Paul Inglis is a long time member of the Uniting and Anglican Churches in Australia. He recently retired as the Community Minister for Dayboro and Mt Mee Uniting Churches, just north of Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. He accepted an invitation to become the Queensland's first Uniting Church Community Minister and continued in that role for more than 10 years. Previously he had been a State primary school teacher, school principal for 11 years and then Lecturer in Education at the Queensland University of Technology for 25 years. He has served on UCA Assembly, Synod, Presbytery and Congregational Councils. In retirement he is actively involved in family, church, and community. His commitment to 'progressive' Christianity emerged from contact with the late Professor Rod Jensen who founded the Lay Forum in 2004 and from his experience in ministry with people seeking an authentic faith. Paul's PhD from the University of Queensland is in Adult Learning.
Dr Peter Lewis has produced a second edition of his very interesting book The Ending of Mark’s Gospel.
This is essentially the same content, just expanded a little. A few changes have been made and two chapters added If you have the first edition, no need to rush out and buy the second but new readers should look out for the second edition.
Peter’s hope is that this rational investigation of the abrupt ending to Mark’s Gospel will be a key to understanding how the gospels came to be the way they are. He sees this as integral to revitalising the faith.
“Given the clericalism, abuse, discrimination and lack of proper governance within the Catholic Church, in 2011 Fr Greg Reynolds, a priest of the Melbourne Archdiocese for 31 years, set up a new community, called Inclusive Catholics to embrace those disillusioned with institutional churches. In this community all are welcome without question, especially lapsed Catholics as well as survivors of clerical abuse, divorcees, those who support women’s ordination and LGBTIQA+ people.
This community strives to let all voices be heard and equally considered when planning and celebrating worship and other events. It is now a democratic organisation led by an elected Stewardship Team with Greg Reynolds as pastor. Inclusive Catholics holds fortnightly Eucharistic celebrations at Glen Iris Road Uniting Church Community Centre, monthly lecture-discussions in member’s homes, social dinners, silent retreats and luncheon gatherings where personal stories can be shared.”
“We are all deeply committed to Gospel values and caring for the needs of the poor and vulnerable in our society and the world. We each respond to the call in our own personal way, as we accept and support each other’s approach, gifts and priorities. Above all, our hearts and prayers go out to those who suffer abuse, injustice and oppression. We are a diverse range of personalities, with a wide range of social justice priorities. Early on we decided not to set up our own separate social justice group, but rather to support individual members in the various organisations and activities that they are involved in. For example members are involved in or connected with groups such as IPAN (the Independent & Peaceful Australia Network), Pax Christi, WATAC (Women and The Australian Church), St Mary’s in Exile, Aboriginal Catholic Ministry, Acceptance, BASP (Brigidine Asylum Seeker Project), Love Makes a Way, ARRCC (Australian Religious Response to Climate Change), Catholics for Renewal, ACCCR (Australian Catholic Coalition for Church Reform), Quakers, and various Christian Churches especially Glen Iris Road Uniting Church and St Oswald’s Anglican Church. “
This is an open table and any believer who wishes to receive Holy Communion is welcome. Eucharist is celebrated on the first and third Sundays of each month at Glen Iris Road Uniting Church, 200 Glen Iris Road, Glen Iris at 5.00 pm, preceded by optional quiet meditation at 4.40pm
1ST & 3RD SUNDAYS OF EACH MONTH, 5PM
GLEN IRIS UNITING CHURCH
THE ARCHBISHOP of Canterbury has admitted the Church of England is still “deeply institutionally racist” as he speaks out about its treatment of black and minority ethnic people. Justin Welby has spoken of his personal shame at the Church of England’s institutional racism and has promised to replace a “hostile environment” with a hospitable welcome. Speaking at a meeting of the Church’s ruling body, the General Synod, the Archbishop said he was “ashamed” of its history of racism. Mr Welby said he was “almost beyond words” after hearing about the racism faced by minority parishioners, priests and officials within the church.
The Archbishop added: “There is no doubt when we look at our own church that we are still deeply institutionally racist.”
Mr Welby’s comments come as Synod members voted unanimously for a motion to apologise for racism in the Church of England since the Windrush generation arrived in the UK.
The body also voted to “stamp out conscious or unconscious” racism.
The General Synod also voted to request research on how racism had influenced the fall in member numbers and the increase in church closures over the years.
The church will also now appoint an independent person to assess racism within its ranks and seek to increase the number of BAME Anglicans seeking ordination.
Mr Welby, who decided to “ditch” a prepared speech and make off-the-cuff remarks, said church appointment panels – including the crown nominations commission, which recommends new bishops – needed to have better minority ethnic representation, along with longlists and shortlists for senior clergy posts.
He said: “We did not do justice in the past. We do not do justice now.
“And unless we are radical and decisive in this area in the future, we will still be having this conversation in 20 years’ time and still doing injustice, the few of us that remain.”
The leader of the Church of England added the Church’s “hostile environment” must become a “hospitable, welcoming one” and called for “radical and decisive” progress to put an end to institutional racism.
RONA2020 – “Rights of Nature Australia 2020” – is a national arts celebration, organised by the Australian Earth Laws Alliance (AELA). The National Exhibition will run from 12-17 October 2020 in Brisbane, in conjunction with AELA’s week of exploring and celebrating the Rights of Nature.
In 2020, the Australian Earth Laws Alliance (AELA) will be co-hosting a range of arts activities and events under the theme of “Voices of Nature”. This theme will encourage the exploration of the concepts of ‘voice’, ‘standing’, ‘representation’, and ‘agency’ of the natural world within human governance systems. The theme also promotes AELA’s desire to focus on sound art and acoustic ecology as key mediums for communicating and exploring nature’s voice(s).
AELA is excited to be partnering with the Australian Forum for Acoustic Ecology (AFAE) to generate dynamic, cross-disciplinary interactions and projects for RONA2020. And we look forward to engaging with the science, technology, art, wonder, and acoustic expertise of the AFAE members.
The Australian Earth Laws Alliance (AELA) is a national not-for-profit organisation whose mission is to increase the understanding and practical implementation of Earth centred governance in Australia, with a focus on law, economics, education, ethics and the arts. AELA’s work is inspired by the theory and practice of Earth jurisprudence, which is a governance philosophy and growing social movement. Earth jurisprudence proposes that we rethink our legal, political, economic and governance systems so that they support, rather than undermine, the integrity and health of the Earth.
The need for new governance systems has never been greater: as we face a climate changed world and transition away from our destructive reliance of fossil fuels, human societies need to create new ways of working together and nurturing the wider Earth community.
AELA works to build long term systemic change, so that human societies can shift from human centred to Earth centred governance. Our vision is to create human societies that live within their ecological limits, respect the rights of nature and enjoy productive, sustainable economies that nurture the health of the wider Earth community.
AELA carries out its work by supporting multi-disciplinary teams of professionals engaged in research, education, publications, community capacity building and creating new models of Earth friendly governance. Our team includes Indigenous community leaders, lawyers, economists, scientists, deep ecologists, artists and community development practitioners. AELA works on a membership-participation model and is powered by committed volunteers, who work together as individuals and organisations across Australia. All our work is driven by our members’ interests and commitment – so become a member and get involved!
The Unexpected Light is a book which seeks to inspire through the experience of science, history, and art, rather than theological rhetoric – reaching out to people not necessarily committed to the Christian faith but perhaps interested in it.
The aim is to show how mercy is not just a doctrine, not just a teaching – although these are important things – but rather, a force integral to the future of human life on earth. Peter Fleming examines science, history, art – unified in faith. In a world which is imperfect by its very nature, mercy is a logical response to its people and to human behaviour.
Reflections from a Year of Mercy
By: Peter Fleming
Pages: 160 Publisher:Morning Star Publishing Dimensions:148mm x 210mm ISBN: 9780648118664
WHAT HAPPENED? … studying the Rabbi Yeshuah story … 15 THESES
In concluding a session of my limited observations and drawing on life-long learning, I arrive at some opinions (an opinion, it is said, being midway between fact and belief). There is no weakness in me admitting that I may be wrong:
I am a citizen of Planet Tellus where all human observations, conclusions and
opinions are tentative and challengeable; I make it clear that philosophy invites us to challenge our
most cherished assumptions on a regular basis, even when those assumptions are
as life-defining as religious assumptions often are. “There are no sacred cows
in philosophy; everything is up for scrutiny, fair game to be
challenged.” For Kant & Descartes
‘doubt’ is the key to wisdom.-(ii) A human who has totally died does not come back to everyday
life again and so there was no resurrection;
Virgin-Mary type pregnancies don’t occur. It’d mean that her infant
would have had no male DNA;
All miracles are scientifically suspect; consider Apostle Simon-Peter
walking on water.
-(v) The existence of
divinity or divine-nature is theologically suspect; I see a human Rabbi Yeshuah
as more impressive than a divine rabbi.
-(vi) That great literary work, the Bible, is a wholly
human construct, written by human hands. It has therefore very questionable
verisimilitude on account of its many discrepancies, contradictions and
mistakes (fake news and false facts). It also contains lots of sublime wisdom;
-(vii) You must distrust churchianity, i.e., traditional
institutional christianity, because of the christology that it created which
was presented to followers as divinely revealed deposit-of-faith dogma ;
-(viii) Faith is often the enemy of evidential fact. Assertions
without evidence may merit denial without evidence;
-(ix) History shows for me no evidence of what I
taught as a catechist (scripture-teacher) for 20 years, “Adonai-God the
Father is a loving, caring God”. Prayer may be beneficial but no one is
-(x) It has been difficult for me to arrive at
these theses; it has taken me 8 decades of devoted application trying to find
-(xi) I declare that these observations are for me
joyful and liberating.
I perceive Rabbi Yeshuah as the most completely valid and most completely
convincing practitioner of goodness and integrity (as the inspiring principles
of all human action) that the world has ever known;
As one born saved I spiritually embrace Rabbi Yeshuah of Nazareth as my mentor.
He is Israel’s greatest prophet, an original thinker, inspiring preacher,
gifted healer & exorcist, convincing teacher of wisdom and integrity,
Jewish mystic, model of kingdom-oriented life-style and promulgator of the
ancient Hebrew ethics of open hospitality and neighbourly love with esteem for
Adonai-Yahweh-Elohim as our loving Father.
Yeshuah of Nazareth died two millenia ago, having emerged from the Hebrew
Israelite Jewish community;
he summed up the essential of its wisdom discoveries. He was able to speak
divine truth with humanity’s own voice. His brief physical presence on the
earth changed the course of history in innumerable ways. We rightly honour him
in titling him as ‘anointed son of God’.
-(xv) I walk through life hand-in-hand with this most admirable spiritual preceptor and I silently converse with him, and I greet his mother too.  [ Kevin Aryeh Hatikvah Smith in Sydney 01/11/2019 / re-edited 09-02-’20 ]
If you have seen the Oscar-nominated movie The Two Popes, you will know it ends with Francis and his predecessor, Benedict, cheering on their teams, as Argentina and Germany play each other in the soccer world cup.
This fictional account of their relationship is drawing millions of viewers. But in real life there’s widening gulf between the so-called Francis and Benedict factions of the church.
The cause of the latest tension is a new book about compulsory celibacy for priests. Are hard-line traditionalists in the church using the 93-year-old former Pope to undermine Francis and his reforms?
For a video clip from the ABC Religion and Ethics site on this topic, go to The Two Popes.
By Naomi Neilson|28 January 2020 , first published in the Lawyers Weekly
Edward Santow has been Human Rights Commissioner at the Australian Human Rights Commission since August 2016.
Ed leads the Commission’s work on technology and human rights; refugees and migration; human rights issues affecting LGBTI people; counter-terrorism and national security; freedom of expression; freedom of religion; and implementing the Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture (OPCAT).
Ed’s areas of expertise include human rights, public law and discrimination law. He is a Visiting Professorial Fellow at the University of New South Wales (UNSW), a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on Human Rights and the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and serves on a number of boards and committees.
In 2009, Ed was presented with an Australian Leadership Award, and in 2017, he was recognised as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum.
From 2010-2016, Ed was chief executive of the Public Interest Advocacy Centre, a leading non-profit organisation that promotes human rights through strategic litigation, policy development and education.
Ed was previously a Senior Lecturer at UNSW Law School, a research director at the Gilbert + Tobin Centre of Public Law and a solicitor in private practice.
Certain provisions to the proposed Religious Discrimination Bill have been rejected as being too “severe” and unduly restrict the rights of entire communities of people, said the Australian Human Rights commissioner.
Speaking at a Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) forum hosted at Gilbert + Tobin, commissioner Edward Santow said that while welcoming the government intention to fill in gaps in the law that leave people of faith unprotected, several provisions will only serve to “taint the bill as a whole” and set anti-discrimination laws back further.
“The majority of the bill is an appropriate and conventional law to prohibit any religious discrimination. The majority of the bill is similar to existing laws, here and overseas, in dealing with discrimination of religion, race, age and sex,” Mr Santow said at the forum. “But we have serious concerns about other aspects of the bill.
“We need to consider whether the bill’s problems are so severe they taint the bill as a whole. For me, the short answer is yes. In my view, certain elements of the bill are so problematic that the bill should not proceed unless those problems are addressed.”
Mr Santow pointed to several provisions in the bill the Human Rights Commission has taken issue with, which he added were “unique, even radical”. He noted that there was nothing like these provisions in Australian, or international, law.
For one, under the provisions, corporations can claim they were discriminated against based on associations. Mr Santow said that by claiming this, it is inconsistent with laws both national and international, but would also be inconsistent with logic and common sense “to suggest a corporation’s feelings have been hurt”.
“It’s axiomatic that human rights are for humans,” Mr Santow said. “If you need to be persuaded on this, just remember human rights exist to protect quintessentially human qualities, especially human qualities. And yet, the bill would allow some corporations to claim that they suffered from religious discrimination.”
The bill also allows religious bodies – including schools, charities and providers – to be exempt from religious discrimination law. As such, they are permitted [to] be discriminatory if it is in “good faith and in accordance with religious doctrines”. For example, a teacher of faith at a religious childcare centre can discriminate against a single mother.
“It undercuts protections against religious discrimination, particularly in sections such as employment and the provisions of goods and services. In other words, a significant portion of the bill isn’t about prohibiting religious discrimination, it does something that is the exact opposite of that,” Mr Santow said, adding that the bill would give “license” to certain parties to engage in discriminatory conduct based on their beliefs.
Mr Santow added that parts of the bill, if it proceeds, will override all anti-discrimination laws because it would favour one group’s rights over another.
“We believe that the bill would be easy to fix. The problematic provisions with this bill seem to have been tacked onto a much more conventional bill. If you were to remove the problematic elements, you would be left with a typical anti-discrimination law,” he said.
Dear Friends in the Progressive Christianity Network and other interested people,
The Progressive Christian Network meeting at Merthyr Rd Uniting Church New Farm, Brisbane is please to advise that notable organist and soprano/choir leader, DrSteven and Mrs Adele Nisbet from St Andrews, Creek Street Uniting Church, Brisbane will be the guest leaders at our next Seminar in February (see below). All welcome.
The first month of the year has almost passed so I guess any new year celebrations are forgotten and we are ready to start up regular activities and commitments. We have grieved along with all Australians the loss of life, property, wild life, farm animals and livelihoods in the devastating bushfires. Today we have both celebrated our Australian life and mourned the hurt caused to its First People.
Shirley Erena Murray died peacefully in Paraparaumu, NZ.
Probably most of us did not know Shirley personally, but many have found her words of songs to be helpful on their own progressive journey. In Shirley’s own words: “Go gently, go lightly, go safe in the spirit”
PCN EXPLORERS: Wednesday 26th Feb, 10 am (for 10:30
Merthyr Road Uniting Church, 52 Merthyr Rd, New Farm
All are welcome to join us as Steven and Adele Nisbet help us explore some new songs that express our faith. New words to old tunes, new words to new tunes. Come at 10 for ‘eat, meet and greet’ and we will get started at 10:30. Finished by 12. Some venture to Moray Cafe for lunch – all welcome to that for more opportunity for friendship and further exploration.