Thank you for visiting Permission to Speak. 

Permission to Speak is the inclusive and progressive ministry of retired minister, John Churcher. It is an exploration of an emerging new consciousness and understanding of spirituality freed from the old ideas of an exclusive supernatural 'god Being' somewhere 'out there'.

Please do not take what I say as the only truth. It is the truth that makes sense to me. All I am doing in my preaching is sharing with you my faith journey and my understandings today. What I invite you to do is engage with what I say but then judge it against your own experiences and understandings. And having judged my explanations of my God experiences, make up your own mind. If it makes sense to you, then keep working it through so that it becomes more of your experience. If you disagree, again keep working it through to see why you disagree. I do not want to simply create clones of my explanations of my sacred experiences. What I do encourage is that we each take responsibility for our own faith journeys and not depend too much upon the people with permission to preach.

Although the starting point is that Jesus of Nazareth is a gateway into the sacred, Permission to Speak respects and honours those who have found other gateways. The past in different faith traditions is important in understanding how we have arrived at the present, but Permission to Speak is more concerned with living in today's world than with tradition. 

We each pass this way once and we have responsibilities to ourselves, to our families, to our neighbours [no matter who or where they are] and to the planet, our only and shared home in a vast and developing universe.

However, there is a sacred bond that unites us all and Permission to Speak explores that which may be 'sacred' today. In the experiences of an increasing number of people, sacred has become all that needs to be preserved and encouraged to make humanity whole.

Change will happen but it will not be through words of traditional belief. It will come through people of good will acting together to challenge injustice and inequality, seeking a wholeness for both this planet and all humanity. The future of religion cannot be guaranteed but unless there is compassion and serving those in need then religion in an increasingly secular world will become little more than a relic of the past, a museum piece.

I relate closely with the following values of the C3 Community in Spring Lake, Michigan as a guide and a challenge to define and to live a good life.

We value and celebrate:

  • COMMON HUMANITY. We respect the dignity and worth of every individual.
  • DIVERSITY. We affirm all people and embrace all genders, sexual orientations, and ethnicities.
  • OPEN INQUIRY. We pursue the free exchange of ideas, explore the lessons of science, philosophy, and the creative arts, and undertake independent spiritual journeys.
  • COMPASSIONATE ACTION. We strive to safeguard and extend human rights, peace, and social justice, locally and globally, as individuals and jointly with others.
  • ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY. We care for our Earth home with mindfulness and responsibility for ourselves and for future generations.
  • WELL-BEING. We promote wholeness and wellness of mind, body, and spirit, recognizing our self responsibility, inter-relatedness, and interdependence.

John Churcher

September 2015