Lectures, shows, religion, society,crossover

Unless otherwise noted, events take place in the church of St. Andrew’s on The Terrace, 30 The Terrace, Wellington, New Zealand from 12:15pm to about 1pm

Generally there’s is no charge for admission and we welcome your donations/dana/koha


Upcoming events for 2017

NOTE: Unless otherwise stated, our Lectures will now be on a Thursday starting at the new time of 12:30 and running to 2pm

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.




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


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




27 April 12:30 -2:00  -  Winton Higgins and 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?


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


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.


The STEM focus of the current tertiary education focus (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) needs to be converted into STEAM by ensuring the arts subjects retain their legitimacy and reach in the tertiary sector. Dr Heidi Thompson, Associate Professor School of English, Film, Theatre and Media will discuss the role of the humanities as a legitimate, necessary subject for study as part of Human Flourishing. 




Thursday June 8 12.30- 14.00 - Seminar follow up.  Details to be advised.




The Courage to Act: July to November 2017


This theme was inspired by the 50 anniversary of Lloyd Geering’s Heresy Trial in 1967 and his courage and the consequences for him in speaking about faith in a new and different way.

We seem to be moving rapidly into a world that is darker and more threatening than any time since the Second World War and believe the time is ripe for a new discussion about the meaning of the courage to act in 2017. (Incidentally October 31 is the 500 anniversary of the day on which Martin Luther posted 95 “theses” on Wittenberg church which precipitated the Protestant Reformation another time of courage and change.)

The lunchtime dates & topics are still to be confirmed but the spring seminar on Courage to Act is provisionally booked to be held on 3 & 4 November




Other events on in Wellington


"Keeping Faith in Politics” Election 2017 Series, which begins next Friday, 31 March at the Wellington Cathedral of St. Paul.


Can we believe in politics


Download the series poster


Seeking the Common Good in a World of Self-Interest
31 March, 6:00pm Refreshments, 6:30pm Lecture
Revd Dr Eleanor Sanderson, (Canon Theologian, Diocese of Wellington)
Venue: Wellington Cathedral of St. Paul's (Thorndon)
Find out more information about this event.




The Least and the Last in a World of Growing Inequality
A Pub-lic Issues Conversation with RNZ Journalist Megan Whelan
27 April, 6:30pm
Venue: JJ Murphy's Pub (Cuba Mall)
- Max Rashbrooke (author of Wealth and New Zealand)
- Eric Crampton (The New Zealand Institute)
- Jon Hartley (World Vision)
Find out more information about this event.


Protecting the Planet in a World of Ecological Crisis
25 May, 7:00pm Refreshments, 7:30pm Roundtable discussion
Venue: The St John's Centre, (Corner of Willis and Dixon Streets - CBD)
- Jonathan Boston (Victoria University of Wellington, IGPS)
- Catherine Iorns (Victoria University of Wellington Law and 365 Aotearoa)
Find out more information about this event.


Liberation and Restoration in a World of Mass Incarceration
29 June, 7:00pm Refreshments, 7:30pm Panel discussion
Venue: Central Baptist Church (Boulcott Street - CBD)
- Chris Marshall (Victoria University of Wellington, Restorative Justice Programme)
- Tom Noakes-Duncan (Victoria University of Wellington, Restorative Justice Programme)
Find out more information about this event.


Welcoming Strangers in a World of Global Migration
27 July, more details soon


Honest Leadership in a Post-Truth World
A Hustings Event with MP's from the Major Parties
31 August, 6:00pm Panel discussion
Venue: St. Andrews on the Terrace (30 The Terrace - CBD)
Members and Ministers of Parliament TBA
Find out more information about this.






There is a free public lecture with Amy Burnett on the 5th April, 7 pm St John's in The City. It is part of marking the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation and is a collaboration with the University of Otago. The lecture title is:Toleration and Dissent: The Reformation and the Crisis of Authority 7.00pm at St John’s in the City, in the Church building.




Facebook Event




2017 04 05 Toleration and Dissent 




Also part of the Reformation commemorations, I can give advanced notice of a public lecture by Wolfgang Huber on theme “The Spirit of the Reformation and the Future of the Market Economy.”  It is on the evening of the 11th May St John’s in the City (Willis Street) With a soft start at 6:00 for refreshments. The lecture will follow at 6:30pm.