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!







Copyright © 2021 Open Table Network (OTN), All rights reserved.

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 »

Support of Trump within church has driven some USA Roman Catholics to the exits

Support of Trump within church has driven some USA Roman Catholics to the exits

With Trump, it was basically like watching a car crash in slow motion.

The day after Donald Trump won the presidential election, Mike Boyle decided he was ready to become an Episcopalian.

A practicing Catholic all his life, Boyle was serious enough about his faith that he had spent three years as a member of a Dominican community, in the priestly formation track. But even prior to 2016, he was growing frustrated with the behavior of lay Catholics and clergy. With the initiation of the Fortnight for Freedom during the Obama administration, he began to be uncomfortable with the church leaders' obvious promotion of right-wing political ideologies.

Then Pope Francis was elected. Boyle initially hoped the new pope would bring about much-needed reform, but after a few years started to doubt whether Francis could really change things. He began to be drawn toward an Anglo-Catholic Episcopal parish.

Continue Reading on ncronline.org »

Climate Justice for All

Climate Justice for All

The Methodist Church COP26 campaign, Climate Justice for All (CJ4A for short), has launched!

Climate Justice for All is a campaign run by workers in Britain, Uruguay, Italy, Zambia and Fiji and together we have built a campaign designed to encourage every Methodist community around the world to take action for climate justice, in the lead up to COP26.

We’d love for you to be part of spreading the word about the campaign with your church community.

News & events from the Open Table Network of LGBTQIA+

News & events from the Open Table Network of LGBTQIA+

Stations of the Cross & the struggle for LGBT+ equality

THIS SUNDAY our online service will mark Palm Sunday in preparation for Easter with a modern reflection on the Stations of the Cross.

To illustrate our Stations of the Cross reflections, we will use a series of striking images from artist and pastor Mary Button, who has created many versions of this popular devotion, and reflections by lesbian Christian author, minister and historian Kittredge Cherry.

Continue Reading on mailchi.mp »

Less than half of Britons expected to tick ‘Christian’ in UK census

Less than half of Britons expected to tick ‘Christian’ in UK census

Snapshot of Britain will see many reject church as immoral or irrelevant, academics predict

The “post-Christian era” in the UK will be cemented by data emerging from Sunday’s census which is expected to show further generational disengagement from organised religion, according to a leading academic.

The once-a-decade snapshot of the country has included a voluntary question about religion since 2001. In 2011, returns across England and Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland showed 59.3% ticking Christianity, a fall from 71.6% a decade earlier.

Continue Reading on theguardian.com »



points to ponder

On-going abuse of process against Dean Percy, Oxford

Averting a catastrophe in… | Progressive Christianity Network Britain (pcnbritain.org.uk)

Calls for a cull of Church bureaucracy -

The Church of England's… | Progressive Christianity Network Britain (pcnbritain.org.uk)

CofE Synod preparations - vital for an inclusive Church

General Synod Elections -… | Progressive Christianity Network Britain (pcnbritain.org.uk)

Science engaging with religion??? See resources from The Faraday Institute

Overview | Faraday (cam.ac.uk)

As the Church of England debates its future read the Bishop of Blackburn's take on it:

The Primacy of the Parish | Progressive Christianity Network Britain (pcnbritain.org.uk)

As the U.K. develops a harsher treatment for refugees a postwar refugee remembers in this Christian Aid video

Around the world, growing numbers of people are rejecting traditional faiths and choosing their own spiritual path. Eight atheists and agnostics open up...


A Church of Ireland priest blogs on religion in Ireland today


News of Conservative Polish Church in crisis


We have a political and economic system that continues to put profit before people and 2020 exposed this reality again

Justice around the world:… | Progressive Christianity Network Britain (pcnbritain.org.uk)

Christian Aid highlights effects of Covid on already vulnerable communities

Christmas Appeal - Christian Aid

The Future Working of PCN in a Post Covid World

The Future Working of PCN in a Post Covid World

Since March 2020 all organisations have had to adapt to working in a world where social and work gatherings have been proscribed.

PCN is no exception. Conferences have been cancelled, groups have not met, trustees have not travelled to their meetings. However new forms of networking have emerged and, in some measure, thrived. At the present time ( March 2021) many of our PCN groups are holding regular Zoom meetings and some groups report large attendances, with some groups inviting speakers from across the globe to address their members. There are concerns that some PCN members are excluded from such meetings because of technological and other reasons. And obviously there is a desire for real meetings once again when restrictions are lifted and it is safe to meet. Each PCN group will, of course , have to resolve these issues as best as it can.

PCN as an organisation has embarked on staging our own webinars, with the first ,with Brian McLaren, attracting over 250 participants. PCN trustees have been meeting on Zoom. Our website is now advertising a range of online events being hosted by different organisations. PCN members have asked which progressive churches are offering on line worship services, which they might ‘attend’.

In so many ways, as this pandemic has closed down so much ( tragically businesses etc) a new world of interconnected events and meetings etc has opened up and this is clearly so for PCN.

What then of the future?

Quakers in Britain objecting to security Bill

Quakers in Britain objecting to security Bill

Quakers in Britain are among more than 150 charities, unions and faith bodies objecting to a Bill being rushed through parliament which will hand police draconian powers to decide where, when and how citizens are allowed to protest.

In a letter to the Home Secretary and the Secretary of State for Justice they say, “This is a huge Bill, both in length and in potential consequences - for young people calling for social change facing greater criminalisation by the state, for Gypsy and Traveller communities facing threats to their way of life, and for anyone who values freedom of expression and the right to make yourself heard against the powerful."

General Synod Elections - Call for Inclusive Church

General Synod Elections - Call for Inclusive Church

"It's really important that Christians wanting a more open and inclusive Church of England use these elections to help bring it about,"

With elections to the Church of England's General Synod are just six months away a new website supporting inclusive Anglicans wanting has been launched. www.inclusive-synod.org brings together information for anyone wanting to know more about the elections, whether it's how to vote or what to do if you want to stand for election. It has been produced by the Inclusive Synod project, a collaboration between several inclusive Christian organisations, including the Progressive Christianity Network, Inclusive Church, OneBodyOneFaith and Modern Church.

Victims still waiting to meet with nuncio by Catherine Pepinster

Victims still waiting to meet with nuncio by Catherine Pepinster

Survivors of clerical sexual abuse have expressed their frustration at the refusal of the papal nuncio to the UK to meet them to discuss their concerns.

Several letters requesting a meeting with Archbishop Claudio Gugerotti have been sent by 18 survivors. They joined forces to speak out following publication by the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) in November. The report highlights failures of the Catholic Church to deal with abuse by priests and singled out Cardinal Vincent Nichols for criticism over his response to victims.

In their letter, the survivors wrote: “We have fought for years to have our voice heard by the Church – more often than not, that voice has been dismissed, ignored or treated with contempt. We write to you with the hope that our voice will be heard now.”

Continue Reading on thetablet.co.uk »



Applications are invited for the newly created post of Administrator + Finance Officer.

The role involves general administration responsibilities covering all aspects of MC’s work, including support of the Chair and Trustees, the General Secretary and the membership of the organisation. The charity arranges an annual conference and an annual residential Council meeting and the Administrator has an important role in these. Along with the General Secretary, the Communications Officer, the Editors for the journal Modern Believing and magazine Signs of the Times, the Administrator occupies a key position promoting the objects of the charity.

Please request a Job Description and Person Specification for more details.

The appointment will begin on 1st June 2021.

The hours are approx. 12 hours a week, with attendance at the annual conference and trustee meetings as part of the role. This is a paid position and the salary is in line with rates paid commercially.

https://modernchurch.org.uk/administrator-finance-officer-wanted »

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