Welcome to Rev Paul Turley, our Minister of the congregation
Sunday Bible- June 4 Rev Paul Turley
Two Old Guys - June 4 Revs Phil Hoffman and Paul Turley
The Minister's Message - Talk Magazine May 2023
Doubting Doubting Thomas
Every year, on the second Sunday of Easter, the Revised Common Lectionary (which the Uniting Church and many other denominations generally follow) gives us the same reading from John 20:19-31.
It is the story that is often called Doubting Thomas.
The story appears only in the Gospel of John and John’s gospel is the only one that gives us more than Thomas’s name in a list of the disciples.
The word doubt only appears once in this story – and once in the whole gospel, when Jesus says to Thomas, do not doubt but believe (John 20:27).
The question is, does Jesus think Thomas is doubting and therefore he is telling Thomas not to doubt? Or, does Jesus think that Thomas is not doubting but is believing and therefore Jesus is encouraging him to keep doing so?
And, what do doubt and belief mean here anyway?
Believe is much better translated as trust. Belief, in our time and place, has come to speak more of facts and figures – things that are demonstrably or irrefutably true. Trust has to do with people and experience – things that we can experience as deeply true but that we may not be able to, or may not care to, convince others of. To trust requires engagement. You can believe that the Eiffel Tower is in Paris or that the Earth is 150 million kilometres from the Sun without a great deal of engagement. To trust that your friend loves you or that the chair on which you sit will hold you, requires you to engage with and participate in those realities.
To doubt is to pause. It is to hesitate. It is to hold oneself back. One of the ancient roots of the word doubt is fear. Fear is something that makes one hesitant to move forward.... Read on >>>
Harvest Thanksgiving March 26
Foxy came to help Jill at Youth Day
Induction of Rev Paul Turley
Paul's Response to the Congregation:
It is a joy for me to be welcomed into the community of Scots Church Adelaide and I thank you all so much for the welcome.
In 2018 a YouGov survey found that 40% of people believe that their job did not “make a meaningful contribution to the world. Other polls since have found similar results. You might be forgiven for thinking the job of an ordained minister in a Christian Church at the start of the Twenty-first Century is one of those jobs.
The Church as an institution is well passed the era of Christendom when it was for so long the preeminent institution in western culture. And while those days are behind it, the Church still operates in so many ways as if the turn from institutional religion is an aberration which, with the correct application of technique, commitment or piety will soon be remedied. But we are past all of that now.
We know this in our own denominational story. The Uniting Church in Australia is half the size it was 20 years ago. The average Uniting Church congregation is around 30 people and likely ten years older than the surrounding demographic. However, this is the institution of the Church.
Yet the Church is not an institution. The church has an institutional expression, but it is not an institution. The Church is an organism. We have an institution, but our institutional structure is our exoskeleton. An exoskeleton's purpose is to give shape, structure, and protection to the organism. But it is not the organism.
We often confuse the exoskeleton we need for the essence of who we are. An organism only has its exoskeleton for a season. To change and grow it must shed its old exoskeleton. The difficulty for the organism is that without the old exoskeleton and, while waiting for the new one to form, it is left vulnerable and shapeless. This is the Church now.
But this is also an exciting time for all us who are ministers in God’s church. (And in the Uniting Church that is all of us.) As our institutions structure weaken and dissolve, our nature as organism and as community can, perhaps, be seem with more clarity.... Read on >>>>
Order of Service May 28: Word file.
Other recent services
Preacher: Rev Paul Turley
Organ played by Mr Ashleigh Tobin OAM
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