Aug 15 2010

August 2010 Newsletter

Published by under Newsletters



August 2010



Native American Pipekeepers’ Pow Wow
Aelred Edmunds is home again after participation in the Pipestone, Minnesota, Native American Pipekeepers’ Pow Wow.
He introduces his presentation on this event in this way:

“The respected Native American scholar Vine Deloria Jr., writes: ”  …  In spite of the overtures made in recent years by Christian denominations toward traditional Indian religions and practices  –  such as bishops wearing warbonnets at services, pipes and other traditional objects used to bless congregations, and occasional prayers for the Earth  –  one fundamental facet of Christianity must always detour any effort to come to grips with reality.  Christianity was not designed to explain anything about this planet or the meaning of human life  …
“This will be my point of departure.   Is Deloria even approximately correct?


Food Matters:

Marjorie reports:
The food prepared by St Barnabas Rest Home chefs was well received last month so we will continue with the offer this month with two changes. As a number of people commented that the bacon and egg pie slices were rather large and difficult to handle, we will be offering this month slices of quiche instead. Also, to help the volunteers in the kitchen get cleared up before the meeting starts, we will begin our social gathering at 5.15 instead of 5.30.
I welcome any comments/ suggestions you wish to make on the new arrangements. Thanks again to Frances Smithson for coming up with the idea, negotiating with St Barnabas’ Home and delivering the food for us.
I am grateful to the people who have offered to take a turn at making the drinks and doing the dishes, but would like to have about 4 more names. This would mean we would each have a turn just once each year. It is not an onerous task and clear instructions and on the spot support are available. If you can help in this way please let me know.

Our Library
We’ve recently added two very good recent books: Karen Armstrong’s “The Case of God” and Don Cupitt’s “The Meaning of the West”. And there’s still a good selection of other books.


National Conference

For this year’s conference the theme is “Compassion and Crisis : Our Human Dilemma”.
All the world’s major religions are strongly pro-compassion. But what happens to compassion when we are confronted with as many major world crises as we are at present?
The conference is at St Patrick’s College, Silverstream, Friday 1 – Sunday 3 October. There is full information and a registration form at the Sea of Faith website – or the Editor will send you a copy. Several Dunedin people are going – what about joining them ?


The Book Group
As a result of Graham Batt’s suggestion/invitation, ten people have been meeting at his home.
First we worked through the four chapters of Lloyd Geering’s booklet “Religious Trailblazers” and
we’ve just started on Don Cupitt’s “The Old Creed and the New”.
As an example of an old creed, Cupitt sets out the Apostles Creed [I haven’t room to reprint it here], but you likely know it by heart.] Then offers the following as his own suggestions for a replacement:

True religion is your own voice, if you can but find it.
True religion is, in every sense, to own one’s own life.
True religion is pure solar affirmation of life, in full acknowledgement of its utter
gratuitousness, its
contingency, ant transience and even its nothingness.
True religion is productive value-realizing action in the public world.
Faith is not a matter of holding on to anything; faith is simply a letting-go. It laughs at anxiety;
it floats free.

The rest of the book is devoted to spelling out, and justifying, his proposing such an extreme change.
I think everyone in the group is sympathetic to making a radical change to some “beliefless” creed
such as this – but not fully satisfied with what Cupitt offers.
Two group members have offered for discussion their own variants on Cupitt:

1. Our lives have meaning when –
we find our own voices;
we take responsibility for ourselves;
we recognise that we enter life by chance, experience change and chance, and that life will end;
we can benefit the lives of others.

2. We believe in Life – the mystery evolved from the stardust of the heavens, manifest on the Earth, and surging in our inner worlds.
Our faith draws on those from past and present who have lived life to the full and help us to own our own lives.
We affirm the sacredness of ordinary life in all its physical and spiritual diversity.
We say yes to life despite randomness, suffering and death.
We seek commitment to bring about fairness and show compassion for all life.
We open up ourselves to the eager love of life – life ever passing away yet calling forth the hope of a joyful Amen.

Chair: Marjorie Spittle – Phone 481 1418 – Email: Marjorie
Newsletter Editor: Donald Feist – Phone 476-3268 – Email: Don

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