslims think about Climate Change?", drawing on passages from the Bible and the Qur'an; and Ben Heyward spoke on "An Application of Climate Change Theology", describing a God-centred approach to solving some climate-related problems in Papua New Guinea.
Genesis 2: 7-9, 15-22;  Job 38: 4-7, 34-35; 39: 26-27;  Luke 9:16;
Qur'an 1:1;  44:38-39;  25:61-63;  5:48

SUN 03-SEP-2017 - 11.00 AM Sermon
Rev Vikki Waller   (Timing 18:56)
Pentecost 13 – God's call can come when we least expect it, at any time, at any stage of our lives. The Bible has many stories of God's calling, but not everyone responded. God's call is for us to be doing things for others, not just for ourselves; to bring about forgiveness, reconciliation and peace; to heal the broken, feed the hungry, stand up for the oppressed. What we set out to do might well cause offence and scandal; but we can trust God to hold us, if we cannot hold ourselves.
Exodus 3: 1-15; Matthew 16: 21-28

SUN 03-SEP-2017 - 9.30 AM Sermon
Denise Griffen   (Timing 17:40)
Pentecost 13 – Season of Creation – The parable from Luke's gospel, of the prodigal son who made a mess of his life with an extravagantly wasteful lifestyle, and who eventually came to his senses, is interpreted in terms of the mess that the human race is making of the world's ecological inheritance as a result of our wasteful consumerism. A second parable, from Matthew's gospel, offers a solution. Consider the lilies of the field; stop worrying; look for the kin-dom of God with its righteousness, and you will find that whatever you need will be provided.
Luke 15: 11-32; Matthew 6: 25-34

SUN 27-AUG-2017 - 11.00 AM Sermon
Rev Dean Eland   (Timing 23:04)
Pentecost 12 – The scripture readings for the day are well-known stories telling of changes of outlook, calling and mission. They tell of people of faith being shaped and transformed by their experiences as they learn to trust, hope and work for a new day and the dawning of a better world. We need to keep hearing these stories; they are part of our heritage; they tell us where we've come from and where we are going.
Exodus 1: 8-14, 2:1-10; Psalm 124; Romans 12: 1-8; Matthew 16: 13-20

SUN 20-AUG-2017 - 11.00 AM Sermon
Geoff Boyce   (Timing 18:19)
Pentecost 11 – Karma and Grace – The account in Genesis of the meeting of Joseph, then Prime Minister of Egypt, with his eleven brothers who had sold him into slavery, is examined in terms of "Karma" and "Grace". Karma is the principle of getting payback for your misdeeds – tit for tat, you reap what you sew, an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. Grace is the principle of free, unwarranted, unmerited gift-giving. After the way they had treated Joseph, the brothers expected karma; instead, what they received from him was grace. Law closes doors to protect us from harm, and punishes the wrong-doer; but grace opens doors to life and love, which is the good news in the heart and mind of God.
Genesis 45: 1-15

SUN 13-AUG-2017 - 11.00 AM Sermon
Rev Sandy Boyce   (Timing 17:19)
Pentecost 10 – Jacob had two wives, Rachel and Leah. He loved Rachel and favoured her son Joseph; but with Leah his marriage was loveless, and he paid little attention either to her or to the rest of his chidren. Joseph became self-opinionated and overbearing, and his siblings hated him for it. There resulted a family tragedy, from a father not caring for a mother and her children. We must not destroy people by telling them they are useless when they are valuable; or stupid when they are smart; or failures when they are successful. God loves each of us; we are here for a reason; and God has more faith in us than we have in ourselves. By meditating on this, we might turn intention into deed and become the person God meant us to be.
Genesis 37: 1-4, 12-28

SUN 13-AUG-2017 - 9.30 AM Sermon
Peter Russell   (Timing 21:40)
Pentecost 10 – Walking on water : we are all boat people. – The church is often likened to a boat. As Christians are we the crew or passengers? Where is the boat heading? When do we stay and when do we get out of the boat? And where is Jesus in all of this?
Matthew 14: 22-33

SUN 06-AUG-2017 - 11.00 AM Sermon
Rev Vikki Waller   (Timing 16:34)
Pentecost 9 - After wrestling all night with a stranger who must have been God, Jacob received both a blessing and a dislocated hip. The greatest blessings and the deepest scars can come from the same experience, to reshape us and bring out the fruits of grace from within us. The fingerprint of God is there – not as the cause of the event, but in the way the event is utilised. God hungers for the best for us, for us to have the love and life we were meant to have; and his love is tough enough to wound us, if that's the only way to bring us into his blessings.
Genesis 32: 22-31; Romans 9: 1-5; Matthew 14: 13-21

SUN 06-AUG-2017 - 9.30 AM Sermon
Geoff Boyce   (Timing 23:05)
Pentecost 9 – “I will not let you go until you bless me” – Jacob had good reason to ask for God's blessing, considering his history of cheating and swindling; and after he had wrestled with God until dawn, he was blessed by God. Wrestling with a serious problem and hanging on can bring blessing; and so can letting go, when the cost is too great.

No newcomer comes to church without hope of a blessing or a healing; and if church fails to practise what it claims, God and his blessing will be sought and found somewhere else, perhaps in a Sunday morning coffee shop where friends are accepted for who they are. God is in the world and is not limited to church; if relationships in a church become toxic, God will continue his work in the world and leave the church to its own devices.
Genesis 32: 22-31

SUN 30-JUL-2017 - 11.00 AM Sermon
Rev Sandy Boyce   (Timing 16:33)
Pentecost 8 – When Jacob married Leah and Rachel, polygamy was the norm and marriage was an alliance between men to buy and sell women, not a commitment to share life together. In Graeco-Roman times, monogamy became the norm because the dominant culture considered polygamy to be barbaric. There is no single biblical approach to marriage. The Bible can be found in error, where its practices do not stand up to ethical scrutiny.
Genesis 29: 15-26

SUN 30-JUL-2017 - 9.30 AM Reflections
Members of the Congregation   (Timing 30:12)
Pentecost 8 – “God's Commonwealth” – This church service was planned and led by volunteers from the congregation, to give the ordained minister a break on the fifth Sunday of the month. There were some very thoughtful reflections, based on a reading from Romans chapter 8, and a reading from the kingdom parables of Matthew chapter 13.
Romans 8: 26-39; Matthew 13: 31-33, 44-52

SUN 23-JUL-2017 - 11.00 AM Sermon
Rev Christy Cappe   (Timing 21:57)
Pentecost 7 – The Mission of God – God is in all places, at all times; and "godless" describes not a place where God is absent, but a place where God is present but disregarded. Mission is about looking around, seeing where God's presence is working, and joining in with his work. in this imperfect world. Evangelism, the bringing of good news, should not be a practice of imposing God, but rather of revealing that God is already here. And God can, and does, still reveal himself in dreams and visions.
Genesis 28: 10-19; Romans 8: 12-25

SUN 16-JUL-2017 - 11.00 AM Sermon
Rev Sandy Boyce   (Timing 16:27)
Pentecost 6 – Something seems to be slipping. Attitudes that separate "us" from "them", absorbed unconsciously, are sweeping us more and more in the direction of ugly intolerance and fear – when as Christians we should be seen as shining lighthouses of God's love. God is love; Jesus is his embodiment on earth; and God's spirit is in all of us. We carry the seeds of love, justice, mercy, compassion, hope and forgiveness – these things will change our lives.
Romans 8: 1-11

SUN 16-JUL-2017 - 9.30 AM Sermon
Rev Bob Hutchinson   (Timing 15:15)
Pentecost 6 – "Time" – When time is mentioned in the scriptures, it can mean chronological time, 'chronos', measured using clocks and calendars; and it can also mean God's time, 'kairos', describing God's activity in history and personal affairs. In human terms, God's time might have little relation to clocks and calendars. God's spirit, like an erratic wind, blows us along in unexpected directions; it might take a long time to reach the destination that God intends, or it might happen all of a sudden. God is with us on our life journey, which can have rough patches as well as smooth; but with a companion like Jesus, who invites us to "come along with me", what could ultimately go wrong?
Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8; John 3: 1-17

SUN 09-JUL-2017 - 9.30 AM Setmon
Rev Bob Hutchinson   (Timing 16:54)
Pentecost 5 – “Responding to the music” – "Let us dream, sing and dance into the wisdom, love and mystery we name as God" – such was the theme of this church service. It was based on an interpretation of Matthew 11: 16-19, in which a generation of people were accused of failing to appreciate the beautiful and enjoyable, while condemning anyone who did have such an appreciation. The Early Word address, dealing with this topic, has been included in the recording. The sermon itself was based on the second part of the reading, verses 25-30, in which we are encouraged to share the loads and burdens of others, to be co-workers with Christ, and to join ourselves to God. Which could bring great recognition, but it could also bring rejection.
Matthew 11: 16-19, 25-30

SUN 02-JUL-2017 - 11.00 AM Sermon
Rev Vikki Waller   (Timing 22:03)
Pentecost 4 – In the society from which Abraham set out on his journey towards a promised land, human sacrifice was a normal practice for trying to please God and prevent disasters; but in the case of Abraham, young Isaac was spared when God intervened by providing instead a ram to be sacrificed. Over a thousand years later, the Hebrew prophets were revealing that God does not require ritual sacrifices at all; what he really wants is for us to act justly towards one another, to love mercy, and to walk humbly before our God. And through the grace, or graciousness, of Jesus, we can find the freedom to live and love to the full.
Genesis 22: 1-14; Romans 6: 12-23

SUN 02-JUL-2017 - 9.30 AM Sermon
Rev Bob Hutchinson   (Timing 21:56)
Pentecost 4 – “Life begins at 40” – In the Bible, the number 40 is often used symbolically – 40 days of rain in the story of Noah; 40 years of wandering in the wilderness after the escape from Egypt; Jesus spending 40 days in the wilderness after his baptism. It is now 40 years since the foundation of the Uniting Church in Australia; and Psalm 40 offers some insights into looking back to the past; looking at the present; and considering the future. What happens next? Let us go forward as witnesses to the way of Jesus, bringing justice and kindness here and beyond, with open ear and humble heart.
Psalm 40: 1-17

SUN 25-JUN-2017 - 11.00 AM Sermon
Rev Dr Vicki Balabinski   (Timing 23:47)
Pentecost 3 – 180 Years Anniversary Sunday – The most formative experiences of the Hebrew people were shaped by faith, hope and love during periods of powerlessness, suffering and loss – particular examples being slavery in Egypt, exile in Babylon, and crucifixion under Rome. But we are urged, even in exile, to know our neighbours; to bring blessing and good to all; to invest ourselves in our families; and to keep the rumour of God alive.
Jeremiah 29: 4-7; Hebrews 12: 1-2; John 17: 20-24

SUN 25-JUN-2017 - 9.30 AM Sermon
Rev Dr Brian Phillips   (Timing 22:40)
Pentecost 3 - To understand the nature of God, look around you – resdiscover the ancient wisdom that sees everything in creation as wonderfully connected. God cares for sparrows, human beings, rocks, trees, seas, mountains and galaxies. According to Thomas Aquinas (13th c), the primary Book is the created world that we see, and the secondary Book is the Christian and Hebrew scriptures. But we humans are busily ruining our wonderful world, and everything in it; and unless we are relying on renewable energy resources within the next few decades, instead of burning carbon-based fuels, we will be responsible for a world-wide catastrophe.
Matthew 10: 24-39

SUN 18-JUN-2017 - 11.00 AM Sermon
Dr Deidre Palmer   (Timing 24:01)
Pentecost 2 - Every Member Ministry
- every member participating in God's reconciling mission in the world, embodying a Christianity where no one is left on the sidelines but everyone is invited to participate in the liberating work of God in the world.
Reflections on the history of Stow Memorial Congregational Church and Pirie Street Methodist Church and the forty years together in the Uniting Church.
Ephesians 4: 1-16

SUN 11-JUN-2017 - 9.30 AM Sermon
Stuart McMillan, President of the Uniting Church   (Timing 14:06)
Trinity Sunday - Christ constitutes, rules and renews his church - celebrating 40 years of the Uniting Church in Australia.
It reminds us that we aren't building a church - we are serving a church that Christ is building. It's about people, it's about love shared with neighbour and enemy alike.
John 1:1-5

SUN 04-JUN-2017 - 10.30 AM Sermon
Rev Prof Andrew Dutney   (Timing 23:18)
Day of Pentecost - Receive the Holy Spirit
The Resurrection of Jesus means the whole world has changed and the Power of the Holy Spirit is the telling that the whole world has changed. The mark of understanding of what the true Messiah is was first understood by Thomas. Thomas was the one who spread the message of deep peace and joy across empires and cultures even to India.

SUN 28-MAY-2017 - 11.00AM Sermon
Rev Bob Hutchinson   (Timing 16:06)
Easter 7 - Forgiveness & Confession - gifts of God's Grace
Reflections on Reconciliation Sunday by an unknown author suggesting that 'each of us as individuals and as a society and nation . . . be learning to dance together better'.
John 17: 1-11

SUN 21-MAY-2017 - 11.00 AM Sermon
Rev Bob Hutchinson   (Timing 15:58)
Easter 6 - The Role of the Holy Spirit - is to remind people about everything Jesus has taught and commanded. Ours is to dream the dream and feel His presence, listen to the message of the lyrics of the Gospel whispered to us, to see, hear, feel and discern what God is calling us to do, to be.
John 14: 15-21

SUN 14-MAY-2017 - 11.00 AM Sermon
Rev. Sandy Boyce   (Timing 18:59)
Easter 5 - Stones - A Call to Community
"The stone imagery invites us to see ourselves as stones. And then to see ourselves as stones belonging to a structure built on Christ. Stones are all different shapes and sizes, old, young, brittle, strong, shiny, fractured, solid, small, large, differently shaped and oriented. There is room for everyone."
1 Peter 2: 2-10

SUN 07-MAY-2017 - 9.30 AM Sermon
Rev Sandy Boyce   (Timing 16:52)
Easter 4 - Beyond the Walls - New Beginnings
"I dream of a church that joins in with God's loving as she bends to embrace the unlovely and lost - a church that can free by its sharing and daring, the imprisoned and poor and then shoulder the cost - a church that is winsome, impassioned, inspiring, lioness of your justice and lamb of your peace." Acts 2: 42-47

SUN 07-MAY-2017 - 11.00 AM Sermon
Rev Bob Hutchinson   (Timing 14:32)
Easter 4 - Jesus as the Door - one of the "I am" sayings of Jesus, unique to John's Gospel. A door is an entry point. Jesus is the entry point to "life in all its fullness". The way to God or maybe how God's love gets to us is through Jesus. Psalm 23 is sung by the Pilgrim Choir and the message is from John 10: 1-10.

SUN 17-JAN-2016 - 11.00 AM Sermon
Rev Andrew Prior   (Timing 17:44)
Epiphany 2 – When Jesus turned water to wine at a wedding celebration, the only people who actually understood what was going on were the servants. It is by serving others that we come to understand and appreciate the blessings that God brings to the world.
John 2: 1-11

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