God of the living

by West Epping UCA

Our gathering as congregations of Christians is largely about memory. We remember stories of peoples and cultures ancient and distant. We listen to their stories in which we hear wisdom and the voice of God coming through history, story and memory. They are ancestors in this spiritual journey, part of the movement that embraces God’s […]

Zacchaeus!

by West Epping UCA

The story this week (Luke 19:1-10) is about Zacchaeus, a tax collector.  This meant that he collaborated with the enemy, the Romans, and collected the high taxes for them.  To these taxes he added something more on top for himself – he ripped off his own people.  Zacchaeus was despised, hated, rejected, excluded and ostracised.  […]

Pride Versus Humility

by West Epping UCA

The parable of the pharisee and the tax collector in this week’s gospel bears out the common theme with the previous week’s gospel, the parable of the unjust judge. The common thread is the theme of vindication, justification, exoneration. Last week, the widow’s just cause was vindicated; the widow represents those who were suffering oppression. […]

Persistence in Prayer

by West Epping UCA

The gospel this week (Luke 18:1-8) tells about the parable of the unjust judge. He draws sharp lines of contrast between this man and a widow who comes to him for justice. This widow, because of who she was and where she found herself, this widow had no other option than continually beating a path […]

Gratitudes

by West Epping UCA

Most of us have felt the sting of ingratitude, but few have felt it as painfully as Ed Spencer.  He was a divinity student at Garret Theological Seminary, Illinois.  On 8 September, 1860, Spencer was drawn into a situation that changed the direction of his life.  That night he was awakened by the shouting of […]

Relations, Forgiveness & Community

by West Epping UCA

Connections are essential to life and who we are as people.  At every level we find ourselves connected – to people, place, the earth and its creatures, culture, and the Divine that pervades all life.  Founder of the Centre for Action and Contemplation, Richard Rohr, says that ‘The universe is relational at every level, and […]

Social Justice Sunday

by West Epping UCA

Transforming society justlyThe unbridgeable structural chasm of inequality created by the rich and powerful 1.   As the churches around the world set aside this Sunday as Social Justice Sunday, in our reading from Luke 16:19-31 the Lukan Jesus creates a parable about the unbridgeable structural chasm that divides the rich person from poor Lazarus who […]

Welcoming Community

by West Epping UCA

A story is told about a soldier who was finally coming home after having fought in Vietnam.  He called his parents from San Francisco. “Mum and Dad, I’m coming home, but I have a favour to ask. I have a friend I’d like to bring home with me.” “Sure,” they replied, “We’d love to meet […]

Free to live freedom

by West Epping UCA

In our reading this week, Luke 14:25-33, we are confronted by the most disturbing and misunderstood injunctions of Jesus: To follow you must “hate” family and even life itself, that you can only follow if you take up your cross, and finally, you can only be a follower if you sell all your possessions. William […]