WORKSHOPS AT BEYOND THE BORDERS

We are pleased to have a number of workshops planned for the Beyond the Borders Conference, giving a range of options for participants to choose from.

Information about Presenters

 

A. Friday 29 August 4pm – 5.30pm

1.         Val Webb: Doubt as invitation to adventure.

Ever since doubting Thomas, doubt has been painted as a negative in Christianity, the opposite of faith and belief.  Doubts challenge authorities and dogmas.  Yet in every other discipline, doubt is celebrated as the catalyst that moves knowledge forward. It is time we created hospitable spaces for doubts in our religious communities and doubted boldly, challenging past-their-use-by-date doctrines and opening minds and hearts to new ways of thinking and being in the twenty-first century.

This workshop will reference Val Webb’s book In Defence of Doubt: an invitation to adventure.

2.        Keith Rowe: The great interfaith dialogue: The religion of Global Free market Capitalism and the wisdom of the Great Religions.

A crucial but not well-explored dimension of interfaith dialogue is the needed dialogue between the ‘religion’ of global free market capitalism and the wisdom of the great faiths. This all-pervasive economic system is built on values and assumptions that deny the deepest wisdom found within traditional religions including Christianity. This workshop will explore the nature and importance of this dialogue. Members of other faiths will be present.

Keith Rowe, retired Minister, has served in pastoral and educational roles in NZ and Australia and is still active as theologian, preacher and writer. He has a long-standing interest in the theology and practice of interfaith dialogue.

3.        Brandon Scott:  From Jesus to Constantine.

In recent decades there has been an explosion of interest and study in identifying the historical core to the Jesus story. It’s an exciting adventure into a risky, compassionate, non-violent and communal way of life. However it was not long however before the church became involved in a search for power and doctrinal uniformity that literally squeezed the life out of the Jesus Way. The church increasingly became a mirror image of imperialistic understandings of life. Christian practice was hijacked by attitudes and convictions that owed more to human empires than to the Kingdom of God.

Participants will have the opportunity to engage with a leading Jesus scholar in exploring the significance of Jesus for today.

4.         Cathy Harrison:  The New Cosmology

While some see modern science as a challenge to faith, Franciscan Sister Ilia Delio sees it as an opportunity to think in new ways about God, creation, cosmos and the incarnation. She opens a new window to Pierre Teilhard de Chardin’s vision of a ‘cosmic Christology’ – a more expansive understanding and appreciation of the emergent Christ. Cathy asks, “How can our spirituality reflect this new age of consciousness? What is the significance of Christ in evolution for the future direction of Christian life and all creation?”

Cathy works in the realm of Mission and Spirituality with the Sisters of Mercy. She has worked for over thirty years with Religious Orders especially as they respond to need on the margins of society during a time of  radical transition within the church

This workshop is a creative process awakening us to the part we can play in shaping this unfolding Love.

5.         Neil Broom: The X factor in cosmic evolution. Life’s Transcendent Dimension 

In this workshop Neil will question the widely held view that life is the result of ultimately impersonal law-bound processes. He will argue instead that the living world displays those mindful attributes of purpose and intentionality and points beyond itself to a transcendent dimension.

In this workshop Neil will draw on material from his book Life’s X Factor: the Missing Link in Materialism’s Science of Living Things. Steele Roberts, Aoteoroa, 2010.

Neil is a Professor of Materials Science in the Engineering faculty at the University of Auckland. He teaches a broad range of materials-related courses and has active research interests in the areas of joint and spinal tissue biomechanics.

 

6.          John and Gillian Thornley with Colin Gibson: Hymns and songs for a Progressive Church.

An important bearer of Progressive perspectives in Christian worship has been the work of a number of outstanding musicians and hymn writers in New Zealand and Australia. This workshop will provide an opportunity to interact and learn with Colin Gibson who, assisted by John and Gillian Thornley, managers of the New Zealand Hymnbook Trust, will introduce some of Colin and others recent work and provide an opportunity to explore progressive themes given musical expression. Books and CDs will be available for purchase at discount prices.

“John and Gillian Thornley have been Managers for the NZ Hymnbook Trust since 2003. John is publisher/editor of Music in the Air, launched in 1996, a bi-annual journal exploring the creative arts and spirituality. 

Colin Gibson is well known internationally as a Christian hymn and song writer. His hymns are regularly sung in our churches and through his words progressive themes have become woven into the consciousness of many churches. He is Emeritus Professor of English at Otago University.” 

7.      Glynn Cardy: Wisdom, Words, and the Spaces They Need

Christians call the blend of wisdom, words, spaces, music, movement and symbols, liturgy.  Liturgy’s purpose is to acknowledge the sacredness within us, between us, and beyond us.  Too often liturgy becomes trapped as ‘re-enactments of the past’ or ‘ritual adherence to institutional rules’.  Too often the symbol-word ‘God’ is personified as a power over us rather than a power enlivening us.  Yet making liturgical changes even in Progressive congregations can be challenging.  This workshop invites those involved in liturgy-making to share their stories and ideas as we seek to find words and ways that are both true to our experiences and empowering of others.

Glynn Cardy is the Minister of the Presbyterian Community of St Luke, Remuera.  He was formerly an Anglican vicar and archdeacon in the Diocese of Auckland.

8.         Kevin Clements: Breaking Cycles of Revenge

This workshop is aimed at enabling individuals, groups and nations to  locate themselves in relation to unwanted vicious cycles that flow from  hurt, marginalisation, and victimisation  and what positive processes might generate more virtuous  cycles.

Kevin Clements is the Foundation Chair and Director of the National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Otago. He is currently facilitating a series of intensive problem solving workshops with political influentials from Korea, Japan and China in North East Asia

B         Saturday 30 August 11am – 12.30pm

9.     Val Webb: Who, where and what is God? Is God within our boundaries?

Anything we say about God is metaphorical.  Our God-metaphors matter because they determine how we relate to the Divine and whether we can believe in a God at all.  This workshop will examine traditional Christian notions of God, offer new metaphors for the Twenty-first Century, and look beyond the Christian tradition to see how others have described and engaged their intimations of Something More – or not.

This workshop will reference Val Webb’s books Like Catching Water in a Net: human attempts to describe the Divine and Stepping Out with the Sacred: human attempts to engage the Divine.

10.        Brandon Scott: Taking Jesus seriously in the emergent religious communities after the death of Christianity.

 What might be the future for a church consciously living out of the Jesus Way? Can this way be rediscovered in a world where division, violence and social dislocation are common and where many religions, cultures and nationalities are challenged to live together in respectful harmony.

Participants will share with Brandon in the search for ways of being church that are more faithful to what we know of the Jesus of history.

11.        Peter Lineham: Spirituality Free from Guilt: the Issues in Gay Spirituality

There has been an emphatic voice in Gay and more generally LGBTI spirituality, which has responded to the sense that gay people are somehow the particular focus of the wrath of God for their aberrant sexual attractions. In response the term “queer theology” has expressed a shape of theology which wants to move beyond the sin/guilt paradigm in dealing not just with sexual behaviour but with human behaviour in general. Sounding rather like a form of creation spirituality, this expression of Christianity has gained significant recognition in recent years. How different is it from Creation Spirituality on the one hand and traditional Christian spirituality on the other?

Peter Lineham is a professor of history at Massey University’s Albany campus and a former chair of Auckland Rainbow Community Church, which meets at St Matthew’s in the City.

12.      Elaine Wainwright: Will Elijah Come to Save Him? Reading the crucifixion of Jesus ecologically with Colin McCahon.

An ecological perspective provides a new reading lens to bring to the scriptures providing us with readings “beyond the borders” of current interpretations. In this workshop, we will explore what an ecological perspective entails and then read a central feature of the gospel, namely the crucifixion of Jesus through this lens. The Elijah series of Colin McCahon will also inform the reading.

Elaine Wainwright is Professor of Theology at the University of Auckland. She is a New Testament scholar whose key interest lies in reading the biblical text in and for contemporary contexts.

13.    Cathy Harrison:  The New Cosmology

 While some see modern science as a challenge to faith, Franciscan Sister Ilia Delio sees it as an opportunity to think in new ways about God, creation, cosmos and the incarnation. She opens a new window to Pierre Teilhard de Chardin’s vision of a ‘cosmic Christology’ – a more expansive understanding and appreciation of the emergent Christ. Cathy asks, “How can our spirituality reflect this new age of consciousness? What is the significance of Christ in evolution for the future direction of Christian life and all creation.” ”

Cathy works in the realm of Mission and Spirituality with the Sisters of Mercy. She has worked for over thirty years with Religious Orders especially as they respond to need on the margins of society during a time of radical transition within the church

This workshop is a creative process awakening us to the part we can play in shaping this unfolding Love.

14.         John and Gillian Thornley with Colin Gibson: Hymns and songs for a Progressive Church.

 An important bearer of Progressive perspectives in Christian worship has been the work of a number of outstanding musicians and hymn writers in New Zealand and Australia. This workshop will provide an opportunity to interact and learn with Colin Gibson who, assisted by John and Gillian Thornley, managers of the New Zealand Hymnbook Trust, will introduce some of Colin’s and others recent work, and provide an opportunity to explore progressive themes given musical expression. Books and CDs will be available for purchase at discount prices.

John and Gillian Thornley have been Managers for the NZ Hymnbook Trust since 2003. John is publisher/editor of Music in the Air, launched in 1996, a bi-annual journal exploring the creative arts and spirituality. 

Colin Gibson is well known internationally as a Christian hymn and song writer. His hymns are regularly sung in our churches and through his words progressive themes have become woven into the consciousness of many churches. He is Emeritus Professor of English at Otago University.” 

15. Sande Ramage: Borderline dying: a workshop exploring voluntary euthanasia.

Talk of euthanasia touches the fragile life force that runs deep in humanity. Some see this talk as destructive and leading to the downfall of society, others as a call to compassion. It is part of the human spiritual story. Borderline dying is not about debating the arguments. Instead, it is a spacious conversation, using case studies and our own life experience to courageously value what rises to trouble us when our vulnerable mortality is threatened.

Sande Ramage is a writer, speaker, teacher, Anglican priest and health care chaplain. Her focus is on the development of contemporary spirituality , the art of how we make meaning, which will probably take us beyond traditional religions.

16. Kevin Clements. The Place Called Reconciliation.

This workshop flows out of a large number of different problem solving processes and is aimed at enabling participants to understand the diverse roles of Truth, Justice, Mercy and Peace in reconciliatory processes.

Kevin Clements is the Foundation Chair and Director of the National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Otago. He is currently facilitating a series of intensive problem solving workshops with political influential’s from Korea, Japan and China in North East Asia.

 

2 thoughts on “WORKSHOPS AT BEYOND THE BORDERS”

Comments are closed.