9 January, Candace Parks: “Seven Ways of Seeing.”
16 January, Peter Berry: “Religion and the Environment.”
23 January, Anthony Venn Brown: ” A Spiritual Journey To Authenticity.”
• What happens when the Christian belief system you have built your entire life on causes you to live in denial, reject and even destroy your true self?
• How does one reconcile a belief system that says your homosexuality is an abomination and makes you unacceptable to God and those close to you?
• What price would you pay to be true to yourself?
Anthony’s award winning autobiography ‘A Life of Unlearning – A Journey to Find the Truth’ is in its second print and has assisted people around the world to reconcile the perceived conflict between their faith and sexuality. He is also the co-founder and president of Freedom 2 b[e] ; Australia’s leading network for LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) people from Christian backgrounds.
30 January, Martin Horlacher: “Philosophy with Calvin and Hobbes.”
6 February, Janet Horton: “The sounds of transition”
Wouldn’t it be nice to think that our personal growth comes in a nice steady pattern? But, psychology has shown that it is more like fits and starts. How are you making meaning of your current situation? Are you in transition? We will use music to help us understand what these transitions look and feel like.
13 February, Ginna Hastings: “On Gratitude.”
This talk will be on how gratitude enriches our lives and makes life more meaningful, as well as some discussion about what gratitude entails to be truly helpful.
20 February, Colin Whatmough: “Government for all or only the Established Privileged?”
27 February, Rev. Steve Wilson : “The Science of Love.”
6 March, Rev. Steve Wilson: “Religion beyond Faith.”
13 March, Laurence Gormley: “Arianism and Unitarianism:Are they related?”
( and also the AGM)
20 March, Professor Sir Lloyd Geering ( Guest Speaker ): “How and Why the World’s Leading Scholars Reject the Traditional Claim that Jesus is the Son of God.” ( See biographical detail and venue change here.)
27 March, Ross McLuckie: “People.”
3 April, Jan Tendys: “Unitarianism in Africa.”
10 April, Candace Parks: “What is Greatness?”
What is the difference between being great and having a quality of greatness? Which should we strive for and what does it take?
17 April, Ginna Hastings: “Why do I Choose Unitarianism?”
This talk is as much about my personal journey towards Unitarianism as it is about understanding what the faith means in those who follow it, as I observe it.
24 April, Janet Horton: “Is Religion the Opiate of the People?”
This phrase from Karl Marx is often quoted. But what was Marx really trying to convey? We will look at the content of this quote as well as the context – is Marx sympathetic towards religion or critical or both?
May 1, Linda Horton (Guest speaker): “ Why don’t we have them? (What keeps people from becoming Unitarians?)”
We are surrounded by people and families who share our Unitarian values, such as freedom, reason, tolerance, and self-determination in our theology; Barack Obama and Bishop John Spong spring to mind. Yet they remain “unchurched” or connected to other denominations. Why? How could we have drawn them to us–and do we want to? Our service will explore these questions and will include the opportunity for your participation.
May 8, Martin Horlacher: “Transhumanism: Today’s Dream or Tomorrow’s Nightmare?”
Transhumanism – whether we like it or not, it is the future of thehuman race, and that includes you. But just what does it entail? What are the implications for our children and grandchildren, and for all of us alive today? And what are the implications for the world we now live in, for democracy, for contemporary notions of human society? But, most importantly, what will it mean when it comes to how we view what it means to be members of the human race?”
May 15, Colin Whatmough: “Learning from Easter Island”
Most likely Easter Island is a striking example of the dependence of human societies on their environment and of the consequences of irreversibly damaging that environment.
May 22, Laurence Gormley: “The Winter Cometh.”
We explore the unique joys and challenges of the winter season and their relevance to our religious faith.
May 29, Janine Matthews (Debut talk): “Live in the Present Moment”.
We often get caught up in the past and we worry about a future that will possibly not even happen.
June 5, Ross McLuckie: “What about them ?”
We have had so many disasters in a short time. But what about all that area outside them ?
June 12, Jan Tendys: “Reverence”.
James Martineau: “Whoever can so look into my heart as to tell whether there is anything which I revere: and if there be, what thing that is, that person may read me through and through, and there is no darkness wherein I may hide myself.”
June 19, Candace Parks: “Questions You May Ask”.
Who are you? And where do you come from? They’re the subject of casual introductions and everyday chit chat. But in a deeper sense, these are also religious inquiries that every wisdom tradition tries to answer.
June 26, Rev. Geoff Usher: “Courage and Change”.
Most people fear change. This fear is no more evident than in matters of faith and religion, and particularly in places of worship where habit, as opposed to tradition, has ruled. There is much to be thankful for in our Unitarian movement. The word ”movement” is appropriate, because Unitarianism has not been a static faith. Our forebears have not been afraid of change, and if our development is to continue then we must not be afraid of change.
July 3, Janet Horton: “Is Religion the Opiate of the People?”
This phrase from Karl Marx is often quoted. But what was Marx really trying to convey? We will look at the content of this quote as well as the context – is Marx sympathetic towards religion or critical or both? (Janet is revisiting this topic as many members missed out due to long weekend etc).
July 10, Ginna Hastings: “Universalism 101”
This is a information sharing and reflection talk about Universalism as it is and has been, and what it offers to Unitarianism and anybody. It is based on a short book by Richard Trudeau.
17 July, Colin Whatmough: “Water”
The substance of life, but in declining supply! How do we respond?
24 July, Rev. Dr. Ian Ellis-Jones: “The Little Prince and the Seven Principles”.
Ian has previously spoken to our fellowship on his favourite spiritual book “The Little Prince”, and will this time explore how the book expounds and affirms each of the Seven Principles of Unitarian Universalism.
31 July, Janine Matthews : “Spirituality of the Future”
We have a habit of looking at the future from inside the past. This future is based on today’s scientific ‘rational’ scheme of life. But there are many scientists who have proposed concepts which go beyond our normal rational thinking processes.
7 August, Ross McLuckie: “It’s a Mystery”
How much of life is a mystery as opposed to planned, not to mention predetermination?
14 August, Jan Tendys: “Following”.
There are rewards and difficulties in being a follower and rewards and difficulties in having a following. This can be seen clearly on twitter.
21 August, Candace Parks: “Less and less”
When people ask how to live a life of meaning and purpose in the modern world, they are asking a religious question—and it’s one we as Unitarians are uniquely equipped to answer. But are we fulfilling our potential?
28 August, Laurence Gormley: “The Truth about Lies”
It may well be that lying is sometimes excusable, understandable, and inevitable. But religions historically have had very little patience for lying. And in many religious traditions, truth telling is a central spiritual practice. What do we think?
4 September, Rev. Dr. Ian Ellis-Jones: “Is Buddhism Atheistic?”
Many people, Buddhists and non-Buddhists alike, assert that Buddhism is ‘atheistic’ – that is, it is a belief-system which denies the existence of God. The address will seek to verify whether that assertion is correct.
11 September, Eric Stevenson: “Hoping my way to Meaning”
Hope has always been born out of a life experience of powerlessness or personal inadequacy and desperation. Some religions exploit that weakness and poverty and reckless state of mind. They then prescribe a heavenly remedy which you can hope to achieve. But for some of us, that hope is forlorn and meaningless. Given that some kind of hope is essential to sustain us on our spiritual journey, what is it in this present life to which we can reasonably aspire?
18 September, Martin Horlacher: “The Beekeeper’s Lament”
All too often in all our lives, we lose something. And, just as often, no one can give you back what you’ve lost. But, whether in this life or in any other, nobody has to go it alone.
25 September, Rev. Geoff Usher: “Rabindranath Tagore: A vision of humanity in harmony with planet Earth.”
Rabindranath Tagore was born in Calcutta in 1861. His first book, a collection of poems, was published when he was 17, and he became a writer of both prose and poetry in his own language and in English, and in 1913 was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. When he died at the age of 80 an incomplete collection of his works filled 30 substantial volumes. Unitarians particularly remember Tagore for his liberal and inclusive ideas.
2nd October, Jan Tendys: ” Naivety”.
We can easily raise the question : “Was Bertrand Russell naïve?” Dare we raise the question “Was Jesus naïve?” This will be a Views from the Pews.
9th October, Candace Parks: “Flower Communion”.
Please bring a flower to celebrate this ritual to symbolise the diversity, freedom and tolerance of Unitarianism. Hopefully there will be a few extra to allow for visitors.
16th October, Rev. Geoff Usher: “Looking on the Bright Side”.
All of us have to cope with problems and trials that come to everyone at different times and in different ways. We can respond with optimism or pessimism. Are you able to look on the bright side?
23 October, Ross McLuckie: “Happiness”.
We all want it. So let’s look at some clues.
30 October, Candace Parks: “More and More”.
We have discussed how Unitarian Universalism could fail to fulfil its religious promise and thus continue to become less and less. Now let’s look at how our faith can reverse the trend and become “more and more”.
6 November, Dr Andrew Usher: “Spoons”.
13 November, Janine Matthews: “The Power of Hope”.
20 November, Eric Stevenson: “Hoping My Way to Meaning”.
27 November, Colin Whatmough: “The Shadow of the Past.”
4 December, Rev. Dr Ian Ellis-Jones: “The Psychology of Buddhism”
Buddhism is neither a religion nor a philosophy in the sense in which those terms are ordinarily understood in the West. Buddhism is the oldest and most perfectly integrated system of what we now call ‘psychology’. Ian Ellis-Jones will discuss the underlying principles of Buddhist psychology and explain how those principles can be applied in one’s daily life … irrespective of whether or not one is a Buddhist.
11 December, Laurence Gormley: “A Christmas Tale”
18 December, Party.