Mar 02 2018

Letter from Alan and newsletter March 2018

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Alan Jackson

4:26 PM (15 hours ago)

Hello Sea of Faith Friends On the day of last meeting there was a funeral for our friend Robin Smith and most of our group was able to attend the service. At the meeting we all spoke about the things we remembered about Robin – he was a stalwart of our group until failing health sapped his vitality. The Labour Party made him a Life Member in recognition of his sterling services there and he was a founder-member of the Dunedin Chapter of the Howard League for Prison Reform. He was very often to be seen at University Club on Fridays and at the open lectures at University – he certainly did keep himself thoroughly busy in making social justice happen here in the city – an example to be admired and followed Robin. It seems that most groups to which I belong; Royal Dunedin Male Choir, Freemasons, University Club etc have ageing memberships and our Sea of Faith group is no exception. It seems no time at all since we had 25 at our regular meetings at Highgate. OK I know all groups are ageing but you know what I mean. As our group gets smaller we have to look at how we continue – and continue we do plan to do – but in what form, where, how often and so on. That conversation your committee had at the January meeting but the membership must have a say as well and that discussion will follow the AGM – and if we have any spare time we’ll continue to tease out “What we Believe”. Is it possible to have a Creed and say “I believe” (Credo = I believe) in these things… (as in The Apostles Creed and the Nicene Creed)? There is never any shortage of issues to think about. Appreciatively Alan……………………………………..Alan JacksonNewsletter EditorDunedin Local Group of the Sea of Faith NetworkNew Zealand 55 Evans StreetOpohoDUNEDIN 9010New Zealand Ph: 473 6947 Sea of Faith Network: Exploring Meaning in Life

We Start With…
A two minute period of silence – a moment of peace.
From the Chair
I so enjoyed our February meeting, run by Alan Jackson, in which he gently and rapidly reviewed the changes in religion and faith since Victorian times, then asked the big question What do you believe now?
Members of my discussion group had many and varied answers, as is usual for Sea of Faith. I found myself talking about the things that grounded me – some of which I’d never realised before. I so enjoy being with folks who are open and accepting, it renews and challenges your thinking.
Our March meeting will start with our AGM, which will be very short, then there will be more opportunity to renew and challenge thinking as we talk about ‘whither and how’ for Dunedin Sea of Faith’s future. Do come along, you will be very welcome.
Gretchen (03) 473 0031
Our Next Meeting
Unlike many AGMs, this one will not be asking for volunteers to do things (but no-one will refuse offers either).
Our local active group is now around a dozen good folk and our finances are such that we cover the cost of the meetings and draw on a little of the reserve for the refreshments.
The financial details are attached to this mail.
Faith Thinking
When the church was a socially influential part of lives we were told what the ethical positions were on issues such as marriage, divorce, adultery etc.
With the secularisation of society here and elsewhere the individuals in the society have to work out those positions from an ethical point of view.
It means that we have to stay well-informed by reading, discussing, listening to expert opinion and then weighing up all the evidence to reach our opinion.
Sea of Faith is a good place to hold many of those discussions.
Sea of Faith – Dunedin
Nourishing our Spirituality
Newsletter MARCH 2018
Annual General Meeting
Thursday, 15th MARCH
St John’s Church Hall,
Cnr Wright Street
& Highgate
Tea and Coffee
will be available from 5.30pm
The programme will start at 6.00pm
Contribution – $5

Happy birthday Sir Lloyd Geering
Otago Daily Times
Saturday, February 24, 2018
Theologian regards century of change
As he approaches his 100th birthday, former Dunedin Presbyterian minister and controversial theologian Sir Lloyd Geering is writing another book.
But this one is not a theological treatise.
“Rather, it’s a small volume about how so many things changed during the 20th century,” the 99-year-old told the Otago Daily Times from his Wellington home yesterday.
He thinks he will call the book “How Times Have Changed”.
Because, as Sir Lloyd says, the past 100 years have certainly seen “such a lot of change”, including the way we communicate and the way we travel.
For example, today’s cell- phones and the internet are a far cry from the limitations of 100 years ago.
“My parents never really came to grips with the ordinary old telephone,” Sir Lloyd says.
As a child living in Southland, he saw electricity reticulated through much of the province. And for the first 25 years of his life, his family did not have electricity.
But today’s technology seems to pose few problems for the almost 100-year-old who spends a lot of time using his computer, communicates regularly with family members by Skype and also uses Skype to play Scrabble with nine other people in various parts of the world.
Writing about the extent of changes in the past 100 years or so recalls how the former Knox Theological Hall principal’s radical thinking so shocked and outraged conservative Christians 50 years ago, he was accused of heresy, although ultimately acquitted.
Now, he says, the matters raised at that time had all become very familiar and seemed “old hat”.
Through most of the 20th century, almost everyone believed in an afterlife.
“But by 2000, very few did.”
That was why funerals had changed so much. Rather than a ritual to celebrate someone’s passing from this world to a better life in the next, funeral services were now more a celebration of a person’s life and achievements and what the person meant to family and friends.
Sir Lloyd has very strong links to Dunedin and Otago, with two years at St Clair Primary School, five years at Otago Boys’ High School and seven at Otago University and Knox Theological College. And, after his ordination, he served in parishes in Kurow and Dunedin and was also Knox College principal for some time.
“I spent almost half of my life in Dunedin and enjoyed it,” he said.
While he is not 100 years old until Monday, Sir Lloyd has already received greetings from the Queen, the Governor General and the Prime Minister.
And he is looking forward to a celebration tomorrow with 80 family members and friends, some coming from Australia, Germany and Singapore.
His son and two daughters and their families, including a great grandson, will be there — “the first time all of the family will have been together”.
Sir Lloyd says his health is good, he is “pretty fit”, keeps his brain active with puzzles and games, and walks for 30 minutes every day.
And he has good genes. His father lived to be 100.
Newsletter Editor:
Alan Jackson
55 Evans Street
Ph: 473 6947

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