Speaker: Dave Andrews
Dave, his wife Ange, and their family, have lived and worked in intentional communities with marginalised groups of people in Australia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India and Nepal and for more than forty years.
Dave is particularly interested in intentional community and the dynamics of personal and social transformation. He is author of many books and articles, including Not Religion, But Love, Building A Better World’, Down Under – In-Depth Community Work, and Living Community (see http://www.daveandrews.com.au).
Dave and Ange and their friends started Aashiana, Sahara, Sharan and Sahasee — four well-known community organisations working with slum dwellers, sex workers, drug addicts, and people with HIV/AIDS in India; and they are currently a part of the Waiters Union, an inner city community network working alongside Aborigines, refugees and people with disabilities in Australia (see http://www.watersunion.org).
Dave is a founder of the Waiters Union, a lecturer in community work at CHC, a trainer for the Praxis Community Cooperative, and an elder emeritus for Servants to Asia’s Urban Poor.
At my best, I can decide to lock myself in an empty house, to fast and pray for a month, vowing not to come out until I have sorted through all my thoughts and all my feelings to make sure that my actions will be in alignment with God’s will for my life. But at my worst, I can emerge from my suburban hermitage a more intense, more intent, more focused, more committed, ‘self‑righteous bastard’ ready to rip into any unsuspecting people I encounter about their ‘inexcusable unrighteousness’. In this talk I’d like to share what I have learnt about the delights of ‘righteousness’ and the dangers of ‘self‑righteousness’.
Speaker: John Steward
John Steward gained his PhD from Adelaide University in 1972, after completing his undergraduate and honors degrees in Agriculture.
He then completed studies in Divinity (BD Hons) at the Melbourne College of Divinity.
In Indonesia from 1974 to 1978 John was a lecturer in theology, agriculture and community development in East Java; joining World Vision in Jakarta in 1979 to initiate a Leadership training program for village development motivators.
Then, for 13 years he facilitated adult learning processes for indigenous community workers from over 50 countries, while a manager with World Vision in Melbourne.
In 1997-8 he was involved in the post-genocide reconstruction in Rwanda. For the next 9 years he returned to Rwanda every six months to mentor Rwandese peace and development workers. He heard the stories of change and made many friends.
From 2009-2011 John was mentor in Australia of a project to develop Vanishing Point, an on-line peace and conflict curriculum for secondary students, using stories of Rwandans who have healed relations since 1994.
Since 2012 his focus was on writing and his book on healing and forgiveness after conflict, which was published by Langham Global in 2015. From Genocide to Generosity brings alive stories of healing and hope after trauma.
In Australia John is a spiritual director with the Living Well Centre in Malvern, and with Wellspring, Ashburton.
Before going to Rwanda I had believed in, preached about and lectured on forgiveness. I had also requested it and experienced it, and yet I never really understood it.
The offer of forgiveness always has a context and it was only in my encounters with Rwandans that clear light came. They are my mentors, especially the widows.
Here’s the session from last October; “Profaning the Sacrament: Bread and the Industrial Food System” by Joshua Newington. Many thanks to Theo Skordilis for recording, and then putting these presentations together for us.