How to start discussion. Contructive critism? When in spiritual matters do we consider critism constructive. A poison out there in many traditions (new and old) that I see is the idea of 'MINE', i.e my Faith, my religion, my race, my... and deeply concerning to me is the confusion of race and religion in the backdrop of identity - National and personal. As an example of this many people identify my temple as Japanese and Asian just because they assume so, and Asians are often dismissive of the 'White' temple when they find out that there are non-Asians in the temple and the head monk is so too. How do we tackle the temples, churches, etc. which promote this? It seems all too ignored for me, wishing to play happy families while division festers.
The Salvos are an International Christian denomination.
Foundling means an abandoned child - our Church is both small (a child) and without a parent organisation.
Given your family ties, I suggest that you too can use the term Australian.
The rest is old ground that has already been discussed here, on our Church Blog and via email and I see little point in readdressing it as I expect your stance hasn't changed and ours requires a meeting of the members to change, which has not occurred.
If you still have issues, please put them in writing and make a formal complaint with suggested outcomes which I can put to our management committee for consideration.
Peter, it's not 'Australian' i'm talking about - it's the 'NATIONAL' concept : - that you stand for the whole of the continent
Where is your modesty? Alongside Uniting Church of Australia - you have put Interfaith Church of Australia
Alongside Anglican Church of Australia ...................ditto..........................................
Alongside Presbyterian Church of Australia..................................ditto......................
uca,aca,pca - are all across the land as well as England & U.S .- vs ica = a handful of individuals in one place
They are represented in every area of this country,[even the outback] in all states, in practically every town and city.
The second has a 500yr history in Uk, the first and 3rd something like 300. They are everywhere - just like the S.Army.
Perhaps you should call yours FIRST Interfaith Church of Australia - instead of just 'ica' - which would allow it to be situated in Brisbane, and be the mother church to any others that are formed interstate.
'ICA' by itself infers that it is THE interfaith church of [the whole of ] Australia [=National]
Even Sam Selmanovic calls theirs 'Faith House,Manhattan' because there is another in New York. And i dont think either of them claim to have a National monopoly in the Interfaith business. Stephanie Dowrick doesnt say 'Interfaith Church of America' [Well, I have nowhere to check, but I don't remember it as such]
Do you understand now, what I'm getting at?
It's not so much that I have a complaint: it is that I can see something that will give the wrong impression to others, and work against you. If you still cant see it, copy off these two messages to show them.
best wishes, Ginny
PS - I know Sally Army was founded by William Booth in London - but its still correct to say that S.A is represented nationally in Australia [as opposed to "only in Tasmania", for example]
Thank you for voicing your concerns.
I personally don't feel this is an issue for several reasons.
If you wish me to raise this with the management committee I will do so. If you would like to write a specific complaint I can pass that on, or I can pass on this thread for their consideration.
I give up! Everyone knows that a NAME is very important - it bestows identity.
If you lack the insight to see the situation objectively, [as I have tried to illustrate it for you] there is nothing more to be done. [Other than pray that the Spirit will make it clear in some other way - if it does in fact matter as much as I think it does..]
All the best,
PS wait for a bit, then - Do what you think is right.
I will Ginny.
Looking back over the thread I realise I have become quite defensive - very ME and MINE as I stated in my first post when I pointed out this blocks growth through criticism. Not the best communique I have managed and certainly poor in comparison to all others in recent history.
It is because of this that I will admit I may have lost perspective and had personal biases come into the conversation. I'm not sure it has, but will seek counsel on any improvements from a group of international colleagues before passing this on to our management committee.
It will essentially be up to our management committee as to what happens, if anything, based on this discussion and the review from my peers.
I also note that I have not stated my 'qualifications' when you asked - this was addressed separately when you queried it on our Church blog at http://blog.ic.org.au/?p=173
I did not, however, state that I am an educator and have been employed solely in that role for some years now, prior to that I held positions that included other training roles, management positions and a period of military service. As such I am well accustomed to talking to groups, passing on information and the operational issues that we are likely to encounter.
My personal study of belief systems is currently about 14 years and I am hoping that at the completion of my current studies to go on to a MA with a double major in religious studies. I may start this as a GCArts or GDArts before going on to the full Masters. Arts is currently the only post-grad course available in Australia (at least that I have been able to find) where I can study religion without immersion in a single religion such as those courses provided by the Australian Catholic University.
Next year, Harvard intends to offer online courses through edX. It may be an option to do some work through their divinity school. If we can find the resources and the teachers, another option may also be through the Interfaith College we are hoping to establish, however it may well be some time down the track before we can offer post-grad or even grad level courses. Other US seminaries are also available, but as I have previously stated, the completion of a full course with them requires a residential period which increases the cost of the course.
Training, management, military, education! [I told you that you were well qualified for the teaching part - disseminating anti-discrimination stuff & educating a new generation. I told you that you have great organisational skills] but ministry isnt about organising or educating people. In fact, its the exact opposite. The more you organise & teach, the more you inhibit personal growth. Its more a question of directing the flow from time to time, at the right moments. Like the painted lines on the road that divides into 5 lanes, periodically it gathers into the left lane which automatically turns left, or it gets people into the right lane to cross the harbour bridge.
i suppose the skill lies in knowing WHAT expertise is needed at any particular moment. If you are teaching adults, you normally dont need to worry much about all that, because they know what they want & how to get it. They just need information. But damaged people or school-aged children are a different species.That's why teaching is an art. But ministry is nothing to do with imparting information, its to do with how to provide the right conditions for people to 'grow themselves.' So its not a 'listen to me' phenomenon, its a 'listen to you' phenomenon.
You know when I mentioned small group ministry? That situation is the most powerful tool for growth [equal or surpassing the one-on-one counselling situation.] Its where most of the spiritual growth is happening in a church. The members build up a level of intimacy and trust which allows them to move forward beyond their normal [defensive]comfort zones. They grow one another. [of course, its really the Holy Spirit who is providing the potential, the hope, the enthusiasm, the energy.]
In ephesians 4 it talks about the ministry gifts. There are 5 - apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor, teacher. Each personality called to minister has a profile that is a particular selection from the 5 : he obviously needs at least one of them. They dont all have to be present in one individual - the congregation shares its talents between them. When you get personal growth happening, the church becomes a spiritual body, rather than a club of folk with the same interests.
Trouble is - there's so much we could talk about, and there isnt time to write it all down! Best thing is to read and study
I think there are some parallels between teaching and ministry. Sometimes people do need a little education first, but the most important parallel is the people skills.
Getting to read people, to know when they are having difficulties, to know when they are attentive, to see it when they are on a journey in their mind off to some foreign place (bad in teaching, good at times in ministry). Facial expressions, body language, how the human mind and psyche adapt and change and indicate when things are happening - all very important when dealing with people and absolutely necessary in teaching, counselling and ministry.
As you have said - teaching is listen to me, ministry is listen to you, which is a very good way to put it. Often the term I will used is listen to God within, that part of deity that speaks to a persons mind, heart and soul (or maybe essence), which tells the truth, guides and inspires if only we learn to listen and communicate with it. Ephesians is good, but it doesn't mention the 'God within' that we can hear if only we know how to listen.
Paul's letters to Timothy also speaks of ministry and of teaching and of the close bond between the two. The letters have aged a little and evidence mans dominion of society in the past, but there is much in these letters that talks of the role of ministry and of teaching and of how a life should be lived in order to become a godly person.
"Ephesians is good, but it doesn't mention the 'God within' that we can hear if only we know how to listen."
That bit inside each of us that tells us what is moral, ethical and good.
no, silly! The heavy type.
You say Ephesians doesn't mention the god within. What do you mean, "it doesnt mention"?
Like a train time-table doesnt mention trains?
It may simply be my reading of it, my misinterpretations. But I don't feel this is mentioned in Ephesians I.
It names the five types of spiritual guide (ministry gifts) but there is much more guidance in Timothy about the roles and duties and the type of people required for ministry.
In Genesis, God created Adam from dust and breathed life into him. This breathe of God is within us all, the God within, Jiminy Cricket, conscience. I feel that is an important part of each one of us and it helps us draw closer to God.