Report on Seminar One 2014

ReportOur first ‘forum’ for the year was a vibrant discussion with many people participating in addressing the topic of:

A Place for Progressives in the Church: Relevance for Today’s Followers of Jesus

Participants’ feedback:

The post seminar survey revealed a universal satisfaction and enjoyment with the forum and its venue which will always be kept under review. People felt safe to express themselves and said they would come to another one. The aspects most liked were the five speakers, the topics chosen, and the short succinct presentations receiving significant support, although some presenters felt somewhat restricted by the time limit on their presentations and the observation was made that more time for discussion with organized small groups would be beneficial. The way in which information was recorded on charts for later reference was appreciated. All aspects of timing will be addressed. There was a problem with sound delivery and some constructive suggestions will be taken up. Some of the inbuilt strategies were noted and appreciated – hospitality, welcoming, friendliness, facilitation/moderation of discussion, staying on task, the range of important issues, etc. However, as the first seminar for the series that was OK but it would be advisable to move to a particular aspect and develop it in greater depth next time. Some went to the UCA Café at the Kedron/Chermside for lunch and would recommend this as a way to informally extend the discussion and make friends. It was recommended that we explore ways to share the forum with others at a distance. Several people thought it would be good now to advertise the seminars and report more widely on the outcomes. Several participants offered to assist with the planning for the next seminar. The LF management team will look closely at all suggestions.

Directions (distilled action statements):

[These constitute a part of the conversation we hope to have at the appropriate time with the Synod and Congregations]

  • Start at the theological colleges and other education units in the church
  • In the congregational context shift from sermons to dialogue with participants
  • Continue to build a significant mass of critical thinkers by providing opportunities for dialogue and learning
  • Develop an inventory of progressive resources eg a contemporary lectionary, etc
  • Propose ideas for appropriate change and implement them
  • Justify the use of traditional practices that follow rituals long out of date
  • Facilitate and encourage diverse groups to operate within congregations
  • Challenge/change the dominant role of ministers as ‘controllers’
  • Review the purpose of the ‘On the Way’ initiative
  • Work from social issues applying faith tools rather than the reverse

Next Seminar:  Tuesday 9th April – The Why and What of Diversity? Information coming.

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