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.
We are living in a time I find exceedingly painful. It seems that all too many feel it is okay to treat others as if they are less than human. Part of the problem is I spend too much time following what is happening in my home country. This past week the mass gun shooting in El Paso where over 22 died and 48 were wounded was the 250th this year. According to the shooter’s manifesto posted online he was inspired by the shooter in Christchurch. The difference was he was seeking to kill Mexicans instead of Muslims. Just a few hours later the 251st mass shooting happened in Dayton Ohio. Police were able to stop the shooter in Dayton in less than one minute but he was still able to kill 9 including his own sister and wound 27 others.
“heretic” is often thrown around today to denounce someone for
espousing an idea deemed “unbiblical” or “unorthodox” or
“contrary to the teachings of the church.” It carries a negative
connotation, often meant to cast a poor soul out of a community to be
shunned, exiled, and sometimes even tortured with words or sharp
implements. And in extreme cases, killed and ultimately damned.
Before I begin my talk, I want to give you a brief rundown of my history, with regard to religion and church.
Although my parents were both active in their respective churches as children and teens, they remained largely unchurched after they married, and never did much to encourage my siblings or me in that regard. I would occasionally go to church with various relatives, but really didn’t have any sort of a religious upbringing.
I confess to being cursed. In case you haven’t noticed, I’m definitely not swimming in the mainstream. It may explain why I’ve ended up a Unitarian, where atheists go to church. Contradictions, which lead me to paradoxes, mesmerise me. What could be more exciting than when two opposing, irreconcilable truths seek to occupy the same space? What could possibly go wrong when an unstoppable force meets an immoveable object? While sometimes a clear right or wrong answer to life’s immutable questions would be comforting, they smell to me like a bottle of snake oil to cure all my ills that has passed its use by date. The rising hair on the back of my neck warns me that life is just not that simple.