Author Archives: Avril Hannah-Jones

Sermon: No longer hiding

Since we are imperfect beings, and churches are imperfect institutions, this means that we will be accused of hypocrisy. How can our community service agencies ask the government to increase welfare benefits when churches receive tax exemptions? How can churches say we support constitutional recognition for First Nations when we played such a central part in colonisation, the destruction of Indigenous cultures, and housed the children stolen from their families? Continue reading

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Sermon: We have not been left alone

The disciples show us how to wait, how to live in the time in-between; in community, with one another, constantly devoting ourselves to prayer. Called to glorify Jesus through our own lives we are to love one another as Jesus loved us, so that everyone will know that we are his disciples. We are to be one, as the Father and Son are one Continue reading

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Sermon: With gentleness and reverence

I have also found it incredibly heartening to hear why these people believe that they have been called into ministry in the Uniting Church. Most often, they talk of the inclusivity of the Uniting Church, of our diversity, of the way in which we respect each other’s differences and do not demand that everyone follow our way of being Christian. We are an entire Church that shares our faith ‘with gentleness and reverence’; that seeks to find common ground between us and those who are not Christian. Continue reading

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Sermon: In death and life

We do not need to wait until death to enter God’s dwelling-places, to join the community of love that is God. Jesus tells his disciples ‘I am in the Father and the Father is in me,’ and we are welcomed into their community of love and invited to dwell in God in both life and death. Continue reading

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Zadok the Priest

‘May the king live forever’ struck me as a strange thing to say, so I took a deep dive into whence that line came. Continue reading

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Sermon: Life in abundance

Do we use our money in such a way that it leads to the life in abundance that Jesus came to bring, for us and for others? Do we, for instance, give money to causes that bring health and hope to people in need? Do we buy things that have been produced in fair and sustainable ways? Do all the many people involved in getting food to our tables receive a living wage? Can we say with Justin Martyr that, ‘We who once took most pleasure in accumulating wealth and property now share with everyone in need’? Can we say with Tertullian that ‘our care for the derelict and our active love’ identify us? Continue reading

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Sermon: On not being terrified of eating and drinking with Jesus

Each month we imitate these disciples on the road to Emmaus. We gather around the Table at which our Lord is the Host, knowing that we are welcome there, and then we leave the table to share God’s welcome with the world. Fed by both metaphorical and literal food, we go out to share both metaphorical and literal food. We receive what we are, and we become what we receive – the Body of Christ. We rejoice as we are regularly reminded that Christ is here: in our hearts; in our lives; and in our midst. Continue reading

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Sermon: Where, O death, is now your sting?

If we ever worry that our sins, our faults and failings, make us unimportant, unacceptable, unlovable, that we deserve punishment rather than acceptance, then we can rejoice. Jesus said that he came to bring mercy, not sacrifice, and God affirmed Jesus’ teachings in the resurrection. Continue reading

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Sermon: Our Only King

We Christians should be inoculated against such awe. We venerate and revere only God. Our ‘powerful leader’ is Jesus, who is gentle and humble in heart, and whose yoke is easy, and burden light. (Matthew 11:28-30) But we are human beings, and so we are just as prone to revering people for the wrong things – wealth, heritage, title, fame – as Trump supporters. Continue reading

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Why I stand with transgender, gender diverse, and non-binary people

Sadly, Christianity has often promoted ideologies driven by supposed superiority and hatred. It has absolutely never gone well. Churches have had to apologise for being involved in slavery and settler colonialism and Nazism and apartheid. Christianity only truly follows Jesus when everyone is both welcomed and able to welcome others, and when Christians both are the oppressed, and those who stand on the side of the oppressed. Continue reading

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