Feb 10 2015

Newsletter February 2015

Published by under Newsletters

091011.SOFimageSea of Faith – Dunedin
Exploring Meaning in Life
Newsletter FEBRUARY 2015


Fr Peter Collett

 How to celebrate a life well lived

Thursday, 26th FEBRUARY

Highgate Church buildings,

Maori Hill

Tea and Coffee will be available
between 5.00 and 5.40 pm
Food will be available
$7 for as much as you want to eat plus rent
$4 if you come for the meeting only
The programme will start at 6 pm


We Start With…

A two minute period of silence.


A two minute period of silence. This silence gives us the chance to clear our thoughts, set aside the busyness of the day and allow us to focus on our friends who are here and our topic for the evening.


From the Chair
I wonder how things have been for you since our last Sea of Faith meeting in early December. The time over Christmas, New Year and January can be busy, quiet, full of family, lonely, too much food, too much to do, not enough to do, hectic, constructive, challenging, joyous, with sadness for friends and family not with us. Possibly some of most of those for each of us. Whatever, it is a time different from any other in the year, and so a good time for reflection and maybe for resolutions, too. I hope you are feeling refreshed and ready for the fray. Sea of Faith is ready, with an excellent and varied programme for the year. I do hope you will be able to join us for the fellowship of shared food, and the interest, challenge and discussion with each of our speakers. Sea of Faith is ‘a safe place to say unsafe things’ – come along and find out what folk have to say.
Gretchen 03 473 0031


Sad to Report
It is with great sadness that we report that Wilson Daniel passed away on Sunday 8th February at Ross Home. Wilson had been a long-standing friend of Sea of Faith and he participated in many of our activities both as a presenter and on committee. His extensive knowledge and academic qualifications in Law, Psychiatry and Classics as well as his wide travel made him a very valuable member of any discussion group and he was regularly to be seen at Public Lectures and at The Classics Society at University. He lived a very full life and we are all the richer for having known him. As ever, our thoughts just now are with his family and very close friends who will be grieving.


Also Sad to Report
Most of our members read the articles by Ian Harris either in the ODT or the Methodist Newspaper ‘Touchstone’. Ian lost his wife Jill on Christmas Day last year. She had a battle with leukaemia but leaves many happy memories behind.


Three Cheers
We all watched with interest the debates in the Anglican Communion in Britain over the issue of women bishops. Dunedin’s Penny Jamieson was the second woman in the world to hold the position of bishop in the Anglican Communion but the first to be elected to diocesan bishop. She was consecrated in 1990 and many of us have wondered why it took the Brits so long to follow suit. (Mind you, we were years ahead with Women’s Suffrage so maybe it’s no surprise there). Bishop Libby Lane was consecrated on 26th January 2015 at York Minster by Archbishop John Sentamu, whom many of us heard when he visited Dunedin last year. Bishop Libby’s first public activity was at a rally to condemn human trafficking and I was staggered to read that Unicef claims that 1.2million youngsters are trafficked each year and now human trafficking is second only to the trade in drugs as a source of illegal income. Bishop Libby is based at Stockport in Manchester and we can be sure that the British Press will give her plenty of room to air her views.


In the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Francis has endeared himself to a good many and he has many fans outside the Roman Catholic tradition as well. He has been very outspoken on a range of topics from poverty, the need for financial reform in world markets as well as The Vatican and the integration of gays although his position on same-sex marriages has moved towards the conservative, perhaps due to pressure from within the church. I loved the story of him making a phone call to a priest in Argentina on behalf of a woman who was denied communion – just imagine that, but it struck me as the very essence of this man. Later in the year we plan to have an evening where we look more closely at what he has said and done since his election.


But Wait, there’s more…
Your committee had a very fruitful meeting at the end of January, hosted by the indefatigable Frances Smithson at her new Summerset home. We have topics planned for every month between now and end of year one of which is that of preparing for the end of life. There are so many aspects to this from Living Wills (there have been seminars recently at the Ryman Homes) to those times when visiting friends who are struggling with a terminal condition, just how to be with them. I lost a good friend last year who suffered for about three years with motor neurone disease and towards the end I really struggled with visiting when all the usual modes of communication were lost to us.
We need to think about how we would like our belongings disposed of (my neighbours have just gone through that process) and our funeral arrangements. I discussed that with Pen Whitaker in the months before she died. Fr Peter Collett will start us off this month and we shall return to the topic on another occasion later this year.


On a different topic, we all remember Prof Andrew Bradstock who had the Howard Paterson Chair of Theology and Public Issues at Otago… we have read of his successor, Prof David Tombs who has experience of conflict resolution in Ireland. Quite a few of our members heard him speak when the short-listed candidates for the Chair gave their public addresses at the end of 2013. Prof Tombs will be our June speaker – tell your friends. He will be a very worthy successor to Andrew.


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

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