Jun 14 2013

June 2013 Newsletter

Published by under Newsletters

091011.SOFimageSea of Faith – Dunedin
Exploring Meaning in Life
Newsletter JUNE 2013

Next meeting

Led by Colin Gibson

The Jesus Seminar

Thursday, 27th June

Highgate Church buildings,
Maori Hill
Tea and Coffee will be available
between 5.00 and 5.40 pm
Food will be available
$5 for as much as you want to eat plus rent
$2 if you come for the meeting only
Kitchen volunteers:
Marjorie and Bruce Spittle

The programme will start at 6 pm


We Start With…

A two minute period of silence.

From the Acting Chairperson

Many thanks to all who turned up for the earlier start of 5pm last month. This enabled us all to clear the dishes and to enjoy a relaxed conversation before the meeting started. The folk in the kitchen really appreciated your help with that. Well done to Librarian Ian for his innovative display of the books. There are DVDs in there as well.

– Marjorie

Next Meeting

Colin Gibson will need very little introduction in this Newsletter, but we do have many readers out of town… He is well known nationally for the many hymns he has produced and for the collaboration with Shirley Murray, putting music to her words. Locally he is a singer in the (nationally touring with Verdi’s Requiem) City Choir Dunedin and in Opera Otago. All this on top of a Professorial role, organist at Mornington Methodist Church… truly one of Dunedin and New Zealand’s Treasured Citizens. Colin talked about The Jesus Seminar to the Mornington equivalent of our Sea of Faith group and has kindly agreed to repeat that presentation for us. I missed the Mornington one and so am delighted to have a second chance to hear what I’m told was a brilliant presentation.

Here is a little of what Wikipedia has to say about the Seminar…The Jesus Seminar was a group of about 150 critical scholars and laymen founded in 1985 by Robert Funk under the auspices of the Westar Institute. The seminar was active in the 1980s and 1990s.
In March 2006, the Jesus Seminar began work on a new description of the emergence of the Jesus traditions through the first two centuries of the Common Era [C.E.]. In this new phase, the Jesus Seminar on Christian Origins, fellows employ the methods and techniques pioneered by the original Jesus Seminar.
The seminar uses votes with coloured beads to decide their collective view of the historicity of the deeds and sayings of Jesus of Nazareth. They produced new translations of the New Testament and Apocrypha to use as textual sources. They published their results in three reports: The Five Gospels (1993), The Acts of Jesus (1998), and The Gospel of Jesus (1999).

Lloyd Geering and Jim Veitch, who are to speak to us this year, are both corresponding members of the Seminar.


Sea of Faith Conference 2013
Lindisfarne College, Hastings
4th – 6th October
Theme: Tell me the New, New Story

Registration will open shortly. I have agreed to go provided that Air New Zealand doesn’t lose my bags again – this they have done three times in the last two years – and I’m not a frequent flier these days. Carry-on baggage with all-you-need is a good way to go but I was surprised to find my carry-on suitcase weighed 3kg empty – not leaving a lot to comply with the 7kg limit. I have bought a back-pack “on special” from Kathmandu which weighs 500gm.


Archie Baxter

You will remember that I have written about an idea to establish a memorial for peace activist Archie as there isn’t one in Dunedin. The project is advancing strongly and on Thursday 20th June at 2pm, there is an initial meeting under the Chairmanship of Prof Kevin Clements at the Peace and Conflict Studies Centre in Castle Street (almost next door to the Centre for Innovation). If you are supportive but unable to attend, drop me a note and I’ll register you as a “member” of that foundation meeting.


Open Peace Lecture

With the senseless slaughter of a soldier in London recently, there has been further heated debate about “Islamism”. Despite the fact that the majority of Muslims in our communities are no more violent than Christians, there is wariness, especially when it is founded on lack of knowledge of “The Other”.


INTERFAITH ENGAGEMENT FOR PEACE – A MUSLIM PERSPECTIVE is the title of the 10th Open Peace Lecture to be presented by Dr Ingrid Mattson from London, Ontario, Canada. This will be held in Burns 1 on Monday 19th August from 5.30 to 7pm with a supper to follow.


The visit of the Dalai Lama

I don’t know how many of our Members managed to get into the Town Hall but if it was you, I hope you didn’t have to go up into the gods, which was also full. It was such an informal event, despite all the security and fuss about the reception and alleged pressure from China.
He came as a friend, communicating the message of peace and a happy life. He will certainly find a resonant chord with many members of Sea of Faith in talking about his faith not being about a creator but about faith and reason. His stress on the value of scepticism also finds like minds amongst our group.
I understand that there was a recorded interview made later between His Holiness and Lloyd Geering. We will all be waiting eagerly to see that screened. I don’t have details at time of writing but will e-mail as soon as I find out.
In England the Prime Minister met him in St Paul’s cathedral and China responded by cancelling a planned visit there by David Cameron. They have also cancelled a visit to UK by the Chinese Premier. China has a huge investment in UK and it seems, according to a London source that “a political relationship is a pre-condition for a trading relationship”. It may well be that the same pressures were felt in Dunedin.
It makes one wonder if the power of China’s sovereign investment fund is a more powerful weapon than America’s military might these days.

Newsletter Editor:
Alan Jackson
55 Evans Street
Ph: 473 6947

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