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Today's address by Jennie, our Lay Leader - "What could possibly go right?" is set against a backdrop of uncertainty: - melancholy, following hard upon the death of Queen Elizabeth 11, and the possibilities for hope and renewal that a new era might bring - marked by the crowning of King Charles 111. It's about how attitudes will shape us emotionally and spiritually in these uncertain times. This will influence the paths we choose to tread. Will our choices be grounded in pessimism: "What could possibly go wrong?" or optimism: "What could possibly go right?" Which choice we make will shape our actions - as individuals and as a church; as communities and as a nation. Listen on!

Miranda's address "Turn and face the strange" begins with her reading from "My Commitments to Myself" by UUA minister, Rev. Laura Mancuso - "Taking care of oneself in order to maintain the capacity to help others." This reading can be found at the following link:  https://www.uua.org/worship/words/meditation/my-commitments-myself.
Miranda asks a question: "Were you and I to have the courage to live our lives beyond our comfort zones, what would this other you/me - look like...sound like...feel like"? "What might we still become were we to begin to live our lives - more courageously, beyond our comfort zones?
With the advent of new leadership and new possibilities for living outside the leafy green comfort zone of our Church Community, Miranda's question becomes a challenge: "It's only as we stretch ourselves or 'turn and face the strange' that we can transform into better versions of ourselves" - as individuals - as a Church community. And "How might we achieve this?" Miranda suggests three steps…. Listen on for much, much more!

On Love

Rather than the classic, theological, CS Lewis-type analysis of The Four Loves - or is it six? - that focus on Christian (Agape) Love, Jennie Dyster, our Lay Leader, starts her address on Love by paraphrasing in her own words the classic, 1740 French cautionary tale of "Beauty and the Beast", where there are winners and losers and where values determine outcomes.

We are conditioned to high and hopeful expectations in Love - that there is a perfect someone - somewhere, just for us! - who will satisfy our every need ...our every yearning!
Jennie talks about a messier, more realistic, less predictable, and more interesting Love - with ups and downs, twists and turns, burn-outs, and skids, laughs and tears ... a love that may - or may not - last! Such is the stuff of Life …and of Love?
Jennie closes her address, today with the well-known words of St Paul.

Listen On!

Jennie - our lay leader addresses the identity and function of Unitarianism in the context of declining church attendance and what the future might hold for us and for Unitarianism. Jennie asks an inevitable question - within which there is an implied challenge to any church foolish enough to define itself solely by a socio-political agenda: - 
When our raison d'être as a church has been achieved, - when there is wide social consensus, how might we Unitarians find a new raison d'être? - one that provides more than a spiritual stepping stone for seekers until they find something better.  While greater demands bring greater commitment, we need to do fewer things - better. Listen on to how might use our curiosity, awe and wonder to focus more on healing and building relationships…. deepening connections, exploring identity - thereby redefining spirituality and building our understanding of the Individual and Collective Soul in ways that might challenge and re-energise us all into the future?

In Praise of Shadows

Today, Nicholas awakens us to the magic of shadows - "where darkness and light intermingle, giving depth, subtlety, understanding", - deeper insights into ourselves, - others and the world around us. We've become addicted to light. Light is so often used metaphorically - to "cast", "shed", or "throw light on" - the dark, the "shadowy", - a light of scrutiny, of understanding, and insight. This predisposes us to see shadows as dark, negative, evil. But light is only made possible by the magic of shadows: the light and shade that shapes (Japanese) gardens, - that shapes our Art, our Music and our lives.
Listen on for more of Nicholas's insights in his beautiful encomium "In Praise of Shadows". -It's not to be missed!

Why Pantheism?

Today, Jennie asks the question - Why Pantheism? She explains what Pantheism is and what Pantheists believe. In doing so, Jennie identifies the common threads of our Seven Unitarian Universalist Principles and Pantheism that bind them so seamlessly together.

”Masking”

The title of our member, Aaron Poeze's address today is "Masking". With only a passing reference to "masking up" for more contagious Covid B variants, Aaron quickly tackles the real theme of today's address: the "masking" we do to gain social acceptance from our groups, where we feel compelled to "mask" our true selves - to belong. The problem with "masking" is that we become a caricature of ourselves, dissociated from our groups - and ourselves - to quote Donald Winnicott "not entirely present", our true potential - "locked up".
Aaron reminds us of our first three Universalist Principles to suggest what changes are needed to enable us to be true to ourselves and unlock our full potential.

In her address today, Jennie Dyster, our Lay Leader confesses to a degree of duplicity in its title - "R and R" - not "Rest and Recreation" but "Rights and Responsibilities".
Today Jennie focuses on Human Rights in Australia and considers whether Australians need a Bill of Rights. Or does the English Common Law system we've inherited - the law made by our Judges and Australian parliaments provide sufficient protection against violations of our Human Rights?

Wintering

Nicholas commences this service today by giving thanks for the blessings of winter. In an address he titled, "Wintering", Nicholas uses Michael Leunig's Vasco Pyjama to raise some "existential" questions for Mr Curly - and for us on this cold, wet Sunday morning: -
- What is worth doing?
- What is worth having?
It is an age-old, linked question and Nicholas points us towards an answer by quoting Heraclitus: -
"Applicants for wisdom - do what I have done. Enquire within!"
...and Jesus: - "The Kingdom is within You".
Nicholas's winter challenge for us all is that these are the questions...issues... we must resolve for ourselves. And whenever winter depression or despair is driven by the catalyst of our circumstances, Nicholas suggests some strategies we might use. And we end where we started today's exploration of "wintering" - with thanksgiving!

Islam Dreaming

Jennie's address today, "Islam Dreaming" coincides with NAIDOC Week, 2022. She describes the historic connections between Islam and the northern, coastal Aboriginal nations that extend back to the arrival in the 1600's of Islamic Macassan Trepang (Beche-de-mare) fishermen from South Sulawesi, Indonesia, to our northern shores - almost two centuries before European settlement and the influence of Christian missionaries. Jennie uses this historical context to explain the recent upsurge in conversions of aboriginal people to Islam. Listen on for Jennie's informative address on a largely ignored aspect of our history.

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