29 January 2017 – Prof. Paul Harvey and “Ambition”

Prof. Paul Harvey introduced the notion of ambition, recounting an incident from his early career in which he landed a job by answering the question “Are you ambitious?” with the inspired reply “I hope so!” Taking in readings from Henry Wotton and Rudyard Kipling, we thought about whether ambition is positive or negative, and whether this is dependent on whether it is for oneself or for others. Does goodness depend on the outcome – or the intention!

22 January 2017 – Rev. David Arthur and “Tolerance”

It was a pleasure to welcome back David and Rosemary Arthur to Newcastle. In a time of what some see to be “selfishness and stupidity”, what courage is needed to maintain a positive way forward in the modern world? We reflected on the importance of reliability, consistency and keeping one’s word, even when it is very difficult to do so.

15 January 2017 – Dr Barry Thomas and “The Divine in Art”

Dr Barry Thomas presented us with three differing artworks; the Panel of Lions from the Chauvet Caves (c. 30,000 years ago), Heads of Two Apostles by Raphael (c.1517), and Portrait of Ruth Bromberg by Frank Auerbach, 1994. Each of these three very different artworks expresses a human being’s vision from different stages of human history, speaking to us in 2017. We considered how we may encounter the Divine in Art, and by inspired by it.

8 January 2017 – Elizabeth Buie and “Grief: Beyond Acceptance”

Elizabeth led a powerful and moving service on how to live with grief. Drawing on readings fromGordon B. McKeenan, Dietrich Bonhoeffer and others, and from her own personal experience, she asked us to consider if acceptance is, or should be, the desired goal of those suffering deep grief. Instead, she asked us to think about how we move from sadness to action.