Hello, I'm Matt!
I’m a theology student at Pilgrim Theological college, part of the University of Divinity in Melbourne, Australia. I have a keen passion for the preached Word, and theological reflection that resources public theology. I also help manage a church-based social enterprise café.
About the Blog...
This blog is a place to record what I’m learning. Whether my sermons, reflections on life and study, or contributions to my formal study - I’m currently working on a short thesis on Schleiermacher. I try to connect my theological reflections to the issues facing myself, my church (the Uniting Church in Australia), and the world.
A sermon given at Ascot-Vale Uniting Church on October 14, 2018. The readings were: Job 23.1-9, 16-17; Mark 10.17-31.
A sermon delivered at Manningham Uniting Church October 7, 2018. The focus text was Hebrews 1.1-4; 2.5-12.
This rambling comes out of a conversation with a very dear and close friend. Historical accuracy not guaranteed.
Here is the text of the sermon preached at Ascot Vale Uniting Church on the 23rd of September, 2018, but also the liturgy that I prepared for the service. In case it’s of interest to people. (I have added a couple of explanatory notes throughout.)
Recently Uniting Church in Australia (UCA) minister, and church historian, Rev. Dr. Avril Hannah-Jones published an article about the decision of the UCA’s 15th Assembly in regards to marriage. Without setting aside the strengths of Hannah-Jones’ article, there are a few concerns I feel it is appropriate to raise.
A sermon preached at Manningham Uniting Church on the 5/8/18, on the Transfiguration - in dialogue with Raphael’s depiction of this story.
Someone asked me for a more fully fleshed out account of my views on marriage and sexuality, from a theological perspective.
"Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do."
This not so brief piece is my response.
“[Jesus] is our peace; in his flesh he has made both groups into one and has broken down the dividing wall, that is, the hostility between us.” (Eph. 2.14)
At the centre of today’s reading is this claim that Jesus is peace, and breaks down hostility within a new community. I want to try and unpack what this might mean for us today. But I want to admit from the start that this is not an easy idea to grapple with, and in my own reflections it has been somewhat confronting, and discomforting.
The Assembly of the Uniting Church in Australia has resolved to allows its ministers freedom to choose to marry two people, regardless of gender, or not. I welcome and celebrate this decision. I spoke for this decision.
And yet this decision was hard. Many people have been significantly hurt along the way. Many people have felt their voices choked in a church they thought offered them a space to belong.
I am aware that literally no one asked for this. Nevertheless, I am a member of the upcoming Uniting Church in Australia (UCA) Assembly - that council tasked with discernment and decision on issues of doctrine within the Uniting Church. I thought it would be helpful to lay out the issues that I see framing the issue of marriage within the Uniting Church, as a way of resourcing the discernment that the Assembly is to undertake. The issue in question is whether the Uniting Church in Australia should change its law to allow ministers to conduct same-gender marriages if they so wish -- but not to compel any minister, or any congregation to conduct or condone any such marriages if they do not wish to do so.
If you are interested in reaching out to me for any reason, please use the form below!