Invitation to a book launch

‘IMAGINING THE CHURCH AS AN OPEN SPACE OF FREEDOM’

Book Launch

@ Holy Trinity

After the 6:00 pm Evensong at Holy Trinity Fortitude Valley on 20 August, join Trinity’s special guest, The Very Reverend Professor Martyn Percy

for the launch of The Reverend Dr Steven  Ogden’s  latest book

The Church, Authority and Foucault”.

Fork dinner to follow proudly sponsored by Holy Trinity’s Hospitality & Arts Consortium.

Please assist with catering: RSVP by Tuesday 15 August to admin@trinityvalley.org.au

or leave a voice message on (07) 3852 1635.

Sunday 20 August, 6 pm

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Coming seminars: an update

 

Many of our associated groups are preparing for the visit of Michael Morwood and Hal Taussig.

The dates and locations are still being settled on, and possibly more will emerge. We still have dates available for other venues. This is the picture to date:

 

Professor Hall Taussig:

Arrives in Brisbane – 5th October

7th October – Merthyr Uniting Church, New Farm – all day

9th October – St Marks Anglican Church – evening

10th October – Holy Trinity Anglican Church Fortitude Valley, Brisbane – evening

Departs Brisbane – 11th October

Michael Morwood:

Arrives Brisbane – to be confirmed

30th September – Caloundra Explorers (Uniting Church) – all day

2nd October – Redcliffe Explorers (Uniting Church) – at Azure Blue Residential – evening

4th October – Holy Trinity Anglican Church, Fortitude Valley, Brisbane – evening

7th October – Merthyr Uniting Church, New Farm – all day.

Departs Brisbane – to be confirmed.

Enquiries: Paul Inglis

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Muslims against terrorism – a presentation

From – Renee Hills, Brisbane Unitarian Universalist Fellowship.

“The Queensland Iman of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Association, Ahmed Nadeem will be presenting an ‘Introduction to Ahmadiyyat -True Islam and removing misconceptions’ during the Brisbane Unitarian Universalist Fellowship service this Sunday, 23rd July.  Ahmed Nadeem is Iman at a mosque at Jimboomba, Logan City.

The Ahmadiyya Muslim community is a a sect of Islam that rejects terrorism and violence of any kind. Members practice loyalty to the government of the country in which they are living and regularly undertake community service. For example during the March floods 50 members of the Logan Ahmadiyya Muslim Community joined the ‘Mud Army’ to help cleanup after Cyclone Debbie flooding in the Logan area.

Go to: Muslims help the Mud Army in Brisbane

The sect is ostracized and persecuted by other Muslims in many countries. There are approximately 4000 members living in Australia, many from Pakistan, with mosques in Queensland, Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide.

Ahmadiyya Public Relations spokesperson Ibraheem Malik said:

‘Thank you so much for giving us the opportunity to present the True Islam – which is just Peace, Love & Respect to all Humanity. We all have to stand up for any kind of evil and support goodness. Together we will be stronger & fight the evil and the people who tries to divide society for their personal gains.”

Please join us in welcoming members of this community to our Fellowship and feel free to invite other interested members of your networks to hear this presentation.

We meet at Brisbane Theosophical Society Rooms, 355 Wickham Terrace, Spring Hill at 10 am.”

Enquiries: Renee Hills

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Getting ready for our notable visitors – an update

Coming in just over two months time – Hal Taussig and Michael Morwood

The picture is starting to become clearer about the location and times for seminars in South East Queensland for Hal Taussig (left) and Michael Morwood (below).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Confirmed venues dates and times:

Michael Morwood

Caloundra Uniting Church Saturday 30 September – full day

Redcliffe Monday 2 October – 6.30pm – 8.30pm

Holy Trinity Fortitude Valley –– Wednesday 4 October – 7.30pm – 9.30pm

New Farm, Brisbane – Merthyr Road Uniting Church – Saturday 7th October – all day

(Subject to changes and additional venues)

Hal Taussig –

St Marks Buderim  to be advised

New Farm – Merthyr Road Uniting Church – Saturday 7th October – all day

Holy Trinity Fortitude Valley – Tuesday 10th October – 7.30pm – 9.30pm.

(Subject to changes and additional venues)

Note: The seminar on 7th October will include Michael and Hal in a series of presentations. More details on location of venues, all topics, ticket prices, programs and other details will be available soon.

Other groups wanting to engage either speaker at their venue should contact Paul Inglis as soon as possible.

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Opinion: ‘Grantchester’ and moral choices

Some recent commentary on the ABC TV program Grantchester has prompted us to post this opinion piece. Perhaps you have been watching this program. For Rodney Eivers it has been more than just a story….

I recently watched the final   episode of the television series, Grantchester (ABC TV)

[Incidently this program comes from the pen of James Runcie, son of a former Archbishop of Canterbury.]

I deliberately minimise my television viewing except for some ABC news and documentary programmes but usually because certain “family” nights occur at the weekends I have come to sit back and enjoy what generally turns out to be one or two British crime shoes on ABC TV.

I don’t pick and choose. Thus it came about that a recent show which I could not avoid turned out to be the series “Grantchester.” This features an Anglican clergyman who strikes up a friendship with a police detective. As usual with just about all popular TV shows there is a love theme with sexual tension running in the back ground.

So I continued to watch episodes of this show each week enjoying the story at face value. As time went on, though, I got caught up in the moral questions it raises.  The writers certainly know their Christian church culture, especially within the Church of England environment. The preaching is intelligent and related to the  struggles for human nature in being people of the Jesus way. It avoids both sanctimony and ridicule in evaluating a Christian life.

As the series drew to a close and certain catastrophes in personal relationships had to be unravelled I  feared that the self-centredness of erotic love would win out.

Although God as a concept is assumed, that presence is represented as something  of an internal struggle, an argument within oneself, as to what might be the priorities of a person committed to the Way.

It turned out in the end that I was happy with the way the writers wound up the story.

Although the tale focuses on sexual waywardness in relationships(after all that probably makes it more compelling for the general viewer) rather than the other “sins” which engage us, I think it paints a good story of what can go wrong and hopefully ultimately right.

This series has finished on ABC television for now but for those who like to ponder these things and may well have had their own struggles in human relationships I would make it recommended viewing if repeated or available on iView or DVD.

Rodney Eivers

 

 

 

Earth Link Commentary/Review- Defiant Earth

DEFIANT EARTH

Our responsibility to care for Earth receives a new impetus from the recent publication of Defiant Earth  by Clive Hamilton, who is an ethicist at Charles Sturt University in Canberra.   He stresses that this is a new time in geological history, the Anthropocene, which he explains as a new geological epoch where “human imprint on the global environment has now become so large and active that it rivals some of the great forces in nature”.  A new science has emerged which studies the whole Earth system.  The data is emerging that humans are changing the course of Earth.  This is a time to acknowledge the rupture that we are causing, and stand in solidarity with Earth rather than continue our exploitation.  Earth is increasingly angry, and all species are vulnerable in the face of this new situation.
Rather than offering you a review of this book, I am providing you with a link to the blog page of Bishop George Browning who responds to this situation in way that you will probably find helpful.

Earth Link began in 2000 in Brisbane, and moved to “Four Winds” at Ocean View, which was its base until the end of 2011.  During that time, Earth Link developed programmes and conducted workshops, retreats and rituals in cosmology, ecospirituality, sense of place, sustainable living, permaculture, and property management.  These were held at “Four Winds” and at other venues.
 
Earth Link continues to facilitate deep bonding with the whole Earth community through  resourcing, reflecting and acting.  We do this by conducting events, responding to invitations, and through our e-newsletter and this website.  Earth Link has a library from which you can borrow for the cost of the postage.

Earth Link invites you to

  • Deepen your connection with nature, the cosmos, self and the Sacred
  • Nurture a spirituality that links Earth, humans and the Sacred
  • Act with concerned others on behalf of the whole Earth community

    For more from Earth Link go to: http://www.earth-link.org.au/

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Contemplative Gathering on ‘Acceptance’

Hosted by West End Uniting Church and West End Explorers

Sunday at 5:30 PM – 6:15 PM

Uniting Church West End

Vulture St, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Enquiries: Kris Maslin

Free Admission

 

Our guest, Lucy Lopez, will facilitate a guided contemplation on the theme ‘Acceptance’.

A bit about Lucy:
She has trained in MBSR (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction, based on the work of Jon Kabat-Zinn) and has also trained in MBSM (Mindfulness Based Stillness Meditation) with Ian Gawler, Australia’s own former athlete, veterinarian and cancer-survivor. She is a fully Accredited Meditation Teacher with Meditation Australia.
Her professional portfolio includes High School and Tertiary teaching, Consultancy in Human Resource Management, Retail Assistance, Research, Mentoring, Counselling, Teaching Meditation and Transpersonal Workshopping for individuals and groups.
Her website is Get Enlightened Today (http://www.getenlightenedtoday.com/)
and her Facebook page is Get Enlightened Today (https://web.facebook.com/GETwithlucy/)

more about Lucy’s direction for Sunday night; she explains:

“I recently ran a mini survey with my Facebook friends most of whom I have never met in person. I asked them some questions about ‘Acceptance’ as it pertains to personal issues such as loss, disappointment and illness as well as to more global issues such as war, social and financial inequity and racial and religious extremism and intolerance.
The responses seemed to me to be very thoughtful and honest expressing familiar ides, beliefs and values. Two or three of them were refreshingly ambivalent. (The true seeker, I have come to realize, is willing to accept that he/she does not know :)).
One answer, however, stood out from the rest, both by its simplicity and by its crystal clear ring of truth. I shall use it as the basis of our contemplation on ‘Acceptance’.”

A bit more about Lucy:

Lucy has a Bachelor of Science honours degree from the University of London, a Postgraduate Certificate in Education from the University of Hong Kong and completed 80% of her Masters of Education degree before switching to a research degree toward a PhD. She chose not to complete that after spending approximately 5 years part-time researching and reading in the area of Cognitive Psychology where her particular focus was on the impact of beliefs on our wellbeing. She continues, however, to research independently.

She has done courses (and in some cases worked) with Lifeline Australia, Volunteering Australia and the remarkable visionary, scholar and researcher, Jean Houston (a student of Joseph Campbell), as well as the enormously successful, heart-tuned, smile-inducing Mike Dooley, author of Notes from the Universe.

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Letter – Freedom to think progressively

The “Progressive”Christianity Option

A month or two ago in response to some earlier Christmas greetings I received a message from a retired  Uniting Church minister which included the words, “I would like to know more about your work in ‘Progressive Christianity’ “.

With some hesitation, because I was not sure of his religious orientation, I duly sent my friend a couple of books, one of which was Hunt and Smith, “Why Weren’t We Told”. This is the title I usually recommend for Australian newcomers to “progressive” Christianity .

Some time later I was pleasantly surprised to receive a further greeting:

Dear Rodney,

            I appreciate your kind gift. It was the right book at the right time!

            On retirement I shed the cloak of “orthodoxy” and became much more “progressive” in my thinking (and writing). So there was little I would disagree with. In fact, I have even gone further in some of my perceptions and understandings.

            So the context of the book came as a reassurance that I was not alone!

            Thank you for this. It surprises me that I should have come to similar conclusions.

           

            With best wishes…

                    G……..

The moral of this story is that there may well be any others out there having a comparable experience.  If you, as a viewer of this site, have your own story along these lines we would be pleased to hear from you.  If you would prefer to remain anonymous send an e-mail to  psinglis@westnet.com.au .

Of course it would be good if our ministers could become aware of the progressive option before they enter ministry rather after they leave it.  This is the rationale behind our UC Forum bursaries. That is to provide payment of fees in full or part – up to a value of $5,000 for students aspiring to attend (in the first instance) Trinity Theological College Queensland courses. Enquiries may be made to ucbursaries@bigpond.com .

 

Posted by Rodney Eivers   

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Opinion: Was Jesus really a humble carpenter?

Yuri Josef Koszarycz, Former Theologian, Ethicist and Historian at Australian Catholic University, Brisbane (1975-2010)

Translations of the Old and New Testaments into “modern languages” was discouraged by the medieval church – but from 1520 onwards more versions began to appear, particularly after the invention of the printing press. The word for ‘carpenter’ in Greek was ‘tekton’ – and a ‘tekton’ in the Middle ages was someone who was a “hewer of wood” or someone who collected wood shavings from various building sites – usually sold very cheaply as kindling wood to start a robust fire.

What we have to realise is that by the time biblical translations began to be given in the 1500’s, there was a lot of “unionisation” of the building trade. In fact the guilds at that time listed 17 different levels of “tekton’ beginning with the arche tekton (the tirst tekton – and we still retain that engineering term with the English word “archtect!”). His assistant would be the ‘duotekton’ followed by the tritotekton, and so on down the chain until we ended up with the poor, humble tekton at the bottom of the list!

So when, for example Martin Luther translated into German in 1522, and he came to the word “tekton” he would have assumed that Joseph and his sons lived in dire poverty as the poorest of one in the building trade. However, to REALLY understand the meaning of that word as used in Jesus’ time, and in that period of history, we have to see how the word “tekton” was used by the Hellenistic/Romanwriters in that period! There were the Greek philosophers of course, and writers like Menander, Apollonius, historians like Timaeus, Polybius, Diodorus, and Dionysius of Halicarnassus – and of course, there were large chunks of the Old Testament that was actually written in Greek by the time Jesus was alive, teaching and preaching.

If we examine these texts, we see that a “tekton” was what we would call “a structural engineer” today – someone who built fortresses, main roads leading the city, someone conversant with ship building and construction, and definitely would be equivalent (but more varied in the tasks they could do) to the architects of today. They would be skilled in understanding the maths, physics, and geometry of the period – much based on the works of Archimedes and Euclid – and certainly extremely skilled artisans! A tekton was NOT a humble carpenter, but rather a valuable and skilled (and no doubt quite wealthy) professional!

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Harnessing our Passions

From Being Driven to Being Drawn
Thursday, July 6, 2017

Richard Rohr

When I was a young man, I liked ideas and books quite a lot, and I still read a great deal. But each time I come back from a long hermitage retreat, I have no desire to read a book for the next few weeks or even months. For a while I know there is nothing in any book that is going to be better, more truthful, or more solid than what I have just experienced on the cellular, heart, and soul level.

If you asked me what it is I know, I would be hard pressed to tell you. All I know is that there is a deep “okayness” to life—despite all the contradictions—which has become even more evident in the silence. Even when much is terrible, seemingly contradictory, unjust, and inconsistent, somehow sadness and joy are able to coexist at the same time. The negative value of things no longer cancels out the positive, nor does the positive deny the negative.

Whatever your personal calling or your delivery system for the world, it must proceed from a foundational “yes” to life. Your necessary “no” to injustice and all forms of un-love will actually become even clearer and more urgent in the silence, but now your work has a chance of being God’s pure healing instead of impure anger and agenda. You can feel the difference in people who are working for causes; so many works of social justice have been undone by people who do all the fighting from their small or angry selves

If your prayer goes deep, your whole view of the world will change from fear and reaction to deep and positive connection—because you don’t live inside a fragile and encapsulated self anymore. In meditation, you are moving from ego consciousness to soul awareness, from being driven by negative motivations to being drawn from a positive source within.

Through a consistent practice of contemplative prayer you will find yourself thinking much more in terms of both/and rather than either/or. This is what enables mystics and saints to forgive, to let go of hurts, to be compassionate, and even to love their enemies.

Gateway to Silence:
Give me a lever and a place to stand.

Reference: Adapted from Richard Rohr, Dancing Standing Still: Healing the World from a Place of Prayer (Paulist Press: 2014), 17-18, 22.