Marriage Equality: Reflections on Church and State

Marriage is always civil and sometimes also religious. The Marriage Amendment Bill has been drafted to allow churches to make their own decisions about whom they will marry.

Those who came along heard how some churches are looking forward to celebrating same-sex marriages while other faith communities will be free to restrict marriage to opposite sex couples.

There is nothing to fear!

Speakers: Louisa Wall MP, Kevin Hague MP & Rev Dr Margaret Mayman

Wednesday 7 November

The speakers were:

PAUL MILLAR Associate Professor of English at Canterbury University, author/editor of seven books on James K Baxter

JOHN WEIR Editor of Baxter’s Collected Poems, and soon to be published Complete Prose

COLIN DURNING Close friend of Baxter, the Jerusalem Sonnets are dedicated to him

SUE COSGROVE Compassion Sister, and friend of Baxter at Jerusalem

JOHN BAXTER Artist and son of James and Jacquie Baxter

GEOFF MILES English lecturer at Victoria University and co-author of The Snake-Haired Muse: James K. Baxter and Classical Myth

SHARON MATTHEWS Researcher on James K Baxter whose 2012 thesis is entitled Recasting the Feminine: Archetypes and Archetypal Figures of the Female in Two Plays by James K. Baxter


August 21, 28 & September 4 , 11

A series of four lectures at St Andrew’s on The Terrace
introduced by professor Lloyd Geering

We are living in uncertain, unsettled times. Since the Christchurch earthquakes began in September 2010, New Zealanders have an increased awareness of our vulnerability and the fragility of our built environments. The global financial crisis is serious and ongoing. Two additional areas of uncertainty that have become part of our everyday lives. Spiritual uncertainty as participation in institutional religion is decreasing, at least in the first world, while interest in spirituality grows. And social uncertainty, as people worry about family and community and the supports that are needed for societies to thrive.

The four part series “Living with Uncertainty” provides us with an opportunity to hear from people with expertise and experience in the areas of geological, spiritual, economic and social uncertainty. While we can’t eradicate uncertainty, we can begin to understand the impact that it has on us, and the choices that face us as we attempt to “live well” with uncertainty.

August 21
Geological uncertainty Hamish Campbell - Senior Geologist at GNS Science and Te Papa's geological advisor.

August 28
Spiritual uncertainty Rev Dr Mary Caygill, Minister, Durham St Methodist Church, Christchurch

September 4
Economic uncertainty Brian Easton - Economist, Listener columnist

September 11
Social uncertainty Rev Dr Geoff King - Counsellor and Minister, Knox Presbyterian Church, Christchurch

September 3 – Spirited Conversation with Grant Robertson, MP for Central Wellington

Should politicians be educated on arrival in Parliament?

This conversation took place at the Thistle Inn.
Participants were able to meet a meal beforehand at 5:30

August 6 – Spirited Conversation with Kim Workman, Director of Rethinking Crime & Punishment

Should police should be subject to the same ethical standards as the general public?

Kim Workman (of Ngati Kahungunu and Rangitaane descent) is a retired public servant, whose career spans roles in the Police, the Office of the Ombudsman, State Services Commission, Department of Maori Affairs, and Ministry of Health. He was Head of the Prison Service from 1989 – 1993. He is a graduate of Massey University, and has completed post-graduate study at the University of Southern California, and Stanford University. He is currently a Senior Associate of the Institute of Policy Studies, Victoria University.

Kim was appointed to the position of National Director, Prison Fellowship in 2000, and retired from that position in 2008. Prison Fellowship New Zealand has become a significant provider in the criminal justice sectors, establishing the first faith-based prison unit in the British Commonwealth, a mentoring programme for released prisoners, and is the principal provider of in-prison restorative justice services.

In 2005, Kim was the joint recipient (with Jackie Katounas) of the International Prize for Restorative Justice. In 2006 Kim joined with Major Campbell Roberts of the Salvation Army, to launch the “Rethinking Crime and Punishment” Strategy which has operated under the Robson Hanan Trust since 2010, with Kim as its Executive Director.

In 2011, he completed a Post Graduate Diploma in Religious Studies. He is a Board Member of the Prisoners Aid and Rehabilitation Trust, and Parents Centres New Zealand.

June 11 – Spirited Conversation with Ria Earp, CEO of Mary Potter Hospice

We discussed "Is the way New Zealanders deal with end of life changing? How is this reflected in the work of the Mary Potter Hospice?"

Ria has held a wide range of management roles in the public sector for over twenty years including; social policy management, corporate and social programme management. The roles focussed on different population groups (Maori, Youth, Community, Women) and for a wide range of departments (including Te Puni Kokiri, Internal Affairs, Youth and Women’s Affairs and the Ministry of Health).

Prior to taking up the role of Chief Executive of Mary Potter Hospice in July 2006, Ria held the post of Deputy Director-General Maori Health with the Ministry of Health for nine years. She has extensive experience in dealing with District Health Boards, Maori communities and the health sector generally.

Ria is of Te Arawa descent.

June 12, 19, 26 & July 3

Evolution: The real genesis

June 12
Cosmogenesis – The Emergence of the Universe

June 19
Geogenesis – The Emergence of the Earth

June 26
Biogenesis – The Emergence of Life

July 3
Anthropogenesis – The Emergence of Humankind

How did we come to be here? Was there really a big bang? Are we here by design, or through a succession of accidents?

However you look at this, it’s a miracle we are here at all. In this series of talks, Lloyd Geering will sketch how modern scientists have been revealing the story of how we humans came to be here on planet earth, superseding the stories told by priests, prophets and the Holy Scriptures of old.

What a mind-boggling story it is, full of chance events and cosmic catastrophes! Professor Geering will show how the more humans understand our common origin and our close relationship with this earth, the more we will be motivated to work in unity to counter successfully our current global problems.

A DVD of the series is available, suggested donation is $35. Get in touch if you’d like one.

Spirited Conversation with David Lawrence on “Shakespeare's Spirituality – the works and the man”

David Lawrence

A director and lecturer at Victoria University of Wellington, David Lawrence has worked as a director, actor, musician, stage manager, lighting and sound designer and operator, production manager and dramaturg in Wellington, Auckland, Christchurch, Dunedin, Melbourne, Edinburgh and London. He has worked at BATS Theatre, Circa, the Fortune, the Court, Centrepoint, Downstage, the Basement, the Silo and for Taki Rua Productions.

David graduated from Victoria University with a BA in Theatre & Film in 1996, a First Class Honours degree in Theatre in 2001 and a Master of Arts (with distinction) in 2003. He has taught at Toi Whakaari: NZ Drama School, on the Acting and Musical Theatre courses at the Wellington Performing Arts Centre, at the National Youth Drama School and the Sheilah Winn Schools Shakespeare Festival and was a lecturer on Early Modern Drama in the Theatre and English programmes at Victoria University in 2010 and 2011.

He won the Chapman Tripp Theatre Award for Director of the Year in 2005.

Being Completely Human – Buddhist Practice in a Post-Christian World

Stephen Batchelor

27 February

Attended by more than sixty people, in this lecture Stephen Batchelor offered a critical reflection on the secular transformation of Buddhism as it comes to terms with the challenges of globalisation and modernity.

A handout with the speaker’s lecture noted and reference to further information is available HERE.

To watch the recording of Stephen’s talk click HERE.