On Wednesday last week, around 40 people met together to share their experiences about church attendance since moving into a “progressive” understanding of Christianity. I put the word progressive in inverted commas for a couple of reasons – that there is no one understanding that we would all ascribe to, and that no one has yet come up with another word to use for those of us who still want to engage with the Jesus story, but within the framework of the 21st century.
We were a varied group who wanted to share something about why or why not church attendance is part of our practice.
We discovered that we are on a continuum of belief and practice. I did not take notes, but will share a few of my observations that I can recall from people’s stories.
attend church every Sunday … attend occasionally … haven’t been in 30 years… find church services meaningful … finding traditional theology frustrating … finding more meaning in a more ordered liturgy music is inspirational … not able to sing words of old hymns…have been loved and nurtured by the church (people) … my questions have been rejected … have felt emotionally abused…service is most important … Micah 6:8 was an important verse for a lot of people
Now …. as a follow up … It has been suggested that we could collate people’s thoughts on this topic. If you could write a reflection on this topic thinking about the following questions and send them to me, we will learn more about each other and the variety of pathways we have followed to come to our present understanding of participating in organised religion. Half an A4 page would be manageable for us to collate and share. If you were not at the Explorers meeting, you are still welcome to share your thoughts.
These are just a few of the questions that were given by Smith and Hunt to the those who were asked to contribute their stories to the book“New Life; Rediscovering Faith – Stories from Progressive Christians.” .
Has this journey affected my church attendance?Has it changed how I express my faith?Is anything different and does this difference influence why I attend or do not attend church?Why did I / didn’t I walk away?
Our nextPCN Explorerswill be on Wednesday 25th September,10 am, Merthyr Road Uniting Church
Come at 10 for eat, meet and greet and we will get started about10:30.
Several members of the network will share their experience of attending Common Dreams Conference in Sydney last July. We will hear the highlights of the speakers for each person.
Our meeting on Wednesday 30th October will be facilitated by Brian O’Hanlon, retired psychologist, on the topic: A Spiritual approach to Christianity … Understanding the Spiritual Ego:
A summary of the ideas of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin with particular emphasis on ‘we are Spiritual beings!’We are Spiritual beings so, why are we not in the Kingdom, ‘Heaven on Earth’? (The Spiritual Ego what is it?) Turning down the Spiritual Ego.
West End Explorers are trying to get hold of a copy of the video series …The Challenge Of Jesus by John Dominic Crossan. If you can help with this, please contact Kris 0404 645 007 or firstname.lastname@example.org
0409 498 403
Paul Inglis email@example.com