July - November - Human  Courage: The courage to Act

courage words map 


Friday 3 November 7pm - Courage in speaking out

Cost: Friday night only $10 for 1 person $14 for 2.   Friday night AND Saturday: $30 waged, $20 unwaged, $15 Student

Excerpts form the Geering Heresy trial - The Last Western Heretic

Programme: (unrecorded as Fri night was in the hall)

6:30 Registrations open, Tea & Coffee available

7:00 Welcome & Introduction

7:20 Excerpt from The Last Western Heretic

7:40 Lloyd's reflections Being tried - A testing of courage

8:00 Discussion

8:15 Hal Taussig reflections Being accused - A testing of courage

8:35 Discussion

9:00 End


Lloyd Geering v2Professor Sir Lloyd Geering was born in Canterbury in 1918 and educated in Otago. He holds Honours degrees in Mathematics and Old Testament Language and Literature. Ordained as a Presbyterian minister, he served in Kurow, Dunedin and Wellington. He held Chairs of Old Testament Studies at theological colleges in Brisbane and Dunedin before being appointed as the foundation Professor of Religious Studies at Victoria University of Wellington. From this he retired in 1984. The University of Otago awarded him an Honorary D.D. in 1976 and he received a C.B.E. in the 1987 New Year Honours, PCNZM in 2001 and ONZ in 2007. His major publications include “God in the New World” (1968), “Resurrection - a Symbol of Hope” (1971), “Faith’s New Age” (1980), “In the World Today” (1988), “Tomorrow’s God” (1994), “The World to Come” (1999), ‘Christianity without God’ (2002), ‘Wrestling with God’ (2006), ‘Coming back to Earth’ (2009), ‘Such is Life!’ (2010), 'From the Big Bang to God' (2013), 'Reimagining God: The Faith Journey of a Modern Heretic’, (2014), ‘On Me Bike: Cycling round New Zealand 80 years ago (2015), ‘Portholes to the Past: Reflections on the early 20th century (2016).


Hal TaussigProfessor Hal Taussig is a post-modern theologian and pastor. He celebrates the vitality of pluralistic Catholic and Protestant communities in North America, and works energetically to expand their spiritual and intellectual reaches. His professorial career has featured experimental and humor-filled masters and Ph.D. level instruction in New Testament and early Christianity for 17 years at the Union Theological Seminary in New York City and more than a decade in Roman Catholic colleges and universities as Professor of Bible.
Of his 14 books, the most recent are A New New Testament: A 21st Century Bible Combining Traditional and Newly Discovered Texts; Re-Reading the Gospel of Mark Amidst Loss and Trauma; A New Spiritual Home: Progressive Christianity at the Grass Roots; and In the Beginning Was the Meal: Social Experimentation and Early Christian Identity. While a professor, he co-pastored two long-term churches that rose from the ashes and displayed young congregation members full of social moxy, multi-cultural hilarity, and art-filled innovative worship. He is currently the co-chair of Westar Institute’s Christianity Seminar that is re-writing history of early Christianity, a member of Westar’s Board of Directors, Board Chair of the Tanho Center (on the study of extra-canonical texts), and on the steering committee of the national Society of Biblical Literature’s Seminar on Meals in the Greco-Roman World. Ordained a United Methodist, he currently has an episcopal appointment as a consultant for churches in decline.


Saturday 9:30 am - 3:00pm - Courage to Act

Programme: (Audio of the Morning session can be heard HERE)

9:00 Registrations open, Tea & Coffee available

9:15 Welcome & Introductions - Rev Dr Susan Jones (Click HERE to listen)

9:30 Hal Taussig The New Testament, an exercise in academic courage (Click HERE to listen)

10:10 Introduction/Integration from last night to today (Click HERE to listen)

10:20 Morning Tea

10:50 Dr Elizabeth (Loo) Connor (Click HERE to Listen

11:20 Discussion

11:40 Dr Rosalind McIntosh (Click HERE to listen)

12:10 Discussion

12;30 Lunch in the Hall

1:30 The Song Snatchers begin in the hall and Pied Piper us into the church

        (Audio of the complete afternoon session can be heard HERE)

1:50 Rev Dr Susan Jones recaps from the morning and introduces afternoon speakers (Click HERE to listen)

2:00 Guy Ryan and young social entrepreneurs (Click HERE to listen)

2:30 Scotty Reeve on Social Entrepreneurship in Action (Click HERE to listen)

3:30 Panel Discussion (Elizabeth, Rosalind, Guy and Ryan with Susan as MC) (Click HERE to listen)


Elizabeth Connor

Elizabeth (Loo) Connor - Bio

When Elizabeth (Loo) Connor was fourteen she had a dream of starting a renaissance that would reunite science, spirituality and the arts and spread across the world reconciling conflicts. Twenty years later, her plan is roughly the same.

Elizabeth is a science communicator by profession. She runs The KinShip, a small Wellington-based consultancy, which uses storytelling and other creative tools to help scientists, council staff and others to share their knowledge and collaborate across sectors and communities. Her projects have included Magnificent Science Variety Shows combining science with dance, theatre and music, training workshops for regional council staff, storytelling competitions for scientists, reports, podcasts and publications.

Having grown up in a family that meditates and draws inspiration from spiritual traditions around the world, she has always felt compelled to discover common ground between world views, religions and science. After many years of dreaming she has finally started an experiment along these lines. It's called notChurch - a Sunday gathering in her garage with the aim of discovering new forms and language for spirituality in our time.

Elizabeth has a Masters in Science Communication from Imperial College in London and an Honours degree in Physics and Maths from Victoria University of Wellington. Her mentor was the late great kiwi scientist, Sir Paul Callaghan, who has been a great inspiration and kicked off her career.



Rosalind McIntoshRev Rosalind Jiko McIntosh - Bio:

PhD (Univ. of Cambridge, UK)
Zen Peacemakers Aotearoa

Rosalind Jiko has recently returned to live in New Zealand after 20 years in the US. There she was a monastic for 10 years before serving in social action as an ordained interfaith Zen Peacemaker. Previously she was a biological and medical researcher for 35 years after completing doctoral studies in Biological Physics at the University of Cambridge, England. She became a Professorial Medical Researcher at the University of Otago contributing internationally in areas of complex biological system modelling and neurophysiology. Currently she is Officer for Sustainability for the Wellington Branch of NZ UN Association and is active in child poverty, supporting the aged and in teaching meditation life skills.


GuyRyan Pic PRINT

 Guy Ryan - Bio:

CEO & Founder : Inspiring Stories
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/guy-ryan/

Guy is a entrepreneur, leader and speaker.
He was awarded Young New Zealander of the Year in 2015, and in the same year was invited to speak at the Social Enterprise World Forum alongside Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus. He has served on boards and strategic groups advising government and business, and has spoken internationally and at home to more than 25,000 people.

From humble beginnings growing up in one of the most rural parts of New Zealand, Guy has built numerous ventures from scratch, both for-profit and charitable, and is particularly passionate about social enterprise as a means to help solve the complex and urgent challenges our world faces.

As the Founder and Chief Executive of Inspiring Stories, he’s built an impressive track record of programmes and partnerships that have now supported more than 6,000 young New Zealanders to unleash their potential. These include major national events (Festival for the Future) to accelerator programmes (Live the Dream), and most recently the commercial ventures that have enabled Inspiring Stories to transition from a charity to a social enterprise with its recruitment agency (Millennials) and speaker bureau (Inspiring Speakers) ventures.

● Represented NZ on IVLP Scholarship with entrepreneurs & leaders from 20+ countries (2016)
● Young New Zealander of the Year Award (2015)
● Panelist at the 2015 Social Enterprise World Forum alongside Mohammad Yunus
● Finalist in the NZ Innovator Awards (2015), Most Inspiring Person
● NZ Govt invested $500k to scale Inspiring Stories’ programmes 2015–17

● The millennial mindset, attracting and developing talent
● Purpose-driven business, social entrepreneurship and enterprise
● Creativity, technology and education
● Leadership and culture

● BCom (Marketing)
● BCApSc (Design)
● MSciComm (Filmmaking)


scott reeveScottie Reeve - Bio:

Scottie leads Blueprint Church in Wellington, New Zealand with his wife Anna. Prior to this they spent 9 years working with young people through Zeal, a nationwide creative arts trust.

Scottie is an ordained Deacon in the Anglican Church and a Social Entrepreneur, having launched two espresso bars in downtown Wellington which exist for the purpose of employing young people into their first jobs.

Scottie speaks regularly to faith-based and mainstream audiences around New Zealand. In his spare time, Anna and Scottie have enjoyed travelling widely to places such as India, Ethiopia, Palestine and Turkey

 Scottie’s book 21 Elephants

“Scottie Reeve is an intelligent, energetic, creative and extraordinarily gifted leader and social entrepreneur, exactly the kind of spiritually-alive person I want to be influenced and inspired by.” BRIAN D. MCLAREN, Author • Speaker • Activist

After coming to faith in the middle-class northern suburbs of Wellington, New Zealand, a chance meeting found Scottie Reeve exposed to another side of living in the city he had known his whole life. Immersed in stories of addiction, violence and pain, Scottie found that his faith wasn’t big enough for the questions before him.

Questions like: What if Jesus didn’t call us to just a more comfortable, popular and successful life? What if the promises of upward mobility and accumulation actually stand at odds with the way he invited us to? What if we’ve just used Christ to just get what we wanted all along anyway?

Twenty-One Elephants is about what we all know to be true, but are too scared to admit. It’s about a whole-of-life spirituality that messes with our relationships, reputation, families, money and living situations. It’s about the darkness of our world and the darkness within. It’s about the joy and the grief of embracing the reckless way of Jesus.




Shock Capitalism or Common Wealth?

Free, Equal, Earthcaring and Mutual : Rebalancing Society

Martin Large Portrait 170627Precis: There is no wealth but life,” said John Ruskin, offering hope. However, shock capitalism and shock politics are attacking our planet, businesses, government, schools, health and human security. Shocks like Trump or Brexit are opportunities for the corporatocracy to profit from global warming, insecurity, deregulation, taking away human rights, tax cuts and wealth transfer from poor to rich, public to private. Society is out of balance.

Martin Large will argue that saying ‘No’ is not enough, though it's a vital first step. In fact, the social future is breaking out everywhere in social business, communities and government, but it’s not evenly distributed. A ‘common wealth’ society is emerging. Pushing back the toxic mix of shock capitalism and politics means rebalancing society as a three legged stool, of public (state), private (business) and plural (civil society, community, culture) with each sector contributing its strengths.

Solutions? Cultural renewal enables every human to develop and maintain their potential in freedom-and contribute. How can the common wealth of land, capital and natural resources be captured for the community and protected from the market through trusteeship? What does it mean to be a citizen? How do innovations like community supported agriculture help develop a circular, mutual, regenerative economy that respects the earth?

Bio: Martin Large is on a learning and lecture tour inquiring into ‘common wealth’ community initiatives, civic projects and social businesses. Father of four children, Quaker, student of Rudolf Steiner’s education and social thinking, former academic, publisher with Hawthorn Press, he is a director of Stroud (UK) Common Wealth Ltd which enables co-op, cultural and social businesses e.g. community land trusts. Author of Social Ecology (1981); Set Free Childhood (2002); Futures that Work (2003), Common Wealth (2010)

‘What society do we want and how do we get there?’ are burning questions
we all face, if we are to leave a more equal, free, prosperous and earthcaring world for our grandchildren. Its up to all of us, as there is no wealth but life. I look forward to sharing burning questions, people’s ‘leadings’ from the social future they see emerging. ‘ ML  

Link to a review of Martin's recent book Common Wealth: Free, Equal, Mutual and Sustainable Society (2010)

More can be read on his blog

Click HERE to listen to the lecture


The courageous society and personalcourage: Speaking truth to power and acting truthfully to yourself

Paul Gibson, recent Disability Rights Commissioner

Paul GibsonPrecis: Throughout my life as a disabled person, and in particular when I was Disability Rights Commissioner, I was privileged to hear the courageously shared stories, celebrations, and challenges of many disabled and otherwise marginilised people.

When taking these experiences to a strategic level, there was empathy, but not the corresponding level of courage from decision makers to act and courageously build a fairer, more inclusive society. I will share some personal reflections, and attempt to emulate the courage of the story tellers who have inspired me.

Bio: Paul Gibson was the Disability Rights Commissioner for the Human Rights Commission from 2011-2017. He is a former president of the Disabled People's Assembly and was involved in the development of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (CRPD).

Paul is partially blind and uses Braille and assistive technology. He has 20 years of experience in the health and disability sector including working for Capital Coast District Health Board as a senior disability advisor.

Click HERE to listen to the lecture.





Bio: Mikaia was born and raised in Tairāwhiti (East Coast). She descends from Ngāti Konohi, Ngāti Ira and Ngāti Porou. As a Kōhanga Reo, Kura Kaupapa Māori and Wharekura graduate Mikaia always knew that going to university was going to be part of her future.

Mikaia successfully completed a Bachelor of Arts with Honours majoring in Māori Studies at Victoria University. She is passionate about Te Reo Māori, language revitalisation, kaupapa Māori research and Kapa Haka (Māori Performing Arts). Kapa Haka has had a huge influence on her life because it has helped her actively use te reo Māori and keeps her connected to her whānau, hapū and iwi. Mikaia has been performing since she was a young child and is a life member of Te Kapa Haka o Whāngārā Mai Tawhiti who are the current Te Matatini champions.

Today she works for Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori - Māori Language Commission, a Crown entity that was set up under the Māori Language Act 1987 to promote the use of te reo Māori as a living language and as an ordinary means of communication.

Mikaia is a Policy Analyst who is committed to making a difference in the policy space within government to acknowledge and support the use of te reo Māori within the wider Public Sector.


Topic: Cultural reconnection, my involvement with Flourishing Fellowship and the work that I do alongside young rangatahi Māori through my role at Māori Womens Development Inc.

Bio:Christina descends from Te Rarawa, Ngāti Manawa, NgaPuhi, Kuki Airani, and grew up in Glen Innes Auckland. As a teenager she received a First Foundation scholarship, which gave her an opportunity to attend university, receive mentorship, and paid employment with New Zealand Post.

Christina studied Māori Business at Victoria University and was especially interested in Indigenous entrepreneurship and how local solutions can solve many of the problems humanity faces today. Christina is an Alumni of Lifehacks Flourishing Fellowship. The Fellowship enabled her to share her passion for the wellbeing of rangatahi Māori which culminated in Kamp Kaitiaki, a curated experience supporting young wahine Māori to reconnect with their environment and their holistic wellbeing. Today she works for Māori Womens Development Inc, a charitable trust that focuses on supporting Māori women and their whānau to succeed in business through the provision of business and financial capability programmes. Christina is committed to supporting, connecting and enabling rangatahi to unleash their inner entrepreneur in an ever-changing world.


 View the programme HERE

Hear Mikaia Leach HERE

Hear Christina Leef HERE

Read a write up of this lecture HERE


March to June - Human flourishing / July to November the Courage to Act

As part of a review of the Trust during 2016, it was decided that we focus our study activities based on the idea that the trust will “be a catalyst for transforming religion and society to be more compassionate and accepting”.

The plans for the coming year are focussed around 2 weekend conferences and a series of associated lunchtime meetings. In the first half of the year the theme is on Human Flourishing and from July on the Courage to Act. There will be a number of invited speakers and an opportunity for participants to develop and discuss the topics they introduce in greater detail. People who take part will be encouraged to identify and act to develop the elements of flourishing and courage in our lives and communities.


Overview -  Human Flourishing: March to June 2017 

GDP is high and some say we have a rock-star economy but does that translate into human well-being? For many of the things that are truly valuable to our humanity there is a paradox. Often the most valuable elements can be hard to justify with a purely economic viewpoint such as studying the humanities or investment in museums, arts and culture. In contrast those things like love and connection can are generally not subject to the transactional or the money economy no matter how plentiful the money is.


Audio/Video of events are available HERE


12:30 - 2:00pm Thursday June 15

The art & science of human encounter – Theodore Taptiklis

Theodore Taptiklis

Precis: In public life a long slow march has begun away from individualism and towards collaborative group practice. But efforts so far have revealed how ill-prepared we are to truly recognise each other, and to make proper use of each other's talents in our daily interactions. Our work at Human Methods Lab seeks to open us up to the detailed reality of our influences upon one another, and then to help us to channel these influences in helpful and productive directions. This approach values our differences, and starts to bring a new language of understanding and coherence to our shared efforts.

Bio: I’m dedicated to creating and deploying methods for people to recognise, relate to and learn to work strongly with one another.

After 25 years in the artifice of the corporate world, I looked for ways for us to sense and make sense of our differences together.

My search led first to storytelling and listening and by degrees to Enspiral and to Loomio, now my home.

Click HERE to listen to his talk.



Public Good SATRS Logo

Friday evening and Saturday May 5/6 - Human flourishing Seminar

The seminar will be part presentation and part workshop with a series of keynote speakers on the Friday evening.



7pm, Friday evening May 5th : Panel of Speakers
Heidi Thomson The Role of Humanities
Carwyn Jones New Treaty Traditions
Danielle Shanahan Living with Nature
Rev Dr Jim Cunningham
Rev Dr Susan Jones

9am - 3:30pm Saturday May 6th
Experience a creative participatory day of storytelling, workshops, and the power of singing with Julian Raphael.

Speakers: Julian Raphael The Power of Song
John Pennington Public Engagement Projects
Christina Leef Flourishing Fellowship
Paul Bruce Our Climate Declaration
Max Harris The NZ Project (video link)

Conference hosted jointly by St Andrews Trust for the Study of Religion and Society (SATRS) and Public Good



27 April, 12:30 to 2pm - Winton Higgins talks on The Politics of Decency

Winton Higgins 2016 1000x1503The tide of xenophobia, misogyny, prejudice and callousness towards ‘the Other’ is rising. This is the politics of indecency, so how do we create a sea wall that will turn it back? How do we respond forcefully with a politics of decency? What sort of communities and civil society do we want to build? How can we flourish as humans, living in harmony with each other and with nature?


Click HERE to listen to the talk.

Winton has been a Buddhist practitioner since 1987, and a teacher of insight meditation since 1995. He has contributed to the development of a secular Buddhism internationally, and is a senior teacher for Sydney Insight Meditators and Secular Buddhism in Aotearoa New Zealand. He also teaches an annual course at the Aquinas Academy in Sydney on various ethical, social and political topics.

Born in 1941, Winton grew up on a sheep and cattle station in outback NSW, and then in Tennant Creek in central Australia. He was an academic at Macquarie University, Sydney, and the University of Technology Sydney. Cultivating a wide range of intellectual interests, three came to dominate: social-democratic theory and practice, especially the Swedish experience 1928–76; genocide studies, with special reference to the Holocaust; and standardisation.

His most recent book is the novel Rule of Law. His website is at wintonhiggins.org, and much of his dharma writing can be found at secularbuddhism.org.nz/resources/documents/#wh.
– This meeting has been organised jointly by St Andrew’s Trust for the Study of Religion and Society and Wellington’s secular Buddhist community, One Mindful Breath


There are other events happening around Winton's visit as follows:

Rule of Law: Wednesday, April 26, 2017, 12:00pm12:45pm, Unity Books. 
Winton Higgins will be in conversation about his new novel, Rule of Law, with Sir Anand Satyanand, a former lawyer, judge and ombudsman who was the 19th Governor-General of New Zealand and the current Chair of the Commonwealth Foundation

Certitudes and how to move beyond them: Wednesday, April 26, 2017, 7:15pm 9:15p, Wellington Friends Centre, Moncrief Street.
Winton Higgins will encourage those who attend to meditate with an open awareness, and then speak about how responding skilfully to the context in which we all live is key to human flourishing.

Meditation, & being a global citizen – dharma practice and solidarity in a troubling time: Saturday, April 29, 2017, 9:00am 5:00pm, Lyon Room, Home of Compassion, Island Bay.  In this workshop, Winton Higgins will explore what we need to do to retrieve a wider, ethical vision of dharma practice in the face of today’s social, political and environmental challenges.

Information on these events can be found at the One Mindful Breath website events page here: http://onemindfulbreath.org.nz/events/


Thursday 6 April 12.30 – 2.00 - A group of younger people answering the question ‘what needs to happen to create a flourishing NZ?’  Speakers are Morgan Godfery, Laura O'Connell Rapira and Christina Curley

Listen to the panel discussion HERE

Morgan Godfery is a writer and political commentator. He is based in Wellington and specialises in Māori politics. Morgan has worked for the Hon. Parekura Horomia and Rino Tirikatene MP and he edited the Bridget Williams Books set of essays titled The Interregnum which was published last year The book gathered ten of New Zealand’s sharpest emerging thinkers to debate ‘morbid symptoms’ of the current moment, “when the old is dying but the new cannot be born”. Essays address issues from precarious work to climate change, and to discuss what shape change might take, from ‘the politics of love’ to postcapitalism. Although about New Zealand the book anticipated the Trump and Brexit phenomena by discussing whether we are also approaching “that ambiguous moment between society-wide discontent and political change” in New Zealand.
Morgan will talk about The Interregnum - how did where get here, what can we expect - and then focus on what a progressive programme looks like under these conditions.
The Interregnum is available from Bridget Williams Books http://bwb.co.nz/books/interregnum

Laura O'Connell Rapira is Action Station’s Director of Campaigns. She is also the Co-Founder of RockEnrol - a volunteer-run organisation dedicated to building and activating political power for young people. In her work with ActionStation she is dedicated to taking people on a journey that takes them from small beginnings to increasing confidence in citizenship working with political advocacy and campaigning. ActionStation’s current campaigns include building support for improving mental health services, including in Christchurch, and against sexual violence. Often ActionStation works alongside other advocacy organisations to develop and run a campaign. The People’s Commission on Public Broadcasting is an example. ActionStation is working with the Coalition for Better Broadcasting on a crowdfunded and people-powered investigation to make New Zealand's public broadcasting and media work better for New Zealanders. The Commission is accepting submissions and is holding public meetings in centres across New Zealand.
Laura will discuss this journey and how ActionStation’s 2017 campaigns will build towards a vision of a flourishing and fair New Zealand, with courage and compassion at its core. ActionStation believes in putting everyday people and our precious planet first, and building a society and economy that truly serves us. This involves seeing flourishing through the lens of citizenship - a robust democracy powered by informed and connected citizens and guided by accountable leaders.
You can find out more about ActionStation and the current campaigns on the website www.actionstation.org.nz
People’s Commission on Public Broadcasting www.makeourmediabetter.org.nz/


Christina Curley, Social Entrepreneur
Upwards' Founder Christina has an extensive background in digital marketing, online education, and website creation across New Zealand, San Francisco and the UK. However, her biggest interest is in helping young people: from childhood grew an enormous sense of care for others and the seeds for social enterprises Upwards and Savvy Up were sown.

From July - September 2015 Christina was part of the Lifehack Flourishing Fellowship, a cohort of people working in Aotearoa New Zealand to encourage youth wellbeing. Upwards' development was further strengthened by this work, and in November 2015 Upwards was one of three projects through Lifehack's four-week startup accelerator, Te Kōanga.

Lifehack works at the intersection of wellbeing science, design, technology and social entrepreneurship to improve the wellbeing of young people in Aotearoa New Zealand. Lifehack is an initiative from the Prime Minister’s Youth Mental Health Project

More information about Lifehack and Christina’s work on Upwards


Thursday March 9 12.30- 2.00   Susan Jones Introduction to Human Flourishing


Click HERE for all the events in this series