Pilgrim Uniting Church

12 Flinders St, Adelaide, SA

SUN 14-OCT-2018 - 11.00 AM Sermon
Rev Dr Greg Elsdon   (Timing 16:05)
Pentecost 18 – When a rich young man begged Jesus to tell him how to get eternal life, he was very disappointed when Jesus, in a sign of his love for the man, told him to start by disposing of his wealth and giving the proceeds to the poor. There is more to life than accumulating wealth in order to convince ourselves that we have achieved a good life by our own effort. Get rid of that excess stuff, follow Jesus, and discover what it means to live in the grace of God's kingdom. Let's reflect on what beliefs, practices, fears, hopes, attitudes or dispositions might be keeping us from our deepest longing for a fulfilment that can come only from God.
Mark 10: 17-31

SUN 07-OCT-2018 - 11.00 AM Sermon
Rev Sandy Boyce   (Timing 13:47)
Pentecost 20 – If God is on our side, how do we make sense of life's disappointments and hardships? How can a God who is good collaborate with what we experience and see as evil? How bad must things get before people lose faith? With our high-tech lifestyle there is disaster lurking at every corner – but we are God's beloved, and our worth is not in what we have or do, but in our inherent human dignity. Hardship can be reformative rather than destructive, and it's not the amount of darkness you find in the world, but how you stand in the darkness.
Job 1: 1, 2: 1-10

SUN 07-OCT-2018 - 9.30 AM Sermon
Rev Dr Greg Elsdon   (Timing 15:45)
Pentecost 20 – Renewing all creation – Jesus was asked by some influential men whether it was permissible for a man to arbitrarily divorce his wife; and in his reply, he pointed out that it was because of hard-hearted people like themselves that Moses had been obliged to write laws dealing with divorce. After that encounter, Jesus spoke with his disciples of a woman divorcing her husband, as well as a husband divorcing his wife. At the time it was unthinkable, and Jesus was saying that women, too, ought to have a say in marriage and divorce. And children, the most vulnerable of people and the lowest in status, can teach us a lot about the loving presence of God.
Mark 10: 2-16

SUN 30-SEP-2018 - 11.00 AM Sermon
Rev Dr Greg Elsdon   (Timing 18:25)
Pentecost 19 – A reign of God is characterised by humility, service and inclusiveness – qualities that people of power can find offensive and challenging. The main concern of Jesus was that people should be set free from the power of evil and welcomed into the reign of God. Powerful actions against evil should be welcomed wherever they occur – the church does not have an exclusive franchise over the practice of justice and compassion. What if we were to focus not on our differences, but to focus on learning to work with people who are not like us, as we build communities of compassion and justice?
Mark 9: 38-50

SUN 30-SEP-2018- 9.30 AM Sermon
Nell Potter   (Timing 26:20)
Pentecost 19 – Social Justice Sunday: Witnessing life in Palestine – Nell Potter, Executive Director of Palestine Ecumenical Network, gives us a first-hand, factual account of a few of the gross injustices and violations of basic human rights aganst Palestinian Arabs, that she and her companions observed during a recent three month visit to Israel, Palestine, and the Occupied Territories of the West Bank.
Esther 7: 1-6, 9-10; 9: 20-22

SUN 23-SEP-2018 11.00 AM Sermon
Rev Sandy Boyce   (Timing 17:23)
Pentecost 18 – The final section of Proverbs chapter 31 describes the activities and accomplishments of an extremely capable, over-achieving woman – successsful in everything she does as entrepreneur, business woman, wife and mother. But what can be the effect of this example on women in today's increasingly frantic world? It would leave no time for things like recreation, or pregnancy and childbirth. You would be left with the feeling that you've never done enough, leading to depression, sleep disorder and other health issues. This section of Proverbs should not be taken as a job description for women. It is about character, which transcends gender and circumstance. Could it be applied to the collective endeavours of a community, men and women working together?
Proverbs 31: 10-31

SUN 23-SEP-2018 - 9.30 AM Sermon
Rev Dr Greg Elsdon   (Timing 19:33)
Pentecost 18 – "Then he took a little child ..." – The twelve disciples had been arguing about who was the greatest among them. Jesus had to tell them that in God's kingdom, the greatest was not the person with the most power and authority over others, but the person acting as a servant to the lowest and most vulnerable; and in his lesson he drew their attention to a little child. Children are utterly dependant on others, they are vulnerable to all manner of abuse, they often get into trouble, and they can be unwelcome nuisances. It's much the same for any of us when we find ourselves on the edges of society. Jesus assures us that when we welcome people like these in his name, we are also welcoming them in God's name and on God's behalf.
James 3: 13 - 4: 8a; Mark 9: 30-37

SUN 16-SEP-2018 - 11.00 AM Sermon
Rev Dr Greg Elsdon   (Timing 26:09)
Pentecost 17 – The disciples misunderstood Jesus when he was telling them how he was heading towards trouble, and that they had to be prepared for trouble if they were to follow him. The service that Jesus spoke about and demonstrated is about servanthood and humility, not privilege, power and authority. The disciples didn't get it – they misudertood, and resisted the ideas that Jesus presented. There is an arrogance in knowing all the answers, when we don't even know the questions. Live the questions now, the deep questions of life, not the shallowness of correct creeds and liturgies. Perhaps, one day, you may live into the answer. Who do we think Jesus was? What do we think of the question of living with God?
Mark 8: 27-38

SUN 16-SEP-2018 - 9.30 AM Sermon
Peter Russell   (Timing 21:46)
Pentecost 17 – Words of Wisdom?! – We all make mistakes when we speak without thinking, and what we say can be remembered for a long time and play havoc with the lives of others. The same goes for what we post on Facebook or tweet on Twitter. Who do we honour in our lives by our words, actions and inactions? What wisdom do we bring to bear? Despite electronic social networking, it is essential for us to have live interaction with friends and loved ones. If we seek just the wisdom of the world for attaining our own happiness and fulfilment, our life, in the end, will be hollow and empty; but if we go against worldly wisdom, forgetting our own selfish desires and seeking good and justice for others as we would wish for ourselves, we will find ourselves living and enjoying life to the full.
James 3: 1-12; Mark 8: 27-38; Proverbs 1: 20-33

SUN 09-SEP-2018 - 11.00 AM Sermon
Rev Sandy Boyce   (Timing 14:04)
Pentecost 16 – Jesus was trying to have some time out in someone's house when he was tracked down by a desperately worried woman whose daughter was critically ill. As far as Jewish people were concerned, the woman was from a despised minority and didn't deserve too much consideration. When Jesus refused her plea for help because she wasn't Jewish, she reminded him that even outcast dogs like herself were sometimes thrown a few scraps. As a result of the woman's faith and persistence, her daughter was cured. And the encounter taught Jesus a lesson, bringing him to a new understanding of who he was and what he had been called to do. Regardless of who we are, or where we have come from, there is always room for more at God's table,
Mark 7: 24-37

SUN 02-SEP-2018 - 11.00 AM Sermon v
Rev Sandy Boyce   (Timing 12:25)
Pentecost 15 – The Song of Solomon is a series of love poems, of two young people in an idealised spring time. It is a passionate description of physical love and romantic longing, with body and soul united in love – flesh and blood are one. In the Hebrew text it is part of the wisdom lierature, placed right in the middle to emphasis its central importance. Human intimacy is a window into a deeper understanding of God's love for us. We need to hear this Song of Songs – the horrors of human perversion of love must be continually challenged by its true expression as a part of God-given humanity.
Song of Solomon 2: 8-13

SUN 02-SEP-2018 - 9.30 AM Sermon
Rev Dr Dean Eland   (Timing 28:21)
Pentecost 15 –
For 2000 years the church has been changing and adapting, to minister in many changing contexts and settings. This sermon tells of some outstanding churches and congregations, from around the world, that have gone through very hard times and have become an inspiration and a hope for the future. The particular churches are St Nicholas Church, Leipzig, Germany; Pitt St Uniting Church, Sydney; Australia; the Wayside Chapel, Kings Cross, Sydney, Australia; and St George's Tron Church, Glasgow, Scotland. Do we see changes in our world as a time of regret? As a problem? Or are they a moment of opportunity and promise?
James 1: 17-27; Mark 7: 1-6, 14-15, 21-23

SUN 26-AUG-2018 - 11.00 AM Sermon
Rev Dr Greg Elsdon   (Timing 12:45)
Pentecost 14 – In this reflection on the parable of the Good Samaritan, it is pointed out that the parables of Jesus, if listened to, will comfort the afflicted and also afflict the comfortable. The way to full, eternal life in abundance is to allow oneself to become an active instrument and a channel of boundary-breaking hospitality – a neighbour who scandalises you with compassion, who crosses the ancient bloodied line that separates 'us' from 'them', who teaches the real meaning of 'good' and shocks you with a new face of God.
Luke 10: 25-37

SUN 26-AUG-2018 - 9.30 AM Messages
Members of the Congregation   (Timing 24:45)
Pentecost 14 – "Refugee and Migrant Sunday" – This recording includes (1) the reading of a statement from the President of the Uniitng Church, Dr Deidre Palmer, dealing with 'A Christian response to racism', in view of the intolerance being shown in public discourse towards migrants and refugees; (2) a message from Geoff Boyce on 'A Christian exploration of hospitality and welcome', with a message that makes Hospitality the greatest of the three virtues of Faith, Hope and Love; and (3) a message from Margaret Chittleborough concerning practical support for vulnerable people, through a Circle of Friends.
Ephesians 6: 10-20

SUN 19-AUG-2018 - 11.00 AM Sermon
Rev Sandy Boyce   (Timing 10:34)
Pentecost 13 – Across the world there is division, hatred, hostility, despair and vilification – and the only way to overcome them is a focus of wise and thoughtful living, recognising that which we can love and respect in each other even when we do not hold the same values. It is not to say that differences are of no importance, and at times we must set limits and stand in opposition to values and forces that threaten what we hold dear. We need places of belonging, peace and kindness; we need to mirror God's non-discriminatory embrace.
Ephesians 5: 15-20

SUN 19-AUG-2018 - 9.30 AM Sermon
Rev Dr Greg Elsdon   (Timing 22:51)
Pentecost 13 – "Living Wisely" – Wisdom is not the same as knowledge or cleverness; rather, it is a willingness to recognise and know one's own self in success and failure, nobility and disgrace, faithfulness and failing. Solomon was granted wisdom by God – yet he was far from the ideal super-hero depicted in many sermons and Sunday School stories. He was a deeply flawed, hedonistic, violent and despotic king, but loved by God for all that. Coming to realise that you are loved by God, just as you are, is the beginning of wisdom.
1 Kings 2: 10-12, 3: 3-14; Ephesians 5: 15-20

SUN 12-AUG-2018 - 11.00 AM Sermon
Rev Dr Greg Elsdon   (Timing 25:11)
Pentecost 12 – The Christians in Ephesus were being assured that God is unconditionally gracious and inclusive in his love for all mankind – quite unlike the Greek gods which were traditionally unpredictable, vindictive and punishing. The Ephesians were being urged to live in a new social reality, a new household of God, treating each other with love, respect and honesty, imitators and mimics of God as revealed in the life and teachings of Christ. Michael Ramsey, a former Archbishop of Canterbury, once wrote that "God is Christ-like; in God there is no un-Christlikeness at all".
Ephesians 4:25 - 5:2

SUN 12-AUG-2018 - 9.30 AM Sermon
Rev Dean Eland   (Timing 20:58)
Pentecost 12 – "No longer strangers and aliens but citizens and members of one household" – The Uniting Church's Basis of Union document refers to five different statements of faith, dating from the Reformation and later, formulated for different people, at different times, and for different circumstances – and the church's ministers and instructors are urged to study them all and take notice of what they say. Although the New Testamant gospels and epistles were written for different audiences with different backgrounds and circumstances, the believers all had a common faith demonstrating peace, reconciliation, forgiveness, grace, hope, joy, and the abiding love of God.
Ephesians 4:25 - 5:2

SUN 05-AUG-2018 11.00 AM Sermon
Rev Sandy Boyce   (Timing 17:19)
Pentecost 11 – When Paul was a prisoner of the Roman Empire because of his teaching about Jesus, he was able to continue his ministry from inside the prison thanks to a sharpened understanding of the meaning of faith, gained during his suffering and exclusion. There have been more recent examples of people gaining insight and being emboldened while imprisoned for their beliefs; they have included Dr Martin Luther King Jnr, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Nelson Mandela, and Ahed Tamimi, a Palestinian teenage girl imprisoned for slapping an Israeli soldier during a military raid.
Ephesians 4: 1-16

SUN 05-AUG-2018 - 9.30 AM Sermon
Pam Mitchell   (Timing 36:00)
Pentecost 11 – "Forgiveness, Spirituality and Wholeness" – In human experience forgiveness is important, and it is complex. It is not just about condoning hurtful behaviour, or surrendering a right to justice, or forgetting an offence. In her sermon, Pam, who is a very experienced counsellor, employed a set of Russian Babushka dolls, wooden dolls of decreasing sizes that fit inside each other, to illustrate layers of our being which she labeled as Physical, Mental, Emotional, Mask and Core; and she explained how the different layers need to be involved if we are to achieve the peace of true forgiveness.
Matthew 18: 21-22; Luke 6: 37-38; John 20: 21-22

SUN 29-JUL-2018 - 11.00 AM Sermon
Rev Dr Greg Elsdon   (Timing 18:11)
Pentecost 10 – The scripture passage shows Paul's realisation that God wishes us to live in freedom from divisions and strife, unhindered by racism, discrimination, hatred and fear. In the Australian media there is a current emphasis on the violence and lawlessness of some young people of African descent, often Sudanese, and it has led to the vilification of other young persons on the basis of their Sudanese appearance. That is not God's idea of hospitality and acceptance. If we have Christ dwelling within us and among us, we will find ourselves grounded and rooted in unconditional acceptance of God's love, with a liberating hope and an abundant grace offered to all.
Ephesians 3: 14-21

SUN 29-JUL-2018 - 9.30 AM Presentation
Dr Amanda Ruler   (Timing 19:47)
Pentecost 10 – "Finding hope in despair" – Dr Amanda Ruler spoke of her association with the Medical Association for the Prevention of War (Australia); the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War; and ICAN, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, which won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2017 for its work towards the Treaty for the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons. Dr Ruler speaks of the utterly catastrophic consequences of any nuclear war; and many countries, including Australia, have yet to ratify the treaty. She also speaks of the extreme poverty in countries like Malawi, and the need for international aid.
Ephesians 3: 14-21

SUN 22-JUL-2018 - 11.00 AM Sermon
Rev Dr Greg Elsdon   (Timing 26:21)
Pentecost 9 – We construct and maintain walls as our symbols of division, privilege, fear, mistrust and hatred. There have been, and are, many physical walls to divide peoples, a few examples being the Great Wall of China, the Berlin Wall, Hadrian's Wall, and the wall between Israel and the Palestinian State. We divide and protect ourselves on the basis of ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religious practices, and much else besides. God is in the business of demolishing the walls that divide us, so that the whole of humanity, in all its diversity, might be included in his household.
Ephesians 2: 11-22

SUN 22-JUL-2018 - 9.30 AM Sermon
Geoff Boyce   (Timing 10:10)
Pentecost 9 – "Diversity in unity" – The core issue at Ephesus, and likely a significant issue elsewhere, was how to live as a Christian community that embraced both Jews and non-Jews at the same time. Christ has broken down the dividing wall between insiders and outsiders, rich and poor, the privileged and the exploited. It was not that the non-Jews had found the God of the Jews, but rather that God had brought the two parties together and they were now one people. May it be so for us today, in all our human diversity and brokeness.
Ephesians 2: 11-22

SUN 15-JUL-2018 - 11.00 AM Sermon
Rev Sandy Boyce   (Timing 16:43)
Pentecost 8 – "Abundant Grace, Liberating Hope" was the theme of the recent 15th National Assembly of the Uniting Church, and Sandy's sermon describes the compassion, integrity and wisdom with which many contentious issues were tackled. The Gospel calls us to address the world in the whole of reality. In the words of Dr Deidre Palmer, the new President of the UC, "Hope is believing despite the evidence, and watching the evidence change".

SUN 08-JUL-2018 - 11.00 AM Sermon
Rev Dr Greg Elsdon   (Timing 24:31)
Pentecost 7 – Paul was being attacked by arrogant sham apostles, who were pointing out the strife and disasters that accompanied his activities. Surely a real apostle would demonstrate a bit more power and influence? In a letter to the church in Corinth, Paul answered by writing not of his accomplishments, but of the weakness and vulnerability that had enabled him to demonstrate God's powerful transforming grace. It is when we recognise our own weakness that we are most likely to find that God is present. What really matters is not what we own and control – it is enough that we have God's grace, so that in our weakness God may give to us again and again out of his immeasurable grace and love.
2 Corinthians 12: 2-10

SUN 01-JUL-2018 - 11.00 AM Sermon
Rev Vikki Waller   (Timing 20:32)
Pentecost 6 – In the day's Gospel passage there is mention of people weeping and wailing over the death of a 12 year old girl; and in the Old Testament passage there is song of lament composed by King David, an unrestrained outpouring of grief over the deaths of Saul and Jonathan. Grief is focussed on our own experience of a world irrevocably altered by the loss, and the Bible honours the feeling of grief by including such laments in holy Scripture. It is significant that in the Eucharist, the central symbol of Christian practice, bread is broken and torn apart. It is God becoming one with us in our brokeness. The broken Christ offers himself to us, embracing us, wounds and all, and incorporates us into his wholeness that we might know ourselves beloved.
2 Samuel 1: 1, 17-27; Mark 5: 21-43

SUN 01-JUL-2018 - 9.30 AM Sermon
Rev Dr Greg Elsdon   (Timing 27:02)
Pentecost 6 – "An Audacious Faith" – In the set gospel story for the day there are two examples of audacious displays of faith in Jesus as a healer, serving as examples of what can happen when we open ourselves to the gracious touch of Jesus. The sermon begins with an account of a woman who was raped by a church minister when she was 14 years old. Few believed her or helped her, until, some 60 years later, she was able to report it officially, and investigations were undertaken. There were hearings in a secure location; her story was believed and accepted; and at last she has been healed of her own belief that she had been the one responsible. What lies and secrets need to be acknowleged, in order for us to be healed and made free to live as God intended?
Mark 5: 21-43

SUN 24-JUN-2018 - 10.30 AM Sermon
Rev Phil Hoffmann   (Timing 24:21)
Uniting Church Anniversary, combined service - A review of the first 41 years of the Uniting Church in Australia, with a message based on the gospel account of Jesus calming a storm on the Sea of Galilee.
Mark 4: 35-41

SUN 17-JUN-2018 - 11.00 AM Sermon
Rev Dr Greg Elsdon   (Timing 20:45)
Pentecost 4 - Planting Seeds of Hope, Kindness, Hospitality, Forgiveness, Persistence, Patience . . . . The Kingdom or Reign of God is not dependent on us. It is God's work in and among us. We need to hear these stories as words of encouragement to us. We are not responsible for the outcome only planting the seeds. What seeds will we plant this week?
Mark 4: 26-34

SUN 17-JUN-2018 - 9.30 AM Sermon
Rev Ian Giles   (Timing 21:46)
Pentecost 4 - Passion for Justice and the Things of God and Burnout - We want to get things done but we can forget to take the trouble to care for ourselves. Jesus' story helps us understand that there are times when we can do nothing but rest and wait while God continues to build the Kingdom.
Mark 4: 26-34

SUN 10-JUN-2018 - 11.00 AM Sermon
Rev Christy Capper   (Timing 22:01)
Pentecost 3 - Differences - Christy reflects on her experience of differences. It's amazing what we learn when we sit and listen to people who do things differently. When we make differences divide us in and between our denominations we end up with problems. Jesus prayed that we might be one. May we continue our pilgrimage following Jesus, praying for unity and despite our differences focus on that which we have in common.
Mark 3: 20-35

SUN 10-JUN-2018 - 9.30 AM Sermon
Peter Russell   (Timing 23:10)
Pentecost 3 - What is Family? - Jesus proclaims a new kind of family. Those that align themselves with him and seek to follow God's agenda, bringing his reign and reality into the present are his family. This means engaging in liberation, our own as much as others, setting people free from oppression, whether from themselves or within their communities, from oppressive political regimes or self indulgent politics which only seeks to serve the rich. This is what God's life within us, through the Spirit, calls, inspires and enables us to become, a new kind of family, day by day.
Mark 3: 20-35

SUN 03-JUN-2018 - 11.00 AM Sermon
Rev Vikki Waller   (Timing 17:23)
Pentecost 2 - Sunday observed as Sabbath? What was the purpose of the Sabbath? What should our attitude be towards the Sabbath? What about the Lord's Day? Does our faith and practice serve to enhance life or stifle the enthusiasm of those around us?
Mark 2:23-3:6

SUN 03-JUN-2018 - 9.30 AM Sermon
Rev Dr Dean Eland   (Timing 24:43)
Pentecost 2 - 'The Social Ethic of Jesus and the Church of the Open Door' - Faith communities don't just live for themselves; for duty; for keeping the show on the road. Faith communities are there to help and serve; they aim to bring out the best in themselves and others; to enhance and build community life; to be communities of the open door.
Mark 2:23-3:6

SUN 27-MAY-2018 - 11.00 AM Sermon
Rev Mark Kickett   (Timing 24:38)
Trinity Sunday - also Reconciliation Sunday in the Uniting Church - Mark unpacks the word, "Reconciliation" and through scripture and story shows what a paradigm shift the understanding of that word causes from a Christian context. All our relationships have to be re-evaluated in that light, in the message of the cross and the transformation that brings.
2 Corinthians 5: 11-21

SUN 20-MAY-2018 - 11.00 AM Sermon
Rev Sandy Boyce   (Timing 15:50)
Pentecost - 'Looking for Signs of the Reign of God: reflecting on the nature and priorities of the church' - The Spirit gives us, the gathered community, the courage and gifts to be the scattered community. The Spirit is that special 'nudge in the back' to serve those that everyone talks about but do nothing to help. The 'signs' of the reign of God are already present here, where God's Spirit is already active and the signs are everywhere if we only look for them.
Acts 2: 1-21

SUN 20-MAY-2018 - 9.30 AM Sermon
Rev Dr Greg Elsdon   (Timing 22:02)
Pentecost - 'The Breath of God' - Today we are celebrating the mystery of the loving presence of God in the whole of life. This Spirit energy inspired and energised Israel's prophets and affirmed and commissioned Jesus' ministry and continued to be present with him. Can we put aside preconceived and inherited notions of God and allow our lives and communities to be reformed, refurbished and rebuilt around the presence of a God of grace, compassion and justice? May we have the courage and grace to respond, receive and share this life affirming, life transforming 'Breath of God'.
Ezekiel 37: 1-14, Romans 8: 22-27

SUN 13-MAY-2018 - 11.00 AM Sermon
Rev Dr Greg Elsdon   (Timing 23:38)
Easter 7 - Where do I belong? To whom do I belong? Where do I find meaning in this life that can be so buffeted by storms? The composer of Psalm 1 sets out two divergent ways of living. But this cannot reflect the complexity of life in the world. Are these ways mutually exclusive? We can be wandering across both. Human lives flourish when they grow towards the grace and love that God intends for us. Where are we grounding ourselves?
Psalm 1 (sung), John 17: 6-19

SUN 06-MAY-2018 - 11.00 AM Sermon
Rev Liellie McLaughlin   (Timing 26:03)
Easter 6 - "Bridging the Chasm" - How very intentional is God to bridge the gap between us and the forcefield we know as God. Are we yearning to come closer to God - a deeper sense of God? In Acts the Holy Spirit cascaded over those present. Who is the Spirit cascading over today - inside the church and outside the church? Who can you picture today receiving the Spirit - when you allow God to bridge the chasm?
Acts 10: 44-48, John 15: 9-17

SUN 06-MAY-2018 - 9.30 AM Witness
Ben Clarke - TEAR Australia   (Timing 22:17)
Easter 6 - Ben talks about 'conciliation'. He reminds us that Aboriginal people make up 3% of Australians and that the rest of us, the 97%, are therefore responsible for 97% of the work of Conciliation! Using, with permission, a traditional story from the Ngarrindjeri people, Ben challenges us to share in the work of unity that Jesus calls us to do.
Micah 6: 6-8, John 15: 9-17

SUN 29-APR-2018 - 11.00 AM Sermon
Rev Dr Greg Elsdon   (Timing 19:32)
Easter 5 – One of the fundamental strategies in a consumer economy is to encourage a culture of "What's In It For Me?", with more emphasis on individualism, personal satisfaction and self-absorption, than on living with others in community. But Jesus taught that it can be otherwise. In a parable he described himself in terms of a vine planted by God, with us, his followers as the vine's branches – a messy, crowded, tangled, wildly fertile, gorgeous richness of coexistence. In this picture, everyone is a part of the same vine, a large, diverse community, continuing the work of Jesus to bring God's kin-dom to the world. The "What's In It For Me" culture needs to be acknowledged, and rejected.
John 15: 1-8

WED 25-APR-2018 - ANZAC DAY EVENSONG - Sermon
Rev Dr Greg Elson   (Timing 19:42)
Lest we forget is a call, among other things, to mourn and lament the horrors of war and to pay respect and to commit ourselves to reject the violence and romanticism of all war. What will we do with our remembering? Jesus calls us to follow the ways of peace and justice.
Micah 4: 1-4, John 15: 9-17

SUN 22-APR-2018 - 11.00 AM Sermon
Dr Liz Boase   (Timing 19:29)
Easter 4 – When asked to think of an image of "Jesus the Good Shepherd", many of us will remember classical paintings and stained glass windows that show Jesus in an immaculate, freshly laundered white robe, cuddling a freshly shampooed white lamb. It depicts safety and comfort, but it hardly represents a shepherd at work in the world. Think, rather, of a countryman accompanying his flock out into the dirty, dangerous, unruly real world, intimately acquainted with the flock, living among them, and prepared to protect them to the bitter end. We are the flock. We cannot spend all our time at home, resting in our shepherd's arms – we need to be following him out into the world, helping make the world the place that God meant it to be.
Psalm 23; John 10: 11-18

SUN 15-APR-2018 - 11.00 AM Sermon
Rev Dr Greg Elsdon   (Timing 20:21)
Easter 3 – Merely accepting the resurrection as historical fact is not the same as allowing the risen Jesus to shape our lives. The life that Jesus had led was life as God had meant it to be, and when God raised Jesus from the dead he was saying "Yes! This is my beloved son, and I am very, very pleased with him!". After his resurrection, Jesus instructed the disciples to continue the work of proclaiming the message of God's unrelenting mercy, compassion and justice – and when they did so their lives were transformed. We too, as followers of Jesus, are called to be bearers of the good news, in the ways we live and the choices we make. We are called to be a continuing Easter community.
Luke 24: 36b-48

SUN 08-APR-2018 - 11.00 AM Sermon
Rev Sandy Boyce   (Timing 14:55)
Easter 2 – The resurrection of Jesus had changed everything, and the Spirit of Jesus had given the disciples a fresh insight into what it was all about. Those early Christians were a community enlivened by God's spirit. How do we look at this story? We are not being told to sell everything we own to support the poor, just because it was where God's spirit had led that particular community. Christianity is not a single ethical system with rules that tell you what to do in any circumstance. We are God's beloved, and his Spirit will lead us to which mandate from Scripture it would be best to follow for a particular circumstance. There are plenty to choose from. And, are we trying to do the "right thing" for those we serve, which can be a sign of self-centredness; or are we serving selflessly, with self-forgetfulness, in order to fully serve others and cooperate with God to change this old world into a new world?
Acts 4: 32-35

SUN 08-APR-2018 - 9.30 AM Sermon
Rev Dr Greg Elsdon   (Timing 21:53)
Easter 2 – "Living as an Easter Community" – Two days after Jesus had been betrayed by a friend, dragged before a rigged trial and brutally executed, his corpse went missing and his followers were running all over the place, confused, frightened, disillusioned and jumpy. That evening they were in a room where they had locked themselves in for security, when they were joined by Jesus, a flesh and blood human carrying the scars from the brutality to which he had recently been subjected, and he was greeted with rejoicing. A week later Jesus again appeared to them in a locked room, and Thomas, who had been absent for the first appearance, was now fully convinced that Jesus was indeed God embodied in flesh. Jesus then commissioned his disciples (who then became "apostles") to go out in the power of the Spirit, who would walk alongside them while they continued his work of proclaiming the Easter message, of God's kingdom with its fulness and abundance of life, the way God meant it to be. At the heart of the message are love, forgiveness and reconciliation.
John 20: 19-31

SUN 01-APR-2018 - 11.00 AM Sermon
Rev Dr Greg Elsdon   (Timing 17:44)
Easter Day – When you tell a story, its beginning and ending are critical; and Mark's story of Jesus finishes suddenly, with three distraught women running away from an empty tomb, taking with them a story so overwhelming that they couldn't share it yet. In Mark's gospel, Jesus told his disciples three times over that his death would not be the end of the story but a beginning, that he would rise from death on the third day – and they kept misunderstanding him. He didn't want to be served, but to give his life in service to others. Mark's story finished the way it did so that its readers and listeners might experience the resurrection themselves, to write the story of Jesus' resurrection with their own lives, and to share their lives with others as Jesus did.
Mark 16: 1-8

SUN 01-APR-2018 - 9.30 AM Sermon
Rev Sandy Boyce   (Timing 14:40)
Easter Day – The beginning of Mark's version of the good news tells of Jesus being baptised in the River Jordan, and it continues at a rattling pace to describe event after event in the life and ministry of Jesus. The earliest versions of the manuscript end abruptly at Chapter 16 verse 8, with three women running away from an empty tomb, too frightened to pass on the message that Jesus had risen from the dead and would be seen again in Galilee. Why did he stop right there? It is the writer's invitation to us, to take up the story where he left off and share the good news announced by the messenger at the empty tomb. We are redirected back to thinking about the beginning of Jesus' ministry in Galilee, and the new social reality called the reign of God.
Mark 16: 1-8

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 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

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