Our services include a talk from a different speaker every week, often followed by a discussion. Services feature Jaime Taylor or Soomin Kim on our fully restored stereophonic pipe organ, and Frank Chen on piano. We always finish with morning tea and opportunity for friendly socialising.
Join us ‘live’ in the building, or via Zoom, link below:-
JESUS WITHOUT CHRIST is a possible title for a book that has been germinating in my mind recently. In preparing for today with Ted, I was delighted to find that numbers of this congregation may share the questions that give rise to such a title. This discovery has confirmed our intention over three sessions to look candidly at the ways we may usefully speak of and even emulate Jesus of Nazareth.
I’m very aware that this is the first service since Clay died that we’re not using one of his talks. I’ve been on the calendar for months, and Ted and I decided that this would be an alright topic for today since we’re hurting and I hope that some of these words may be useful for all of us in dealing with grief.
I also feel the need to give a disclaimer because I’m an academic, and this isn’t my field. I am talking about self-compassion because becoming more compassionate towards myself and others is a path that I am on and something I’m striving for. I have become interested in the psychology behind it and have done some reading, and I’m convinced that most of us can benefit from an increased dose of self-kindness.
Clay Nelson touched so many people through his 40 years of ministry, introducing folk to the power of radical love and acting as a resource to all who desire to experience their full humanity through their chosen spiritual path. And dedicating his life to building communities committed to transforming the world to be a little more just and a little more peaceful.
Here’s the Eulogy delivered by Rachel Mackintosh at Clay’s Funeral.
Clay was born on 31 May 1949 in Coral Gables, Florida.
His father, Calvin Clayton Nelson Sr, was a student at the time and was subsequently an academic whose career took him all around the USA — so Clay and his younger sister Cynthia, recently reunited for some happy days in Philadelphia, lived all over the place … a couple stints in Florida, and also Sandy Oregon, Yakima Washington, Gunnison Colorado, and eventually LA California …
Speaker:- Rachel Mackintosh Worship Leaders:- Ted Zorn, Kate Lewis
Our recently retired minister, Clay Nelson, died on Thursday (2 November 2023). Those of us who have known Clay are grieving.
So, we’ve changed this service to reflect on coming together in grief and the wonder of life.
Rachel MacIntosh, Clay’s wife, will present a talk that Clay wrote and presented to us a couple years back called “Welcome to Limbo. Please leave your certainties at the door.” Appropriately, it’s about how we respond to chaos, uncertainty, and the unexpected.
Buddha told a parable: A man was travelling across a field when he encountered a tiger. He began to run, and the tiger chased after him. Coming to a precipice, he slipped and was able to catch hold of the root of a wild strawberry bush, hanging in the air. The tiger sniffed at him from above. Trembling, the man looked down only to find that another tiger was waiting to eat him. He thought the bush could sustain him for a while, until he saw two mice gnawing away the vine. A tiger above, a tiger below. The man saw a ripe strawberry near him. Grabbing the vine with one hand, he plucked the strawberry with the other, and ate it. How sweet and delicious.
John Donne (1572-1631), who wrote the words that I want to ponder today, lived in England in troubled times. He was born to a staunchly Roman Catholic family at a time when it was illegal to be a practicing Catholic.