Understanding Islam

How we as a society respond to Islam highlights principles of religious freedom and respecting those of different beliefs, as we struggle with the issues of tolerating the intolerant and understanding extremism, be it religious, political or social.

Liberal religion in the public square

with Rev. Clay Nelson

Liberal religion in the public square
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Clay Nelson © 24 March 2019

I see Brian Tamaki of Destiny Church is having a tantrum again about New Zealand being a Christian nation. He objected to Jacinda’s call to Muslim prayer before a two-minute silence to remember the victims of the massacre of worshipping Muslims in Christchurch. He called it an abuse of her Prime Ministerial powers.

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Doing the impossible: finding meaning in the senseless

Doing the impossible: finding meaning in the senseless
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Clay Nelson © 17 March 2019

Friday morning, I had today’s service and my talk all prepared. Friday evening, I had nothing to offer. The unthinkable, the unimaginable had happened. New Zealanders had been cast out of the Godzone with tears streaming down our face and our hearts broken. Our Muslim brothers and sisters lay dying and bloodied in a house of prayer. This couldn’t happen here, yet graphic news stories and social media told us otherwise. It has shaken us to our core even more than the earthquakes that had come from previously unknown fault lines in Christchurch. As traumatic as those were, they were natural acts. This act of hatred had not previously happened here. We didn’t think it could in spite of plenty of evidence that the deadly virus of white nationalism had become epidemic around the world. No house of prayer was safe if its worshippers were the marginalised or people of colour. Homophobia, transphobia, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, and racism has crawled out from the rocks they have been hiding under to be greeted as mainstream by right-wing political leaders and print and social media. But we thought we were better than that. We thought that was not who we are.

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Finding the Common Good in Multiculturalism

with Rev. Clay Nelson

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Clay Nelson © 28th October 2018

For someone of my generation change has been our reality. When I was born there were five billion fewer people on the planet. That alone would be enough to overwhelm, but it is hardly the beginning of what we have had to understand, process and absorb of a reality that literally changes daily. Take the idea of multiculturalism. Continue reading Finding the Common Good in Multiculturalism

A journey of Faith & Trusting in the Universe

with Dawn Bates

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Growing up in rural England to non-religious parents, Dawn wanted her questions about God & life answered. She embarked on a journey of Faith that has seen her travel deeply into Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Taoism and others. Having lived her life as a Muslim for over 20 years, she shares why she has walked away from organised religion and has put her trust in the Universe & Faith of a different kind. Dawn has detailed her journey through life, as child, woman, mother, community activist & fundraiser, entrepreneur & accountability coach in her books Friday Bridge, Walaahi & her up and coming book Crossing the Line. Dawn is an instigator of change and has inspired many people through her appearances on TV, radio, public speaking, podcasts and her regular blogs.

Dawn Bates © 14th January 2018

Readings:-

Mother to Son by Langston Hughes

2 quotes from Maya Angelou

Hope is the thing with feathers by Emily Dickinson