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Sermons, essays, ideas.

Hi, I’m Alister. After twenty years in software development in London and Melbourne, and more than a decade leading a church in a pub in Melbourne, Australia, I became a Uniting Church Minister in 2019.

I’m interested in how you can reconstruct your faith if you’ve been bruised by your experience of church by taking the tradition more, not less, seriously. I also think about how do to church in post-modernity, having spent more than a decade leading a church in a pub. What does it mean to be a Christian in a world of suffering, doubt, and complexity?

The Sower

“Listen! A sower went out to sow….” As Melbourne goes back into lockdown, what is the good news for us from Jesus’ parable of the sower? Also: just how much wheat were the hearers expecting from a head, and does it matter?

The Trauma of COVID-19 and the Easy Yoke of Jesus

The experience of living in the world of COVID-19 is a sort of trauma. Not, perhaps, the sort of trauma one gets from being buried by a fallen building for several days, but it isn’t nothing either. Our sense of what is secure and reliable vanishes into smoke. What does it mean to bear the easy yoke of Jesus in this new, radically uncertain, world?

The Existential Faith of Abraham

“After these things God tested Abraham. He said to him, ‘Abraham!’ And he said, ‘Here I am.’” Here begins one of the most disturbing stories in the Old Testament. God asks Abraham to kill his son. In the end (spoiler alert!) he doesn’t have to . But what sort of God demands that – and what sort of person is prepared to do it? Is this simply an appalling story we should ignore – or does it plumb the profound depths of human experience at the limit?

Google Maps versus the Pacific Ocean

What does believing in three impossible things before breakfast have to do with the transformative possibilities of a life in touch with that base reality we call God? What does Google Maps have to do with the Pacific Ocean? And can can Astronaut Mark Watney help?

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