Waranga Uniting Churches

Two types of reality

By on July 18, 2019

The everyday world in which we all live consists of two types of reality. There is the world of things – the material world. These things can be touched, constructed, bought and sold. Our house, our car, our TV, money, clothes, food, etc. We spend a lot of our time and energy wanting, obtaining and maintaining the things in our life. Our desire to possess such things makes the economy function; things can be bought and sold, accumulated and stored. People make things for us to buy. We work so that we can buy the things we want and need. Advertisers create adverts that promise us happiness and success if we acquire such things.

But there is another part of our lives which is also very important. It’s the non-material part of our lives: love, joy, belonging, hope, and peace. It’s the things that shape our character: patience, resilience, determination, kindness, empathy and self-control. It’s the things that form the fabric of our lives: friendship, someone to love, being loved, family, children, trust and community. It’s the things that shape how we see the world: our beliefs, faith, philosophy, ideas, world view and the values by which we seek to live. It is the experience of big love, deep suffering, of falling, of failing, of grace and forgiveness that shape us and make us who we are. But these things are not things at all, they are part of the non-material world. They cannot be bought or sold, but this non-material world is what makes life worth living.

I believe that the most important things in the world are not things. What’s more I believe that in our hearts we all know this to be true. When someone gets sick, when someone dies, when a baby is born, when we fall in love we all know that it is this non-material world that matters.

The daily news will endlessly fill our heads with the treachery of the human condition. Advertisers will continually try to seduce us into believing that owning this or that product will make us happy. But how do we feed the non-material or spiritual side of our lives. Through these columns I’ve tried to present a way of looking at the ordinary things of life and having them enriched by interpreting them through the lens of faith. For me that means following Jesus. As unfashionable as that can sound in our post-modern, material world I remain fascinated and challenged by the life and teaching of Jesus.

Meanwhile, I hope there are days when your coffee awakens you to the unseen, days when a sunset takes your breath away, days when the kindness of a stranger feels like the hand of God, and days when your spirit rises to discover possibilities beyond your imagination.

Jesus said, “You’re blessed when you get your inside world—your mind and heart—put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.” (Matthew 5:8 The Message)

This is the gospel, and it’s good news.

Brian Spencer, Minister

Dancing in the rain

By on June 12, 2019

Rain is on the topic on everyone’s lips this last couple of weeks. The long dry Spring, Summer and Autumn has finally broken with good soaking rains falling across the Northern Plains. Broad acre farmers have been running their tractors

Now the dust has settled

By on June 10, 2019

She took me out the back of the church and gave me a good dusting down. Literally! She didn’t want to do it in front of the packed church. But I had obviously brushed by suit coat up against the

From the Prairie to the Outback – Turaton Concert

By on May 20, 2019

TURATON MUSIC COMPANY PRESENTS A performance of country theme music by the choir and featured soloists. Enjoy songs you will remember, like… Black Hills of Dakota, Secret love, Oklahoma, Waltzing Matilda, Take Me Home Country Roads, King of The Road

Mother hen God

By on May 11, 2019

Culturally, Mother’s Day has always been a bigger event than Father’s Day ever will be. Politics aside, when the Sydney Daily Telegraph ran a story attacking the memory of Bill Shorten’s mother, it unleashed a powerful backlash from many quarters.

Prodigal God

By on May 5, 2019

  The love and pain of family relationships mostly happens out of public sight. It’s mostly a private affair, the intimacies and intricacies only known to the closest family and sometimes only to the parent. The aching love of a

An eye for an eye and everyone is blind

By on April 28, 2019

The church bombings on Easter Sunday in Sri Lanka were reportedly in retaliation for the Mosque shooting in New Zealand last month. Where does it end? You disrespect me and I will disrespect you. You beat up one of my

Picking Winners

By on April 4, 2019

For the first time in many years, I am in a footy tipping competition. My grandson decided it would be a good family bonding activity. When I ran an office we had a competition among the staff and it was

Parish Service 31st March – Guest Speaker Rev Tony Davies

By on March 27, 2019

Tony Davies is the Presbytery Minister for Pastoral Care and Mission will be the guest speaker at the Parish Service to be held at Colbinabbin Uniting Church at 9.30am. Tony commenced full time in this role with the Presbytery in

A murder in my heart

By on February 20, 2019

From early morning and periodically throughout the day a murder of crows descend loud and large into the vineyard. Their boisterous cawing can be heard from a few hundred metres away. People often tell me that “I’m living the dream”,