Category Archives: Progressive Voices

beyond “our savior” – extract from a blog on “Ponderings” website

Yesterday I drove past a neighborhood church sporting the sign, “Jesus paid the price… you can keep the change.” Disconcerting  was the dissonance between the progressive denomination (United Church of Christ) and the regressive theology invoked (sacrificial atonement). Having walked away from my life in ministry just weeks earlier, I am loathe to jump into a theological conversation and I initially pass on the bait. ”To each their own,” I reply when asked to comment.

Later in the day I received an email from a former colleague, expressing his concern with theological integrity and requesting conversation. Like me, he explains, he believes Jesus about God but does not believe the church about Jesus. With this truth, he asks, how can we stand before congregations uncritically parroting phrases that infer sacrificial atonement? What, he wonders, is the price for claiming that Jesus already paid it?

Before I reply to the theological question, I must confess a personal investment.

Continue reading beyond “our savior” – extract from a blog on “Ponderings” website

Progressive Christian Liturgy Links

Here are links to some resources suitable for Progressive Christians in Aotearoa New Zealand and Australasia. If you have some to share, or know of links to other resources, please let us know. We’ll be adding more periodically, so check back from time to time.

St Matthew-in-the-City is attempting to step out of the box of the Book of Common Prayer into Liturgical Renewal… we are attempting to develop new liturgies that are reflective of the progressive Christian theology preached from the pulpit and lived out in our mission and our context of Aotearoa New Zealand:

Liturgy Outside—Litanies, Prayers and Reflections along the pathway towards a more inclusive expression of faith… Katherine HawkerSelf’s blogsite is has embarked on a Liturgy Project which will positively transform worship services… This is an ongoing project, continually seeking and offering new resources to enliven congregations with artful, soulful, intellectually satisfying liturgical elements:

Sojourning Spirituality: Music, poetry, art, liturgy, food, justice, and peace.

Sermons, Liturgies, Prayers, and Articles from a progressive/post-liberal theological perspective. Rex Hunt is a progressive ‘grass roots’ religious naturalist, liturgist, and social ecologist.  Forty plus years ordained, first as a Presbyterian, he is today a retired minister of the Uniting Church in Australia: Rex A E Hunt

words of spirit and faith—reflective writing on spirit & faith in aotearoa new zealand; celebrating spirit and faith in postmodern, post-christian life; affirming inclusiveness & social justice and living with faith not belief:

On this site Follow this link

How are you celebrating Matariki?

Here’s an example from St Andrew’s on The Terrace’s 2013 Matariki service:

Matariki: a time to tell our stories

What’s your story?

Do you know your own story, your birth story, your life story? Did someone tell it to you, or have you made it up from memory and experience? It’s worth keeping in mind that there are different Matariki stories, different meanings depending on the location of the tribe who tells them: in some, Matariki is a time for planting; in others, that’s not the case at all. There are many variations of the calendar and many ways the different tribes used stellar guides for their own specific environment.

So, Matariki isn’t just a time to learn the legends of the stars, fascinating as they are. Learning about family and whakapapa is also important. Around Matariki the harvests such as kumara were in, and this cold part of the year was a time for hui, for korero, to exchange stories, learn about ancestors who have passed from this world to the next, and hand down knowledge and practices to ensure the culture is preserved. Memories, good and bad, are powerful…


Continue reading How are you celebrating Matariki?

Love your enemies – Ian Harris (ODT 13 June 2014)

We are all one in Jesus Christ © Soichi Watanabe

In the real world, “love your enemies” doesn’t hold a candle to the use of ultimate force. Which goes far to explain why the real world is in such a mess.

Yet “love your enemies” remains the most startling and most original of all Jesus’ precepts for living. The greater part of his teaching, including the golden rule to act towards others as you would like them to act towards you, is anticipated somewhere in the Hebrew scriptures he knew.

While hating your enemies is easy and natural, it also keeps anger, resentment and hostility stoked. Turning enemies into friends changes the ballgame – and everyone gains from that. History shows this repeatedly, as when England and France buried centuries of hostility, or nations once at war joined to form the European Union, or President Nixon met Chairman Mao and set US-China relations on a new course.

Continue reading Love your enemies – Ian Harris (ODT 13 June 2014)

Ian Harris on Sir Lloyd Geering’s themes on religion

At the age of 66, when most people are thinking of retiring, Sir Lloyd Geering began a ministry to Wellington and the modern world, as principal lecturer for St Andrew’s Trust for the Study of Religion and Society.

Now 96, he delivered his valedictory lecture this month to a crowded church and a standing ovation.

His topic was ”The Evolving City”, tracing the evolution of the city from the earliest settled population clusters and the biblical city of Cain, in Genesis, to the megacities of a globalising world and the biblical vision of the City of God in Revelation. Continue reading Ian Harris on Sir Lloyd Geering’s themes on religion

progressive faith stories: Fiona’s story

againstthestreamBelonging here was a gradual process for me. Becoming more involved meant taking the risk of openness and trust. Fiona McDougal, St Andrew’s on The Terrace

Glimmers of the sacred in the form of individual conversations, moments of connection in worship and shared meals drew me on.

In particular being at the series of services over Easter offered a way to integrate the psychological abuse I had endured at work in Scotland within a larger story. Holding that painful period of my life alongside the story of Jesus’ death, the losses of others in the community, and the pain of the world, on Good Friday has been very healing. Continue reading progressive faith stories: Fiona’s story