Author Archives: Paul Inglis

About Paul Inglis

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.

A Progressive Take on Resurrection: “Which Resurrection?”

PCN EXPLORERS: Wednesday 25th March, 10 am (for 10:30 start), 

Merthyr Road Uniting Church, 52 Merthyr Rd, New Farm

A Progressive Take on Resurrection: “Which Resurrection?”

Dr Cliff Hospital will facilitate the morning’s exploration on this subject – relevant to us all as we approach the Easter Season. His argument will be that in order to arrive at a critical take on the resurrection event and its implications for Christian faith and life in the contemporary world, we need to begin with an honest awareness that traditional orthodox Christian thinking reflects a composite of disparate strands of tradition available to us in the Hebrew Bible, the New Testament, the Quran, etc.  

So, to explain the question “Which Resurrection?”:  Is it the collective resurrection of the people Israel (Ezekiel 37)?  Is it the raising of dead individuals on the last day–the day of judgment–shared by the Pharisees, but not the Saducees, by Christians following Paul in 1 Corinthians 15: 51-52, by Muslims following many passage in the Quran such as sura 78: 17-40?   Is it the thinking reflected in Jesus words to the good thief crucufied with him:  “…today you will be with me in Paradise” (Luke 23: 43)?   Is it the earliest accounts of resurrection appearances of Jesus found in Paul’s letters, and most fully in 1 Corinthians 15: 3-8, which includes the appearance to Paul himself?  Is it the apparently related distinction made by Paul later in 1 Corinthians 15 between a physical body and a spiritual body (the latter being the body of the raised dead)?  Is it the resurrection as depicted in the gospels and Acts 1, with forty days of appearances (little in common among the accounts) culminating in the Lukan narrative of Jesus’ ascension into heaven from Bethany (Luke 24:50) or the Mount of Olives (Acts 1:12)?   

Cliff will attempt to develop a plausible account of this diversity; thus Part A.  

Part B of the talk will look at a variety of modern expressions of resurrection faith and hope that he finds persuasive in the light of our conclusions of Part A.

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.

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Easter Reading

JOHN QUERIPEL PROGRESSIVE AUTHOR

I have written two books to have you thinking over the Easter season. They would make an ideal gift for either a friend or with which to treat yourself.

The first is ‘ON THE THIRD DAY: RE-LOOKING AT THE RESURRECTION’ https://morningstarpublishing.net.au/product/on-the-third-day/ OR https://wipfandstock..com/on-the-third-day.html (the second website offers a preview reading)

‘The Easter story culminating in the resurrection of Jesus stands at the heart of Christian faith and celebration. But in the modern world is the story still believable? And does it still have transformative power for modern living? The scriptures contain a mix of attitudes to life after death, and the resurrection stories themselves contain a mysterious mix of the physical and mystical. John Queripel argues that we can no longer hold to a literal understanding of these accounts, but neither can we see the resurrection as merely delusion and wish-fulfilment.’

The second is ‘BONHOEFFER: PROPHET AND MARTYR’ (Play and essay) https://wipfandstock.com/bonhoeffer.html (Preview reading offered)

The 75th anniversary of Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s death will be 8th April. 

‘In the final days of World War II, early one frosty morning, a young German pastor was taken from his cell by his Nazi captors and led to his place of execution. Coming from one of Berlin’s leading families, Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s already brilliant academic and church career was thus brutally terminated. Bonhoeffer found himself in such a strange place for a theologian, being one of the very few in the German Church who stood resolutely opposed to the Nazis to the point where he, as a one-time pacifist, became deeply involved in the conspiratorial plot to kill Hitler and bring down the regime. This course of action saw him enter the murky sphere of secrecy and duplicity as a member of the conspiracy, while two-timing the Nazis as a member of military intelligence. Using that official role, Bonhoeffer was able to travel and communicate with his international ecumenical contacts as part of the conspiracy’s attempt to strike a deal with the Allies to end the war. From a dark period, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, brave and resolute, stands as a bright and shining light.’ Information on my books is available on my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/JohnHenryQueripel/

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Dying with Dignity

Voluntary Assisted Dying. Crunch time at Queensland Parliament.

From Everald Compton

Last year, the Queensland Parliament voted to authorise its Health Committee to hold public hearings throughout Queensland to assess public attitudes to Voluntary Assisted Dying and Palliative Care. They did an extraordinary job of holding hearings far and wide across the State and encouraging all opinions to be expressed.

I spoke at one of the hearings and it was evident that there was huge support for Queenslanders to have the right to choose to end their lives peacefully and in comfort when faced with an incurable illness. It was also clear that people felt that palliative care services were not adequate and were not an alternate to Voluntary Assisted Dying as many people will choose both. People who attended other hearings gained the same impression as I did.

At the same time as the public hearings were being held, The Clem Jones Foundation conducted a professional survey of community attitudes on the matter and found that at least three out of every four Queenslanders believed that they should have the right to elect to end their lives via Voluntary Assisted Dying.

So, we now await the report of the Health Committee which is due to present it to Parliament no later than 31 March this year. I have no inside information on the matter but my gut feeling is that the Committee will recommend that Legislation to legalise Voluntary Assisted Dying be placed before the Parliament for a conscience vote as soon as possible.

The key issue is whether or not the Premier will decide to hold the vote before or after the election which is due in October, 2020. If she delays the vote it will become a huge election issue with every candidate being forced to state their position on it.

In my role as Campaign Leader of Dying With Dignity Queensland, I am pushing hard for an immediate vote and I have no doubt that it will passed by the Parliament.

To press the case for a vote before the election, Dying With Dignity is holding a Rally on THURSDAY, 19 MARCH AT 1.00PM AT SPEAKERS CORNER, which is in George Street just over the road from Parliament. We have a police permit and have invited every member of Parliament to attend. Some have already accepted our invitation.

This event is not a protest gathering and will neither march nor block the traffic nor abuse MP’s. We are simply asking the Parliament to vote urgently to authorise Voluntary Assisted Dying in Queensland for those who so choose, similarly to the right that Victorians and Western Australians now have.

I am one of the speakers and my task is to state why, as a Church Elder, I am publicly supporting Voluntary Assisted Dying when the Churches of Queensland have joined together to make a submission to the Inquiry opposing it.

The key factor is that they believe that God decides who lives or dies. I have never ever believed that. God gives you and me the spiritual power to handle whatever life and death throw up at us. With death being an inevitable and unavoidable part of life, why let many people suffer agony to get there.

I will be a definite candidate for Voluntary Assisted Dying if ever I face a terminal illness and I have advised my family in writing that this is my wish.

Indeed, if I become geriatric and am to be committed to a nursing home I will find a way to end my life. I have had a wonderful life and I am not going to end it as a vegetable. And I am not going to waste money on pointlessly and selfishly staying alive when I want my grandkids to have as much of my estate as possible.

Churches, by opposing Voluntary Assisted Dying, are actually encouraging suicide and this is utterly irresponsible. There is clear and irrefutable evidence that people crash their cars in single car accidents because they want out and the laws of the land are denying them the basic democratic right to determine how they will live and die.

So, please come along to Speakers Corner on Thursday, 19 March at 1.00pm and help to convince Parliament that VAD legislation must pass the Parliament before the Election.

There are many Twitter and Facebook friends whom I have not ever met so I hope you will come along and say hello. And if you have any doubts about either the morals or ethics or legality of VAD, lets have a respectful chat about it.

Yours at large.

Everald.

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About Sea of Faith in Australia

SOFiA is a network of Australians interested in openly exploring issues of life and meaning through reason, philosophy, ethics, religion, science and the arts. We want to explore for ourselves what we can believe and how we can find meaning in our lives.

SOFiA has no philosophical or religious position beyond a desire to ‘openly explore’: it is a forum for discussing ideas, experiences and possibilities.

Any who find themselves in sympathy with our purpose – exploring life and meaning in an open and non-dogmatic manner – are most welcome to join us.

14 Richardson St
Lane Cove NSW 2066
AUSTRALIA

Email: sofnetwork@gmail.com

Website: www.sof-in-australia.org

For enquiries about local events/groups please see the local group details.

Join SoFiA

SoFiA members receive 6 editions of the SoFiA Bulletin annually. Subscription fees are $20 for 10 years’ membership.

The Bulletin is available either as an email attachment or in paper form.

The preferred method for payment is direct bank transfer. Please email sofnetwork@gmail.com to request our bank account details. You’ll need to use your own bank’s online banking facility to make the payment. Please use your surname in describing the payment.

Payment through the post by cheque or money order is also possible.

Please note: for overseas members, the SoFiA Bulletin is available only as an email attachment.

If you’d like to join SoFiA please complete and send the membership application together with either direct debit payment or a cheque/money order to:

The Membership Secretary
14 Richardson St
Lane Cove
NSW 2066

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Ending of Mark’s Gospel – Mk 2

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.

Originally reviewed at: Mark’s Ending

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.

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Inclusive Catholics: Resourcing Progressive Ministry and Worship No.13

A welcoming and inclusive community of committed Christians, based in Victoria, true to their faith, who have become disillusioned with the institutional Catholic Church and other churches.

Go to: Inclusive Catholics

“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.”

Social Justice

“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. “

Eucharist

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

Contact details – About us

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Church of England is Institutionally Racist

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.”

Justin Welby

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.

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Rights of Nature Australia 2020 – early notice

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.

For more information go to RONA2020

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!

AELA is a founding member of the Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature, which brings together more than 80 organisations around the world, who support Earth Jurisprudence and Rights of Nature.  AELA participates in the UN Harmony for Nature initiative, is an affiliate of the Earth Charter and a partner of the Global Footprint Network.

AELA’s Board of Management is comprised of lawyers, Indigenous leaders and professionals from around Australia.

AELA is run by volunteers who are committed to the philosophy and practical implementation of Earth Jurisprudence.

AELA is a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee (ABN: 54 156 139 221)

Membership is open to all individuals and organisations with an interest in Earth Laws and AELA’s work. 

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New from Morning Star Publishers

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

$20.95 – Purchase details

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A further Reflection from Kevin Smith

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) 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;    

-(iii)   Virgin-Mary type pregnancies don’t occur. It’d mean that her infant would have had no male DNA;

-(iv)   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 listening;
-(x)    It has been difficult for me to arrive at these theses; it has taken me 8 decades of devoted application trying to find out what really happened;
-(xi)   I declare that these observations are for me joyful and liberating.

-(xii)  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;

-(xiii) 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.

-(xiv) 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 ] 

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