Category Archives: Events

Can a Christian be a Politician?

PCN Explorers at New Farm, Brisbane (Merthyr Road Uniting Church, Brunswick Street, New Farm.)

Wednesday 1st May

10am for Morning Tea – 10.30am start.

Speaker: Everald Compton

Some information about Everald who I am sure you have heard on radio on many different topics:

Everald is an elder in the Aspley Uniting Church and a Research Fellow at Per Capita, a progressive think tank.  He is a veteran of ageing and infrastructure policy, and has advised every Australian Prime Minister since Robert Menzies. (among many other roles) https://everaldcompton.com/about/  

 This talk and discussion will be during the lead up to the Federal Election. It will not be a time to tell anyone how to vote, but I am sure it will raise some issues to inform our decision making on who to vote for.

The first in the series of “Christians like us” has just been broadcast on SBS. Maybe part of our thinking is informed by what we understand as “Christian”. Did you watch it?

Your RSVP will be helpful for planning morning tea and for knowing how many chairs we need to have out. We will be meeting in the Church building, not the hall where we usually meet.  We would also be appreciative of your donation of a few dollars to cover the cost of morning tea and a contribution to the church for the use of the premises. As an opportunity to continue the fellowship and have further discussion on this or any other topic, some of us plan to have lunch at Moray Cafe just down the street. Everyone is welcome. “>RSVP to Desley

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Gatherings of Progressives

  1. Firelight – an Easter gathering at Dorrigo

Glennis Johnson has sent the following message to anyone planning to come:

“Some of you are planning to be here over Easter and some of you are still wondering if you can make it. So here’s an update. There is a lovely group of people planning to attend for the whole weekend. But others of you, especially Dorrigo locals, are busy but may be able to make it to one or two sessions.

My suggestion is that there will be two sessions ideal to drop in for – public occasions as it were. The first is Good Friday morning at 11am. Following the welcome to country from one of our local Gumbaynggirr elders, there will be a Good Friday reflection from a progressive point of view.

Anyone coming is welcome to stay on for lunch if they wish.

The second is a Sunrise Service at 6am on Easter Sunday morning. If it is clear, it will be a magnificent spot up the hill, overlooking the rolling hills, to celebrate all that gives hope and nurtures life.

Anyone wishing to, is welcome to stay on for breakfast.

And just a reminder  for those coming from warmer climes – you will probably need a coat at night, and knowing Dorrigo, maybe even during the day. Mind you, if the days are warm, you may want your swimmers as there is a lovely swimming hole at Dangar Falls –  just minutes away.

We are planning to provide meals from the Thursday night onwards. Anyone coming earlier for an extra holiday is welcome, but will need to provide for their own meals prior to the Thursday night. We can also provide bath towels and toiletries for anyone wanting them (in case space is limited in you vehicle).

If you are coming, please let me know of any dietary needs as soon as possible. Thanks.” Email – +++

2. John Everall has sent the following details for a gathering at Caloundra on Palm Sunday:

Caloundra Uniting Church  –  A Gathering of Explorers and Friends of the Explorers – Sunday   14th April 2019   5.00pm in Hall

                               Exploring on Palm Sunday

Each year, our church community gathers, along with all churches in the west to explore the great themes of death and resurrection.

‘We don’t, however, focus on a death and resurrection that took place two millennia ago. Rather, we explore these themes as they are relevant right now in our world, our relationships, and our lives.     However, it is important for many to honour the tradition, while doing so in language, metaphor, and symbol that can be interpreted by anyone to be meaningful regardless what worldview through which they are experiencing it.

That’s one of the things that we and many other worldwide ‘progressives’  do, and struggle to do ,with more integrity each year.’Gretta Vosper-Easter 2018.

Join with us in this April 14th Gathering, as we touch just the edge of the complexities and challenges that resonate with an ancient story but face us at this moment in time, and seek within them the beauty of possibility and hope. 

We especially celebrate New Zealand’s progressive Song Writers, Poets and Theologians, in honouring and support of our grieving brothers and sisters “across the ditch”.   You will be stretched by these Contemporary Songs and real time thinking; experience a short period of directed meditation and quietness; size up the challenge;   enjoy a Contemporary Meditation anduse this and a further extremely challenging poem to interact with your table friends in a ‘Response and Discussion’ period.

We also Celebrate Community in the Tradition of the Meal, taking part in a ‘progressive’ Communion leading us onto our byo Light Finger Food Meal.

So, make a point of freeing up Sunday Evening 14th April, arrive at 5.00pm ( our ‘winter’ starting time)and enjoy friendship, sharing, and stimulating discussion.

Your Leaders for this Gathering are John Everall (Ph 0408 624 570); Hazel Bachler (Ph. 5492 3420), supported by Rev. Kevin Bachler and Musician Wendy Lowry.

Looking forward to seeing you there.”

3. Merthyr (New Farm) Uniting Church Explorers and PCNQ

27th March, 10 am at Merthyr Road Uniting Church

Ian Brown, coordinator of the Redcliffe Explorers, will lead a discussion about some of the contentious issues associated with assisted dying and euthanasia. We’ll be looking at the similarities and differences between a number of cases, including the (fictitious) Last Cab to Darwin story, the final communication from our dear Redcliffe friend and Explorers supporter David Judd, and Prof. David Goodall’s life-ending trip to Switzerland at age 104.

The Queensland Uniting Church Synod has recently consulted on the issue, and its comprehensive Consultation Paper ‘Voluntary Assisted Dying’ is available at https://ucaqld.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/VAD-Consultation-Paper_Print-Final-003.pdf. It should be noted that responses to the two Synod options are now closed, but it may be interesting reading prior to our discussions. Responses to this close on 15th April.

See earlier posting at: Euthenasia

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News from the PCNQ

Seminars

(1) 27th March, 10 am at Merthyr Road Uniting Church

Ian Brown, coordinator of the Redcliffe Explorers, will lead a discussion about some of the contentious issues associated with assisted dying and euthanasia. We’ll be looking at the similarities and differences between a number of cases, including the (fictitious) Last Cab to Darwin story, the final communication from our dear Redcliffe friend and Explorers supporter David Judd, and Prof. David Goodall’s life-ending trip to Switzerland at age 104.

The Queensland Uniting Church Synod has recently consulted on the issue, and its comprehensive Consultation Paper ‘Voluntary Assisted Dying’ is available at https://ucaqld.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/VAD-Consultation-Paper_Print-Final-003.pdf. It should be noted that responses to the two Synod options are now closed, but it may be interesting reading prior to our discussions. I have attached the Qld Government inquiry paper for your interest. Responses to this close on 15th April.

  • If you are able, it would be useful to view the Last Cab to Darwin film before the PCN meeting, but be warned – it does contain a lot of strong language!

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(2) 16th March at Merthyr Road Uniting Church, New Farm

Loving the Earth – Cancelled

Unfortunately, with just 6 days to go to the planned seminar, numbers are not as good as needed to make this an engaging conversation, so we have decided to cancel this seminar. We may look for another opportunity to share in Dr Mary Tinney’s work.

We apologise to those who had already registered, and suggest you might like to watch an interview with Mary at  https://institute.mercy.org.au/news-centre/videos/

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5th Common Dreams Conference

Sacred Earth Original Blessing; Our Common Home

A conference dedicated to progressive religious thought and action.

11th-14th JULY, 2019

Newington College in Stanmore, Sydney, Australia.

Early Bird tickets now on sale.

Matthew Fox
Anne Patel-Gray
Rod Bower

For all ticketing, program, venue, speakers, workshops, etc go the conference website at Common Dreams 2019

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PCN QLD News

The Progressive Christian Network (Q) Explorers group have an interesting topic for their morning tea conversation next Wednesday

PCN EXPLORERS – WEDNESDAY 27TH FEBRUARY – 10 AM – MERTHYR ROAD UNITING CHURCH, NEW FARM, BRISBANE

Join us for our regular monthly friendly conversation about something provocative or tantalising….. Do you follow an ‘ism’? What are some of these ‘isms’? How much do they contribute to the betterment of humankind?  

Actually, the suffix –ism is from latin -ismos or a doctrine or principle or a faith system. So almost all religions can be called with the –ism suffix. Here are a few ….. 

Theism, monotheism, Atheism, A-theism, Agnosticism, Pantheism, Panentheism, fundamentalism, humanism, Hinduism, Sufism, Buddhism, Absolutism ….. and the list goes on

but Christianity and Islam are not ‘ism’ words (Is that significant?)….

Some ‘isms’ we won’t focus on!……

Let’s talk over morning tea…..Could be fun! Just turn – no cost.

Please note our conversation about Euthanasia is now in March. More details coming.

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Easter gathering of progressives – an invitation

FIRELIGHT

Fernbrook Lodge near Dorrigo NSW

Enquiries: Glennis Johnston

FIRELIGHT
Forging Identity Relationships and Empowerment through        
Listening Interconnection Gratitude Hope and Transformation

EASTER GATHERING     2019
                                                                                               
Friday 19th April – Monday 22nd April  
                     
Easter – a time for lamenting loss and nurturing life, *storytelling*,
exploring the spiritual challenges of a divided world.                               
         
TIMING     The formal gathering begins 11am Friday and concludes 10am Monday.    Participants are welcome to arrive earlier or stay a day or two afterwards in order to explore the beautiful Dorrigo plateau with its
waterfalls and rainforest before returning home. Please phone Glennis to arrange longer stays.
PARTICIPATION  An invitation is extended to all those interested in a ‘progressive’ perspective on all things spiritual – social cohesion,
diversity, compassionate communities, sustainability, connecting the
personal with the global, forming and strengthening friendships of
support. Children are welcome to participate. Glennis Johnston will
facilitate the gathering and guest speakers will open discussion on these
important topics.
LOCATION   Dorrigo is a small country town on the highland plateau just one hour from the airport in Coffs Harbour. Fernbrook Lodge is a B&B
and retreat centre a short drive outside of Dorrigo on 5 acres at 4705
Waterfall Way. The retreat centre boasts glorious views across the
plateau.
ACCOMMODATION  & COST        The B&B has a limited number of queen rooms as well as spots to park a campervan or tent  near an amenities
block. Dorrigo also offers a variety of accommodation from motel and
B&B to caravan park.    $50 per participant or $100 per family will
contribute to the cost of hosting this event plus a suggested donation of $10 per meal. All meals from Friday morning  until Monday lunch will be available. There is no charge for camping or breakfasts.
ENQUIRIES & REGISTRATION           
NSW – Glennis Johnston 0427 338008 glennis.johnston@gmail.com      
QLD – Lesley Bryant 0408 777197 lesley-b@bigpond.net.au    

Caloundra Explorers 2019

Gatherings planned for 2019:

Theme for the year: The Teachings of Jesus and Society

at Caloundra Uniting Church
56c Queen St Caloundra, Sunshine Coast, Qld.

First for year is on Sunday 24th February 5.30pm.  Theme “Called Home: Heaven, Hell and Eternal Life – An Afterlife?”. Leader is John Everall with a support team. Please note the change in regular date to allow for the first church service for our new minister the previous week.  Summer starting time applies 5.30pm to 7.30pm approx.

Second Gathering is also slightly date adjusted.  To avoid a clash with Easter, the Explorers Gathering is Sunday 14th April.  5pm. Theme is offered as “A Liturgy for the Celebration of Life”.  This model Liturgy has been prepared in full detail by Rev. Rex Hunt for use by progressive groups and churches.  A Leader and Team to develop this specifically for our Explorers’ use is open for offers. Contact John Everall  mob.0408624570.

And then we have our third Gathering : Sunday June 16th at 5pm.   This is “Heretics Sunday” which opens up some fascinating thought patterns and discussion.  Who should we dwell upon?  Geering, Vosper, Spong, Joan of Arc, many more!

Pieter Hoogendoorn has gone for Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a so-called ‘heretic’ whose writings  have enthused Pieter for many years.  Pieter will lead this Gathering  themed as “Heretic?- Bonhoeffer and Christianity “  ( Dietrich Bonhoeffer was only thirty-nine years old when he was executed in a Nazi concentration camp in 1945, yet his courage, vision, and brilliance have greatly influenced the twentieth-century Church and theology.)

A theme for the second half of the year is ‘ Lives in Conflict”, a highly contemporary topic within our society. Leader Anne Hoogendoorn.

Should be some good discussions during this year if the above is anything to go by!

Shalom,

John Everall

Caloundra Explorers Group

 Faith And the Modern Era