The sacred text of the bible is sometimes used as a weapon. This likely comes as no surprise. Humans have an awesome capacity for good and we also have a huge capacity for hurting one another. We see this reality in the way in which we humans engage with the world around us. The internet is being used to build community, inspire...

Olive oil is good for our health we are told by health professionals. Last Sunday at church we shared in olive oil, not to dip bread into or to cook with it, but to be anointed with. This is yet another way that olive oil can be good for our health. We were engaging with an ancient practice, something that people in first...

The very early church was not powerful, it did not own properties. It did not have exclusive hierarchies. Indeed its whole understanding of hierarchies was upside down: leaders were to be servants and no one person was better than another. All are included by Christ says Paul: whether slave or free, male or female, Jew or Gentile (Gal 3:28). These...

In the early church, across various communities, Jesus was celebrated in the language and imagery of the female divine, Woman Wisdom. This evidence is found in the bible and is affirmed by various early church writers. Biblical scholars increasingly recognise the evidence of this in the New Testament. However, this startling reality is often not discussed beyond academic circles in churches or...

I wonder what images come to mind when you hear someone described as a person of faith? I get the impression that many people assume that people of faith have put on faith like they would put on a raincoat: faith is seen as some kind of anorak of ignorance that (vainly) seeks to shield people from suffering or to block...

We are in the midst of Holy Week now. We are close to Good Friday and are living in the shadow of the Jesus’ cross. When I was in primary school, a class mate asked me with some passion why I wore a necklace with a cross on it. She went on to say that she wouldn’t wear a gun around...

How easy it is to sit in judgement over other people's lives. We recently heard our own Prime Minister offering what seemed like a flippant judgement about the way in which some First Australians are living. By describing a whole way of being, anchored in spirituality, country and tradition as a ‘lifestyle choice’ demonstrated a lack of respect or appreciation for...

This week I had a deep and wide ranging conversation with a person of Jewish faith. We discussed sacred texts, theology, anti Semitism, understandings of Jesus and we talked about death. He told me a joke about a person who went to see their Rabbi when they were diagnosed with only 3 days to live. The Rabbi responded by saying: “Congratulations -...

In the Jesus’ Way there are different seasons that run parallel to the ‘regular’ seasons of the year. Ash Wednesday the 18th February this year, marks the beginning of Lent, that season in the Jesus community that leads to Easter. During these weeks we are invited to pause, to step back from our doing, our business and our habits and...

Over the last few weeks I have enjoyed sharing in some rich conversations with strangers. One such conversation was with a person who simply wanted to see the architecture of the Richmond Uniting Church. As he looked at the beautiful stencil work on the walls we chatted. When he discovered that I was the minister he asked “So what do you...