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New year, new beginning

This past year has seen Chris Phillips develop a new digital book club: Progressive Pages.

Out of a desire to create ‘a space for people to dig deeper into Christianity’, Chris thought a book club could be a perfect way for people to engage in theological conversations. A member of St Michael’s Uniting, in the CBD, Chris also studies at Pilgrim Theological College alongside their personal work commitments. After many conversations with curious individuals, Chris realised that while people were interested in what they were studying at Pilgrim, the likelihood of them attending a theological college was slim to none. And so, the hope of a digital book club was born.

By meeting together weekly and offering a space for people to engage in conversation between sessions, Chris embarked on a journey of what could potentially be a ‘spiritual home’ for some people. Progressive Pages offers people a chance to engage theological concepts in a safe and supportive group, helping people wrestle with complex ideas and ask questions they have yet to explore. Progressive Pages has given ‘people an opportunity to find their happy place and their home if Sunday morning is not their thing—something deeper and more personal.’

In 2023, Progressive Pages explored Robyn Whitaker’s new book, ‘Even the Devil Quotes Scripture’, and with the positive feedback of community members, Chris hopes to explore three books across 2024:
* ‘The Church as Salt’, by Sally Douglas. (Starting beginning of February)
* ‘Gondwana Theology’, by Garry Worete Deverell  (starting late July)
* ‘My Body is not a Prayer Request’, by Amy Kenny (starting mid September)

If you wish to engage any of these titles, find likeminded faith explorers, or are looking for a community to join, feel free to email Chris at [email protected].

Perhaps you find yourself, like Chris, with a new idea but not sure where to begin? Chris suggests that the first step in exploring new possibilities is by finding someone to partner with. This way you can help keep each other accountable, by:
* Helping one another see possible blind spots.
* Remind each other of what your goal for the community is.
* Motivate each other when things don’t go to plan … because in experimental ministries, things not going to plan is the plan – it is all about taking calculated risks.

Chris was able to partner with the Synod’s Younger Generations team to get Progressive Pages off the ground. If you would like know more about what this could look like for you, please get in touch with Kelly: [email protected]

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