~ Ideas shared in our Sunday morning messages ~

Have you ever suddenly come across a word or a phrase that makes an indelible imprint on your mind? One word which springs to mind is Spirituality – Spirit-uality. This means living each day by the power of God’s Holy Spirit, reading the Word, praying, listening for the still small voice of the Spirit or giving praise and thanks to God.


Something to think about…

Each week we have a small devotion to contemplate for the days following the service on Sunday. These are included in the BUC newsletter for the congregation but they are also provided for you below to read at your own leisure. You can click on the links to read the verses automatically.


For the week of Friday, 21st June 2019

In this Sunday’s 1 Kings reading, we hear of Elijah’s despair, of his giving up, and yet also of his being sustained on his journey of faith. Do we ever despair? Are we ever tempted to just throw it all in? Do we ever feel utterly alone, and bereft of resources? In what ways have we been surprised, or even awed, at being sustained at those times when we thought all hope was lost? This reading invites us to reflect on the many ways in which God engages with us, sustains us, but also challenges us in our journey.

Michael Dowling


For the week of Friday, 14th June 2019

Christianity is one of the three so-called Abrahamic faiths, the other two being Judaism and Islam. All three Abrahamic faiths are monotheistic, with God being conceived as one God, rather than many. Christianity is, however, far and away the most complex of the monotheistic faiths and this Sunday, Trinity Sunday, we have an opportunity to engage with some of this complexity. This Sunday we reflect upon the traditional Christian understanding of God as three Persons, but one Being. How is this different from the simpler monotheistic conceptions of God, and what are its implications? What significance does God’s nature, understood in the Christian triune sense, have for our own human nature? This Sunday, we will have an opportunity to explore such questions.

Michael Dowling


For the week of Friday, 7th June 2019

“A Pentecost Prayer”

O Great Spirit whose voice I hear in the winds, and whose breath gives life to all the world, hear me.

I stand before you: one of your many children,
I am small and weak; I need your strength and wisdom.
Let me walk in beauty, and make my eyes ever behold the red and purple sunset,
Make my hands respect the things you have made, my ears sharp to hear your
voice,
Make me wise so that I may understand the things you have taught my people,
Let me learn the lessons you have hidden in every leaf and rock.
I seek strength, not to be greater than others but to fight my greatest enemy,
myself.
Make me always ready to come to you with clean hands and straight eyes,
So when life fades, as the fading sunset, my spirit may come to you without
shame.

A Canadian First Nations Prayer.


For the week of Friday, 31st May 2019

“I ask not only on behalf of these, but also on behalf of those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given them, so that they may be one, as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become completely one, so that the world may know that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.”

In the lectionary reading, Jesus prays that those who follow Him may be completely one, just as Jesus and the Father are one. He prays those who follow Jesus may be ‘in’ the Father and ‘in’ Jesus. What might it mean for us, the followers of Jesus to be one, or even completely one, and in the same way that Jesus and the Father are one?! This is a deep question, and one not readily catered to by glib answers. Imagine! A Wider Church that exhibited a deep oneness! Imagine! A wider humanity that exhibited true oneness! In a few days’ time, it will be World Environment Day. What might a Church, and a humanity that exhibited true oneness mean, not just for humanity, but for our world? Imagine!

Michael Dowling


For the week of Friday, 24th May 2019

BIBLE TEXT FOR RECONCILIATION SUNDAY

This Sunday, Reconciliation Sunday, is a special day, where will be having a number of our indigenous brothers and sisters joining us for worship, after which we have the Reconciliation Walk to Colebrook Park. Rev. Mark Kickett, Congress Development and Outreach Officer with the Uniting Church Synod, will be preaching on the day and his text will be 2 Corinthians 5:11-21. As we prepare for this special day, let’s reflect on this text, and consider the ways in which we can positively contribute to the ongoing reconciliation between first and second peoples of this land.

2 Corinthians 5:11-21 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

1 Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we try to persuade others; but we ourselves are well known to God, and I hope that we are also well known to your consciences. 12 We are not commending ourselves to you again, but giving you an opportunity to boast about us, so that you may be able to answer those who boast in outward appearance and not in the heart. 13 For if we are beside ourselves, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. 14 For the love of Christ urges us on, because we are convinced that one has died for all; therefore all have died. 15 And he died for all, so that those who live might live no longer for themselves, but for him who died and was raised for them.

16 From now on, therefore, we regard no one from a human point of view; even though we once knew Christ from a human point of view, we know him no longer in that way.

17 So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new! 18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting the message of reconciliation to us. 20 So we are ambassadors for Christ, since God is making his appeal through us; we entreat you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

Michael Dowling