A re-think on the 2021 SOFiA Conference
The SOFiA Management Committee had originally envisaged a one-day conference in Brisbane along the lines of previous years to be held on June 5, 2021 on the theme of the Uluru Statement From the Heart.
For a number of reasons we have changed tack on this: uncertainty about holding events in an era of COVID; loss of our former venue at the Art Gallery (formerly free for non-profit groups, now expensive fees required); advancing age and diminishing energy levels of some of our stalwart organisers; and some social and political confusion/lack of action on the topic of the Statement from the Heart. In terms of this topic, the Committee feels we may have ‘missed the boat’ for the time being. It will hopefully become more relevant once more when real (political) action does take place in the future.
In place of the original Conference plan, therefore, we would like to announce…
Truth-telling: a two-part exploration
- Part 1: On Saturday June 19, 10am-12pm, we will hold our annual AGM online, beginning with a guest speaker discussing truth-telling about Indigenous experience and history.
- Part 2: Over Monday to Thursday, October 18-23, we will engage in a sojourn to Queensland’s beautiful Bunya Mountains (approx. 3 hrs west of Brisbane). The Bunyas are a place of special significance for First Nations people from Queensland and northern NSW. We hope to organise input from the local Murri Rangers there and include a day trip to the Ration Shed Museum at Cherbourg. There will also be plenty of time for informal discussion, bushwalking on the rainforest tracks and appreciation of the abundant local flora and fauna.
At this stage we are seeking expressions of interest for this 3-night residential odyssey. We intend to firm up accommodation bookings in early August. Please let us know by email if you are a possible starter for this event. No commitment will be required until August at least.
A new home
After some 22 years, the very first established SOFiA group in Australia is moving. For all that time the Brookfield Group has met at The Old Friary, a spirituality centre run by the Anglican Diocese of Brisbane. A recap of the group’s history at the venue is available on our website. Current group coordinator Helen Mason advises that their new venue will be the meeting centre at St Thomas' Anglican Church, corner of Jephson & High Streets in Toowong, and the group will henceforth be known as the Brisbane West SOFiA Discussion Group. They’d be very happy to have you come along if ever you’re able, on the first Sunday of each month (excluding January) at 7.30pm.
March Brisbane event
The Brisbane CBD Group invites anyone interested to meet them at the GOMA exhibition Unfinished Business: The Art of Gordon Bennett (which features 200 artworks ranging from installation and sculptural assemblage to painting, drawing, video and ceramics) for a guided tour followed by discussion.
Date: Sunday, March 21
Meet at GOMA at 10.30am
RSVP: Dallas Elvery (Ph. 0438 824 378) by March 14
Melbourne SOFiA Group
The Melbourne Group has monthly online lecture/discussions on Saturdays, 2.30pm to 4.30pm.
All welcome - please email David Miller for each month’s Zoom link.
27 February – “The Valentinian Gnostic Heresy” – David Miller
27 March – “Don Cupitt’s Non-Realist Philosophy” – Jakob Andrade.
24 April – “Pharaoh Akhenaten: The First Monotheist?” – Jennifer Jaeger.
22 May – “Tertullian’s Paradox: I believe because it is absurd” – Dr. Neville Buch.
26 June – “The Urge to Merge: Spirituality and Sexuality” – Dr. Paul Tonson.