Our worship associates, minister, and the Management Committee are planning for the congregation’s future worship needs.
To assist us please take this brief survey that is gathering information about people’s practice and preference for worship, recognising that our congregation has expanded throughout Aotearoa and internationally.
We reached out to Jean, to see if she might be willing to join us again today, but we were unable to get in touch. I considered simply playing the recording of her talk from our website, but ended up going in a slightly different direction: I’ll be playing a recorded TED Talk from 2016, on a similar topic.
A father and son are in a horrible car crash that kills the father. The eight-year-old son is rushed to hospital in critical condition. ED staff prep him rapidly and take him to an operating theatre where the surgical team is waiting. Just as he’s about to go under the knife, the surgeon says, “I can’t operate — that’s my son.”
How can this be?
I opened the service with this riddle.
You may have heard it before.
You may have been confounded or you may have found the answer obvious.
I have always been drawn to trees. Until I turned 10 I spent most of my spare time climbing trees on our farm. Back then I divided all trees into two categories; good and bad; the good ones were those great for climbing such as Pohutukawa, some Lawsons, oaks and others with wide low branches. The bad ones which were not good for climbing were trees like Lombardy poplars that were too upright or didn’t have low branches. Luckily our sharemilkers had 7 children for me to play with and our favourite activity was to climb trees. We even used to enjoy climbing the nectarine trees in the orchard in summer, sitting up in the branches munching nectarines on a hot day.
I think that a lot of people are attracted to Unitarianism because they were cast out by, or have left, other faith-based communities. The fourth principle of Unitarian Universalism is that we engage in “a free and responsible search for truth and meaning”. Those of us who have come to this church as cast-offs from other faith traditions will attest that free inquiry is not necessarily a hallmark of organised religion.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to all affected by Cyclone Gabrielle, the devastation it has caused, and the terrible impact this ex-cyclonic storm has wrought on our people and our land in Aotearoa, New Zealand. We are witnessing huge amounts of strength and sadness, and the media pictures portray the huge scale of this disaster.
How can we help? The need now is primarily for financial help in the recovery and rescue stage. Here are a couple of links to websites where donations can be made.
Sometimes you choose a theme for a service and then life throws you complications.
I had planned to take my text today from that most varied and human of sources, the microblogging site Tumblr. Every so often in my craft or philosophy groups some words turn up from the person known on Tumblr as higgsboshark:
The thing about knitting is it’s much harder to fear the existential futility of all your actions while you’re doing it.
Like ok, sure, sometimes it’s hard to believe you’ve made any positive impact on the world. But it’s pretty easy to believe you’ve made a sock. Look at it. There it is. Put it on, now your foot’s warm.
The question of whether there is life in the universe is one of the big questions of the 20th and 21st century. Movies such as ET, Contact, Arrival and Interstellar have explored these issues along with alien invasion movies such as Independence Day. I remember growing up watching the night sky with a sense of wonder, In my search for the mystery in life, Unitarian Principle #4, I have found the question of whether there is other life in the universe to be one of the profound mysteries that I reflect on. The answer to this question may also impact Unitarian Principle #7, on the interdependency of humans with our world, in ways that I’ll discuss later. In the following talk, I’ll go over the prevailing science on Extra terrestrial life and then discuss its implications for our world and Unitarianism. This is a personal talk giving my views on issues, apologies for those who have different views.