New Festival To Inspire

New Festival To Inspire

Running from 28-30 October, Inspiracy is a new festival that will take place in Newcastle. The event will give attendees a glimpse of the work of four Uniting Church faith communities that are leading successful community development, faith, justice, and art programs.

Inspiracy will feature theologian The Reverend Dr. Margaret Mayman, Filipino artist Emmanuel Garibay, Love Makes A Way activist and educator Matt Anslow, and co-founder of The Commons community café, Dr. Miriam Williams. It takes place at Adamstown Uniting Church, Merriweather Uniting Church, and The Commons.

One of Inspiracy’s organisers, The Reverend Dr. Rod Pattenden said the festival aimed to inspire attendees and allow them to witness various ministries in their contexts.

The festival is the result of conversations between some of Newcastle’s Uniting Church faith groups. “It was a conversation between some of us involved in these innovative community development programs in Newcastle,” Rev. Dr Pattenden said.


Rev. Dr. Pattenden told Insights that Newcastle is the perfect location for the event. “We’ve got some new models of engagement in the community; we’re concerned with the broader community issues of the common good; and, we’re reinventing mission, in some sense, around concerns for building community development and making the resources of the church available to the wider community.”

“We’ve got some great stories.”

Separate to Newcastle’s stories and among those to be featured at Inspiracy, Rev. Dr. Mayman is the Minister of Pitt Street Uniting Church. She has been a prominent speaker on public issues, such as same-sex marriage and the treatment of asylum seekers.

Emmanuel Garibay was, in his youth, an activist against the Marcos regime in the Philippines. He is responsible for a number of fascinating works such as the painting Christ Entering Manila on Palm Sunday (pictured).  The work features multiple, competing depictions of Jesus, some of which differ widely from traditional artistic depictions.


Inspiracy 2016 runs from 28-30 October. For more information, and to register for the event, go to

Dr. Jonathan Foye is a freelance journalist and academic


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