Author Archives: Rob Hanks

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The Extravagantly Generous Sower

Four Soils Greg Janknegt

“Listen” said Jesus, as SUCH A CROWD GATHERED, standing on the beach, that he got in a boat to be able to teach them, sharing a PARABLE, an allegory, a simple story to teach those who are in fact, listening…

While they may be simple stories, that doesn’t make them easy to understand. Sarah Dylan Brauer, a Minister I read often, invites a ‘simple rule for parables.’ If you’re reading one and not finding anything surprising or even shocking, It’s time to go back and read it again!!

PARABLES are known for reversing the listeners expectations, for challenging well worn patterns of relationship, community and how things are…God turns things upside down but the good news is the aim is abundant life… What do you make of the so-called, Parable of the Sower?

It’s not surprising that the Sower went out to sow, or some of the seeds didn’t grow…

4And as he sowed, some seeds fell on the path, and the birds came and ate them up. 5Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and they sprang up quickly, since they had no depth of soil. 6But when the sun rose, they were scorched; and since they had no root, they withered away. 7Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. 8Other seeds fell on good soil and brought forth grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. 9Let anyone with ears listen!”

So we know this is a story about living lives that make us the kind of soil where the seed is planted, takes hold and grows, isn’t it? BUT isn’t this the Parable of the Foolish Sower, the Generous Sower? He doesn’t reserve the ‘best seeds’ for the fertile ground, doesn’t hold back in sowing. GOD offers God’s generous love, message of hope, life and grace, to everyone!!!!

No discrimination, modelling GENEROSITY and reckless HOSPITALITY, the BIGGER PICTURE of a flourishing world… when you get time, read the story again…

23But as for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.”

Surely that’s a surprising yield!! Such careless generosity comes back in spades…AND INVITES OUR RESPONSE…

For me, the parable, the whole story, invites thinking about the planet, CARE for the environment, and stewardship of resources and our consumption must somewhere be part of our faithfully reflected discipleship journey and our choices BUT I know climate science, warming and the future are hard topics, what does it mean that entrepreneur Elon Musk, announced the building of the world’s largest lithium ion battery in South Australia.  John Ward in our community, Principal Scientist/Grids & Energy Efficient Systems/Energy Flagship/CSIRO talked to us 16.7.17 about this news and it’s place in our wider concerns for the world we live in…


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“Threshold of the Future”

 

I’ve shared this quote at Morisset Uniting and again yesterday at the Induction of the new Rev at Toronto [Trona] Uniting, thanks Mike Riddell, as sharp as the 1980s writing!!

“The essence of the church has always been mission. It is created by mission, renewed by mission, and participates in mission. That mission belongs to God, and the church has stakes in it only insofar as it shares the life of God through Christ. To take part in God’s mission to the world is to become a conductor of the divine energy which has been unleashed through the tearing open of the Trinity. Apart from involvement in mission, the church becomes a tawdry relic; a dusty museum of religion, suitable for tourists and historians, but little else. The creeping temptation of the church is to believe that it is an end in itself. Power, wealth, security and the desire for continuity dog the life of the established church as they do any other institution.

The characteristics of the God made known in Jesus – love, vulnerability, redemptive suffering, service – are not nearly so attractive. So it is that theology and praxis must continually struggle against the tendency to co-opt God to the agenda of the church, rather than shape the church according to the will of God. Such is the history of the people of God, who attempt to follow the moving pillar of fire.

God will not be contained. The attempt to construct boxes for the divine presence is doomed to tragedy. Those who invest their lives in such misguided pursuits will be left with splinters and the distant laugh of the Spirit. God is God or even better, God is who God will be. It is no denial of the centrality of Christ to say that we are still finding out who God will be. Christian faith is not a deposit of information, but a relationship with the partner who is constantly luring and dancing in the direction of the horizon.Many groups have assumed that they know the mind and intent of God, and been made to look silly as they clutch their supposed certainties while God moves on.”

 


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2017… a New Year!!

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Converse Orange

 

YOUTH has for many years met fortnightly during the School Term for a variety of activities based at the Morisset Uniting “Church in the Trees” and kicks off for 2017 on Friday 10th February!!                                       24th February   10th March   24th March   7th April

The pattern is 6pm to 9.15pm including a shared meal either home cooked or takeaway for $5 per person

During the early part of this year the group will be exploring and planning for a new group of high school aged youth to engage with their interests and this community and to explore an experience of God in the world and in life. All this while continuing to engage in activity, shared time and fun!!

All high schoolers and young adults are welcome to come along and join in!!!


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“Connections” at Barangaroo

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“Connections” heard track work would prevent a simple visit to “Dungog Festival” so instead we caught the train to Wynard and walked from Barangaroo to Circular Quay!! Stay tuned for details of the next activity [probably with less walking]!!


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Prayer in many ways

At Morisset Uniting Church there are a number of people committed to prayer in support of our mission & ministry, people and situations across the nation and the world…

Connect in Prayer are a small passionate team

Prayer Circle is how we share and pray for concerns/celebrations/needs

Pastoral Carers underpin our caring work with prayer

And our monthly Prayer Breakfast happens in the church hall on the 3rd Saturday of the month 8am to 9am. All welcome!!!


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Leading Worship Music

We have a ministry for those who enjoy singing as an Ensemble leading our worship music alongside organ and piano with scope for a band in the future


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For Singers and Musicians

Meets 2pm Wednesdays in the Worship Centre

For singers and musicians exploring a wide range of music!!