Category Archives: Events

Climate Change Action Group

As reported in a recent post, the ARRCC group led by St John’s Cathedral Dean, Rev Peter Catt, issued a media statement to the gathered media in the grounds of the Cathedral on 20th November 2017.

Faith Leaders Climate Statement November 2017

Dear Queensland Premier and Leader of the Opposition And Prime Minister and Leader of the Federal Opposition, We are from diverse faith traditions in Queensland including the Anglican Church, Catholic Church, Jewish faith, Pagan Tradition, Unitarian Universalists, Uniting Church, Quakers, and inter-faith and cultural organisations. As leaders in our faith communities, we feel compelled to challenge Queensland’s proposal to assist and partner with the Adani Group to develop the Carmichael Mine in the Galilee Basin because of the effect the resulting carbon emissions will have on our climate, our economy, the world’s poor and the environment. With global warming being a threat to the viability of our agricultural and tourism industries, our marine life, and the wildlife in this beautiful State, it seems unconscionable that any current or future Queensland government would make a development decision that puts all this at risk. We believe that people of goodwill must work together to reduce greenhouse gas pollution at emergency speed. Therefore, the development of the mine is unacceptable, as are all forms of government support, direct or indirect, for the mining, transport and shipping of fossil fuels.
We urge both governments to instead invest in renewable energy technology which will create far more employment opportunities than the proposed mine. We call on you to refuse approval for Northern Australia Infrastructure Funds to be used to build the railway line for the Adani mine. We plead with you on behalf of our fellow Queenslanders and Australians, for the members of our faith groups, for the millions of vulnerable people on earth, for future generations who have no say of their own, and for all of creation. Yours in peace Dr Paul Inglis – CEO UCFORUM – Uniting Church Peter Arndt – Executive Officer, Catholic Justice & Peace Commission of Brisbane Heather Abramson – Abramson Educational Consulting and member of the Jewish Community Dr Rose Elu – Anglican Torres Strait Islander Community Dr Brian Adams – Director, Centre for Interfaith & Cultural Dialogue, Griffith University Renee Hills – Brisbane Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Linda Ward – Pagan Tradition Dean Peter Catt – St John’s Anglican Cathedral The Rev’d Peter Moore – Chair, Angligreen Taisoo Kim Watson – Quakers Duncan Frewin – Quakers The Rev’d Dr Jo Inkpin – St Francis Theological College, Anglican Church The Rev’d Murray Fysh, Merthyr Rd Uniting Church, New Farm The Rev’d Bruce Boase – Member of the National Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander Anglican Commission Queensland Churches Environmental Network.The Statement released at that gathering:

Another statement had been issued previously from the Council of the Union for Progressive Judaism:

PRESS RELEASE 15th November 2017

The Council of Progressive Rabbis of Australia and the Council of Masorti Rabbis of Australia oppose the development of the Carmichael Mine in the Galilee Basin by the Adani Group because of the devastating effect the resulting carbon emissions will have on our environment, and the subsequent risks to our World Heritage Great Barrier Reef.
It is unconscionable for the current or any future government to use public funds, services or loans to support the promotion of fossil fuels.
We urge governments to increase investment in renewable energy technology which will create cleaner and safer employment opportunities.

Further information: Rabbi Jonathan Keren-Black, Environmental Advisor to the Rabbinic Council of the Union for Progressive Judaism. 0417 104987


Is the Sea of Faith Rising?

Radio National (ABC)
recent broadcast (Sunday 26 November 2017 6:05PM) is available for download here.

The Sea of Faith, an international organisation of ‘progressive Christians’, takes its name from the famous poem Dover Beach about the ebbing of faith. But today’s SOF members entertain new developments in Christianity, including the New New Testament, incorporating ancient documents that were excluded from the canon, edited by Hal Taussig.
Image: Sir Lloyd Geering addressing the SOF in NZ (RK)

The founder of the SOF in New Zealand, Lloyd Geering, was charged with heresy, as was Hal Taussig, many years later. Are they heretics or reformers?
Image: Rev Hal Taussig, United Methodist Church of America (UMC)

Recorded at the Sea of Faith conference in New Zealand; includes members Margaret Rushbrook from north of Wellington and Patricia Crompton of Christchurch.

For more information or to join SOF contact Rodney Eivers.



NCCA and the Stop Adani Coal Campaign

The National Council of Churches in Australia

After the recent news in relation to the Commonwealth Bank what are the next steps in this campaign?

People of faith are encouraged to join in the conversations in Summits being held in various locations around the country.

Stop Adani Summits
Since March over 160 local #StopAdani groups have formed right across the country from Cairns to Castlemaine, Perth to Parramatta. The campaign is moving quickly and opponents are still pushing forward, now is the time to come together

The #StopAdani Summits are gatherings which give us a chance to:

  • Meet and connect with others in your community taking action to #StopAdani,
    Hear an update on the state of play, from the politics to the finance and more,
    Share stories, resources and plans to make our movement powerful and coordinated.

Lobbying Federal MP
Faith leaders have been busy keeping the pressure on Federal Minister for the Environment and Energy, Josh Frydenberg. On Friday 25 July an interfaith group protested outside his office in Melbourne. A number of faith leaders met with the Minister on the 3 August, including the NCCA President, Bishop Philip Huggins.

See a further post below, about the ARRCC Media Alert to be presented from St John’S Cathedral next Monday. This will target the Queensland election campaigns.


A Multi-faith Climate Statement presented in Brisbane

ARRCC Media Alert

Can you come on Monday 20th November, around 9 am to St John’s Cathedral, 373 Ann St, Brisbane City to be present when our climate change statement to the Queensland Government is released at a media event?

Climate Change Statment
Our statement is complete. We have 10 signatories. Rev Peter Catt can accept signatures until COB Friday 17th November. The list on the letter will be updated and corrected at that time. If you or someone you know would like to be a signatory, please contact Peter at It would be great to have some more signatures. Please note that a signatory does not have to be the head of Church/Faith Group. They can be any ordained/Lay person who is seen as a leader in that faith community.

The statement will become available on Monday 20th November.

Media Event
A wide range of media will be invited prior to the statement release on Monday 20th at 9.30 am but we’d like you to come earlier so that we can be organised. We need as many people as possible to come (with placard if you wish – similar to what we had at the Gathering along the lines of Energy Innovation; Not Earth Desecration), Save the Planet, etc, AND some STOP ADANI posters, T-shirts.

Wear smart casual clothing or religious garb and symbols if appropriate. We need a strong visual presence.

The event will be held in the grassed courtyard adjacent to the Cathedral, away from the street noise. If it’s raining, we will move into a room in the Cathedral.

The media event is due to begin at 9.30 am.

Please RSVP to me if you can come.

Warm regards,

Renee Hills

PS. Paul Inglis will represent the UCFORUM at this gathering.


The Reformation 500 years on…

In recent days there have been many events commemorating the 500 years since Luther ‘posted’ his 95 theses and disturbed the Church in a way that it could not ignore. But the Reformation Dinner organised by the ACTS group of Aspley Uniting Church was different. Inspirational, 86 year old, dynamic elder, political lobbyist, conscience pricker and entertaining author and speaker, Everald Compton MC’d the event.

Many progressives took up the invitation to the dinner which was limited to 160 people.

Uniting Church Moderator, David Baker, led the field of Church leaders who spoke. He drew a parallel between the ‘indulgences’ that placed the Church offside with moral thinkers of the 16th century and the ‘indulgences’ that operate in our contemporary market driven society. We still seek after unfulfilled promises of great personal outcomes by buying our comforts. He was followed by the Roman Catholic Archbishop, Mark Coleridge, who emphasised the complexity of the social and theological milieu in which the Church has evolved its teachings and the search for Jesus in all of this complexity. Anglican Archbishop, Phillip Aspinall, drew our attention to the unique place of the Anglican Church as it straddles both Catholic and Protestant elements in its makeup and the way it has, since the Reformation, attempted to find the ‘middle’ way for the Church.

These religious identities were complemented with Wayne Swan, former Deputy Prime Minister of Australia, Tracy Davis, State Member for Aspley, and John Herron, former Senator and Ambassador to the Holy See. Rev Sandra Jebb provided both opening and closing reflections.

An encouraging message was received from the Governor, Paul de Jersey who is currently in Israel for the Beersheba ceremonies.

This is the first event in a long term plan outlined by the Master of Ceremonies, Everald Compton, to address the crisis of credibility facing Christianity in society. It was a great start to an ambitious project… but Everald is noted for many ambitious projects and also for his many successes. Watch for the next stage in early 2018 – calling together of 500 leaders in our community to launch a new Reformation!


PCNQ does fellowship and discussion

Today’s gathering of PCNQ members at New Farm served two purposes – an opportunity for fellowship by progressive Christians and a chance to talk about the impact on each of us of the seminars led by Hal Taussig and Michael Morwood. Some people came because they missed the seminars and had heard about how good they were. So we were able to give them a taste of the topics. 

As this gathering came soon after several of our group attended the (New) Reformation Dinner at Geebung, the discussion also included reflections on what was a very interesting event.

PCNQ plans to have regular fellowship/discussion mornings (with great morning teas) to respond to the growing interest in conversations, literature, and developments in progressive Christianity. Also on their agenda is a desire to bring together all the progressive Christian groups of South East Queensland in an informal network of mutual support.

Watch out for future developments from this enthusiastic group by following this blog or the PCNQ FaceBook page –


Reflecting on a very successful seven seminars

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As we look back over the last fortnight and the successful running of seven seminars in New Farm, Redcliffe, Buderim, Fortitude Valley and Caloundra, it is very pleasing to report that each seminar was unique and interesting and brought positive feedback.

Thank you to the team at PCNQ and each of the Explorers Groups that mounted the seminars. Thank you also to the hosts who billeted the speakers and kept our costs down.

It was a great challenge to offer two notable exponents of progressive Christianity, both organisationally and economically, but in the end it was worth it.

Professor Hal Taussig was starting a Common Dreams on the Road series in several States after doing the same in New Zealand as a build up to next years Common Dreams Conference in Sydney. Book sales and orders, especially for his A New New Testament were greater than we anticipated. Watch for a review of this book soon. We brought Michael Morwood from Perth after the incredibly good feedback we had about his presentations at Common Dreams 4 in Brisbane last year. Once again he achieved a very high standard of teaching and discussion. As organisers we were impressed with the way the two speakers who had never met set to work to integrate around common themes.

The PCNQ has resolved to continue meeting monthly at New Farm as a fellowship and discussion group. Watch for more news about this and for events at other Explorers groups.


Join Everald Compton’s Celebration of 500 years since the Reformation

Aspley Uniting Church has taken up the suggestion of our good friend, philanthropist and church elder, Everald Compton to mark the occasion of the 500th anniversary of Luther’s declaration to the Church that big changes were essential for it to survive, with a dinner at which the Heads of Churches will briefly outline what the Reformation means to the Church today and tomorrow.

Like many insider observers, Everald recognizes that the time is right for a New Reformation, one that will re-instate the integrity and authenticity of the institutional Church as a pivotal player in our nation’s destiny. People of goodwill and commitment to the future church will gather for this event, which marks the beginning of a project that will evolve in the months ahead.

Robyn and I are keen to be there and participate in the development of this initiative. Everald has asked me to extend this invitation to subscribers to the UCFORUM of which he is one. I hope you will give this serious thought. Instead of RSVPing as advised in the Invitation below, please respond directly to Everald at 0407 721710 or by email here.

Rev. Sandra Jebb


is pleased to invite you to attend our REFORMATION DINNER

at GEEBUNG RSL CLUB  Newman Road, Geebung


TUESDAY, 31 OCTOBER, 2017 at 6.30pm for 7.00pm

to celebrate the 500th Anniversary of Martin Luther nailing his 95 Theses on the door of Wittenberg Cathedral.

Archbishop Mark Coleridge, Archbishop Phillip Aspinall and Moderator David Baker will speak on the meaning of the Reformation today.

There will be a charge of 50 dollars per person for food and drinks.

Any surplus funds will be donated to

“Aspley Caring Through Service” (ACTS)

our outreach program to people in need.

Please RSVP by email to –

Or Phone the Church office 3263 9275.

Arrangements for payment will be advised


Seminars update

Michael Morwood led an enthusiastic crowd from the Sunshine Coast and hinterland at our first seminar in the current series. Yesterday’s event at Caloundra Uniting Church focussed on Putting Exploration into Practice. Michael’s brilliant talent as a speaker and discussion facilitator was on show.

Exploring how we think and talk about “the mystery in which the universe is bathed”, the discussion picked up on much of the wonderful material that Michael introduced to the Common Dreams Conference in Brisbane in 2016 and delved deeply into our understandings of a progressive and relevant faith.

Great crowd – great event! Congratulations to the Caloundra Explorers.

The program continues over the next two weeks:

Monday 2nd October – 6.30 to 8.30pm – Redcliffe – Michael Morwood “Articulating a 21st century Christian Spirituality”.

Wednesday 4th October – from 7pm – Holy Trinity Church, Fortitude Valley – Michael Morwood “God and Jesus through a 21st Century Lens”.

Saturday 7th October – 9am to 3.30pm – Merthyr Uniting Church, New Farm – Hal Taussig and Michael Morwood – “Christianity, 1st Century, Now, and in the Future”

Monday 9th October – 6pm – Buderim Tavern, Buderim – Hal Taussig – “Breaking Bread, Breaking Rules”.

Tuesday 10th October – from 7pm – Holy Trinity Church, Fortitude Valley – Hal Taussig – “What’s in and what’s out: Canon/Extra Canon/A New New Testament”

Bookings: If you have yet to book a place at one of these sessions please send an email to as soon as possible, and I will help you to negotiate the booking process.


Redcliffe seminar with Michael Morwood

Articulating a 21st Century Christian Spirituality

The Redcliffe Explorers Group has pleasure in inviting you to this talk by well-known Progressive Christian

Michael Morwood

Michael regularly lectures and conducts retreats and workshops in Australia, USA, Canada, Ireland and England on themes such as Re-Shaping Christian Thought and Imagination; Praying a New Story; Contemporary Christian Spirituality and Questions of Faith for Modern Christians. A retired Catholic priest, he has authored a number of international best-selling books, and was voted ’most popular speaker’ at the 4th International Common Dreams Conference in Brisbane last year.

Monday evening 2 October 2017 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

Azure Blue Retirement Centre Common Room

91 Anzac Ave Redcliffe 4019

Cost: $5 (payable at the door)

Note: security gates are open between 6:30 and 6:55 p.m.

Please register by calling Ian Brown on 3284 3688 or 0419 513 723 or email Ian Brown

*This session has been subsidized by the Redcliffe Explorers to enable a reduced fee.