Religion in a Non-Religious Church

Religion in a Non-Religious Church

At a time when our society has become very secular, it is easy to assume that religion has less to teach us than other sources of inspiration, such as poetry, literature, art, and philosophy. And yet, despite the qualities of religions that make us describe ourselves as non-religious, religions that have stood the test of time have nuggets of great wisdom within them. A day for excavating wisdom and inspiration from traditional religion.

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Talking Love. Talking Justice.

Talking Love. Talking Justice.

It is extremely tempting to try to humiliate your opponents in a dispute and decimate their arguments. Sometimes we might even succeed in doing that. Usually, we don’t. We just make both sides angrier and angrier so that the next engagement is even nastier and more brutal. And if we should succeed in winning through verbal and physical violence? What then? We may win the battle, but we create angry, vindictive enemies for life and sometimes for generations.

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Psychedelics and Mystical Experience

Psychedelics and Mystical Experience

Our weekly Sunday Gathering is a chance to meet other New Unity members, to be uplifted by the message, to share joys and sorrows, to feel togetherness. This week we welcome guest speaker Stephen Reid. Psychedelics (from the Greek psyche: mind, delos: make visible, reveal) are substances that induce an altered state of consciousness sometimes compared to a 'waking dream'. The best known psychedelics are psilocybin (found in magic mushrooms), DMT (found in ayahuasca), mescaline (found in peyote and San Pedro cacti) and LSD.

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Inspired by Nature

Inspired by Nature

Earth, rain, and sunlight combine to create beauty around us and foods that can sustain our lives. Imagine what a wonder and mystery this was to the ancients. Their response was an outpouring of gratitude, such as at the festival of Sukkot. How plants grow and fruit is no longer a true mystery to us. What have we lost when we take the wonders of the natural world for granted? This Sunday is a day to reconnect with the inspiration, awe and gratitude engendered by the natural world.

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We Are Always New

We Are Always New

Our weekly Sunday Gathering is a chance to meet other New Unity members, to be uplifted by the message, to share joys and sorrows, to feel togetherness. This Sunday Gathering, which takes place close to the Jewish New Year of Rosh Hashana, explores the reality that we are continually new in a real and physical sense and the potential for newness of mind and possibility every day of our lives. Led by Andy Pakula. In the chapel at Newington Green, 39A Newington Green.

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Science Can Be Your Thing Too

Science Can Be Your Thing Too

For all the talk about reason and science, Humanism is really about a passionate love affair. It is a love affair with life, not a mythical hereafter. Humanism is a love affair with a progressive vision of civilization in which each of us can add to our growing library of wisdom, our evolving knowledge of what there is and what is truly important. None of the great achievements in history would have been possible without a love of the adventure of learning and the adventure of creating a better life. Our great cultural achievements in science, art, music, literature, philosophy, history, psychology, and political thought all inform each other and have been born of that long Humanist tradition.

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Awe, Wonder, and Science

Awe, Wonder, and Science

These are difficult times. This has been a difficult week. 

For those of us keeping a wary eye on what is happening in the world’s most powerful nation, there has been more horror and a sense of constant anxiety. A resurgence of far right-wing movements, of neo-Nazis, white supremacists, fascists, and the KKK exploded into violence in Charlottesville, Virginia. The violence of the so-called alt-right was disgusting. Along with clubs and pepper spray and fists, again, a vehicle was used as a lethal weapon and a young woman died on the scene. Many other lives were severely impacted.

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Your Elephant and You

Your Elephant and You

On Tuesday the 10th of March, Shaun Nichols delivered the 2015 Wellcome & Loebel Lecture in Neuroethics. Nichols presented a range of intriguing empirical data on how our view of the self affects our attitudes. The common view about the self is that it is something that persists through our lives. The self is an essential part of us that remains the same from childhood to adulthood. However some views in philosophy and religion see the self as something much less permanent.

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How does your garden grow: Unsung female heroes of science

How does your garden grow: Unsung female heroes of science

This message is about the women who made a difference in our world and how much we have to thank them for what they’ve done. A special focus will be on botany and the plant world and how amazing plant life is and what plants can tell you. Led by guest speaker Grace Graham. In the chapel at Newington Green, 39A Newington Green. 

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Modern life - Evolution did not make us for THIS!

Modern life - Evolution did not make us for THIS!

Learning about evolution was - for me - one of those special moments in life where things just clicked. It was like that moment when riding a bike or driving a car becomes natural rather than a shaky set of directions to remember. It was like having the code to understand what had previously seemed mysterious. Suddenly, it all makes sense.

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I don't believe in God, but science is not enough

I don't believe in God, but science is not enough

I have been immersed in science and a scientific outlook for most of my life. That is a part of who I am and how I understand the world. For a long time, I did have the sense that science was enough. It seems amazingly naive to me now - how I could have dismissed the things I now hold so dear - community, compassion, justice, universal love...

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Beyond Fear and Courage

Beyond Fear and Courage

We recognise that all of us have fear in our lives. We are afraid of small things and large. Some of our fears seem irrational to others and some are more universal. Some are sensible and keep us alive. Others are dangerous in themselves.We know that fear can hold us back from being the people we want to be, from doing the things we want to do, and from making the difference in the world that we want to make.

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Fear, Courage and Fathers

Fear, Courage and Fathers

On this day set aside for celebrating fathers, I hope that we can point to and be glad of everything that is or was good and helpful about our own fathers. I hope that we can also know that their failings as fathers were not a reflection on who we are, but on who they became through the influences that surround their own young lives.

And, whoever we are, with the influences we have upon one another and especially on young people, I hope that father’s day can help us remember that human being thrive on love and acceptance. I hope that we can grow to give these in ever-greater amounts to one another, to our parents, and to the young people who will create a more loving future.

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Fear and courage: Choosing Courage

Fear and courage: Choosing Courage

I am twenty-four years old, and for half of my life I have been battling against the horrible demons that are depression and anxiety. If you do the maths you will realise that that means my battle started when I was only twelve. It may even have started earlier than that. I can't say for sure. During my relatively short life I have been in and out of depressive episodes more times than I can count.

But here’s the thing: I’m still here. At twice the age I was when it all started, I’m still here...despite the countless times I thought I wouldn’t make it, I’m still here.

And it’s no magic. It’s no miracle. It’s a choice.

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Fear and courage: Ramadan, Islam, and the inner struggle

Fear and courage: Ramadan, Islam, and the inner struggle

When we see the stranger and look on his ways with fear
When our suspicion grows and hatred comes close to hand
Let us know that these others are not the enemy
The enemy is much closer, much more insidious
Much harder to eradicate
Its name is fear
And knowing this can be its undoing
Let us journey toward understanding
Toward compassion
Toward justice
Toward love
 

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