Oct 18 2012

October 2012 Newsletter

Published by under Newsletters

091011.SOFimageSea of Faith – Dunedin
Exploring Spirituality, Religion and Ethics
Newsletter OCTOBER 2012

  From the Chair

Some members have expressed the wish to have a short time of quiet before our meetings start. It is felt this would be a transition time where we can move from the busyness of our lives to focus on the session to come.

For the next few meetings we will trial a two minute period of quiet. We will then review how members feel at our AGM in March.

Next Meeting 25th October 

Our programme will reflect on the National Sea of Faith meeting held at St Cuthbert’s in Auckland from 5th till 7th October under the title “The revaluing of all values. What values do we need to survive?” We will begin with a brief introduction and some photos and then the three of us who attended will each give a 10 minute summary of one of the main lectures followed by 10 minutes of discussion. There will be a few copies of the four lectures given in our library and these should also be available on the national SOF website in time. [sof.org.nz]


Our Last Meeting 

26 of us assembled to hear Judith Anne O’Sullivan give us an insight into meditation and wasn’t it surprisingly easy to sit comfortably, breathe easily and free the mind of clutter? I have read a little about this technique but I do find that it works well for me with a group of other like-minded people and in a special place. I have tried it at home but it has not worked there very well for me – I think there are too many “jobs” waiting to be done all around me there, including a huge pile of books which I keep buying and meaning to read.

At one Sea of Faith Conference we went to a Buddhist Temple and meditated for 30 minutes. I confess to feeling so very refreshed at the end and the time just went by unnoticed.

As Marjorie suggests above, it might be helpful to consider a suggestion that we start our regular meetings with two minutes of silence and meditation.

Archie Baxter 

I don’t think anyone here will need a reminder of the fact that Archie was the father of famous poet James K Baxter and was a Conscientious Objector to any form of violence in WWI. At the time his views caused him horrible bullying from the establishment, both military and civil, a term of imprisonment and “field punishment No 1” which we would not countenance today for even a hardened criminal. An article appeared in the ODT on 27th September from Tony Eyre, a local writer, which suggested that there should be a memorial to Archie, perhaps in the military gallery at the Toitu Settlers’ Museum. I would like to see that memorial have a much more prominent position in the city, partly as a reminder that we are an essentially peace-loving nation and partly a reminder of man’s inhumanity to man here in New Zealand.

It seems to me that Archie is the closest person we have had to Mahatma Ghandi, a beautiful bronze statue of whom adorns the space outside the Wellington railway station.

(Click to see full picture)


The ODT facilitated a meeting between Tony and me to carry the project further. Watch this space.

Cornerstone Values 

On the day we travelled to Conference, an article appeared in the ODT “Faith and Reason” column by Stuart Crosson, Vicar of St Matthew’s Anglican Church, Dunedin. It was all about values (as was our Conference) and dealt with the values or character traits identified by CS Lewis in all societies. These are being promoted in several schools in Dunedin under a programme known as “Cornerstone Values”. 

Stuart has kindly given permission for us to reprint the article and I have sent it to the National Newsletter.

The Cornerstone Values are:

  • Respect
  • Honesty and Truthfulness
  • Consideration for others
  • Compassion
  • Kindness
  • Obedience (to rightful authority)
  • Duty (obligation).


Newsletter Editor: 

Alan Jackson
55 Evans Street
Ph: 473 6947




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