St. John's Uniting Church Wahroonga

Champagne Supper and Opening Night

This year, the Opening Night of Wahroonga Antiques Fair on Friday 13th July will be hosted by Wahroonga Preparatory School. Your $30 ticket will cover entry to the Champagne Supper: an evening of wine, champagne, soft drinks and canapes, entertainment by jazz duo Don and Robin Reid, and a chance to browse and buy items from our showcased Antiques dealers. The ticket also covers entry to the Fair throughout the weekend. Tickets may be booked online now.

Antiques Fair

The 2012 Antiques Fair is approaching, the dealers are booking up, the launch party is being planned, the team is hard at work… so make sure July 13-15 is in your diary! For more information, check the Antiques Fair webpage.

Creative Spirit

Genesis 1:1-2 | John 16:12-15 | Romans 8:22-27
One of the great sadnesses of the way the Bible has been treated in the modern age is the way the creation story, as told in the opening chapters of Genesis, has been lost behind arguments about creation and evolution. The arguments of those who would read the creation stories literally, and therefore reject many of the findings of modern science, have led many of us who take a different approach to Genesis – I guess it comes as no surprise to most here that I am not a Biblical literalist – to shy away from these passages completely, treating them like that embarassing uncle who you admit being related to, but would really rather not talk about.

What a tragedy that is. For when we take them away from the arena of futile debate, we find in those opening chapters of the Bible a profound insight into the nature of God, creation, and humanity; and a remarkable piece of poetic writing. Hear the words again, savour them for a moment:

the earth was formless and desolate; the raging ocean that covered everything was engulfed in total darkness

You can almost picture whoever first composed these words, some ancient Hebrew poet or priest or storyteller, gazing out over a stormy sea at night, and seeing in the powerful, uncontained chaos of the ocean a glimpse of what creation might have been like… had not been tamed by the creative power of God
and the Spirit of God was moving over the water. Continue reading

Perceptions on Climate Change

2007 Australian of the Year Tim Flannery will be joined by the head of Biological Sciences at Macquarie University, Lesley Hughes, for a public forum on how climate change, faith, and the Church interact with one another. The forum is at 7pm, Wednesday June 6th, at the Center for Ministry, 16 Masons Drive, North Parramatta.

Welcome to E100

Starting at Pentecost this year, I’d like to encourage as many members of St. John’s as possible to join me in the E100 reading program. E100 is 100 passages from the Bible, 50 from the Old Testament and 50 from the New, which give a broad overview of the scriptures as a whole. They are divided into 20 weeks of five readings, which, with a couple of holiday weeks to allow people to catch up, will take us through most of the way to Lent!

I’ll be preaching on the passages, and at Nooma we’ll be looking at them, and I’d also encourage you to join the conversation here on the website. Each week I’ll post the set of readings, and invite you to add your thoughts and reflections in the comments.

You can download the E100 Reading Plan, or pick up a copy at Church, or just look them up here.

Continue reading

Do you volunteer…?

If you volunteer for anything at Church, please take about 10 minutes to complete this survey. The information gained will help the Uniting Church to have the data it needs to better respond to changes in workplace safety laws.

“I am not a racist” – May 13th, 2012

This sermon originally included the names of a lot of real people, which was fine when spoken but is inappropriate on the Web.  With the exception of my brother, his wife and the Japanese potter Takeshita Shikamaru, all the names in this written version have been changed to invented names of the same ethnicity as the originals.  I don’t know any people who have these names, and if I have invented a name of someone you know it’s purely coincidental.

Acts 10:44-48 | John 15:9-17

I had thought this sermon through before I realised that I’d be giving it on Mothers Day, and I worried about how to tie the day in.  I think I’ve done it … see if you can spot my clever and subtle link!

I feel I can confidently say that everyone here, if asked, would say, “I am not a racist.”

I’m not a racist.  In just the last week I’ve had a wine with Majid Khan (well, he’s a Moslem so he had juice), shared a joke about Italian food with Genevra Bartolocci, helped Aisyah Musa to construct an customer letter, flirted outrageously with Priya Sivalingam, had a yarn about the football with Raymond Ng, received excellent advice on TVs from Kheng Trang,  got a very nice email from my friend Melinda Yang, discussed hunting in the Ukraine with Irina Zenchenko and wished my mate Guan Hoe Soon in Singapore a happy birthday.   I’ve sympathised over the tornado damage done to the Mashiko potter Takeshita Shikamaru’s home and studio and celebrated with my brother Euan & my sister-in-law Mikako on the completion of his kiln in Minakama.  I’ve even been nice to my boss – and she’s a Kiwi!

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Trivia Night

Great big thank you to all those who helped out with, came along to, or otherwise supported the trivia night last week. A great time was had by all, and it looks like, once all the numbers are added up, we’ll have raised around $800 for our work with children and families!