Common Ground NZ Conference 2016

Faith as Resistance to Ego, Orthodoxy and Empire

6 – 8 May 2016
St Pauls Church  89 Tennyson Street Napier

Speakers include:
Rev Dr Robin Meyers
Jo Randerson —  Dr Robert Myles   —  Rev David Clark MP

Following the success of a first Progressive Spirituality Conference ‘Beyond the Borders’, in Auckland, August 2014, Hawke’s Bay progressive churches invite you to a sequel: ‘Common Ground’.

Come again or for the first time to explore how educated and socially committed people can continue to follow a Christian way.
All are welcome: no inner circle, no favoured denomination.

Let us take a fresh look at Faith as Resistance. To build ‘Common Ground’ and act to bring about a better life for all creation, we must resist running our automatic programmes for personal happiness or salvation (ego), resist the reduction of faith to adhering in a set of defined beliefs (orthodoxy), and be prepared to resist the status quo of political systems that lack love and compassion for all beyond the boundaries of culture and religions.

Let our resistance be one of love!


Robin MeyersRobin Meyers is our Keynote Speaker

Robin is minister of Mayflower Congregational UCC Church in Oklahoma City and teaches in the Philosophy Department of Oklahoma City University.

Robin offers a non-literal, non-dogmatic approach to Christianity, and his political views are neither left nor right, but rather subversive for the cause of love.

He seeks to build, not a collection of “believers”, but a Beloved Community devoted to embodying peace and justice in a broken world

Jo Randerson is a playwright and performer, the director of Barbarian Theatre Company which uses performance to  frame  complex questions and express radical politics. Her contributions promise to be fierce, funny and counter-cultural.

Dr Robert Myles is Lecturer in Theological and Religious Studies at the University of Auckland. A non-believer with a deep respect for religion, his research focuses on the convergences between the Bible, politics and culture with a particular interest in radical politics.

Rev David Clark is an ordained Presbyterian minister and, since 2011, MP for Dunedin South. He has served on the Otago Community Trust and worked as a Treasury analyst. He believes he has an understanding of the economic and social levers that can be pulled to achieve meaningful change.


Friday 6th May – Registrations and afternoon tea are from 3pm.
There will be presentations before and after dinner at 6pm. You will be asked to make your choice of Saturday workshops by the   close of the evening session. This will  be at approximately 9pm.

Saturday 7th You are invited to begin the day with centring prayer at 8.45am.

There will be further speaker presentations, a variety of workshops and a panel discussion, as well as breaks for morning/afternoon tea and lunch.

The conference dinner is at 7pm with entertainment in the Asher Hall.

Sunday 8th Dr Meyers will preach at the 10.30am service at St Paul’s and the conference will conclude at lunchtime.


Arrivals by bus or plane Pick-ups and drop off will be available at airport and bus terminus. Please let us know your travel arrangements (see booking form).

Travel by car – all day pay parking is available in Tennyson Street and there is free parking is along the southern end of Marine Parade.


A number of options including special rates will appear on the website by the end of January 2016.


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