Today sees the installment of arguably Australia’s most conservative government ministry. It is also the eve, in the same city, of the Progressive Christian Common Dreams Conference. The juxtaposition of these two events creates a tension reminiscent of the paradoxes described by Parker Palmer when he explores the tug of war of life bursting forth from resistance – green shoots struggling from the cold dark earth towards the light. Today we will hear government pronouncements that reflect the cold philosophies of economic rationalism. Common Dreams, I anticipate, will fuel fires that warm earth sufficiently to nurture and germinates seeds of renewal and promise, so that compassion and natural justice once again have a voice that is heard in the crafting of public policy.