28 August 2016 – Rev. Tony McNeile and “The Authority By Which We Live”

Rev. Tony McNeile began with a modern version of the story of David and Abigail, followed by a reading from ‘The Brothers Karamazov’ by Fyodor Dostoyevsky to introduce the controversial topic of whether human beings prefer peace to freedom. Rev. McNeile quoted Yanis Varoufakis, the former Greek finance minister, asking what form of religion we have without the notion of hell. Why should we believe? Is Unitarianism the least authoritarian and most easygoing of religions, in its lack of formal dogma and restrictions on believers – and does that mean that the authority by which we live must be our own conscience?

21 August 2016 – Rev. June Pettitt and “Interpreting Jesus”

Beginning with the story of “The Two Mirrors”, Rev. June Pettitt asked us to consider how Unitarians might interpret the life and teachings of Jesus, in the context of their times. Many of us are familiar with the parable of the labourers hired at different times during the day, all of whom were paid the same; was this a reflection that at the time a day’s wage was the minimum needed to support a labourer and his family?

14 August 2016 – Dr. Barry Thomas and “Idealism, Realism and the Economy”

Dr Barry Thomas led us through a thought-provoking service, beginning with a reading from the “Fable of the Bees” by Bernard Mandeville. Dr Thomas expounded on the controversial topic of whether private vice can lead to public virtue, and whether it is truly possible to conceive of an entirely different economic system – or whether tamed capitalism is the best way forward at this moment in time.