Report on Event: Caloundra (Q) Explorers

Dear Explorers

Yesterday was the first week of our study of John W H Smith’s Jesus and the empowering influence of friendship: Why gracious living is more importantthanrightbelief.

P 5-6  We started by reading the wonderful poem We are his mates from A bloke called Jesus by Pro Hart and Norman Habel.

Opening gambit

P 7 . . . 2000 years down the track, people are still claiming to be his friend and are modelling their lives on his example. It is my firm belief that if Christianity does not personally engage with individuals in everyday life and if necessary challenge the wider community in which it is embedded, it will continue its rapid slide into irrelevancy.

P 11 . . . both Luke (17:20-21) and Thomas (Saying 113) state that the kingdom or ‘realm’ of God is within us. If we believe this message of Jesus that the realm of God is in each person, then by sharing with each other we are bringing to visibility the sacred source of energy we call GOD.

P 17-19. We read Michael Morwood’s prayer, which nicely sums up the theme of John’s book.

Our prayer today

iIs a prayer of resolve

a prayer of determination

that we, each one of us,

will do whatever we can

however small

in whatever way

to bring the real dream of Jesus

to fruition

in our lives

and in our world today.

The significance of friendship

P  27  . . .the evils of the world are the responsibility of each and every person and will only be corrected through gracious living and caring relationships, and not through the intervention of a sacred being with human characteristics that resides ‘elsewhere’.

P 31  We appreciated this quote from Jean Vanier: ‘ We are not called by God to do extraordinary things, but to do ordinary things with extraordinary love.’

P 38  Progressive Christianity is a non-denominational approach to faith and spirituality that places an emphasis on how people live rather than on correct beliefs; and recognises in the person of Jesus there is a human life living in harmony with the Spirit of God.

P 39  Rev Steven mentioned that if we hold our understanding of Christ too tightly we make a fist with our hand. However, when we hold our faith lightly, our hands remain open. Fists make for weapons, and often times cause pain. Whereas an open hand makes offers welcome and is ready to receive.

P 40  Research by Kitestring indicates clearly that supportive relationships not only improve our health but there are indications that the benefits extend beyond our individual wellbeing to issues of social justice for all people.

The empowering elements of friendship

P 50  We took time to reconsider Martin niemoeller’s famous quote: When the Nazis came for the communists, I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a communist. When they came for the Jews, I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, but I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics but I didn’t speak up because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me and by that time there was no one to stand up for me.

P  51  Make time to love people face-to-face not keyboard-to-keyboard.

Next week we look forward to studying Chap 3 The way of the historical Jesus.

Ken Williamson



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