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Luminous is a mid-winter festival hosted by Hobart Baptist Church
Christians began celebrating the birth of Jesus on 25 December in the 4th century as a reworking of the pagan Roman winter solstice celebrations. A cold, dark winter was an ideal time to celebrate the warmth and light of Christ coming into the world as a signpost of hope and redemption.
Winter in Hobart lends itself to the same opportunity.
Luminous means, ’emitting or reflecting usually steady, suffused, or glowing light’ and the festival aims to bring light into the darkness of our cultural moment.
General Program for Events
6:00pm Doors open
6:15pm Light meal is served
6:45pm Main event
7:45pm Coffee and Informal chat
The Festival launches at 6pm Thursday 8 June. Then, over two weeks, the Festival will host three conversations, providing a space for thought and discussion. As well, Christmas will be celebrated within its original context of the dark, cold mid-winter.
The art installation, ‘the seed of life weighted down’ by Michael Henderson will be on display in the foyer of The Tab until Friday 16th June, at Hobart Baptist Church, 12-6pm daily.
Art by Michael Henderson questions ‘what the nativity scene represents, and whether it has an ability today to help us enter the mystery of God and faith
Speakers in the Conversations panels will bring expertise on topics asking,
- ‘Is Tasmania A Place for Everyone?’
- ‘How can we help Tasmanian Children flourish?
- ‘How Do We Create Healthy Families?”
Each of the three conversations will throw light on issues that matter and look for glimmers of hope. These conversations are not just for people of faith.
The festival ends with a Christmas in Winter celebration that includes a family Luminous Carols night at 6pm on Friday 23 June, and a traditional Christmas Sunday Service on Sunday 25 June.
In 2021 and 2022, festival speakers included Kate Warner, Tim McCormack, Bec White, Ella Hickey, Wendy Quinn, Jenny Baxter and David Knox.
- Luminous Opening Night
6pm, Thursday 8 June, Hobart Baptist Church, Soundy Lounge
Opening night will introduce artwork by Michael Henderson called: the seed of life, weighed down
Michael uses symbols and metaphors to tell stories in his art about identity, faith and longing.
This artwork is a way of altering a space to extend the original meaning. The space here is a church entrance foyer with a nativity scene placed in the centre. However, by wrapping the objects of veneration, the figures of Joseph, Mary and baby Jesus can be considered to be hidden or ready to be unwrapped.
The use of light extends the cover up or revealing aspect. By changing the background to graffiti, the original meaning of the nativity scene has been altered and the space has been extended to include the response of the viewer. This work asks questions about what the nativity scene represents, and whether it has an ability today to help us enter the mystery of God and faith.
Art is on display throughout Luminous, 12-6pm daily.
- Conversation 1: Is Tasmania A Place for Everyone?
6pm, Tuesday 13 June, Hobart Baptist Church, Soundy Lounge
Panel discussion hosted by Stephen Baxter, with:
- John Kamara (Tasmanian Australian of the Year and President and founding member of Culturally Diverse Alliance)
- Councillor Dr Zelinda Sherlock (Chair of Welcoming & Inclusive City Portfolio HCC and Founder/Honorary Advisor, CDA)
- George Elkhair (Vice Chair Migrant Resource Centre, Tasmania)
- Conversation 2: How Can We Help Tasmanian Children Flourish?
6pm, Thursday 15 June, Hobart Baptist Church, Soundy Lounge
Three stories, hosted by Stephen Baxter relating to challenges for children, with Q&A
- Mary Dickins (Fostering Hope Australia)
- Kay Priest (Foster Carer for 50 years)
- Matt Henderson, parent of two with disabilities
- Conversation 3: How Do We Create Healthy Families?
6pm, Thursday 20 June, Hobart Baptist Church, Soundy Lounge
How Do We Create Healthy Families? offers an evening with Stephen and Jenny Baxter.
- Stephen and Jenny Baxter are parents of five adult children, all capable adults who contribute to their local and faith communities. Together, they can be heard regularly on Friday mornings on Ultra 106.5FM reflecting on issues facing Tasmanians and the world in general.
- Jenny works media and communications, and until recently, was at the helm of the Treasuring Mothers website, podcast and radio show. She is President of the local women’s leadership network Leading Light.
- Stephen is a local pastor; Chair of Servants Community Housing; and Chair of Ping-Pong-a-Thon.
- The conversation will be hosted by Scott Haas, Music Director and Brekky announcer at ultra106five radio for the past 20 years.
Luminous Christmas in Winter
- Luminous Carols
6pm, Friday 23 June, Hobart Baptist Church, Tab.
With guest performers including Brett Budgeon
- Christmas Day Service
10am, Sunday 25 June, Hobart Baptist Church, Tab.