The Auckland Unitarian Church is an open, progressive and welcoming faith community. We walk diverse spiritual paths to find purpose and meaning in our lives, but we are united in our belief in the inherent worth and dignity of every person.
Whatever your spiritual journey, you are welcome here.
Rev. Clay Nelson is our minister. Some Sunday sermons are delivered by members and guest speakers.
Interactive Station: The Tree of Life or the Tree of Enlightenment.
The Tree of Life appears in almost every faith, but it could be the Jewish Old Testament tree in Eden, the Christian, Mormon or Baha’i Tree of Life, the Bodhi Tree of Enlightenment of the Buddhist, The Norse tree of Yggdrasill, the Oak tree of the Druid or the Fig tree of Hinduism.
All are pictures of the archetypal Sacred Tree, a metaphor for the source of life and connecting all forms of creation.
One-day-only exhibition: Saturday 6th July, 12.00 noon to 4.00pm.
A variety of artists with different influences and views on a common theme of spirituality, illustrating the very many ways art can be spiritual.
There is a story in the Jewish Talmud about planting trees. A sage is walking along the road and sees someone planting a carob tree. The sage asks the person, “How long will it take for this tree to bear fruit?”
“Seventy years,” replies the gardener.
The sage then asks: “Are you so healthy a person that you expect to live that length of time and eat its fruit?”
The gardener answers: “I found a fruitful world, because my ancestors planted it for me. Likewise I am planting for my children.” (Talmud Ta’anit 23a)
This simple story is about hope and stewardship of the world gifted to us by those who came before, but it raises a question for me. If I went out this afternoon and planted a fruit tree, would there be anyone around to eat the fruit in seventy years? It may seem a long time away to the young, but to someone who is seventy it is the blink of an eye.
The first time I remember reflecting on the counter intuitive idea that not knowing is a gift was while visiting my father in the hospital. He had been there for a while suffering from kidney disease. It had been difficult to watch his decline. He had lost his appetite, but I convinced him to put in a feeding tube over his reservations to give the doctors time to work out an effective treatment. On a visit one evening he was more alert and engaged than he had been for some time. We had an amazing conversation about the past, present and future. I left that evening full of hope that we had turned a corner. I returned early in the morning only to learn he had died an hour before my arrival. I was devastated and full of guilt that I had not stayed through the night with him if I had only known. It would take a while but I eventually came to understand not knowing had been a gift. That last conversation would have been very different if I had known. It would have been shaped by death. Instead it was full of life and one of my most treasured memories.