When I was in seminary, every seminarian was assigned a parish to do field work in for two years. My second Easter, I was given the opportunity to preach on Easter Sunday. A few months later a couple in the congregation came to see me. They brought me a novel the wife had written. In a former life they had been Idaho sheep farmers. The book is about the lonely life of a shepherd who cares for his flock. Continue reading Ignore Easter? So tempting.→
The Latin American Choir of New Zealand (CLANZ) is an Auckland-based group whose members meet every week to share the joy of singing together in Spanish. Under the direction of professional musician Celina Reyes, the group welcomes anyone, regardless of their singing experience or their level of Spanish. Each rehearsal is a chance to improve one’s singing ability as well as maintain or enhance one’s proficiency with the language. CLANZ explores a wide range of traditional, folk and popular songs from Latin America and Spain, promoting an appreciation of Hispanic culture within its membership and amongst the greater community. The group rehearses every Monday during school terms at the Leys Institute in Ponsonby from 5.45 to 7.15 p m.
Each week we sing “Roots hold me close; wings set me free.” It is the Spirit of Life residing within each of us. The image resonates with a truth so deeply entrenched in us it could be part of our DNA. The metaphor is universal. I wonder if it might go back to our earliest ancestor, one that we all share. Carl Jung might consider it an archetype: A concept that resides in our collective unconscious the world over. Continue reading Roots and Wings of a Unitarian Lent→
In this Age of Trump, for many of us, loving our political opponents seems a step too far. Friends in the US report political differences in their families and life-long friendships are fracturing them, some seemingly beyond repair. This goes way beyond “unfriending” them on Facebook. Marriages are dissolving. Children and parents are estranged. Communities are divided. Political debate has always been a blood sport in the US, but this level of carnage is beyond my experience. Continue reading Loving your political opponent – Creative Conflict→
Until 500 years ago this year, one church had controlled all of Christianity for more than a millennium. It had become grievously corrupt, in part because it had become interwoven with the state. One particular abuse was the last straw that enraged a young monk, Martin Luther, so much that he sent a message to his bishop condemning the practice of selling indulgences to political leaders to raise money to build St Peter’s Basilica in Rome. An indulgence was like a “Get out of jail free” card. No matter how serious the sin, the rich and powerful could buy an indulgence and have the church’s guarantee that they could get into heaven, without having to confess and do penance. Continue reading Reforming the Reformation→