PCNV August 2017 Newsletter

The August PCNV Newsletter is now available with reports from the last two "implications series" meetings and notice of Lesley Taylor's September session re the spirituality of the every day.

Hal Taussig in Melbourne



THE PROGRESSIVE CHRISTIAN NETWORK OF VICTORIA AND ST MICHAEL’S UNITING CHURCH

IN COLLABORATION WITH COMMON DREAMS ON THE ROAD
PRESENT

“EATING TOGETHER, TALKING TOGETHER, LIVING IN COMMUNITY: WHAT THE EARLY CHRISTIAN MOVEMENT CAN TEACH US”

A LECTURE SERIES BY DISTINGUISHED US THEOLOGIAN & WRITER

PROFESSOR HAL TAUSSIG
AT ST MICHAEL’S UNITING CHURCH, Cnr COLLINS & RUSSELL ST, MELBOURNE

7.00PM FRIDAY, 27 OCTOBER & 10.00AM – 4.00PM SATURDAY, 28 OCTOBER

An introductory address (Friday evening) and four lectures with a light lunch and morning and afternoon refreshments (Saturday) on the fascinating story uncovered by recent research of the early Christian movement and why that is relevant to Christianity today. See below for more details of Professor Taussig and the individual lectures.

Registration Essential: On Line at https://haltaussig.eventbrite.com.au or by Mail on the registration form (download by clicking here [406KB; PDF]

Professor Hal Taussig

Professor Hal Taussig, one of the leading theologians of the late 20th and early 21st centuries, is to tour Australia and New Zealand in October and November this year under the Common Dreams on the Road banner. 
Hal has recently retired as Visiting Professor of New Testament at Union Theological Seminary, New York where he taught masters and doctoral level studies. He is Professor of Early Christianity at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in Philadelphia. He has also retired from 30+ years as a United Methodist pastor and now is specially assigned by his bishop as a consultant to local congregations.

Hal is co-chair of the Society of Biblical Literature’s Consultation on Greco-Roman meals and on the steering committees of SBL’s Seminar on Modern Theories and Ancient Myths of Christian Origins and the Greco-Roman Meals Consultation. 
Professor Taussig is a foundation fellow of the Westar Institute and participated in that Institute’s celebrated Jesus Seminar. He is currently co-chair of Westar’s Christianity Seminar. Among his 14 published books are A New New Testament: A Bible for the 21stCentury and Newly Discovered Texts (2013); A New Spiritual Home: Progressive Christianity at the Grass Roots (2006); Re-imagining Life Together in America: A New Gospel of Community (2002).

“Eating Together, Talking Together, Living in Community: What the Early Christian Movement Can Teach Us”

The dynamic beginnings of the early Jesus communities are legendary but sometimes forgotten or contested. There is a widespread misconception in the Church that the “Jesus Movement” during the two or three centuries after Jesus’ crucifixion was recognisably similar to modern mainstream Christianity. This is not the case and before a recognisable Christianity emerged there was wide diversity in the forms these communities took; in their practices, beliefs and the way they lived – partly as a protest against Roman imperialism and partly as communities of mutual support. The challenges these progenitors of Christianity faced are instructive to us as the modern Church searches for ways to remake itself so that it is relevant in addressing the issues facing today’s society. Professor Taussig will present a compelling perspective on this subject which is informed by his extensive research over several decades.

Friday Evening Lecture:

Re-Thinking the Christ Movements of the First Two Centuries:

The Friday night lecture anticipates and introduces the amazing diversity, social innovation, and humor-filled challenge to Roman imperialism that the four Saturday lectures will deepen.  This is a stunning challenge to the conventional picture of the so-called “early churches.” 

Saturday Lectures:

1.The Messy Mix of Early Christ Movement Texts:

Both conventional Christianity and secular culture assume that the New Testament fell fully-formed to earth and hit someone on the head shortly after Jesus died.  This lecture shows how no such thing as a Christian canon could have happened before the fifth century CE.

2. Replacing the Notions of an Orthodoxy-Heresy Story of How Christianity Began:

There is a presumptuous narrative inherent in most secular and Christian understandings which assumes a single line of tradition, belief, and story that was handed down from God to Jesus to the unified apostles to the loyal and orthodox bishops to traditional Christianity in our day.  This lecture brings an historical approach which contradicts this master narrative with diverse portraits of two centuries of loose connections, no central authority, and wildly imaginative literature by women and men. 
 
3. Wild; Humour-filled Early Christ Supper Clubs:

Taussig unfolds a rich tapestry of ecstatic, humorous, fairly inclusive, and contentious festive meals that served as early Christ group “worship” throughout the Mediterranean world.  Undoing the conventional picture of these groups in and as “churches,” this lecture shows how imaginative, diverse, and passionate these festive meal-groups were, and elaborates how they formed a core of unconventional spiritual practice.

4. The Strangeness of Early Christ Groups

This lecture portrays the early Christ groups as inherently diffuse, disorganized, and fascinated by identities that overlapped and resisted uniformity. In this view, it is pretentious to think that Christianity itself existed within the first two centuries.  Rather, Christianity per se is at earliest a creation of the third through fifth centuries.

REGISTRATION

Registration is essential (as this is a catered event). The easiest way to register is on line at https://haltaussig.eventbrite.com.au or alternatively by mail by completing and mailing the form that can be downloaded from this link [406KB; PDF] to The Progressive Christian Network of Victoria (address provided in the form).
You may register for the full series or, if you are unable to attend on Saturday, only for the Friday evening lecture.

Admission Costs (per person):
FULL PROGRAM (FRIDAY & SATURDAY)
Earlybird
(Before 6 October)
Regular
(From 6 October)
Member of PCNV or St Michael’s UC
$50
$60
Non-member
$55
$65
Student
$20
$20


FRIDAY EVENING ONLY
Earlybird
(Before 6 October)
Regular
(From 6 October)
Member of PCNV or St Michael’s UC
$25
$30
Non-member
$30
$35
Student
$10
$10

Full program cost includes light lunch plus morning and afternoon refreshments. Gluten free and vegetarian options available.

PCNV June 2017 Newsletter

The PCNV June Newsletter is now available with reports from the current "Implications" series being conducted by the Network and an excerpt from Andrew Hamilton's item in The Conversation entitled Religiously Literate and Radical Communities. 

Click here to download [1MB; PDF]

PCNV April 2017 Newsletter

The PCNV April Newsletter is now available with news of the coming "Implications" series of meetings in April, May, June and July, a report on the last meeting featuring Reem Sweid from Muslims for Progressive Values and  a review of the book They Cannot Take the Sky. 

PCNV March 2017 Newsletter

The PCNV March Newsletter is now available with a report of the address by Julian Burnside at the February 2017 Network Meeting and a review of Robert Manne's book "The Mind of The Islamic State" amongst other things. Click here to download the newsletter. [468KB; PDF]

“What has happened to our values?” with Julian Burnside

We hope to bring you the podcast from this past event coming soon....

The Progressive Christian Network of Victoria invites you to “What has happened to our values?” with Julian Burnside
 
WHEN: Sunday 19 February 2017 3.00pm to 5.00pm 
WHERE: Ewing Memorial Centre of Stonnington Uniting Church Corner of Burke Rd and Coppin St., Malvern East. Melway 59 G12 Parking in Coppin Street.
 
JULIAN BURNSIDE AO QC is well known as an eloquent and passionate advocate for justice and human rights. He is a barrister based in Melbourne and specialises in commercial litigation.
 
He is a former President of Liberty Victoria, and has acted pro bono in many human rights cases, in particular concerning the treatment of asylum seekers.
 
He acted for the Ok Tedi natives against BHP, for the Maritime Union of Australia in the 1998 waterfront dispute against Patrick Stevedores. He was Senior Counsel assisting the Australian Broadcasting Authority in the “Cash for Comment” inquiry and was senior counsel for Liberty Victoria in the Tampa litigation.
He is the author of a number of books including Watching Brief (Scribe 2007), a collection of his essays and speeches about the justice system and human rights, and From Nothing to Zero (Lonely Planet 2001), a book of letters written by asylum seekers held in Australia’s detention camps.
 
In 2004 he was elected as a Living National Treasure. In 2009 he was made an Officer of the Order of Australia. In 2014 he was awarded the Sydney Peace prize.
 
In this address Julian Burnside will address a question in the minds and hearts of many Australians: “What has happened to our values?”. In considering what is making Australian society more unjust he will outline an alternative approach to the present unjust and inhumane treatment of refugees arriving by boat.
 
PCNV meeting cost is $7 ($5 for members). All moneys received for this meeting will be donated to assist asylum seekers.

Resources from "Don't Save The World; Just Get Involved" with Adrian Pyle



Our final meeting for 2016 took a different format and presented audio and video resources that proved stimulating.

You might like to access the key resources used by Adrian Pyle in his presentation: "Don't Save the World: Just get Involved!"  Here are the links;



Mary Oliver’s well known poem Wild Geese:


Text:



Mary Oliver reading the poem: 




The passage from Robin Myer was from the book Spiritual Defiance: Building a Beloved Community of Resistance






The interview with Parker Palmer and Courtney Martin:



      The full video: 



     Edited audio podcast of the Interview :       




The TEDx presentation with David Whyte:


PCNV Program 2017

PCNV PROGRAM: February to December 2017

SUNDAY 19 FEBRUARY at 3.00pm Julian Burnside will speak on the way ahead for Australia's treatment of asylum seekers; Venue: Ewing Memorial centre of Stonnington Uniting Church, corner of Burke Road and Coppin Street, Malvern East. Melway 59 G12


SUNDAY 19 MARCH at 3.00pm Reem Sweid of Muslim for Progressive Value will speak on "1.6 Billion Ways of Being Muslim";  Venue: Ewing Memorial Centre of Stonnington Uniting Church, corner of Burke Road and Coppin Street, Malvern East. Melway 59 G12.

SUNDAY 23 APRIL at 3.00pm Practical Implications of Progressive Christian Understandings of God; Venue: Ewing Memorial Centre of Stonnington Uniting Church, corner of Burke Road and Coppin Street, Malvern East. Melway 59 G12

SUNDAY 28 MAY at 3:00pm Practical Implications of Progressive Christian Understandings of Jesus; Venue: Ewing Memorial Centre of Stonnington Uniting Church, corner of Burke Road and Coppin Street, Malvern East. Melway 59 G12

SUNDAY 25 JUNE at 3:00pm Practical Implications of Progressive Christian Understandings of the Bible; Venue: Ewing Memorial Centre of Stonnington Uniting Church, corner of Burke Road and Coppin Street, Malvern East. Melway 59 G12

SUNDAY 23 JULY at 3:00pm Practical Implications of Progressive Christian Understandings of Hope; Venue: Ewing Memorial Centre of Stonnington Uniting Church, corner of Burke Road and Coppin Street, Malvern East. Melway 59 G12

SUNDAY 27 AUGUST at 3:00pm Homlessness; Causes, good and bad responses, and hope for the future; Rev Rick Holland speaks from 40 years experience of work related to homelessness; Venue: Ewing Memorial Centre of Stonnington Uniting Church, corner of Burke Road and Coppin Street, Malvern East. Melway 59 G12

SUNDAY 24 SEPTEMBER at 3:00pm Spirituality in The Everyday Of Life; Leader: Lesley Taylor;  Venue: Ewing Memorial Centre of Stonnington Uniting Church, corner of Burke Road and Coppin Street, Malvern East. Melway 59 G12

FRIDAY EVENING 27 OCTOBER AND SATURDAY 28 OCTOBER; Lecture Series with Dr Hal Taussig; Theme: "Eating Together, Talking Together, Living in Community: What The Early Christian Movement can Teach Us" Venue: St Michael's Uniting Church, Collins Street Melbourne. 

October 2016 Newsletter

The PCNV October Newsletter is now available with a review of Rev Dr Philip Hughes new book "Charting the Faith of Australians" and another of Rev John Smith's book "Honest to GOoD: Discerning the Sacred in the Secular,  reflections on the fourth Common Dreams Conference in Brisbane, and information about the final meeting of 2016: "Don't Save the World, Just Get Involved" led by Adrian Pyle. Click here to download the newsletter. [328KB; PDF]

Podcast from Hugh Mackay Presentation

The Podcast from Hugh Mackay's Presentation to the PCNV on Sunday 26 June “The Good Life and Spirituality” is now available from the PCNV Podcast Store at this link.

Hugh Mackay, social researcher and author of sixteen books, ten in the field of social psychology and ethics.