Caloundra Explorers – Invitation

Explorers Group – Caloundra Uniting Church   

Your invitation to Explorers Group                  

       A Faith And the Modern Era series

SUNDAY 19th FEBRUARY

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?”

THEN DISCUSSION OVER OUR SHARED MEAL FOLLOWED BY A PERIOD OF CONTEMPLATION/PRAYER AS PART OF THE “Gathering”.

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.

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Seminar:

Join us for an evening of stimulating ideas and discussion

THE JOURNEY OF LIFE: BASIC TO NEW DIRECTIONS FOR SPIRITUALITY

Presented by Dr Noel Preston AM

Featuring the Emmy Award winning DVD …

Journey of the universe

The documentary is hosted by Scientist Brian Swimme and produced by Yale University’s Mary Evelyn Tucker and John Grim (All are colleagues of the late Thomas Berry). After an introduction by Noel, the DVD will be screened for about 35 minutes and followed by open discussion.

 Weaving modern science with enduring wisdom from the world’s cultures, Journey of the Universe explores cosmic and Earth evolution as a profound process of creativity, connection and independence, and offers an opportunity to respond to the ecological and social challenges of our times, times when we, homo sapiens, emerge as the planet altering species.

This presentation invites us to reflect on the wisdom traditions which have evolved with human consciousness, “the cosmos come to consciousness” (as Karl Rahner referred to human evolution). So it prompts philosophical and theological questions which pose a challenge to our culture, our rituals and the way communities committed to a contemporary spirituality are to be developed. It presents the challenge of moving into the Ecozoic era when humans will be present to the Earth in a mutually enhancing manner.( T. Berry)

Questions to be discussed including:

 “What is at stake if human activity threatens this 14 billion year process?” “What would we lose if life on Planet Earth were so destroyed that the human species as we know it ceased to exist? “

“How are we (religious progressives) going to tell the story of life on Earth to our children?” “Why is this story basic to the new directions of future spirituality?” “What kind of belief system/spirituality/ethic will sustain an appropriate role for humanity in the continuation of this story?”

Presenter: Dr Noel Preston AM. Among many publications he is the author of Ethics with or without God (Morning Star Publishing).

Hosted by  West End Uniting Church –  26th February, 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm

Following the 5:30pm Contemplative Service

Venue:  West End Uniting Church Hall, 11 Sussex St, West End, Brisbane, Q.

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New Lenten Studies from Greg Jenks

Travel the Slow Path – Lent 2017

Rex Hunt has kindly forwarded details of Greg Jenk’s Lenten Studies. This may be of interest to our subscribers because of its contemporary and practical focus. We already have a link under “LGreg Jenks2eading Practitioners” to Greg and that site has items of interest about his work in the Holy Land and other places. Greg is currently a scholar and Dean of St George’s Cathedral in Jerusalem and Residentiary Canon at St George’s College.

These studies are available online from: Travel the Slow Path: Lent 2017

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Recommended Journal: Scientific GOD Journal

A scientific view of GOD

The Scientific GOD Journal has been recommended by a member of our UCFORUM Executive.

Scientific God JournalI have enjoyed trawling through its editorial board and examining its ethical and innovative process for approving articles for publication.

The current issue focuses on the theme: Beyond the circle of life.

Articles: Beyond the Circle of Life; Death, Consciousness, & Phenomenology; Consciousness, a Cosmic Phenomenon; Idealist View of Consciousness After Death; Science & Postmortem Survival; Non-Locality/Disembodiment; Tilde Fallacy & Reincarnation; Theory of a Natural Afterlife; & Vision Statement on Science & Spirituality.

The purpose and mission of Scientific GOD Journal (“SGJ”, ISSN: 2153-831X) are to conduct scientific inquiries on the nature and origins of life, mind, physical laws and mathematics and their possible connections to a scientifically approachable transcendental ground of existence – we call “Scientific GOD.” By “scientific inquiries”, we mean building concrete and testable models and/or hypotheses connected to hard sciences (e.g., physics, neuroscience, biochemistry and physiology) and doing the experimental testing. We believe that in this golden age of Science the GOD in whom we trust should be spiritual as well as scientific. Indeed, since we are all made out of the same subatomic, atomic and genetic alphabets, the scientific GOD each of us seeks should be one and the same whatever our race, religion and other differences. There is also a Scientific GOD Forum available.

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Visit of Len Baglow to Brisbane – your invitation

INVITATION from A Progressive Christian Voice (Australia)

Supporters of APCV, or of streams of progressive Christianity in general, are invited to attend a talk/discussion led by Len Baglow at 2:00-4:00pm at St Francis’ Theological College in Milton, Brisbane, on Tuesday, 14 February.

There is ample parking in the grounds of St Francis’ College. Also, the college is situated just across from Milton railway station, in Milton Road.

Three new members have joined the APCV Management Committee  – Len Baglow, Tiffany Sparks and Kenneth Castillo. all three bring distinctive experience, gifts and insights to APCV.

Len is from South Woden Uniting Church in Canberra.

The Topic: Len will be contributing ideas and strategiesLen Baglow relating to “Strategies for Progressive Christianity in the Australian landscape”.

About Len Baglow: Len Baglow is a policy advocate with qualifications in both social work and urban and regional planning. In recent years, He has been involved in refugee and asylum seeker policy, income support policy, housing policy and child protection policy. He is particularly passionate about the growing poverty and disadvantage of students from poorer backgrounds who are attempting further education.

In the 1980s and 90s Len was active in the environment movement and retains a strong interest. He is a keen bird watcher and bush walker.

Len has written several theological articles and one book. His interest is mainly in the practical implications of theology. Many different theologians have had an influence on Len.  Most recently he has been exploring the practical implications of Jack Caputo’s work on Derrida.

Please join us for this session of wide interest.

Enquiries: Ray Barraclough at raybarraclough@icloud.com

A New Year Meditation from Richard Rohr

before-sunset

Image credit: Galapagos Before Sunset (detail) by Iris Diensthuber, summer 2007

From the Bottom Up: Introduction

A New Reformation
Tuesday, January 3, 2017

As I see it, religion is at its best when it leads us forward, when it guides us in our spiritual growth as individuals and in our cultural evolution as a species. —Brian McLaren [1]

Yes, we live in very troubling times; and we are fortunate to be alive now when we have so much possibility for growth in love. Many say we are in the midst of a spiritual awakening. Theologian Harvey Cox calls it the Age of the Spirit. He writes: “Faith is resurgent, while dogma is dying. The spiritual, communal, and justice-seeking dimensions of Christianity are now its leading edge. . . . A religion based on subscribing to mandatory beliefs is no longer viable.” [2]

There is a wide and multi-textured resurgence of the older and essential contemplative tradition. Many are returning to our mystical roots. Science has become one of religion’s best friends as it often validates the consistent intuitions of the mystics. Neuroscience helps us understand how our mind works and the impact of meditation and prayer. Critical biblical scholarship now has the help of anthropology, sociology, history, and archaeology.

There is a broad awareness that Jesus was clearly teaching non-violence, simplicity of lifestyle, peacemaking, love of creation, and dying to the ego for both individuals and groups by offering a radical social critique to the systems of domination, power, and money. There’s a growing recognition that Jesus was concerned about the transformation of real persons and human society here on earth. Christianity is meant to be a loving way of life now, not just a system of beliefs and requirements that people hope will earn them a later reward in heaven. There is a new appreciation for “many gifts and ministries” (1 Corinthians 12), “together making a unity in the work of service” (Ephesians 4) instead of concentrating power and knowledge in a top tier of male leadership.

Spiritual globalization is allowing churches worldwide to benefit from these breakthroughs at approximately the same time, which of itself is a new kind of reformation! The internet has opened up possibilities for learning, connecting, and networking with faith-filled, committed, loving people all over the world. As Brian McLaren says, now “we can migrate from organized religion to organizing religion—that is, religion organizing for the common good.” [3]

Christian denominations and world religions are realizing they are more alike than different. Consciousness is evolving. Christian theologians are predicting that this century will open up Trinitarian and practice-based spirituality, with a focus on the Holy Spirit, which many call “the forgotten member of the Trinity.” And we have a pope in Francis who is truly a man of the Gospel instead of a mere church man, someone at the top who genuinely cares about those at the bottom and our precious common home, the earth.

Of course, when there’s movement forward, there’s always pushback. But that’s just a call for more action steeped in prayer. Here at the Center for Action and Contemplation, we seek to support individuals and communities in deepening authentic spirituality and engaging compassionately with our world.

Gateway to Silence:
Create in me a new heart, O God.

References:

[1] Brian D. McLaren, The Great Spiritual Migration: How the World’s Largest Religion Is Seeking a Better Way to Be Christian (Convergent: 2016), xi.
[2] Harvey Cox, The Future of Faith: The Rise and Fall of Beliefs and the Age of the Spirit (HarperOne: 2009), 5-6.
[3] McLaren, The Great Spiritual Migration, 14.

Adapted from Richard Rohr, “The Emerging Church: Beyond Fight or Flight,” Radical Grace, Vol. 21, No.4 (Center for Action and Contemplation: 2008).

Source:
Center for Action and Contemplation

A Progressive Christian Voice

Just a reminder to regularly go to our friends at A Progressive Christian Voice (Australia) who are encouraging contributions to public debate by promoting a generous and future-focused understanding of the Christian faith.

A Progressive Christian Voice (Australia):

  • Understands Christian opinion to be more diverse and broader than that portrayed by the media.
  • Is dedicated to contributing insights from progressive streams of the Christian faith and community.
  • Seeks to minimise the effect that powerful lobby groups have on public discourse.

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Being to Becoming

Another subscriber has drawn attention to a recent ABC RN Interview:

The Posthuman on The Philosopher’s Zone

 with Joe Gelonesi  (3rd December 2016)

To listen, click here

In the 1960s Michel Foucault famously declared the end of man (sic) as we know him. In doing so he propelled what has come to be known as the posthuman turn—an all-encompassing worldview that held for over three centuries was deemed to be coming to a close. So, how’s the project going? Italian-Australian Rosi Braidotti, eminent philosopher and one-time student of Foucault, explains how we got here, and what’s still to come.

What are we capable of becoming – what are we becoming and not aware of it?

The so-called postmodern, post truth, post christian and post humanism era is upon us. But, of course, this has not happened overnight and philosophers can trace much of the end of the influence of the dominant European male face of humanism to the middle of the 20th century – even to the beginning of the nuclear age. The idea of the ‘thinking being’ has changed.

What takes the place of humanism? Is it a utopian socialist humanism or has that experiment failed? Or is it still to come? Or are we about to take a totally different political direction – towards an ethical, collaborative, community building – a form of radical democracy?

The unfolding political scenes around the globe have raised many questions about the future of humanity. This discussion raises the increasing emphasis on the non-human other that influences our future – the creation of a new technical culture.

Should we be pessimistic or optimistic?

Enjoy!

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The search for spirituality beyond organised religion.

hugh-mackayIf you missed it, it is well worth listening to this ABC Podcast

 

 

Hugh MacKay

Spirituality in a secular age (click on this link)

Regular church going has been on the wane in Australia for years. Those who call themselves atheists are more abundant in number. And many of the big institutional religions have suffered reputational damage in recent times. But none of this means we have abandoned spirituality or a search for meaning in the modern world. So says author and social researcher, Hugh MacKay. We want to feel connected to something bigger, he maintains, even if we have turned away from organised religion.

In Hugh MacKay’s recent publication Beyond Belief , he argues that while our attachment to a traditional idea of God may be waning, our desire for a life of meaning remains as strong as ever. In his social research on Australian culture, he asks what do people actually mean when they say ‘God’? Around two-thirds of us say we believe in God or some ‘higher power’, but fewer than one in ten Australians attend church weekly. In Beyond Belief, Hugh Mackay presents this discrepancy as one of the great unexamined topics of our time.

Recorded at the Brisbane Powerhouse 26th May 2016.

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Bishop Jeremy Greaves

Congratulations to Rev Jeremy Greaves, Rector, St Marks, Buderim, who will become Bishop of the Nor07d23821thern Region of the Anglican Diocese of Brisbane from mid February 2017.

The consecration ceremony will be held at St Johns Cathedral, Brisbane at 7pm on Friday 24th February.

Jeremy led our team over three years of planning for the very successful Common Dreams Conference in Brisbane this year. His guiding hand kept a large team with diverse backgrounds and skills working in unity for this long period.

Jeremy brings extensive and varied experiences to his new role:

He has been Parish Priest at Buderim since May 2013. Currently he is also Archdeacon for the area.

Before coming to Buderim, Fr. Jeremy was Dean of Christ Church Cathedral in Darwin where he presided over the rebuilding of the cathedral badly damaged by cyclone. He has worked in parishes in Adelaide and remote South Australia as well as Katherine in the Northern Territory.

He has passion for ministry with people, often thought of as being on the margins. He will also maintain a strong interest in the developing Progressive Christianity movement.

Fr. Jeremy is married to Josie and together they have three children.

His administrative region covers all parishes on the northern side of the Brisbane River to Bundaberg and he hopes to reside on the Sunshine Coast where the Greaves children attend schools.

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