Tag Archives: Seven Principles

Reclaiming the Common

Rev. Clay Nelson

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Rev. Clay Nelson © 12th November 2017

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

Passing the Flame

Rev. Clay Nelson

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Please accept our apologies for the sound quality this week, and for the absence of the first 3 paragraphs below from the audio recording.

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Rev. clay Nelson © 30 July 2017

In preparation for this Sunday, when we welcome new members to our congregation, I have been reflecting on what it means to self-identify as a Unitarian and how it has changed. Continue reading Passing the Flame

Building A Beloved Community

Rev. Clay Nelson

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Rev. clay Nelson © 5 March 2017

I’ve been reflecting a lot recently on why, since the age of five, I’ve more often than not been in church on Sundays. Of course, for most of my adult life it has been my vocation. It paid the bills. But in my reflections I’ve wondered, if that was not the case, would I still find myself here almost every Sunday? What need does it fulfil? Continue reading Building A Beloved Community

Being Grounded

Rev. Clay Nelson

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Rev. Clay Nelson © 2 October 2016

Being grounded doesn’t always have the best connotation, especially if you are a teenager being restricted after misbehaviour, but in religious terms it captures the spiritual revolution that is transforming religion. Last week, in discussing the evolution of Unitarianism, I touched on this revolution when I said many of today’s Unitarians are rejecting Kant’s “religion within the bounds of reason alone” as lacking any mystical or spiritual dimension. They are embracing what has been described as “ecstatic naturalism.” They seek an experience that is beyond the capacity of words to describe, except perhaps in poetry and music. Continue reading Being Grounded

Can Love Trump Hate?

Rev. Clay Nelson

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Rev. Clay Nelson © 21 August 2016

This election year has seriously challenged this Unitarian’s efforts to live out our first principle: “To affirm and promote the inherent worth and dignity of every person.” Even during the primaries when I was feeling the Bern, I managed to view Hillary with respect even though I agreed more fully with my candidate’s positions on the issues and trusted him to follow through. I managed to do this even when some Hillary supporters, who are my friends, disparaged him and me for daring not to support her pre-ordained right to be president. I managed this even when it was confirmed that the game was rigged just as Bernie’s supporters had long believed. Of course it was. Those in power have never given it up easily. Continue reading Can Love Trump Hate?