I have been reading Matthew Fox’s “Order of the Sacred Earth” in preparation for Common Dreams in July in Sydney. He says: “The forms of organised religion and education have become frozen and dinosaur like, unable to adapt, too large and waited down with canons and prescriptions of far too many bureaucracies. The result is that the joy of worship and the joy of living out one’s conscience get lost in the maze of rules called religion. Similarly, the joy of learning and the ecstasy that accompanies truth can get equally muffled by the institutionalisation we call education. Both dimensions of life require a simplification, simplification, simplification. Where has all the joy gone?”
Saturday 15 June, 10.30am – 3.30pm Queensland Art Gallery Lecture Theatre South Bank, Brisbane – we seem to be all at sea. on how to live, many in our society struggle with social media and other addictions/abuses, our once most-trusted institutions (churches, councils, parliaments, banks, sporting bodies) let us down, advancing secularisation; cause, or ray of hope? popular culture looms large in contemporary moral guidance, from Harry Potter (eg the Harry Potter Alliance) to superhero films.
Can traditional religions, or civil society, claw back their moral authority? What other options are there?
Program 10.00 Registration/Welcome
12.15 Lunch (available for purchase at nearby cafes/restaurants
1.30 Panel session with Q&A
2.30 SOFIA AGM
(1) Rodney Eivers: Can a completely neutral stance towards ethics replace the unifying function of religion?
Perhaps from the influence of his mother and an early association with Christianity, Rodney started life with an aim to make the world a better place. In his teenage years he concluded that the prime need of human beings was food, which led him to became an agricultural adviser in Papua New Guinea. However, he soon came to realise that a more urgent factor than food for human beings, especially in Australian society, was personal relationships. For 30 years he instructed in Parent Effectiveness Training, a democratic approach to child-raising, which reignited Rodney’s interest in Christianity as a social binding force. With the collapse of a common institutional Christianity in Western society – to which, ironically, Rodney contributes with his espousal of ‘progressive’ Christianity – he has become uneasy about where people today imbibe those values which contribute to building a harmonious community. Rodney is currently President of Sea of Faith in Australia.
(2) Gail Parataz:Religion as Culture – how Judaism has different strands of observance within an overall religious culture
Gail was born in Sri Lanka (Ceylon at the time) and emigrated with her family to Melbourne when she was a very young child. She lived there for 30 years before moving to Brisbane. Gail is married to David and has 2 sons – Benjamin 26 years and Jonathon 24 years. She has been a high school Art teacher and her last teaching post was at Brisbane Girls’ Grammar School. Nowadays Gail is the Interfaith Chair on the Queensland Jewish Board of Deputies (QJBD) and is also the Chair of the Queensland Faith Communities Council (QFCC).
(3) Professor Sarva Daam Singh: Pursuit of peace and happiness in a world riven by intolerance
Sarva Daman Singh stresses the indivisibility of humanity and its cultural diversity as a natural expression of its bountiful creativity. Professor Sarva Daman Singh, BA(Hons), M.A., PhD (University of London), PhD (University of Queensland, Australia), F.R.A.S., was born at Angai, in District Mathura of Uttar Pradesh, India and migrated to Australia in 1974.He won many awards and five gold medals during the course of a distinguished educational career at the universities of Lucknow and London. He has taught at the University of Lucknow; National Academy of Administration, Government of India, Mussoorie; Vikram University, Ujjain; and the University of Queensland, Australia; and held chairs of Indian History, Culture and Archaeology. He is at present Director of the Institute of Asian Studies, Brisbane. He was the Honorary Consul of India in Queensland from 2003 to 2011.
Neil Davidson is a community activator, catalyst and keynote listener who listens deeply, empathizes, synthesizes, and reflects back to diverse groups: interfaith gatherings, organizations, not-for-profits, NGOs and rural communities in ways that reveal patterns, weave threads and lift those present by unlocking hidden/ignored potentials. Neil takes photographs, writes poetry, and sometimes finds himself seeing/channeling the multiple wisdoms present in ways that surprises him and transforms those present. His academic background was Marine Biology and Geology.
Singing is a form of communication that predates language. It is a way that animals and humans alike identify as a group and it is a very important part of our church life.
Yet so many of the songs that we sing within our churches contain outdated language, that make it hard for us to sing out and identify with the messages within the music.
Join Heather Price at Common Dreams on July 12 to warm up your voice and learn new songs that express a progressive theology and embody diversity, while rediscovering the joy of community through voice and song.
PCN EXPLORERS MEETS WEDNESDAY 29TH MAY, 10 am at Merthyr Road Uniting Church, New Farm Brisbane Q.
I have asked Terry Fitzpatrick from St Mary’s in Exile Community (SMX) to lead our thinking into this topic:
How do we continue to maintain resilience and relationships as we strive to sustain a viable future for our planet?
are the conversations you have been engaged in (or overheard!) since the
election last Saturday? In the bus? at the supermarket checkout? at the
hairdressers? Are the conversations different in the city and the country? Is
there a difference between the ‘Christian’ and the ’non-Christian’? How does
our understanding of the Christian story inform our thinking?
at 10 am for eating, meeting and greeting. About 10:30 we will move into a time
when Terry introduces our theme and its challenges and we can all join in
further discussion to look at the ‘how’ question.
Please send a quick reply to this email to say “I am coming” so we have an indication of numbers . Send email to Desley Garnett please.
“Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s contribution to understanding the future of Christianity and the church in a secular world is fascinating – and even more challenging today!”
We especially invite you to join us in our June 16th Gathering with this intriguing theme appropriate to the co-incidence of dates-“Heretics’ Sunday” and our Gathering!
Confined to Tegel prison in Berlin from April 1943, until his death 9th April 1945 in Flossenburg concentration camp, Bonhoeffer reflected on the future of ‘The Church’ and of Christian communities in a secular world. He questioned the Orthodox understanding of the Gospel as well as Roman Catholic and Protestant church practices. That is, he challenged the church ‘norms’ that many in his lifetime took for granted. Orthodoxy,
according to Bonhoeffer, has held sway for 1900 years, condemning those who
thought differently and silencing them where possible… even putting to death
some unrepentant heretics.
“Letters and Papers from Prison” became Bonhoeffer’s
final words on the subject.
Our Leader, Rev Pieter Hoogendoorn, says “In spite of many developments since, congregations today act as if nothing has occurred”.
theme is developed on Pieter’s proposition that only two options are open to
today’s Christians and congregations. On the one hand ignore his writings- as
many do; or struggle with his insights and take up the implied challenges. Pieter
says “ For Explorers, and modern ‘faith seekers’, the latter is the only
option. It is better to struggle with the challenges of Bonhoeffer’s thoughts
than to throw up our hands in despair because he has not provided a full answer
for us to endorse.”
Intrigued?….Why not make this a special occasion and come to this Gathering:
Evening 16th June at 5pm -7pm
Caloundra Uniting Church HALL at 56 Queen Street Caloundra
The Gathering includes a byo light finger food meal as well as a full
opportunity to discuss the issues around your table with friends-old and new!
Hoogendoorn Ph.0419 976 372 or Margaret Landbeck Ph.5438 2789 .
Dr. Anne Pattel-Gray is an Aboriginal woman who is a descendant of the Bidjara/ Kari Kari people in Queensland and she is a recognised Aboriginal leader within Australia – nationally and internationally. She has dedicated her life to the struggle of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and she is a strong campaigner and lobbyist and deeply committed to seeking justice, equity and equal representation for Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people. She is very proud of her Aboriginal culture and heritage and is a strong advocate for Aboriginal women, children, families and community regarding our Cultural and basic Human Rights. She has developed a leadership quality that promotes and builds a deeper sense of community and participation that brings a greater Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage and cultural identity and cohesion with the broader community that leads to beneficial partnerships, engagement and reconciliation.
Dr. Anne Pattel-Gray has an earned Ph.D. from the University of Sydney awarded in 1995 in the Studies of Religion with the major focus on Aboriginal Religion and Spirituality (she was the first Aboriginal person to graduate with a Ph.D. from the University of Sydney). And a Doctor of Divinity from India awarded in 1997 (the first Aboriginal person to be awarded the D.D.). Dr. Pattel-Gray has achieved many firsts in her prestigious life and she is known as a trail blazer and she has opened many doors for her people. She is a recognised scholar, theologian, activist and prolific writer with several publications – chapters, articles, edited works and authored books. Dr. Anne Pattel-Gray is deeply committed to the advancement of Aboriginal people and to reconciliation between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians. She has over thirty years in senior management as a CEO and she possesses a wealth of experience and she has developed enormous expertise.
Anne will deliver a Major Public Address on Saturday evening 13 July.
Student (full-time or unwaged part-time; ID check at event)
Early Bird (discount on Regular & Concession rates on & before 31 May,2019)
Concession (pensioners & those on unemployment or health benefits)
Short Program (Friday night to Sunday)
Cancellations received before 11 June, 2019 will be refunded in full. Thereafter a refund of 50% applies.
Accommodation not included
Packed lunch provided on Friday & Saturday only
Dinner voucher provided Saturday evening only
Morning & afternoon refreshments will be provided
Registrations on-line close on 9 July, 2019.
Prices include all relevant fees & taxes applicable to Common Dreams at the time of registration.
St. Thomas’ Anglican Church Toowong, Q is delighted to announce a workshop examining the Progressive Christian Movement.
Date And Time: Sat., 1 June 2019, 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm AEST
About this Event
The guest speaker will be former Roman Catholic Bishop of Toowoomba Bishop William Morris. He will be discussing Creation Spirituality as a Social Justice issue. This will be followed by an introduction to A Progressive Christian Voice Australia (APCVA) by the Rev’d Ray Barraclough. After some afternoon tea, a panel discussion will be held looking at various aspects of the progressive movement. One of the panelists will be Rev’d Tiffany Sparks, most recently seen on the SBS special ‘Christians Like Us’.
Location: St Thomas Anglican Church, 67 High Street, Toowong, QLD 4066
The Future of Religion and of Spirituality and of the Earth
That is the topic for one of four sessions with Matthew Fox at Common Dreams 2019 International conference, 11th-14th JULY, 2019 at Newington College in Stanmore, Sydney, Australia and Pitt St Uniting Church, Sydney, Australia.
A conference dedicated to the Sacred Earth: Original Blessing; Our Common Home surely is in pursuit of recovering a sense of the Sacred. This looms as a primary prerequisite for our survival as a species and for our planet’s survival at this amazing but perilous time in human and planetary history. How do we recover the sense of the sacred when it has been lost?
In this context it is of considerable significance that more and more people (80% of people under 30 in the US) are identifying as “spiritual but not religious” today. Is this a judgment against religion? Is it a shout-out for bringing about a re-sacralizing of our relationships? Does it represent a quest for the deeper elements of religion, the “inwardness” of religion that the mystics like Howard Thurman and Dorothee Soelle and Meister Eckhart talk about?
We will reflect on these and other deep matters in this presentation including how we can put such questions into practice, what movements we can create to hasten the journey since the United Nations and scientists tell us we have twelve years left to turn things around.
Those who attended the 4th CD Conference in Brisbane can attest to the mind blowing experience of a Common Dreams Conference.
Early bird tickets are on sale until 31st may 2019.