Newspaper article Daily Examiner (Grafton, Australia)

'Reassembly Task' Ahead

Newspaper article Daily Examiner (Grafton, Australia)

'Reassembly Task' Ahead

Article excerpt

An Extract from the Opening Ceremony of Grafton's 2007 International Philosophy, Science and Theology Festival...

The Spirit of Wholeness

Three groups of children assemble at the back of Grafton's Cathedral.

Three groups of children ready to portray the spirit of this Festival.

They represent our future, today's students, tomorrow's leaders. We utter the prayer -"May their future, and the future of all life on this planet be a little better, because in June 2007 a PST festival was held in the city by the Big River."

Each group has a large candle, still unlit, as they slowly move down the Cathedral aisles, Beethoven's Pastoral Symphony helps to build the mood.

At a midway point, they and the music pause. Deep in their imagination, the three groups of children are encouraged to look out upon a number of islands, some large, some small, with names such as Hoy, Westray and north Ronaldsay.

This is Orkney, 59[degrees]N, part of Scotland.

The children see low sandy coastlines, the towering cliffs of Hoy. They see the great wind-blown waves crash upon the shoreline. They hear the cries of the birdlife - oyster catcher, sand-piper, hen harrier. They see the farmers in their green fields and the townspeople in the streets of Kirkwall and Stromness. They wonder at the glories of St. Magnus Cathedral and the shimmering Northern Lights.

And in their minds questions now arise.

Three groups of inquiring minds.

Three types of questions.

Three candles being lit.

From the first group -

* Of what types of rock are the sea-cliffs composed?

* Why are Orkney's winters mild compared to other places of similar latitude?

* Does the limited sunlight have an impact on human health?

* Science asks its questions, makes its observations, records its findings.

The first candle glows brightly.

From the second group.

* What is peace?

* Can we learn from the past?

* Does the natural world inspire modern human beings? …

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