Floating Life 4/06 ~ 11/07

an archive

Posts Tagged ‘South Sydney Uniting Church

“Compass” last night

ssuniting Last night’s Compass on the Uniting Church in Australia was obviously of interest to me. A transcript is now available. Next week, I notice, the topic is the coming election.

A week before Australians go to the polls Compass throws the spotlight on values, by talking to the country’s religious leaders and a leading philosophical thinker. What values would they like to see guiding voters at the polling booths on Saturday? What do they believe are the key moral and ethical issues underpinning this election? In previous election specials Geraldine Doogue interviewed our political leaders about their beliefs and values. This time she’s invited our religious leaders (Christian, Jewish, Muslim) and a leading secular voice to air their views on what should shape voters’ choices in the 2007 federal election. Our interviewees are: Catholic Archbishop Philip Wilson; Jewish Rabbi David Freedman; Australian Christian Lobby Jim Wallace; Anthropologist, historian/ethicist Inga Clendinnen; Muslim Imam Afroz Ali; and, Anglican Archbishop Peter Jensen.

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Written by Neil

November 12, 2007 at 10:23 am

My South Sydney Herald piece

Inside the Whale

Former ABC Middle East correspondent Mark Willacy doesn’t just take you into the news or even behind the news. He takes you under the news – and I for one wanted to scream. Not at Willacy, but at the leaders of this world…

Mark Willacy will be at Politics in the Pub on Friday 23 November from 6 pm to 7.45 at the Gaelic Club, Level 1, 64 Devonshire St., Surry Hills (across from Chalmers St exit and Devonshire St tunnel at Central Station). Parking is usually available in side streets. Afterwards you may have dinner at the Royal Exhibition Hotel across the road.

Imagine this. “The 17-year-old was just a torso and a head. His legs had been blown away, and his stomach had been peeled open. He looked like the android from the movie Aliens after the alien queen has torn him in two with her stabbing, serrated tail.”

This was a suicide bomber. It is the first scene to confront Mark Willacy as he takes up his appointment as ABC correspondent in Jerusalem in 2002. It is the first paragraph in his recently published The View from the Valley of Hell: Four Years in the Middle East (Macmillan Australia 2007 $35rrp). Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Neil

November 2, 2007 at 6:33 am


Sunday lunch today was pizza with a varied group in the back garden at South Sydney Uniting Church. Bit of news there: Vlad’s not returning. It was grounding because we had local ALP stalwart Trevor, Andrew (the minister), an old woman born in Iraq but lived in Syria, Lebanon and Greece, an Aboriginal woman who’s lived in Redfern since 1970, a guy of Pakistani origin, a well-known trannie anarchist, a pre-school teacher, a community activist — about ten of us all together. All in Waterloo. Discussing the election. And other things.

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Written by Neil

October 14, 2007 at 1:53 pm

Shalom on APEC

apec.jpgOne of the more overtly religious (Christian that is) blogs on my blog roll is Shalom. Jan, who is about my age, is hardly a radical, I am sure she would not mind me saying. But is she furious about APEC! Go and see what she says:

The Sydney metropolitan area has been given a public holiday next Friday, supposedly in honour of the meeting. Rubbish! Sydneysiders have been told to stay out of the city. Not much honourable about that. Businesses are wondering where their compensation is coming from. Probably nowhere. The place is swarming with police, defence force personnel, security guys, whatever. Known “troublemakers” have been warned that if they enter the city, they will be arrested. Troublemakers is not my word, by the way. It comes from the government. Some buses have been converted to mobile prisons with cells. Some prisoners have been given home detentions so the gaol cells are freed for those arrested during expected protests…

I smiled at this bit:
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Written by Neil

September 2, 2007 at 8:22 am

Wet Sunday, slow start — reading homilies!

The word “homily” does have, deservedly sometimes, negative associations. It is certainly not a genre that most people rush to read, unless rebadged as in today’s Sunday Telegraph, a topic for my Journalspace blog, as an editorial by Glenn Milne.

Last Sunday I published a good example of the genre from South Sydney Uniting Church. In another note that day I wrote: “Afterwards Sirdan and I had lunch at Chinese Whisper in Surry Hills, and then I went to PK’s for the afternoon.” Today’s lunch will be at The Shakespeare — cheap and nourishing — and I am being a slacker about church this morning. However, I am getting my Sunday homily, or a whole host of homilies, from a book PK lent me last week.

One of the many eccentricities of my old friend PK is his devotion to St Francis of Assisi, Paddington, Sydney.


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Written by Neil

August 19, 2007 at 10:47 am

Powerful stories at South Sydney

Andrew’s homily today at South Sydney Uniting Church was a cracker, in my opinion. It stands for many things in my mind: as a contrast to the story from Texas I mentioned yesterday; as an example of what, concretely, reconciliation really means. I publish the homily with Andrew’s permission.

Sunday Ordinary 19
South Sydney Uniting Church
Hebrews 1: 1-3, 10-20; Luke 12: 32-40

I was talking with a local Aboriginal artist yesterday. Darren Cooper (example below) has a studio and an art shop in George Street [Redfern].


He showed me many artworks — paintings, painted furniture, surfboards, t-shirts. He sells some of it — when he can. He is hoping for an invitation to work in Austria with the design firm Swarofski Crystals. He also told me that he is a Christian. He attends the Newtown Mission church on King Street.

After chatting for a while, I asked him whether he might have a thought or two about this week’s gospel, Jesus’ words “Wherever your treasure is, that’s where your heart will be.”

He paused. Then: “Well, I don’t have much money — it’s not about money.” Then: “It’s about God’s mercy. God’s mercy and forgiveness is my treasure.”

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Written by Neil

August 12, 2007 at 7:58 pm