Seminary of the 3rd Age is a program conducted by respected theological scholars and leaders, it offers persons young and old, of any faith or no faith, the opportunity to explore and reflect on questions of faith and spirituality relevant in the 21st century.
Each seminar topic in the “seminary of the 3rd age” runs for four weeks taking place on Thursday evenings during the months of March, May, August and October 2020.
Effective Living Centre (26 King William Road, Wayville, SA).
March, May, August, October
Normally run from 7pm– 9.00pm
“Perspectives On Prayer In Transitional Times”
Jonathan is an actively retired Uniting Church minister who continues to draw on insights of the “New Secular Religious Mode” and its practices originating from his time as a member of the Chicago based Order Ecumenical whose aim was the renewal of the church for its mission with the disempowered. He doctoral dissertation on A Theology of Social Transformation was awarded by the Graduate Theologian Union, Berkeley.
His presentation, “Prayer as discerning the Will of God” is a reflection on the dynamics of prayer within a post-modernist world view.
How does one pray when the very idea of a divine power intervening to save after the holocaust seems nonsense to so many?
Jonathan proposes that because nothing can finally destroy the freedom we have as human beings, prayer becomes a way of discerning the “necessary deeds” which we are required to alleviate human suffering and be Christ-like in our daily lives.
Christine Gilbert is a Minister serving in the Uniting Church in Australia currently in placement at St. Andrews by the Sea in Glenelg. She is completing her fourth and final year of Spiritual Direction training and formation at the Living Well Centre in Melbourne as well as being an oblate of the Benedictine Abbey in Jamberoo NSW. Christine enjoys reading, writing, being in nature, and “good” cups of tea.
How might prayer be more integrated into the realities and seasons of our life? Rather than being a wish to escape from harsh realities, how can prayer enable us to be grounded and in touch with what is? With these questions before us, we will begin with a brief exploration of various understandings of prayer, ancient and contemporary, looking for places of resonance that might inform our own approach. Then, we will consider how prayer can nurture balance and interconnectedness with sacred interruptions in every season and throughout our days.
Now retired, Bob is an emeritus lecturer at Australian Lutheran College. His main teaching area is pastoral care and counselling. He has broad experience as parish pastor in Tasmania, New Zealand and Adelaide, as well as school chaplaincy and mental health pastoral counselling. A significant aspect of Bob’s ministry contribution has been through Clinical Pastoral Education. In times past he also co-ordinated the pastoral training of aboriginal pastors throughout the Lutheran Church
I would like to offer an extended introduction on my thoughts and experiences on the topic, then offer a time of open forum/discussion, and conclude by drawing together, if possible, the key learnings and thoughts from the group. My experience has been that when one is enveloped by a ‘dark night of the soul’ experience prayer as communication with ‘God’ becomes a worrisome issue. Very often the most valuable and helpful ‘prayer’ is that of empathic connectedness by or with other people, and the spiritual impact that has on one’s self.
When people ask her what she does for a living, Susan usually tells them she does “stand-up.” It’s easier than telling people she’s a Minister of Religion or a Professional God Botherer and it usually means the conversation continues rather than shutting down. It’s also a little closer to the truth!
How do we pray when God ceases to be an elderly, white-bearded male residing somewhere in “heaven above?” Can we still converse with G_d or are there other ways of being that open us to a broader and deeper relationship that may still be called “prayer?”