All posts by progressive christianity aotearoa

General conference information

We’ve posted some things you need to know before registering for the Common Ground 2018 Conference.

Information on registration, conference fees, catering, accommodation and transport options is here, and will be updated from time to time.

The working group hopes you’ll take advantage of our early bird registration offer. Online registration will be available soon.

Conference Working Group

Wondering who’s on the planning team for this year’s conference?

The Conference working group is: Rev Dr Susan Jones (Convenor), Geraldine Coats, Ray Coats, Peter Cowley, Jim Cunningham, Maxine Cunningham, Pam Fuller, Adrian Skelton and Bronwyn White (Secretary)

Got Conference related questions? Contact Bronwyn at

Programme information and Registration forms available soon!

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latest on Common Ground 2018 Conference

Friday 7 – Sunday 9 September 2018
St Andrew’s on The Terrace, 30 The Terrace, Wellington

Theme: “Creation: Ecology, Theology, Revolution!”

Featuring local guest speakers – ecology, theology, revolution from a Kiwi perspective – including:
Dr Emily ColganAn ecological reading of the Bible
Hon Grant Robertson MP—People, environment, economy—the triple bottom line
Te Kakano representative—Whenua and wairua: wellbeing for tangata whenua

PLUS Workshops:
Well Being—Sande Ramage
Earthed! Progressive Christian Funerals—Rev Dr Jim Cunningham
Creating down to earth prayers—Bronwyn White
Labyrinth, local walks…

Lively panel of speakers discussing “How we do progressive!”


Cultural shift – article by Roger Wiig

A cultural shift to save the culture – read the whole article here


I think it is true that in the church we have not focussed enough attention on establishing firmly our sense of identity; we are not completely clear about who we are. And that is particularly obvious among the young and disaffected.

In what way is the culture passed on? That is a complicated issue and far more complicated than I can deal with here and probably that I could ever manage. But one thing must be said immediately: Our society and the church has gone through, and is going through, irreversible and cataclysmic changes and there is no going back. But there are those within the many religious traditions who are standing up and asserting that the failure of religion puts humanity at risk, so we must at least think about how we connect with one another around the world and across the generations.

I also want to affirm, there is a way forward. There are churches and religious communities who have faced up to the challenges of modern biblical studies, theology and the realities of the world we live in, who go on to develop their own ways of giving full expression to the traditions and the culture from which they have sprung. Diana Butler Bass shows that in those communities renewal and vitality can spring up again and the next generation can be inspired and join in.

Religion has a role to play for the well-being of all people everywhere and it can do that when we are open to the experiences and traditions of others while being completely true to who we are and to the traditions that have formed us. Religion, when it is focussed on our common humanity, can speak hopefully to a world that is dangerously divided.

That is a bigger vision and will require much of us, but I think there are some small steps we can take towards it. So, in this short article I want to share some convictions and stories that might open up some possibilities for the future. Continue reading Cultural shift – article by Roger Wiig

The First Christmas – Marcus Borg and John Dominic Crossan

Follow this link to a 12 minute video, described below:

“In The First Christmas Marcus J. Borg and John Dominic Crossan—top Jesus scholars and authors of The Last Week—help us see the real Christmas story buried in the familiar Bible accounts.

Basing their interpretations on the two nativity narratives in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, Borg and Crossan focus on the literal story—the inner truth rather than the historical facts—to offer a clear and uplifting message of hope and peace. With The First Christmas readers get a fresh, deep, and new understanding of the nativity story, enabling us to better appreciate the powerful message of the Gospels.”


First Christmas - Borg, CrossanFirst Christmas - Borg, Crossan (2)

Questions About My Eternal Soul and Salvation — Secular Chaplain

A relative recently called me with great concern for my salvation. Always nice to hear, isn’t it? Now, this relative means well and I’m confident they love me very much. The question came from a deep place of fear for my soul. As we spoke quietly and calmly I realized that I would need to […]

via Questions About My Eternal Soul and Salvation — Secular Chaplain