Applications are invited for the position of Minister of the Word St Michael’s Uniting Church, Melbourne, Australia

Applications are invited for the position of Minister of the Word St Michael’s Uniting Church, Melbourne, Australia

An opportunity exists to lead and guide a receptive congregation, in a prestigious city church to its next phase of spiritual growth and development....

The congregation of St Michael’s is looking for a minister who embraces contemporary, progressive Christian theology.

St Michael’s enjoys a vibrant arts and music program which is integral to Sunday services and other scheduled events.

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“I am the church, and this is my confession.

“I am the church, and this is my confession.

My last confession was 500 years ago....

Church Confession

by James Burklo on December 29, 2018 - published by Progressive Christianity USA

“I am the church, and this is my confession.  My last confession was 500 years ago.  I have oppressed women and kept them out of leadership positions.  I have oppressed gay and lesbian people.  I have judged people pointlessly for having normal sexual urges and relationships, treating sex like a disease instead of lifting it up as a precious gift from God.  I have failed to see the absurd irony of being the church of Jesus, a humble servant, while pridefully claiming that my religion is the only true faith.

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Taking Christmas seriously but not literally - Julian Baggini

Taking Christmas seriously but not literally - Julian Baggini

The spirit of Christmas doesn’t have to be Christian - Julian Baggini...

Writing in The Guardian, Julian Baggini, one of the speakers at our June Conference ​- ‘Religion and Atheism - Beyond the Divide?’ Saturday 8 June 2019 -

You needn’t take the Gospels as gospel: sharing in a collective celebration can be more important than what is being shared - A look east could help those who value Christianity but who cannot take the Gospels as gospel. It offers a means of wholeheartedly embracing a Christian Christmas without having to believe in preposterous fairytales. That could mean seeing it as a way to acknowledge your belonging to a culture and tradition that has been celebrating the festival for centuries without necessarily going along with absolutely everything that entails

Find out more about our day conference  ‘Religion and Atheism - Beyond the Divide?’ Saturday 8 June 2019 here _

Religion_and_Atheism_Conference

 

 

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COP24: It’s not about resources anymore; it’s about moral maturity

COP24: It’s not about resources anymore; it’s about moral maturity

Joan Chittister, radical Benedictine, attended the COP 24 Environmental conference Dec. 8 in Katowice, Poland. She came away with mixed emotions....

Joan Chittister, radical Benedictine, attended the COP 24 Environmental conference  Dec. 8 in Katowice, Poland. She came away with mixed emotions as intergovernmental agreements fell short of what is required. Joan was heartened though by the presentations which took a different tone. Theses were, she said,  presentations from religious leaders, spiritual teachers, more philosophic types who know that nothing much can happen to the world around us until something happens within us that is beyond money and power, that seeks global harmony and world peace.

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Locker Rooms, Culture Wars and the Good Samaritan

Locker Rooms, Culture Wars and the Good Samaritan

Heaven help us! The sky is falling. It’s another example of political correctness gone mad, (or is it really asks Dr Robin Bunce)...

Heaven help us! The sky is falling. It’s another example of political correctness gone mad, and religious freedoms being violated. According to the Dr Duke Show,

a weekly podcast ‘bringing you news and insightful commentary about the state of education in America and the world today’, the Chasco Middle School in Florida is the latest front in America’s ‘culture wars’.

Read full article from Robin Bunce in the attached news file.

The newspaper report is here: Tampa_Bay_Times_report

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SCM News

SCM News

recruiting for a new Chief Executive Officer and more news...

SCM is recruiting for a new Chief Executive Officer to take the charity forward in the next stage of its development. Full details available:SCM_vacancies

Join with us in praying for students on Student Sunday, 17 February 2019. The toolkit is now available to download from Student_Sunday

Help us celebrate 130 years of SCM’s life changing work with students by signing up to our 130 Challenge and commiting to raise £130.130_Challenge

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Abbot of Einsiedeln calls for a more differentiated view of homosexuality than that of Pope Francis.

Abbot of Einsiedeln calls for a more differentiated view of homosexuality than that of Pope Francis.

Swiss ask Papal Nuncio to show enough “sensitivity in order to perceive the realities of the Church in Switzerland”...

In an interview with the newspaper St Galler Tagblatt on 5 December the Abbot of Einsiedeln, Urban Federer, 50, has called for a more differentiated view of homosexuality than that put forward by Pope Francis.

The abbot said that, as a teacher, he was aware of the great pressure young people were under to define themselves sexually nowadays but this overtaxed many of them.

As the tenth-century Benedictine Abbey of Einsiedeln is a territorial abbey, the abbot is the equivalent of a bishop and only responsible directly to the Pope.

Earlier this year the progressive element of Swiss German-speaking Catholics, angry at the nomination of a conservative as papal nuncio to Bern, issued an open letter to the nuncio. The canon and co-dean of Bern, Fr. Christian Schaller, said he hoped that Archbishop Thomas Gullickson would show enough “sensitivity in order to perceive the realities of the Church in Switzerland”

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PCN Members Weekend

PCN Members Weekend

Ian and Fran Lovett report on group study of Spong’s “Unbelievable” - report in Progressive Voices magazine - complete magazine…...

Unbelievable: Why neither the ancient creeds nor the Reformation can produce a living faith today

John Shelby Spong

Spong writes in the introduction that this was written in the twilight years of his life, indeed he estimates that some of his best books have been written in these years.

Whilst one might not want to study the fulsome arguments in those books, reading and discussing “Unbelievable” can be sufficient to underpin the notion that the dysfunctionality / dissonance of 1st and 16th

century-based Christianity really is unbelievable now.

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CUF focus on homelessness

CUF focus on homelessness

CUF focusses on homelessness as we are surrounded by visions of the Christmas story:...

CUF, is a Christian social action charity working around the country tackling issues such as food poverty, homelessness and financial exclusion. This Advent they are focusing specifically on the issue of homelessness and raising awareness about this issue and what Christians can do to make a difference to the many thousands of people who experience homelessness.

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Oxford Diocese piles pressure on Dean Martyn Percy

Oxford Diocese piles pressure on Dean Martyn Percy

Private Eye suggests that bishop stung by Percy’s outspoken criticism of “Renewal and Reform” policy....

According to Private Eye Bishop Steven Croft (Oxford) has removed PTO (permission to officiate) from Martyn Percy, stopping him taking services anywhere in the Church of England. Bishop Croft has done this even though the actions of Christ Church college do not involve any actions by Martyn that would require such suspension. If Private Eye’s story, entitled “Down the Rabbit Hole” if right this is bound to add to the pressure on Martyn. Private Eye suggests that Bishop Croft was stung by Dean Martyn Percy’s outspoken criticism of the Church of England’s “Renewal and Reform” policy.

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Plans and Projects for PCN Britain

Plans and Projects for PCN Britain

Chair’s letter outlines plans and projects for PCN Britain...

Chair’s Letter

There have been a number of well-received PCN events this autumn, in particular our members’ weekend at the Hayes Conference Centre at Swanwick (reviewed in this PV) and the Marcus Borg Memorial Conference held at St Marks Church in Broomhill, Sheffield, when we had the pleasure of welcoming Marianne Borg. These and other events, such as the Future of Faith lectures in Rawtenstall, give a much needed opportunity for PCN members and friends to meet together and to feel part of a bigger progressive movement across the UK. Indeed, we know that we are also part of a global movement seeking to free Christianity from many of the constraints imposed by outdated dogmas and rigid frameworks of belief. Marianne invited us to keep in touch with the work of the Marcus Borg Foundation and you can do this by registering your email address to receive news from that organisation (see www.marcusjborg.org).

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Smiles that mask dark secrets

Smiles that mask dark secrets

Catherine Pepinster, former editor of The Tablet, reflects on the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA). ....

Catherine Pepinster, former editor of  The Tablet, reflects in The Tablet on the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA). .- a few, of many, disturbing  issues, are noted below in extracts from her support.

While the details revealed of the abuse suffered by individuals are horrifying, the inquiry went much further. It exposed the extent to which the abuse crisis in the Church has been deepened by the institutional response of those in positions of power. A culture of clericalism, secrecy and authoritarianism was laid bare. It became clear how little money is spent on safeguarding. It revealed conflicts between national organisations and those at local level, the struggle of staff to cope with their workloads and their lack of up-to-date knowledge about abuse.

What is now apparent is the extent to which efforts by the Church to improve child protection through the recommendations made in the Nolan Report in 2001 and its follow-up Cumberlege report six years later did not necessarily lead to improved systems at diocesan level. A recent audit of Birmingham carried out by the Social Care Institute of Excellence (SCIE) found that record-keeping was poor, and there was no complete record of all its volunteers in the parishes.

While many of the cases of abuse discussed occurred between 1982 and 1999, when Maurice Couve de Murville was archbishop, the inquiry focused on the response to survivors of abuse who had come forward in more recent years. And what emerged was that the interests of the institution were still being put first.

There was worrying evidence from Eileen Shearer and from Adrian Child, former head of COPCA’s successor, CSAS, that Birmingham’s safeguarding officer, Jane Jones, had shown hostility to their organisations.

A SCIE audit found recently that Birmingham’s senior clergy and protection team still did not understand the impact that abuse has on victims and their families.

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Jesuit Mark S. Massa, argues change is the companion of theological truth

Jesuit Mark S. Massa, argues change is the companion of theological truth

The preacher’s carriage “was built in such a logical way / It ran a hundred years to a day” but then “went to pieces…...

The Structure of Theological Revolutions: How the Fight Over Birth Control Transformed American Catholicism

By Mark S. Massa, SJ 232 pages; Oxford University Press

Jesuit Fr. Mark Massa opens his new book, The Structure of Theological Revolutions: How the Fight Over Birth Control Transformed American Catholicism, with a quote from Oliver Wendell Holmes’ poem “The Deacon’s Masterpiece: Or the Wonderful ‘One-Hoss Shay’: A Logical Story” first published in 1858. The preacher’s carriage “was built in such a logical way / It ran a hundred years to a day” but then “went to pieces all at once, / All at once and nothing first, / Just as bubbles do when they burst.”

The poem is, of course, a metaphor, and the destruction of the one-horse carriage Holmes is describing represents the sudden destruction of Calvinism as the essential cultural framework for New England society.

“The American Catholic community experienced a very similar, and seemingly equally quick, disappearance of a revered theological system after 1968,” Massa writes. “What passed from the scene was, as in the earlier case, a rigorously systematic, even logical, theological system, which has been traditionally labeled ‘neo-scholastic natural law.’ “

the structure of theological revolutions full review

 

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Martyn Percy dean of Christ Church to face tribunal

Martyn Percy dean of Christ Church to face tribunal

Adrian Alker, PCN Britain chair, has sent Martyn good wishes from PCN Britain in what is a pretty torrid affair which has taken its toll on Martyn’s…...

Martyn Percy is to face a tribunal though the complaint made against him is as yet not clear. ​The complaint does not involve the Church of England and is a purely college matter, The matter has led to his suspension from both college and chapel duties. A defence fund has been formed and has raised £54 000 on GoFundMe

Martyn Percy Defence Fund 

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Haunted by Christ: new book by Richard Harries

Haunted by Christ: new book by Richard Harries

Richard Harries reflects on the works of twenty novelists, poets and dramatists who take religion seriously. His selection of 20 authors stretches…...

W H Auden, T S Eliot, William Golding, Elizabeth Jennings, C S Lewis, Flannery O’Connor, Stevie Smith. . . These are among some of the great poets and novelists whose struggles with faith finds expression in their works, and whose works have helped countless readers to appreciate the different forms that faith can take in different times and places. Richard Harries considers the work of twenty of these writers, painting vivid pictures of their lives and times, and providing us with numerous critically sympathetic insights into the spiritual dimension of their writings.

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