Pilgrim Uniting Church

12 Flinders St, Adelaide, SA

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 30-APR-2017 - 11.00 AM Sermon
Rev Sandy Boyce   (Timing 15:19)
Easter 3 - On the Road to Emmaus - The Church is on the road. Jesus is met on the road. The Christian way of living is to be found on the road - on the way. Churches are not meant to be static and settled and comfortable. We are called to be part of that journey.
Luke 24:13-35

SUN 23-APR-2017 - 11.00 AM Sermon
Rev Bob Hutchinson   (Timing 17:12)
Easter 2 – Thomas had been elsewhere when Jesus appeared to the other disciples, the ones who had been too scared to venture outside of a locked room; and because Thomas later expressed his doubts concerning a visit from someone risen from the dead, readers of this gospel narrative often give him the nickname of "Doubting Thomas". But he is not referred to as such anywhere in the scriptures, and there is nothing wrong with doubt. Thomas's doubt led to a desire to know; and the questioning led to a declaration from the heart – he believed. Will you believe, when you have not seen? It is the experience of many, that Jesus is as real now as he was back then in the locked room.
John 20: 19-31

SUN 23-APR-2017 - 9.30 AM Sermon
Rev Sandy Boyce   (Timing 18:57)
Easter 2 – “Holding Patterns” – "Truthiness" is the type of truth that gives the gut feeling that it ought to be right, in spite of all actual and verifiable facts to the contrary. But Thomas was not afflicted with that approach to truth; when he expressed his honest doubts about what the other disciples had seen when the risen Jesus had visited them in a locked room. He only wanted to see what they had seen; and when he too met the resurrected Jesus, he accepted what he actually saw, and believed. As for us, we need to progress beyond a faith in what others have told us, to a thinking faith, then a searching faith, and finally a faith of our own that promises even more to come.
John 20: 19-29

SUN 16-APR-2017 - 11.00 AM Easter Service
Rev Sandy Boyce & Rev Bob Hutchinson   (Timing 1:13:22)
Easter Day – This Choral Communion service was a special celebration of the Resurrection of Christ, featuring the Choir of Pilgrim Church accompanied by an orchestra. The Communion setting was Mozart's “Sparrow Mass”; and the recording is of the entire service.

SUN 16-APR-2017 - 9.30 AM Sermon
Rev Bob Hutchinson   (Timing 10:10)
Easter Sunday – The resurrection of Jesus is hard to understand. We need to trust, to have faith in, the carefully preserved testimonies of the people who were eyewitneses to the event and its aftermath. They saw, they witnessed, and they believed. It is by faith, that we know that Christ has been raised and is alive. For those with the necessary faith, resurrection can be felt, lived and shared.
Matthew 28: 1-10

FRI 14-APR-2017 - 9.30 AM Good Friday Service
Rev Sandy Boyce & Rev Bob Hutchinson   (Timing 1:11:17)
In this church service, as we were being led through John's account of the final hours of the life of Jesus, we were asked to think about how often we ourselves act unjustly in our interactions with others. Jesus was subjected to betrayal, violence, abandonment, humiliation and an agonising death; and yet he did not retaliate, but continued to show care for others. And we must remember that day follows night, hope replaces despair, and life conquers death.

SUN 09-APR-2017 - 9.30 AM Sermon
Rev Dean Eland   (Timing 15:26)
Palm Sunday – “Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord” – When Jesus rode a donkey into Jerusalem, a centre of wealth and power, he was demonstrating humility, sacrifice and self-giving – values quite contrary to those of the Roman occupiers and their religous accomplices, who maintained their positions, power and influence by exploting the poor and vulnerable. The good news of Jesus tells of a commnuity based not on the accumulation of wealth by exploitation, but on simplicity and generosity, of loving and being loved in return.
Philippians 2: 5-11; Matthew 21: 1-11

SUN 09-APR-2017 - 11.00 AM Sermon
Rev Bob Hutchinson   (Timing 16:14)
Palm Sunday – A large and enthusiastic crowd was drawn to the spectacle of Jesus arriving on a donkey; and all around the city the question was being asked, "Who is this?" (A few days later, after his betrayal and arrest, the crowd had vanished.) "Who is this?" is a question we can ask of ourselves. Do we know him – have we got to know him? What do you think – was he a good man? A charismatic teacher and preacher? A misguided revolutionary who came to a sticky end? Can we trust his claim, that he was and is the way to a full life, an eternal life in all its fullness? Paul's response, recorded in his letter to the Philippians, is well worth considering.
Philippians 2: 5-11; Matthew 21: 1-11

SUN 02-APR-2017 - 11.00 AM Sermon
Rev Vikki Waller   (Timing 21:19)
Lent 5 – The account of the raising of Lazarus is a story of grief and despair ahead of new life. Jesus himself was moved to tears. While God is the God of life, he is no stranger to deep grief and sorrow – he knows what it's like to lose a loved one. The place of pain and sorrow is a sacred place in the heart of God; it is where the Holy Spirit can reach us and heal us.
Ezekiel 37: 1-14; John 11: 1-45

SUN 02-APR-2017 - 9.30 AM Sermon
Rev Bob Hutchinson   (Timing 16:59)
Lent 5 – Unbinding – This was a story of sickness, burial and life. Jesus again demonstrated his power to bring life to that which is dead, when he brought Lazarus back to life four days after the burial. But it was not Jesus who removed the bindings from Lazarus; it was members of the community who unbound him and set him free. We are partcipants in God's unbinding of that which binds, hurts and enslaves.
John 11: 1-45

SUN 26-MAR-2017 - 11.00 AM Sermon
Rev Bob Hutchinson   (Timing 24:03)
Lent 4 – When we judge each other not from the heart but from external appearances, the world can be a very hostile place. When we cannot see the actual person behin the facade, we are suffering from a spiritual blindness; and it is a blindness that Jesus can cure. With whose eyes do you see – your eyes, or God's eyes?
1 Samuel 16: 1-13; John 9: 1-7, 14-17, 24-41

SUN 26-MAR-2017 - 9.30 AM Reflection
Rev Sandy Boyce   (Timing 11:32)
Lent 4 – ‘Seeing with new eyes’ – We often define people in terms of their disabilities, shortcomings and challenges; and we are far more prepared to maintain a known problem than to accept a radical solution. That is how it was when Jesus healed a man of his life-long blindness – because the way it had been done was against the rules, the healing was dismissed as a hoax. We organise our way around problems because we fear the solutions. What might we be doing, as we try to move towards healing and wholeness, and accept people as they really are?
John 9: 1-34

SUN 19-MAR-2017 - 11.00 AM Sermon
Rev Sandy Boyce   (Timing 20:17)
Lent 3 – Jesus was travelling through alien and hostile territory when he encountered a socially unacceptable woman gathering water at a well. An encounter between a respected rabbi, male, and a woman from the dregs of society, female, would normally have resulted in a very awkward situation; but when Jesus made the first approach to the outcast, breaking the barriers by politely asking for a drink of water, what ensued was a protracted, civil and respectful conversation. Today there are many polarised attitudes which lead to denigration, vilification and conflict. We need not to convince and conquer; but rather, we need to offer freedom to understand, to allow strangers to enter a common space and become friends.
John 4: 5-42

SUN 19-MAR-2017 - 9.30 AM Sermon
Prof. Clive Pearson   (Timing 21:06)
Lent 3 – We live in a world of rapid global communication, thanks to technologies such as TV, Email, Google, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Wikipedia. There is a huge amount of information waiting for us out there; all we need is the means and the desire to request it. But we also live in a "post-truth" society, with the possibility that the news we receive could be fake or distorted news; that the facts could be "alternative" facts; and that information might in fact be disinformation. With such a noisy and crowded communication jungle, how do we go about communicating the good news of Jesus Christ? We need to seek Wisdom; we need to learn how to talk about and be seen to live the way of Christ with confidence. That is when will have gained the insight needed for effectively communicating the good news to the world.
Proverbs 1: 2-7; Luke 12: 54-56; Galatians 6: 2-10

SUN 12-MAR-2017 - 11.00 AM Sermon
Rev Bob Hutchinson   (Timing 19:57)
Lent 2 – There is significance in the fact that Nicodemus, a highly qualified religious leader, should meet Jesus after dark. Themes of light and darkness are found throughout the scriptures; and there are many stories of encounters with God out of the darkness. Because we have a saviour who keeps evening hours, night-time is a good time to be calling upon Jesus.
John 3: 1-17

SUN 12-MAR-2017 - 9.30 AM Sermon
Rev Dr Dean Eland   (Timing 20:55)
Lent 2 – “Between Holiness and Compassion” – Nicodemus, a member of the Pharisee party whose aim was to achieve holiness through ritual purity and social exclusion, was intrigued by the alternative approach of a very popular rabbi, Jesus of Nazareth, who had a ministry of preaching and healing with all manner of unacceptable outcasts. During an out-of-hours meeting with Jesus, Nicodemus was told of the necessity for rebirth into a new order – an order not limited by custom and tradition, but where there is acceptance, welcome and healing for all.
John 3: 1-17

SUN 05-MAR-2017 - 11.00 AM Sermon
Rev Vikki Waller   (Timing 18:31)
Lent 1 – There is more in the story of Jesus resisting temptation in the wilderness, than to use it to teach that because Jesus resisted temptation, then so should we. In the traditional form of the Lord's Prayer we say, "Lead us not into temptation"; yet shortly after Jesus was baptised, God did lead him into temptation. This is more than a moralistic story, it is a story about the identity of Jesus as God's representative on earth. By experiencing temptation, we discover who we are; and so it was with Jesus in the wilderness. When we are tempted, is the spirit that leads us a good one, or is it a bad one?
Genesis 1: 15-17 & 3: 1-7; Matthew 4: 1-11

SUN 05_MAR-2017 - 9.30 AM Sermon
Rev Bob Hutchinson   (Timing 18:54)
Lent 1 – “Journey into Darkness” – In the story of Jesus fasting for 40 days and nights out in the desert, we are told of three significant temptations that he had to face – and he did not give into them. To be tempted is to be faced with an alluring opportunity for an improper gratification or indulgence; but temptation is not the same as sin. Giving in to temptation is a matter of choice; we are acountable for what we do ourselves; and God's grace will enable us to overcome temptation. In this season of Lent, let us engage in a discipline of prayer, that in the truth, grace and strength of Jesus, we may have help in overcoming temptation, and be forgiven when we fail.
Genesis 2: 15-17 & 3: 1-7; Matthew 4: 1-11

SUN 26-FEB-2017 - 11.00 AM Sermon
Rev Bob Hutchinson   (Timing 19:09)
Transfiguration Sunday – Climbing to the top of a mountain, and getting down again, can be a memorable, even a life-changing, experience. A mountain-top experience is a chance to pause and think; but you can't stay there, you have to come down again; and what you subsequently do is important. In the case of Jesus, the subsequent journey was far from easy. For us, too, it can be a rocky path as we move forward to live the life of Christ. And that is something we'll be thinking about, in the period leading up to Easter.
Matthey 17: 1-9

SUN 26-FEB-2017 - 9.30 am Sermon
Rev Sandy Boyce   (Timing 15:53)
Transfiguration of Jesus – “Where earth touches the heavens” – In many traditions, mountain tops are high places where the human can touch the divine. Jesus, with three of his disciples, had such an experience. When we have a shining, transcendent mountain-top experience, how do we come down to the valley to spread God's grace, love, healing and liberation, as Jesus did? May Jesus be revealed in our time, from the light that shines within us.
Matthew 17: 1-9

SUN 19-FEB-2017 - 9.30 AM Sermon
Peter Russell   (Timing 22:51)
Epiphany 7 – "Love your enemies" – Loving oneself is possible; loving neighbours can be difficult; but loving enemies? Enemies are those whom we fear and don't want to face up to, those who are not nice, who disrupt, disturb and distress. Hate, violence and toughness multiply themselves in a descending spiral of destruction, and only love can break the spriral into oblivion. Healing and freedom lie in a decision to forgive. We cannot forgive enemies in our own strength; but through the steadfast love and grace of God, we can do it.
Matthew 5: 38-48

SUN 12-FEB-2017 - 11.00 AM Sermon
Rev Bob Hutchinson   (Timing 14:54)
Epiphany 6 – In this portion of the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus urges us not to judge others, unless we are prepared to judge the faults in ourselves. The set of judgements for which we are liable go beyond what we actually do, to matters of the heart – to desires, thoughts, attitudes and motivations that could result in harm, even if they remain unfulfilled. We are all the same; we are fractured beings; and our only resort for healing is to rely on the mercy and love of God.
Matthew 5: 21-37

SUN 12-FEB-2017 - 9.30 AM Sermon
Rev Dean Eland   (Timing 17:05)
Epiphany 6 – "That which we hope for ..." – Church leaders have commented that the situatioon facing the western church today is very much like that of the first generation of Christians who met in homes and were in effect underground churches. Resident aliens! How is that that there is ONE body given the circumstnces and diverse gifts and hopes that members are bringing?
Ephesians 4: 1-7, 11-16

SUN 05-FEB-2017 - 11.00 AM Sermon
Rev Viki Waller   (Timing 18:20)
Epiphany 5 – We are the "salt of the earth", but are we good salt, or bad salt? Good quality salt enhances the flavour of food, it is a food preservative, and it has certain healing properties. If, as the salt of the earth, we remain uncontamineted and retain our flavour, we will be fulfilling the law by living out the mind of Christ with a full-flavoured passion for life. As for light, it is used for signalling, guiding, exposing evil and error, and brightening up the world. If we won't let others see our light, who is going to notice the work of God?
Isaiah 58: 1-12; Matthew 5: 13-20

SUN 05-FEB-2017 - 9.30 AM Sermon
Rev Bob Hutchinson   (Timing 15:38)
Epiphany 5 – As "salt of the earth", we are called to act in the community like a seasoning, a preservative or a healing agent. And ss "light of the world" we need to be out in the open as shining examples of love and compassion, not hiding away in case someone might notice God's light shining from within us.
Isaiah 58: 1-9; Matthew 5: 13-16

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