“Be angry but sin not” has been an ongoing challenge throughout my life. While anger has given me incredible energy to address some situations, it has also cost me an inner calm and considered judgement. Earlier in my life, my relationships suffered as I chose to respond to hurts and frustrations with a fighting spirit. My journey of faith has enabled me to find alternative, more wholesome ways to respond. I am still angry, but I am learning to respond without adding further hurt to the broken world around me.
I am one of eight children born into a Christian family in the 1950s. I left my regional home town to go to Teachers College in Brisbane in the late 1960s. I enjoyed my time teaching in outback Queensland before marrying Neil and heading overseas to live in Christian community for a few years. On our return to Australia, I had opportunities to tutor aboriginal students, teach in a private business college and other secondary schools as well as live in a residential drug rehabilitation centre run by Teen Challenge. Neil and I have 4 adult children and 6 grandchildren.
Speaker: Dr David Benson (BAppSci.HMS-Ed; MA-Theology; PhD-Practical Theology).
As a former high school teacher, youth worker and pastor, Dave is passionate about pluralistic dialogue and the public expression of Christian faith in a post-Christendom context, toward the flourishing of all.
Based in Brisbane, he lectures at Malyon College in the areas of evangelism, apologetics, worldviews, faith–work integration, and practical theology, as well as supporting Christian Heritage College’s Millis Institute for Liberal Arts, in the field of philosophy. Dave is also the director of Traverse (the Malyon centre for bridging church and culture), and co‑founder with his wife, Nikki, of the intentional Christian community, Christ’s Pieces. His 2016 Ph.D project, entitled ‘Schools, Scripture and Secularisation,’ considers the telos of competing curricular visions and the place of Sacred Texts in Secular Education.
Never before have Aussies spent so many years being ‘schooled’. So many opportunities to learn, and avenues to be equipped for a bright new future. And yet, what of the dark side to the knowledge project? Beyond the explicit curriculum of the scholar-academic, what do the hidden and null curriculum teach about what we as a society really value? How are we formed and deformed in our ascent to secure a view of the world from above? In this embodied narrative theological exploration, Dr. David Benson reflects on his schooling odyssey and nearly two decades invested in Higher Education. Learning looks radically different—both more luminous and ludicrous than we ever imagined—when set against the biblical story of Eden’s Tree, Babel’s Tower, and Pentecost’s living Temple.
Speaker: Sharne Winter-Simat
Sharne married cross-culturally 17 years ago and carries an enduring sense of home in both hemispheres. Along with her husband and two young children, Sharne divides her time between Minneapolis, USA and Brisbane, Australia. She is a writer and educator specializing in dance and mental/emotional health.
This personal story of a life lived across the seas is a journey of accepting the tension between two places of belonging. Are we able to Be truly present in one home even while we are Longing for another? And how does our theological framework support our sense of home for the long haul?