January
Israeli government attacks six Palestinian civil society groups

Israeli government attacks six Palestinian civil society groups

16 UK-based humanitarian, development, human rights and faith organisations protest

Israeli government's attacks on six Palestinian civil society groups must be resisted

The Israeli government has declared six Palestinian civil society groups as “terrorist organisations". In a statement released today sixteen UK-based humanitarian, development, human rights and faith organisations – including Quakers in Britain – have condemned the move.

Continue Reading on quaker.org.uk »

Faith leaders unite against Policing Bill

Faith leaders unite against Policing Bill

The letter was signed by 30 faith and belief leaders

The letter was signed by 30 faith and belief leaders and was printed in The Independent (online version).

The signatories warn of the chilling effect the Bill could have on millions who put their faith or belief into practice. They are equally concerned by the disproportionate impact the Bill will have on groups already marginalised by our society.

Signatories include the Bishop of Manchester (Church of England), Marie van der Zyl (Board of Deputies of British Jews), and Lord Singh of Wimbledon CBE (Network of Sikh Organisations).

Continue Reading on quaker.org.uk »

John Shelby Spong, liberal Episcopal bishop, dies at age 90

John Shelby Spong, liberal Episcopal bishop, dies at age 90

Message on behalf of PCN Britain Trustees

We have received the sad news that Bishop Jack Spong has died peacefully at home. On behalf of PCN members, the trustees express their great sadness at Jack’s passing and send our love and condolences to Christine Spong and all the family. Bishop Spong has been an inspiration to millions of people across the world and we at PCN have been so fortunate to welcome him at our conferences and gatherings across the UK.

Fuller tributes and reminiscences will be shared in future editions of Progressive Voices and on this website and we invite members to send their particular memories and the influence of Jack’s writings and lectures on their own spiritual journeys.

Adrian Alker
Chair
PCN Britain

Reflection on the news of the death of Bishop John Shelby Spong in the Washington Post:

The bishop who said “a virgin birth is no big deal” when interviewed by Religion Dispatches in 2016, was known for such statements far removed from the mainstream of Christianity, and sometimes even the teachings of his own church.

“I do not believe that God is a Being sitting above the clouds pulling strings. … I do not believe that human beings are born evil and that only those who come to God through the ‘blood of Jesus’ will be saved,” he wrote in the diocesan newspaper in 2000.

Such sentiments are at variance with the Episcopal Church’s own catechism, which says of Jesus, “By his resurrection, Jesus overcame death and opened for us the way of eternal life.”

His 2002 book, “A New Christianity for a New World: Why Traditional Faith Is Dying and How a New Faith Is Being Born,” outlined a 12-point platform that said, among other points, that seeing Jesus as God was “nonsense”; that a Virgin Birth was an “impossibility”; and that Jesus was raised “into the consciousness of God” and not physically, as the Bible states.

In 2013, Bishop Spong told Religion News Service he did not consider any of the Gospel accounts of Jesus’ life reliable.

Continue Reading on washingtontimes.com »

Applications to be a human rights monitor close soon

Applications to be a human rights monitor close soon

EAPPI are seeking human rights monitors to serve in Palestine and Israel in 2022. Applications have been open for some time since they had to place the process on hold due to Covid-19, but they will soon be moving forward and have set a final closing date of 27 August 2021.

The Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI) is an international programme coordinated by the World Council of Churches. It brings people from around the world to the West Bank to serve for three months as human rights monitors. They are called Ecumenical Accompaniers (EAs).

https://www.quaker.org.uk/our-work/eappi/get-involved »

Spong cairns

A Letter from Bishop John Shelby Spong

This is a letter circulated by ProgressiveChristianity.org following Bishop Spong's 90th birthday

My Dear Friends,

Please accept my sincere thanks for the cards and letters sent to me on the occasion of my 90th birthday. I experienced the joy of reliving moments of my life in reading them. They were more than 500 in number and came from every continent of this earth except for the Arctic and Antarctic regions! I read them with joy. I soon realized that I could never respond to them individually, so I hope you can accept this communication.

Spong cairns

Join Us In Celebrating Bishop John Shelby Spong On His 90th Birthday, Wednesday June 16th

Beloved and world-renowned, John Shelby Spong, whose books have sold more than a million copies, was bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Newark for 24 years before his retirement in 2001. His admirers acclaim him as a teaching bishop who makes contemporary theology accessible to the ordinary layperson — he’s considered the champion of an inclusive faith by many, both inside and outside the Christian church.

CELEBRATE PRIDE MONTH with the Open Table Network

CELEBRATE PRIDE MONTH with the Open Table Network

JUNE is Pride Month, dedicated to celebrating LGBTQIA+ communities around the world.

It marks the anniversary of the Stonewall riots, a protests that sparked a movement for equality for LGBTQIA+ people in the USA and across the world. The first event was in New York on 28th June 1970.

Today it is a celebration of the relative freedoms LGBTQIA+ people have won in the last 50+ years, but it also remains a protest against the prejudice which still holds us back, especially for our siblings in countries where they may risk their liberty or event their lives to live authentically and openly as LGBTQIA+.

June is also the anniversary of the start of the first Open Table community in Liverpool, which started on Sunday 15th June 2008, 13 years ago. It's also six years since we became a network - little did we know then that we would become a charity and a growing partnership of Christian worship communities which welcome and affirm LGBTQIA people, our families, friends and all our allies.

Continue Reading on mailchi.mp »

Open Table Network of LGBTQIA+

Open Table Network of LGBTQIA+

News & events from the Open Table Network of LGBTQIA+

Keep in touch with the Open Table Network!

Our communities — Open Table Network

For details of all the current active Open Table communities, visit the Open Table website - if you are in a community and the details are not up to date, please email Kieran: network@opentable.lgbt.

We are also on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn, where we aim to help promote each local group and share articles, events and resources of interest on faith, gender and sexuality. We're here to help you raise the profile of what you do locally - we're better together and it's good to share what works well for you so others might learn from your experience.

Keep in touch by email: network@opentable.lgbt or call the Open Table mobile: 07501 753 618 - leave a message and I'll call you back.

If there's anything you'd like to see in these e-newsletters e.g. blog posts, book reviews, related events or reflections please do drop me a line, I'd be delighted to share them!

Deadline: End of the month for inclusion in next month's newsletter. Thank you for your support!

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Continue Reading on mailchi.mp »

Ashes to ashes: Pentecostalism in Australia and the climate crisis

Ashes to ashes: Pentecostalism in Australia and the climate crisis

It’s a form of religion for an individualistic modern consumerist age

“We are called, all of us, for a time and for a season and God would have us use it wisely.”

Scott Morrison, Australia’s prime minister and a Pentecostal Christian, flew in on a taxpayer-funded plane to deliver those words to a church on the Gold Coast.

His sermon-like speech was given to the national conference of Australian Christian Churches – the umbrella body for the majority of churches in the country’s only Christian denomination showing growth: Pentecostalism.

Continue Reading on msn.com »

Barring of same sex blessings backlash

Barring of same sex blessings backlash

Young Belgian RCs abandon the Church

As many as 700 mainly young people formally left the Catholic Church in the Diocese of Antwerp in two weeks.

This is following on from the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith’s barring the blessing of same sex unions, Bishop of Antwerp Johan Bonny has revealed. The bishop, interviewed by The Tablet Rome correspondent Christopher Lamb in our latest webinar, spoke about the “dramatic” backlash among “mainly straight people” who saw the Vatican document as “a step too far” during a discussion about the Church’s ministry to LGBT Catholics and same-sex couples. Sarah Mac Donald reports in The Tablet.

From Germany, Christa Pongratz Lippitt reports that more than 10,500 priests have signed a petition put together by a group of German Catholic priests who are against the ruling and many are forging ahead with plans for blessings

Greenbelt 2021 Cancelled

Greenbelt 2021 Cancelled

The organisers of Greenbelt have announced that the festival will not go ahead this year.

In a press release on the 4th May the organisers said:


Dearest Greenbelters,

We’re absolutely heartbroken to tell you that we need to cancel Greenbelt for a second year. We have spent the last few months hoping and praying that the government would step up and provide festivals like ours with the insurance protection we need to go ahead. It is clear now that we have been waiting in vain.

Continue Reading on greenbelt.org.uk »

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