We are offering several options on Saturday afternoon, participatory, contemplative and active—numbers may be limited for some workshops. Read about them here, so you can choose your preferred activity before registering for the conference.
Creating down to earth prayers—Bronwyn Angela White
Participants are invited to reflect, discuss and write!
These are some ideas we might cover:
Praying with, not praying to
Prayers on behalf of the community
When you don’t “believe in” God, or praying…
Non-theistic affirmations—will the congregation notice?
How do we come up with ideas?
Practical considerations—don’t bang the microphone!
A time of silence…
By the end of the workshop, participants will have shared ideas, received a “prayers template”, and written—or started to create—sample prayers for the liturgical celebration of their choice.
Kāpiti-based liturgist Bronwyn has written stories and poetry from the time she learned to read and hold a pencil, and in the past performed her poetry and creative writing in poets’ pubs, cafes and by invitation at gallery openings and other events. These days, Bronwyn enjoys creating liturgy for Aotearoa New Zealand celebrations and seasons. Liturgy means “the work of the people” and Bronwyn participates in and sometimes leads services at St Andrew’s on The Terrace, where she’s a regular on the Prayers of the People roster. She offers her experience of creating progressive, inclusive prayers on behalf of her faith community as the basis of this workshop.
Bronwyn’s first book, “You who delight me” was launched with enthusiastic praise by Progressive Christian luminaries including Sir Lloyd Geering and Rev Dr Margaret Mayman. Her second collection, “Something new to say”, offers liturgical resources for Advent and Christmas. Bronwyn is currently writing contemporary hymn lyrics and collating a third liturgical collection. Her liturgies celebrate inclusiveness and social justice; affirm spirit and faith in postmodern, progressive and post-Christian life; and demonstrate the value of “living with faith, not belief”.
Full immersion: Jungian slow release from the Christian ties that bind—Sande Ramage
Blogging about spirituality drew sharp criticism from church authorities who determined my theology ‘not Christian’. I responded by destroying my website, home to myriad articles that explored spirituality one word at a time. Still unaware I was colluding in my own destruction, it took a startling dream to make me realise that the institutional church had me by the throat and was throttling the life out of my instinctual spirituality. In search of wellness, I opted for full immersion in Jungian analysis with Emeritus Professor, John P Dourley, author of The Illness That We Are: A Jungian Critique of Christianity. That hooked me but given I was practised at colluding in my own captivity, was I just exchanging one form of male religious authority for another?
This presentation traces my stumbling journey to the interior to see if I could accept my unconscious spiritual understandings as personal revelation. And, in the light of that, we workshop together what role Progressive Christianity could have in helping Kiwis grow their secular spirituality.
Sande Ramage blogs @spiritedcrone.co.nz where she is again exploring spirituality one word at a time. Current inspirational muses are her constant companion Kali the Labrador along with Sophia Goddess of Wisdom and Sekhmet The Powerful One, a lioness.
When not exploring the soulful underworld or watching movies on the big screen, Sande is Spiritual Care Coordinator at MidCentral DHB focused on implementing the MDHB Transforming Spiritual Care Strategy, which aims to embed spiritual care as an integral part of health care.
Earthed! Progressive Funerals—Rev Dr Jim Cunningham
Sharing ideas, experiences and resources for creating “progressive” funerals.
Jim Cunningham is a “four times retired” Presbyterian Minister. His interest in preaching and storytelling led him to complete a Doctor of Ministry in Preaching degree from McCormick Seminary in Chicago. During the three years of study he worked with the Ephesus Group (Wellington) as well as his Wellington parishes to write a thesis: “Preaching as Conversation”.
Over the last 50 years of parish ministry he has conducted hundreds of funerals and worked with families to create funeral services that were theologically and emotionally satisfying. He has done some challenging work in creating liturgies that reflect the changes that have taken (and are taking) place in our theological and emotional thinking. As a trained counsellor he has brought his understanding and experiences from Grief Counselling into his work as a liturgist.
Jim gave a “mini-presentation” on “Using family stories in Funeral Services” at an International Conference on Grief and Bereavement in Melbourne and will share some of those insights.
In this workshop he will share some of those insights as well as providing space for participants to share their own experience and resources. Participants are encouraged to bring written material – readings, poems hymns etc – to share as part of the workshop.
A time and space of contemplation.
An indoor labyrinth will provide a place for personal contemplation, reflection and meditation. Numbers may be limited.
“Labyrinth walking is an ancient practice used by many different faiths for spiritual centering, contemplation, and prayer. Entering the serpentine path of a labyrinth, the walker walks slowly while quieting their mind and focusing on a spiritual question or prayer. A labyrinth is not a maze. It has only one path to the centre and back out… It has no blind alleys or dead ends as mazes have. The path twists and turns back on itself many times before reaching the centre. Once at the centre, there is only one way back out. In this way, the labyrinth symbolizes a journey to a predetermined destination (such as a pilgrimage to a holy site), or the journey through life from birth to spiritual awakening to death.”
Guided local walks
Cable Car / Botanic Gardens tour with guide—and member of St Andrew’s on The Terrace—Kath Kerr.
Bolton Street Cemetery tour with Priscilla Williams. No charge, but you might consider a donation (around $5) to Friends of the Cemetery who have waived their usual fee.
Still in the planning stages:
He Tohu at National Library
He Tohu is a permanent exhibition of three iconic constitutional documents that shape Aotearoa New Zealand:
1835 He Whakaputanga—Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes of New Zealand
1840 Te Tiriti o Waitangi—The Treaty of Waitangi
1893 Women’s Suffrage Petition—Te Petihana Whakamana Pōti Wahine