Category Archives: Events

Caloundra Explorers June ‘Gathering’ – an invitation


The ExploreExplorers Grouprs Group has altered the basic form and liturgy of what has been its “ Emerging Church Service of Worship” on the Third Sunday evening of each second Month to a new format – “A Gathering”. This allows a much greater flexibility for style and theme and particularly for a liturgy more appropriate to its underlying ‘progressive’ influence and the ‘journey’ preferences of its participants.  A meal, together with other discussion opportunities, now seem to be the favoured interactive segments in the evening’s format.   A ‘Theme’ has proved very popular.

We continue to attract participants from the Catholic Church and a growing number from many areas around the Coast and Hinterland. There is a demonstrated strong desire for spiritual refreshment and challenge from many ‘progressives’ whose home churches have not adequately kept pace with their personal spiritual development. Several have ceased contact with the church in their area.

June 18th  Jesus “Meek and Mild” or “Radical Political Activist”??     Christians and Politics! 

This Gathering will be led by Rev. Pieter Hoogendoorn with Anne Hoogendoorn.  It will be advertised as from 1st June to both ‘Friends of the Explorers’ and the congregation, and will be supported by the church website and listing on the UC Forum blog ( this is sourced by many who have no home church supporting progressives).  Highly topical, and quite challenging as to our ‘christian’ activity.

Enquiries: email John Everall

“Living the Questions” Project – 2017 thru 2018.

The Explorers have purchased the major Study and Outreach Program” Living the Questions 2.0” for $350, with $150 donated, and the balance to be recovered from registration fees during 2017/2018.  Quoting the Jacket Cover: “Living the Questions” is an open-minded alternative to studies that attempt to give participants all the answers. “Living the Questions” creates an environment where participants not only interact with one another in exploring the best of today’s theological thought, but strive to explore what’s next for Christianity. “  It comprises 21 sessions which can be offered in three segments of seven units. It is DVD based with extensive written study and support material. It is ‘quality’.

The Explorers are putting together a small team to develop a discussion paper on suitable approaches to its use in this Congregation, and possibly as a strong external outreach into the Caloundra District. It is suitable to small groups and classes, and also  has a retreat/seminar format. One approach has a two hour time frame covering the twenty minutes of video and incorporating a meal. Another possibility is a study/discussion period for a couple of months before Sunday Morning Church (8-9.10am); another is a full outreach in the style of the recent Anglican “Alpha” Course, with appropriate advertising(recoverable).  Two major issues are (i) leadership, and (ii) follow up support for newcomers within the Caloundra Uniting Church.

This is a major exercise requiring quite a strong commitment by Explorers, and potentially Church if a more innovative exploration of possibilities is undertaken.

“May we live in peace, with a smile on our face and love in our hearts for all humankind”

From Explorers Leaders – John Everall    May 13th 2017.


Ecology in Cities – Sea of Faith seminar open to all.

Sea of Faith in Australia


urban ecology

What Can We Learn about Ecology in Cities

from the Queens Wharf Casino Project?

10:30am to 2:30pm, Saturday 10 June 2017

with optional preview from 9:00am

South Bank, Brisbane

The massive Queens Wharf Development Project in Brisbane’s CBD is already well under way. What are the implications for the ecology of the area?

(See )

If you are interested in or concerned about this project, this function is an opportunity for you to see the site, hear informed speakers and discuss some of the political, social and ethical issues arising. The guest speakers will be:

Steve Keating, State Development Department;

Irina Anastasiu, Urban Planner, QUT;

Jonathan Sri, BCC Councillor.


Optional preview

09:00-09:45    View Queens Wharf site from George Street (meet at Queens Gardens)

09:45-10:00    Walk to South Bank

10:00-10:30    Informal morning tea (participants to arrange at local cafés)

Main program

10:30-11:15    Riverwalk, South Bank (in front of the Nepalese Pagoda)

                        View Queens Wharf site, short briefing followed by informal discussion

11:15-11:30    Move to Meeting Room 1B, State Library of Queensland

11:30-12:30    Presentation and discussion

Speaker: Steve Keating (State Development Department)

12:30-01:30    Lunch (light lunch available, $20)

01:30-02:30    Presentations and discussion

Speakers: Irina Anastasiu (Urban Planning, QUT) and Jonathan Sri (BCC Councillor)

The Mini-Conference will be followed at 2.30 pm by the AGM of SoFiA. (Optional)

There will be no charge for the Mini-Conference, but a donation of $10 per person would help defray the costs of the meeting room.

A light lunch will be available for $20.

Please let us know if you intend to come so that we can order lunches and send you further information on the event.

RSVP by Saturday 3 June, to:


Canadian Conference – 1-3 September 2017

Planning a visit to Canada?

Why not attend this event in Edmonton Everwonder

Ever Wonder: An Expansive Spirituality Conference

For details and registrations go to:  Everwonder

What could spiritual community look like for those who have journeyed beyond a system of beliefs?

Ever Wonder…

What ethical compass do we have for navigating these times in which we live?

What do humanists, spiritual but not religious, atheists, and progressive Christians have in common and offer to the common good?

Whether there is a place for spirituality in our activism for a better world?

How to nurture an expansive spirituality rooted in values rather than beliefs?

What teachings the universe story might hold for us?

How to cultivate meaningful community while preserving individual freedom?

Where to find a hospitable place to explore these and other questions?

Ever Wonder is a conference for spiritual seekers who are open to wisdom from many sources, eager to learn from one another and willing to explore beyond the boundaries of belief systems.

Join us to experience meaningful music, inspiring spiritual gatherings, informative theme presentations, panel discussions, and workshops along with opportunities to have meaningful conversations with others exploring values based spirituality.  We will also celebrate the work of the Canadian Centre for Progressive Christianity (2004-2016) and explore ways to cultivate an expansive spiritual network to serve us now.


“Resurrection – What can it mean today?”

Our next Caloundra Explorers Gathering is on the week after Easter-  Sunday 23rd April at 5pm.

Following so closely oJohn Everalln the Easter period, our Leaders for this Gathering have chosen their Theme based on the issues that “Resurrection? ” raises for  a progressive thinking church goer, and certainly, in a challenged way, for those that have become infrequent visitors to the tradition in which they were brought up within family and later youth groups.

This Gathering will be fascinating and possibly a little unsettling for some. However, our discussions over the byo light meal during the proceedings are always supportive and opinion can be expressed safely.  All discussion will be helpful to take our thinking a further stage on our own “exploring journey”. …….  “Looking at the Resurrection with new(modern?) eyes”.


April 23rd   Sunday  5pm-7pm  “Gathering” : Explorers lead a very special evening with the title “Resurrection? – What can it mean today”.  This will follow 1st century thinking as it develops into present day 21st century understandings . For some, Easter can bring doubts and concerns to the surface and this Gathering is an invitation to safely take one’s “exploring journey” a stage further.  The liturgy and discussion develop respectfully around a byo light meal. Challenging but Refreshing! “It is OK to raise doubts”. Come along!  A Faith And the Modern Era activity. Margaret Ph.5438 2789, Sylvia Ph.5492 2450, John  m:0408 624 570

We would particularly like to welcome again new friends –local and regional – that we met for our February Gathering and its  Michael Morwood inspired discussions.    Put the date in your diary!

Bring a Friend.

Shalom,  John  Everall

Explorers Group  Faith And the Modern Era Series

Caloundra Uniting Church Hall – 56 Queen Street  Caloundra



Cry of the Earth and her People – Sisters of Mercy Brisbane

John HaughtFrom ‘Earthlink”  –                                             Wine, Cheese and Conversation

Thursday, 11 May, 5.30-7pm, at Delamore, Turner Road, Kedron.  Join us as we listen to the next in the series about “Cry of the Earth and her People”.  The speaker this time is John Haught, (publications), who is a Distinguished Research Professor at Georgetown University. He specializes in systematic theology, with a particular interest in issues pertaining to science, cosmology, evolution, ecology, and religion.

No need to reply. Just come, and bring something to drink and nibble during the first half-hour.


ARRCC is now in Brisbane – workshop 8th April (note corrected date)

Following our request for more links to groups addressing environmental concerns, we received the following advice from Renee Hills (Australian Religious Response to Climate Change):

Civil Resistance WoARRCCrkshop

 Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Dorothy Day and ARRCC1ARRCC2others saw that sometimes a situation calls for action rather than words. Many of us in the Australian Religious Response to Climate Change (ARRCC) are feeling that now is such a time. We are planning some specific nonviolent direct actions (NvDA) soon.

To prepare, ARRCC is hosting some one-day workshops with facilitators from Pace e Bene who specialise in NvDA skills development and the spirituality of non-violence.

 You may want to be involved, or you may simply want to learn more about what civil resistance involves and explore whether or not you want to participate in some way. This will be a safe environment, with plenty of opportunity to raise questions and concerns.

Nonviolence is at the heart of the Gospels and all the major faiths.

“To practice nonviolence, first of all we have to practice it within ourselves.”  Thich Nhat Hanh

Date: Saturday April 8th (note correction), 9.30 for 10 am start, finishing at 4 pm

Where: Multi-Faith Centre, Griffith University, Nathan campus, 170 Kessels Rd, Nathan.

Facilitator: Jason MacLeod and Penny Barrington, Pace e Bene

Suggested donation: $50 or $15 concession (but price is not a barrier – contact us.)

Enquiries: 02 9150 9713 or

RSVP essential: here

Where doctrine meets science – Kevin Treston

EarthA well attended seminar led by Dr Kevin Treston last Saturday heard about the impact of new scientific movements on the Christian story. Based on his new book Who do you say I am? The Christ story in the cosmic context, we were invited into the world of evolution, cosmology and the anthropic principle, connectivity in the universe, God as primal energy of love, quantum physics, emergence theory, morphic resonance, globalisation, DNA and genetics, global warming, consciousness, and inclusive global spirituality.

KevinTrestonWhile Kevin does not claim to be an expert on any one of these topics, he does have a good breadth of understanding of their basic principles. His book focuses on the challenges to the contemporary Christian churches that resists moving their doctrine along with new understandings. Many of these scientific discoveries offer new critiques for traditional views of fall and redemption, understandings of the incarnation and the significance of the coming of Jesus as the Christ. In terms of the latter, was it a result of the breakdown of humanity’s relations with God or the regeneration of life through the Jesus as Christ in the magnificent unfolding evolutionary story of the universe?

All of the presentation was a stimulus to read Kevin’s book where the Christ story is told and celebrated within the context of modern science, especially evolution and cosmology. After hearing Kevin I was even more attracted to the documentaries by Professor Brian Cox! Kevin goes to considerable pains to ensure that all of this links to very practical features for Christian life each day. In his words: The warning for Christianity is that unless Christianity integrates its core teachings with positive features of the emerging modern world in which we live, Christianity will be further marginalised to the fringes of society and lose its treston-bookinfluence for the betterment of people and the earth community.

Published by: Morning Star Publishing $19.95

To order: contact or a local bookstore or



Who do you say I am?

Merthyr Explorers invites you to a Saturday morning seminar:

Saturday 11th March 2017, 9:00 am – 12:30 pm

including morning tea of yummy hot scones, tea and coffee.

WHO DO YOU SAY I AM?treston-book

The Christ story in the cosmic context

In Who do you say I am?, Kevin Treston explores the features of a Cosmic Christian Story that situates God’s revelation in Jesus as the Christ firmly within the evolving dynamics of creation. It is a Story that takes account of modern science, especially cosmology, quantum physics, energy field thKevinTrestoneories, genetics, globalisation, technology, and neuroscience that are changing forever how humans live as citizens of the planet.

Dr Kevin Treston will give an insight into the content of the book and there will be time to explore the concepts together. Kevin is a well known author and consultant. He has worked globally for many years in the areas of education, spirituality, theology and pastoral ministry.

Cost: $15 including morning  tea

Please register your intention to attend so we have numbers for catering purposes.

This book will be on sale for $20. Please note: no EFTPOS facility available. Cash or cheque only.

Enquiries and registrations:   Phone – 0409 498  403

or  Email:

Merthyr Road Uniting Church Centre, 52 Merthyr Rd, New Farm

Bus Stop 13 on Bus Route 196. On street parking available.

Following the sessions there will be an opportunity to discuss how progressive groups across all churches and other independent groups can network together more effectively.




Caloundra Explorers – Invitation

Explorers Group – Caloundra Uniting Church   

Your invitation to Explorers Group                  

       A Faith And the Modern Era series


A   Sunday “Gathering” at 5pm sunset led by The Explorers Group in the Church Hall

This is the new approach to the Church’s scheduled “3rd Sunday in February” ‘Alternative’ evening service. We each bring a small byo light finger food supper plate to share during discussion around the table as part of the activity.  Tea, coffee and cold drinks are supplied. There is always plenty to go around.

Contact person for the “Gathering” is John Everall   Ph 5492 4229.

This Month’s Gathering is developed around a proposition put to 300 delegates at the Common Dreams 2016 Conference in Brisbane by acclaimed speaker Michael Morwood.

We will listen to him discuss:  “Three key questions that need to be raised and answered in any process of adult religious faith formation:

  • What are you asking me to imagine?
  • Where did that imagination come from?
  • How does that image or picture of reality fit with what I know of reality today?

Let’s start with “GOD”

Quoting Michael’s opening:  “Galaxies like the Milky Way probably have about 17 billion earth size planets. In the grand schema of galaxies, stars and planets, planet Earth rates in comparison with it all as little more than what a speck of dust is to hundreds of millions of planets. A speck of dust.

So, here we are on this speck of dust– and we think we know what “God” is?”


Everyone can feel at ease in contributing to conversation in this safe place.



YOU ARE ENCOURAGED TO JOIN IN THIS Faith And the Modern Era series.

It is for ALL, not just Explorers.