Live in the building and live streamed here at 10.00AM (UTC 31st July, 22:00)
also, we will meet at 11:00AM by Zoom
(UTC 31st July, 23:00)
Zoom meeting ID: 894 916 3748, Passcode: 12345.
How many Kiwis actually know that people seeking asylum here in Aotearoa are sent to prison on arrival, and are often left for months without any method of communication, or legal assistance? This is not how we expect people to be treated, and we need to fix it.
We are currently working on two projects. If you would like to come along and help us with strategy, or just to create your own piece of craftivism, please join us on Thursday evenings 7.30 at the church. Cups of tea, yummy snacks, stimulating company and craft tuition are all part of the package. Hope to see you there!
Our blanket in support of Amnesty International’s campaign for Asylum Seeker Rights. The blanket has a flock of birds of many colours, flying towards a better future, and carrying messages of hope. Purple hearts, representing compassion and courage also adorn the blanket. We also hope to include flowers. (If you would like to add a bird, please point it to the east, so it is flying with the flock.)
We are also supporting a campaign for a fairer future through Action Station. We are making bookmarks, with Fairer Future messages, and plan a guerrilla bookmark insertion campaign, into public library books, once we have enough ammunition.
Religion is often singled out for the evil it is responsible for in the world, from the Crusades to 9/11. Jonathan Mason has used his opportunity from winning the Service Auction item to select the following sermon topic: Considering religions’ responsibility for wars and intolerance, explain the positive elements of world religion and spirituality. He and I have a friendly repartee about a variety of subjects so I’m not sure if he is trying to hoist me on my own petard or he sincerely wants to know, so he is asking someone who is on a first name basis with the devil we know as religion, after my 40-plus years in the business.
I unashamedly stole the title for my musings from a sermon by Unitarian Universalist Joshua Pawelek. I liked how he played with a verse from Paul’s letter to the Romans (6:23): “for the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus.”
I agree with Pawelek’s implication that Paul is inviting us to trust Jesus if we want to live. Paul understands sin to be disconnection from God. Disconnected we die. Trusting Jesus connects us to our creator giving us not just life but eternal life. This one verse is the doctrinal core of Christianity. It all boils down to whom do you trust? Unitarians have a different view but I will get to that later. Stay tuned.
When I offer a sermon topic of your choice at our annual Service Auction, I take a big risk. David Fougere might win it. Today’s musing is courtesy of David. He asked me to reflect on “The Overview Effect.” The what?!?!
It turns out to be awe and wonder on steroids. The term was created by astronaut Frank White. The overview effect is a cognitive shift in awareness reported by some astronauts during spaceflight, often while viewing the Earth from outer space. As of 17 June, 2021, only 570 astronauts from 41 countries have had the opportunity to experience it.
If the penny hasn’t dropped yet, the title is facetious. I’ve been musing this week about how good we are at avoiding being vulnerable. Each Sunday I invite you into small groups to discuss a question. I explain the groups should be small, ideally four or five. That is an opportune size to practise being vulnerable. Some of you have figured that out, and create groups of six to twelve. Easier to hide in a larger group. It is also easier to stay in our heads if we have to say something –– we are rational UUs of course. Sharing emotions and feelings is outside our comfort zone.
How good are you at letting go? Personally, I find it a struggle even when it involves letting go of negative things in my life.
There are plenty of things to practise on. I think of derogatory or critical things people in authority –– parents, teachers, coaches, ministers –– said to me that I let define or limit me. I can think of things I didn’t try or insufferable things I endured or bad choices I made because I didn’t let go of those diminishing words. If I ever find out who instilled in me that my purpose in life was to meet others’ expectations, I have a few choice words I want to share. Yet, I have to ask myself why I didn’t let go of something so toxic to my well-being long ago? It took someone I loved and trusted to point out the obvious, before I could let go and be fully my authentic self.