This week has been an uncommon one for me. I spent the first three days as a guest speaker at the Sea of Faith Conference in Upper Hutt. I was joined by six members or friends of this congregation. The focus was on the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. The structure was for each of the four keynote addresses to be followed by small group discussions of the questions raised by the talk. Continue reading Reclaiming the Common→
Even if you have been attending worship here only for a short time you know about the Seven Principles that guide Unitarians in our efforts to live life in an ethical, compassionate and just manner. The banner that lists them is hard to miss in our sanctuary. But even life-long Unitarians are often not aware of the six sources that inform our living faith tradition. They are like wells from which we draw the waters of wisdom and spirituality that give life to our tradition. They include our direct experience of mystery, wisdom from world religions, our Jewish and Christian heritage, reason and science, Earth-centred traditions, and the one that inspires my thoughts on higher education today: “Words and deeds of prophetic women and men which challenge us to confront powers and structures of evil with justice, compassion, and the transforming power of love.” Continue reading The Rise and Fall of Higher Education→
I once had the opportunity to go to Liverpool on business. As luck would have it, it was Beatles Week. The business didn’t take as long as expected, so I got to spend a week exploring the city and immersing myself in my beloved Beatles and their music. I have lots of memories of the city, but one in particular has haunted me. It was a sculpture of a woman sitting alone on a park bench. I saw it from across the square, but immediately recognised her. I was moved to sit next to her on the bench, remembering her song: Continue reading Loneliness The Silent Killer→
This week in Adult Religious Education I was given a gift—an “Aha” moment. We are looking at “Saving Jesus from Christianity.” This week we asked the question, “Who was Jesus?” There were many answers offered: a wisdom teacher, a prophet, a healer, a mystic, but then one scholar said Jesus was a conversationalist. I had never had that insight before, but he’s right. The gospel is full of conversations Jesus has with a wide variety of people. When I reflect on those conversations he converses with me as well. Continue reading What Is At The Root Of Everything That Is Wrong?→
UK prime minister Harold Wilson famously said, “A week is a long time in politics.” Well, it has been two weeks since I expressed my concern that Donald Trump was not being taken seriously enough and that IF he got the nomination his particular set of gifts and the current mood of the electorate could possibly end with him winning in a landslide against Hillary Clinton.
One news site that sends me a daily email has been measuring the likelihood of Trump becoming president in terms of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Two weeks ago they were giving it one and a half horsemen. Today they are giving it only one. What has changed? Continue reading The Trumpocalypse: How did we get here?→
When I was 10, I saw a terrifying programme on TV. I recall a scene outside a secondary school, kids milling around, in school uniform, jumpers, schoolbags, looking normal, waiting for their buses … kids living their lives, friendships, fears, jealousies, exams, misunderstandings, understandings, learning, growing up.
The programme was about how these kids, unlike their parents — who would have been in a scene pretty much the same at the same age — could expect to have trouble finding work when they left school. It was predicting unemployment. Continue reading The Future of Work→
Before tackling what is wrong with the Living Wage I should make a full disclosure as we often hear journalists do when they have a connection to the story on which they are reporting. In early 2012 I attended the second meeting of unions, churches, and community NGOs exploring the initiation of a Living Wage Movement in Aotearoa New Zealand. I attended its kick-off later that year on May 21st. I became active in a faith network to support the movement and later became its convenor. Continue reading What’s Wrong with the Living Wage?→
In January I attended a weekend summer school offered by a trust focused on raising awareness on social justice, environmental, Treaty, and economic issues. One of the workshops taught me a new word: The Precariat. Continue reading Living in the Age of Precarious→
It wasn’t so until modern times, but a lot can change in a lifetime. Certainly it has in mine. Some of it has been fascinating and life enhancing but in one aspect the change we have experienced has been anything but. Where it is concerned I feel as I imagine a Roman citizen felt after the fall of their empire. Life was stable one day. Pax Romana with its infrastructure and commerce was benefitting most citizens. The next day the Visigoths came to town leaving chaos in their wake. Continue reading Inequality and the New Dark Ages→