Category Archives: Events

Two Seminars with Glennis Johnston

1. Caloundra Explorers – 8th ANNUAL SEMINAR

SATURDAY 29TH SEPTEMBER 2018 – CALOUNDRA – 9.30 am

Our Special Speaker – GLENNIS JOHNSTON

Author of “Turning Points of the Spirit”

PROGRAM
9.30am Opening Session
“Re-imagining God”
—-‘A view of God’ – finding a personal and meaningful understanding – exploring a little way into Process Theology

11.30am Session Two thru to 1.00pm
“What does Worship mean from this New Perspective?”
—-The difference between attending to God and worshipping

LUNCH – A Light Finger food Lunch will be provided, with tea, coffee, and fruit juice.

2.00pm Afternoon Session Three – thru to 3.30pm
“Creative Transformation and our Beautiful Messy Lives”
—-Valuing imperfection and change within ourselves, and integrating our shadow side
—-What does creative transformation look like in our lives and how do we move towards it?

Where: Caloundra Uniting Church HALL, 56 Queen Street, Caloundra.
When: Saturday 29th September 2018 9.30am to 3.30pm
Cost: $25 per person. (Lunch included) –Please note -Registration required for catering!
We encourage payment, after registering, by Direct Credit -Caloundra Uniting Church BSB 334-040 Account 5538-665-68
REGISTRATION: by 7pm Thursday 27th September. E:jjeverall@bigpond.com or Ph: 5492 4229:
CONTACT: John Everall Ph.5492 4229; Margaret Landbeck Ph.5438 2789; Alison Green alisonjgreen62@gmail.com

MORE! YES, MORE!! ENJOY FURTHER STIMULATING DISCUSSION WITH GLENNIS JOHNSTON
2. On Sunday 30th September 2018, at St Mark’s Anglican Church Hall, Buderim – ‘Sunday Conversations’ at 3.00pm $10 at door.

Contact alisonjgreen62@gmail.com

Glennis Johnston addresses the Question:
What is the relationship between ‘beliefs’ and ‘values’?
Is there such a thing as ‘Christian values’? If so, where do they come from?
Is it possible to reject the core doctrines of traditional Christianity and still be Christian?
Is a progressive Christian spirituality different from a humanist spirituality?

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West End Explorers – new meeting times

The West End Explorers, for a time, will now meet on the 2nd and 4th Sundays, until further notice.  The group meets at the West End Uniting Church (11 Sussex Street, West End, Brisbane) at 6.30pm on these Sunday evenings over tea, coffee and nibbles to explore questions of faith within contemporary thinking. Gatherings are in the Hall at 6.30pm.  They will be continuing with discussions on Val Webb’s book,  “Stepping out with the Sacred”

West End Explorers is on Facebook.

‘For open-minded discussions about faith and practice’

Contact Kris Maslen for more information.

Redcliffe Explorers – assisted dying and euthenasia

Hello Everyone

The Redcliffe Explorers will meet next on Monday night 6th August at Azure Blue (Anzac Avenue Redcliffe), to discuss some of the contentious issues associated with assisted dying and euthanasia. We’ll be looking at the similarities and differences between three cases – the Last Cab to Darwin story, the final communication from our dear friend and Explorers supporter David Judd, and Prof. David Goodall’s life-ending trip to Switzerland at age 104. As usual we start at 6:30 for tea/coffee and a chat, and of course all are welcome. Call Ian on 3284 3688 or 0401 513 723 for details, particularly if you’re new to our Explorers meetings.

Best wishes

Ian Brown

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PCN Explorers – Morning Tea Conversations

For those who can make it (live in or near Brisbane and not at work):

Enriched from our seminar with Prof Joe Bessler a few weeks back, encouraged to keep learning, inspired to have more fellowship with friends on the ‘progressive’ path of Christianity, we have decided to start a PCN (Progressive Christianity Network) Explorers group which will meet monthly on the last Wednesday of each month at Merthyr Road Uniting Church, meeting at 10 am for morning tea and fellowship followed by 60 – 90 minutes of sharing.

Starting on Wednesday 29th August at 10 am. Morning Tea will be provided.

Let’s reflect on the content of Joe’s talks. Maybe some people will have read his book and can contribute some thoughts from that. Joe’s early morning session at New Farm focussed on the influence of Plato on Christian thought, so that might be something we could explore further. If you missed the talk and would like a copy of the PowerPoint slides, please ask,

Come prepared to contribute to the discussion so we can be enriched and encouraged on our journeys. Apologies to those who are still working, but this is just a suggested time to start a regular meet-up and I am open to other suggestions.

Warm regards,

Desley or phone 0409 498 493 (Desley Garnett)

 

PS. I’m bringing some handout material on Plato’s influence on the Early Church for those who would like it.  Paul Inglis

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Invitation: Caloundra Explorers

Dear Explorers and ‘Friends of the Explorers’

The next Explorers Group “Gathering” for August will be held on Sunday 19th August at 5.00pm in the Caloundra Uniting Church Hall ( 56 Queen Street Caloundra).

You are invited to join in the evening’s activities and the byo light food Community Shared Meal which forms part of the service.

Our theme for this Gathering poses the question  “ What have we learnt as Explorers?” to develop, and continue to challenge, our thinking and understanding of the Christian story.

Our Leaders offer a comment “it can safely be said Explorers are curious, inquisitive, even  ‘driven’ people, committed to discover meaningful answers to their questions”.

Are we??….. let’s find out how well we meet the challenges that have been, and continue to be, placed before us in the context of a ‘spiritual journey in the 21st century”.  There is sure to be quite a bit of interesting discussion of the Leaders’ presentation.

Come along:   rug up!;  and bring a small plate of finger food for our shared meal; I’m sure that you will enjoy the company of others who share very wide ranges of interest in exploring further their ‘spiritual journeys’ within a ‘progressive Christianity’ context.

Put it in your “I must do this” list!!  We’d love to see you!

Shalom,  John Everall

Caloundra Explorers Group

Faith And the Modern Era

 

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The Rise and Fall of the Christian Myth then ….. A change for the better: Theology in the modern and contemporary periods

We have had a good response so far but there is room for more people.

Professor Joe Bessler is coming to New Farm Uniting Church
UNITING CHURCH CENTRE 52 MERTHYR RD NEW FARM
Saturday 7th July

Times: 9 am to 1 pm – registration from 8:30 am

Cost: $35 including Devonshire Morning Tea. Pay at the door, but please register your intention to attend by emailing Desley to assist with numbers for catering. – drgarn@bigpond.net.au or let Paul know you are coming: 0414 672 222 or psinglis@westwet.com.au
Fulltime theology students: $20

“The Rise and Fall of the Christian Myth then ….. A change for the better: Theology in the modern and contemporary periods.”

Time to listen….. time to question….. Time to discuss.

Joe Bessler is Professor of Theology in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He has worked closely with the Westar Institute and is the author of A Scandalous Jesus: How Three Historical Quests Changed Theology for the Better.

Brought to Brisbane by:
Common Dreams on the Road and Progressive Christianity Network, Qld
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The Uniting Church at New Farm is at Bus Stop 13 on Bus Route #196
Off street and on street parking – no meters or time limits.

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Gender and Sexual Diversity – terminology

Congratulations to SoFiA (Brisbane) – Sea of Faith in Australia on today’s well planned and high interest conference on Gender Diversity. The impact of the presentations and discussions is sure to be far reaching and long lasting. Presentation by a trans woman priest, pyschologist, trans man lawyer, young ‘agender, trans, queer, femme and fabulous’ person, a mother and many ‘stories’ from the audience made this a very rich conversation.

I was almost overwhelmed by the extent of the nomenclature associated with topic. So I have reproduced them here for everyone’s benefit. If we are serious about inclusion and supportive of diversity, it demands an understanding of the language as a primary criterion.

Bisexual: The word “bi”, meaning “two”, speaks of a person’s attraction to two genders. Bisexuality is unrelated to a person’s own gender or promiscuity, it simply means they feel attraction to men and women.

Transgender: The word “trans” is Latin for “cross”. Transgender people are people whose gender identities are different to the gender they were assigned at birth. In our medical system, most babies born are categorised as male or female based on their physical characteristics (genitals, hormones, etc.).

For many people, however, the gender they were assigned is not the identity that actually exists within them – though they are not “broken”, “mismatched” or strange.

The term “transition” can describe a process that transgender people undergo in order to live their lives more fully as themselves. Transition does not necessarily have an end point, and there are many reasons why transgender people choose to include hormones or surgical procedures in the process, or not choose those things.

Importantly, trans people have no obligation to explain why they’ve made the decisions they have. Questions about their bodies are among the countless acts of aggression and violence faced by trans Australians every day.

Queer: The word queer is still a contentious word, originating as a threatening label for gender and sexuality diverse people. Its origins squirm all the way back through English and Scottish, always meaning something “not straight”. By the 1980s, the AIDS epidemic brought the issue of homophobia irrevocably to the fore.

One of the first groups to flip the meaning of queer and reclaim it were four gay men from ACT-UP (an organisation for gay men’s health), who named themselves Queer Nation.

Since then, the word has somersaulted through radical communities and academia alike. Now queer is not just an umbrella term for sexuality and gender diverse people – it is a proclamation of fearless difference, a self-identifying commitment to counter culture.

Intersex: Intersex people have genital, chromosomal or other physical characteristics that don’t fall into what is typically labelled as male or female.

To be intersex has long been the butt of the great gender joke, stigmatised and all grouped under the term “hermaphrodites” or sidelined and assigned a single gender. There are many variations within humans’ biological makeup that are intersex – more than most people realise.

As intersex refers to biology, it does not describe a person’s sexual or gender orientation. As Safe Schools Coalition explains, “intersex is often associated with a medical diagnosis of disorders, or differences of sex development (DSD). Some intersex individuals may prefer to be described as a ‘person with an intersex variation’ or be identified by their specific variation.”

Source: ABC (online) News –

LGBTQIA glossary: Common gender and sexuality terms explained

Updated

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Professor Joe Bessler is coming to New Farm

UNITING CHURCH CENTRE 52 MERTHYR RD NEW FARM

                                    Saturday 7th July

A morning with Joe Bessler

Times: 9 am to 1 pm – registration from 8:30 am Cost:  $35 including Devonshire Morning Tea. Pay at the door, but please register your intention to attend by emailing Desley to assist with numbers for catering.  drgarn@bigpond.net.au

Fulltime theology students: $20

Time to listen  …..  time to question  …..  Time to discuss

Joe Bessler is the Professor of Theology in Tulsa,  Oklahoma. He has worked closely with the Westar Institute  and is the author of A Scandalous Jesus:  How Three Historical Quests Changed Theology for the Better.

Brought to Brisbane by Common Dreams on the Road and Progressive Christianity Network, Qld

The Rise and Fall of the Christian Myth then …..  A change for the better: Theology in the modern and contemporary periods

The Uniting Church at New Farm is at Bus Stop 13 on Bus Route #196

Off street and on street parking – no meters or time limits.

Enquiries: 0409 498 493

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Professor Joe Bessler in SEQ – 5th,6th,7th,8th July

Common Dreams On the Road and  Progressive Christian Network Queensland present:

Professor Joseph A. Bessler

and extend an invitation to attend one or more of the following:

Theology in the Age of Trump Thursday July 5, 6pm. St John’s Cathedral 373 Ann Street, Brisbane A conversation with Joe Bessler over wine and cheese as we explore the intersection of the religious and the political amid the current climate of debate over freedoms and authority. Entry by donation.
Reimagining Prayer and Practice Friday July 6, 6:30pm. Eastern Hills Anglican Church 101 Watson Street, Camp Hill An evening of wine, cheese and conversation with Professor Joe Bessler as we reimagine liturgy as practice for public life. Entry $10. Enquiries: Fr Chris Tyack parish@easternhillschurch.org.au / 0404 518 011

Rise and Fall of The Christian Myth and A Change for the BetterTheology in the Modern and Contemporary Periods Saturday July 7, 9am – 1pm Uniting Church Centre 52 Merthyr Road, New Farm Registration from 8:30am. $35 entry includes morning tea.  Discount available for fulltime theology students. Please register for catering purposes via Desley Garnett  drgarn@bigpond.net.au / 0409 498 403

Theology in the Age of Trump Sunday July 8, 3pm. St Mark’s Buderim 7-17 Main Street, Buderim A conversation with Joe Bessler as we explore the intersection of the religious and the political amid the current climate of debate over freedoms and authority.  $10 Entry includes afternoon tea. Enquiries: Rev’d Deb Bird dbird@stmarksbuderim.org.au / 0404 816 202

Joseph A. Bessler is Professor of Theology at Phillips Theological Seminary in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

In addition to teaching theology courses, Joe Bessler specialises in the interaction of religion and

contemporary culture. He is the author of ‘A Scandalous Jesus’ and enjoys the challenge of opening up cross-disciplinary conversations that define theological questions in new ways.

You can read more about Joe here: https://www.westarinstitute.org/membership/westar-fellows/fellows-directory/joseph-a-bessler/

Find us on Facebook @pcnqld and @cd5sydney Look out for the Common Dreams 2019 Conference in Sydney: CommonDreams.org.au

Paul Inglis 14th June 2018

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SoFiA – One-Day Conference in Brisbane

One-day conference Gender Diversity: What, Who, How?

(in conjunction with the SoFiA AGM, see below) Sunday 17 June, 10.30am – 3.00pm Lecture Theatre, Watermall Level, Queensland Art Gallery South Bank, Brisbane –  Cost:  $20

What is gender and how does it differ from sex? Is gender diversity social engineering, or a fact of life? How can we respond when transgender people assert their personal and civil rights? How does this change human identity? How can we develop flourishing lives and relationships for us all?
 

Hear  – researchers in this field,  transgender people,  family and friends of transgender people

Understand – terms and concepts in gender diversity

Feel –  the experiences of gender-non-conforming    people.

More details in the March/April Bulletin or as below

To register:
Numbers are limited, so to ensure a seat register and pay online  (https://www.eventbrite.com/e/gender-diversity-what-who-how-registration43434891931). Payment is also accepted at the event. Lunch will be available for purchase at the GOMA Café Bistro, State Library Café or QAG Café.

What is SoFiA?

The SoF movement started in 1984 as a response to Don Cupitt‘s book and television series, both titled Sea of Faith. Cupitt was educated in both science and theology at the University of Cambridge in the 1950s, and is a philosopher, theologian, Anglican priest, and former Dean of Emmanuel College, Cambridge.  In the book and TV series, he surveyed western thinking about religion and charted a transition from traditional realist religion to the view that religion is simply a human creation.

The name Sea of Faith is taken from Matthew Arnold‘s nostalgic mid 19th century poem “Dover Beach“, in which the poet expresses regret that belief in a supernatural world is slowly slipping away; the “sea of faith” is withdrawing like the ebbing tide.

Following the television series, a small group of radical Christian clergy and laity began meeting to explore how they might promote this new understanding of religious faith. Starting with a mailing list of 143 sympathisers, they organised the first UK conference in 1988.[5] A second conference was held in the following year shortly after which the SoF Network was officially launched. Annual regional and national conferences have been key events of the network ever since.

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