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Uniting Heart & Soul of  Woollahra

God, what are you up to? 

    It was a Friday 9 weeks ago and at 11 am Gladys gave the orders that church would go into hibernation for the coming weeks due to the impending doom of Covid.

      I could be heard screaming from my car “ NOOOO GOD!!!!! I have a strategic plan for my church and this has stuffed the plan, please God what are you thinking?”  I quickly dusted myself off and I went straight into action. I rallied the troops, we were going into battle mode titled “WHAT COVID?”

I called Josh Wyatt at Signal box who was working with my team at Uniting Heart and Soul of Woollahra on all marketing and creative matters to help kick start our new church plant at Woollahra. Josh was totally unflappable and said, “Ness, I’ll be at your place at 3 pm we can film your sermon for the week and get it up online”.

      I kept thinking this was NOT in our plan, God, what are you up to? I called the Uniting heart and Soul worship team aka Jonty Cornford “Musician extraordinaire” and Rachel Humphries “vocal angel” and inquired into their recording capacity. Jonty immediately said, “ Yes Ness we can do whatever you need, I have recording experience and all the necessary gear to put songs together”. Rachel was also 100% on board. Afterwards, I called Jessica Chau our creative director at church and she agreed to do the prayers. Josh from Signal box would do the final edit and load it on our Facebook page and website. Phew crisis diverted, time for a pinot!

      I was so grateful to be able to bless our community with a service for that week. We had about 120 people watch that week. WOW, our church numbers doubled in lockdown who would have thought?

      God, what are you up to?

      God had assembled a team of people with very unique skills to bring about an online church. Jessica Chau is a famous movie star in Asia who has been in many action films, she is a total natural in front of the camera. Jonty is a musician and recording artist with years of experience, Rachel is studying  Vocals at AIM Currently , Josh is the digital master of all film and creative things.

      Before I was a Rev I was an actor and one of my gigs was as presenter on Good Morning Australia with Bert Newton in the ’90s. Was God going to actually use my TV skills for church and His mission (OK God just for a few weeks to get us through this Covid storm, so I thought).  God had assembled all that we needed to do His mission for this time and place. Together we do a 30-minute online service that has a chill vibe. Music, Prayer, Message, Music is the liturgical flow of what we bring each week. Just long enough so you don’t dose off while you sip your coffee and sing.

      After eight online services we have consistently seen growth and now we have over 1.3K people engaging with us in the week either on Facebook or our website.

      Due to Covid, I say with a giggle, we have planted an online Uniting Church, which was possibly Gods plan for us all along but it took a pandemic for me to realise and to be brave enough to give it a try.

      We want to share our resources with you at this time especially if you need good music and a no BS message about our radical Jesus. My style won’t suit everyone but some of you might see it as your jam.

       You are so welcome to join us anytime you like. Find us in

Vanessa Williams-Henke (Rev. Ness)

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Podcasts from Uniting Heart and Soul

July 20 2024 - 111 "EMBODIED FAITH" - 6 Streams of Spirituality

July 13 2024 - 110 "YOU ARE VALUABLE" - Rev Karen Mitchell Lambert

July 6 2024 - 109 "INTEGRATING TRAUMA" - Dr Julie Fletcher Part 2


June 29 2024 - 108 "HONOUR the VICTIM, BREAK the SILENCE" - Dr Julie Fletcher Part 1

June 22 2024 - 107 "MISSION IS THE SHAPE OF WATER" - Dr Mike Frost

June 15 2024 - 106 "STAY in an ACT of DEFIANCE" - "Do I Stay Christian?" Part 2

June 6 2024 - 105 "IS CHRISTIANITY a SINKING SHIP?" - "Do I Stay Christian?" Part 1

May 30 2024 - 104 "SCIENCE FICTION THEOLOGY" - Rev Will Nicholas

May 23 2024 - 103 "UNDERSTANDING the HOLY SPIRIT" - Pentecost 2024

May 16 2024 - 102 "AN ANTIDOTE for LONELINESS" - Alison Leader from South Eastern Community Connect

May 9 2024 - 101 "SHAPING A NEW WORLD" - Gabi & Mikali from Marion St

May 2 2024 - 100 "You can LISTEN, but can you OBEY? - Celebrating 100 Episodes!


April 25 2024 - 099 "SPIRITUAL PRACTICES for a FLOURISHING FAITH" - Rev Dr Andrew Ranucci


April 18 2024 - 098 "DARK NIGHT of the SOUL" - Taylor Forward (Part Two)

April 9 2024 - 097 "SMALL TOWN DRIFTER" - Taylor Forward


April 7 2024 - 096 "THE LIFE OF BRIAN" - Comedy, Christianity and offense with Dave Cornford


March 31 2024 - 095 "THE PASSION of the CHRIST" - The suffering, death (and resurrection) of Jesus


March 24 2024 - 094 "THE LAST TEMPTATION OF CHRIST"  - Exploring the humanity of Jesus

March 17 2024 - 093 "TELLING BETTER STORIES" - Easter narratives with Dave Cornford

March 3 2024 - 091 "LIFE as a SCHOOL CHAPLAIN" - Pastor Richard La'Brooy

February 25 2024 - 090 "BIG FEELINGS WELCOME" - Peer work and mental wellbeing with Catherine Garner

February 18 2024 - 089 "BULLIED on the BIGGEST LOSER" - Ajay Rochester

February 11 2024 - 088 "I WAS TAKEN from my MOTHER" - Ajay Rochester

February 4 2024 - 087 "A DISH best served COLD" - Exploring revenge and forgiveness

January 28 2024 - 086 "HOW to RUN THROUGH a BRICK WALL" - examining discipleship cycles

January 21 2024 - 085 "FILTHY MISFITS" - Spiritual Misfits with Will Small

January 14 2024 - 084 "DO YOU GET ENOUGH REST?" - Burnout, rest, and a subversive sabbath


December 31 2024 - 083 "ONE STEP BACK, TWO STEPS FORWARD" New Years Special 2023


December 24 2023 - 082 "FILTHY HOPE INCARNATE - Christmas Special 2023

December 17 2023 - 081 "FOR THE LEAST OF THESE" - Rev Bill Crews

December 10 2023 - 080 "WHO IS GOD CALLING YOU TO BE?" - Rev Greer Hudson

December 3 2023 - 079 "DECONSTRUCTING HELL" - Heaven, hell, and the afterlife

November 26 2023 - 078 "MERRY UNCHRISTMAS" - Reclaiming December and advent

November 19 2023 - 077 "PROVE YOUR INNER VOICE WRONG" - Rev James Aaron

November 12 2023 - 076 "ANGRY AT GOD for the CRIME of BEING" - The Book of Job

November 5 2023 - 075 "TRAVERSING THE HOLY CITY" - Leontine and Alan from Yalla Israel Podcast


October 29 2023 - 074 "FOLLOWING in the FOOTSTEPS of CHRIST" - The last week of Jesus' life

October 22 2023 - 073 "AN ENCOUNTER with the HOLY SPIRIT" - Rev Ness' pilgrimage to Jerusalem

October 15 2023 - 072 "CREATING COMMUNITY in the EASTERN SUBURBS" - Rev Danielle Hemsworth-Smith

October 8 2023 - 071 "DEFINE THE GREAT LINE" - Chris Dudley from Underoath

October 1 2023 - 070 "JESUS IS MY BOYFRIEND" - CCM, pipe organs and Kendrick Lamar

September 24 2023 - 069 "GRIEF, LOSS, and the FUTURE of the CHURCH" - Rev Phil Swain

September 17 2023 - 068 "GRACE IN REAL TIME: - Imposter syndrome, wellness, and strong language


September 10 2023 - 067 "HOPE ON THE BRINK" - Suicide and mental wellbeing with Rev Jon Humphries


September 3 2023 - 066 "Do all CHRISTIANS have DADDY ISSUES?" | Father's Day Reflections

August 27 2023 - 065 "IS MISOGYNY an IDEOLOGY?" - David, Goliath and the Narcissist

August 20 2023 - 064 "MINDFULNESS & MRIs" - Anxiety, Bohemian Rhapsody, and angels

August 13 2023 - 063 "THE CULT of the CHARISMATIC LEADER" - Untangling systems of spiritual abuse

August 9 2023 - 062 "TRANSFORMING WORSHIP" - with Rev Jon Humphries

July 30 2023 - 061 "A VOICE for FIRST NATIONS PEOPLES" - Nathan Tyson


July 23 2023 - 060 "WHY BE NORMAL?" -| Rev Jon Humphries


July 16 2023 - 059 "LEARNING TO LOVE while HEALING from ABUSE"

July 9 2023 - 058 "THE SCHOOL THAT HOPE BUILT" - Gemma Sisia - Breaking the Cycle of Poverty

July 2 2023 - 057 "IT'S OK, GOD LOVES YOU" - Rev Ben Gilmour

June 25 2023 - 056 "YOUR SEXUALITY is a GIFT" - Surviving conversion therapy with Rev Ben Gilmour

June 18 2023 - 055 "SURVIVING the SEX TRADE" - Re-evaluating the book of Esther

June 11 2023 - 054 "PROFESSIONAL DANCE is SAVAGE" - with Sarah Rose


June 4 2023 - 053 "EXPERIENCING the HOLY SPIRIT" - featuring MOLK


May 28 2023 - 052 "ON THE OTHER SIDE OF SHAME" - Jonty and Ness unpack some of their own shame around mental illness, trauma, opening up and being vulnerable. What's waiting for you on the other side of shame?

May 21 2023 - 051 "MOTHERS, CHILDREN, and MESSY FAMILIES" - Reflecting on Mother's Day


May 14 2023 - 050 "HELP, THE CHURCH HURT ME!" - Celebrating 50 Episodes of Filthy Hope

May 7 2023 - 049 A PANDEMIC of LONELINESS - Rev. Jon Owen


April 30 2023 - 048 A FRESH START - Jesus ascends after His resurrection

April 23 2023 - 047 ONLINE MINISTRY is CHANGING - Julian Ciach from Click Church


April 9 2023 - Easter Sunday - 045 HE IS RISEN!


April 2 2023 - 043 SERVING FOR THE SAKE OF SERVING - Passover and the Last Supper


March 17 2023 - 041 THE MONSTER IS THE HERO - with Rachel Humphries

March 10 2023 - 040 BEING A CHRISTIAN DOES NOT MAKE ME A GOOD PERSON - In part three of our look into some of the weird sh*t in the Bible Rev Ness and Jonty unpack the story of Jesus being tempted in the desert.

March 3 2023 - 039 THE GOSPEL OF THE UPSIDE DOWN - The Transfiguration


February 26 2023 - 038 WHAT'S THE DEAL WITH ANGELS? - Weird Sh*t in the Bible Part 1

February 17 2023 - 037 JESUS VS. THE CHURCH - Rev Ness and Jonty talk openly about how they feel about the future of the church, and address the question: do you really love Jesus, or do you actually just love your church?

February 10 2023 - Highlight from episode 36 - The Journey of Leadership in the Church - Rev Ness and Jonty chat to Somerset Drayton about some of the formative experiences she has had on her journey of leadership in the church.


February 12 2023 - 036 Build the Kingdom, not the Castle - Rev Ness and Jonty chat to Somerset Drayton about her artistry, her calling to ministry, some of the challenges she has run into along the way, and our call to take part in Kingdom-minded ministry, not castle-minded ministry. Oh, and over the course of the episode this podcast turns into a HBO's The Last of Us podcast. Hope that's ok.

February 7 2023 - 035 God of the edges - with Moderator Simon Hansford - Rev Ness and Jonty have a sit-down with Uniting Church NSW/ACT Moderator Simon Hansford, covering topics like regional ministry, natural disaster relief, looking forward to the future of the Uniting Church in Australia, and the possibility that the Good News is not always good news.



December 31 2022 - 034 New Year's Eve Special - This episode was shot back in October, before Kanye West's terrible statements, so regrettably Jonty is indeed wearing his Yeezus tee. We recognise this may come across as insensitive and apologise unreservedly.


December 23 2022 - 033 Christmas Special 2022 - Rev Ness and Jonty reflect on the Christmas narrative and their own experiences of Advent.

December 15 2022 - 032: Artistry with Leanne Maybury-Smith from Studio 17 - Rev Ness and Jonty have a chat to visual artist (and old friend of Ness)

December 8 2022 - 031: Uniting Heart & Soul Records - A 2023 Preview - Jonty preview demos of some of the music UH&S will be releasing in 2023 under Uniting Heart & Soul Worship, as well as unpacking our first single Mary, Did You Know?

December 1 2022 - 030: Discipleship and Growing Young with Steve Molkentin - Where do young people fit into the church? Jonty talks to Steve Molkentin (AKA Molk) from Pulse about the challenges and opportunities facing young people in the Uniting Church.


November 24 2022 - 029: Music, Art and the Future of the Church with Tash Holmes - Jonty has a chat with Tash Holmes about music and art, and the spaces for creativity within the church.

November 17 2022 - 028: Artistry with Jak Sherlock - Jonty sits down with his mate Jak to talk about artistry and faith.

November 10 2022 - 027: Artistry with Marty Cornford of Afterthought - Jonty has a sit-down with musician and songwriter Marty Cornford. Oh, he's also Jonty's brother. Check out Afterthought on YouTube or Spotify

November 3 2022 - 026: A Conversation with Michael Jensen - Jonty and Ness sit down with the Rev Dr Michael Jensen to have a chat about the Anglican Church, young people, social justice in the Eastern Suburbs, and everything in between. 

October 27 2022 - 025: Artistry with Rachel Collis - Jonty has a yarn with Rachel Collis, a singer-songwriter whose new double album, Mayfly.

October 20 2022 - 024: Faith in the Workplace with Rev Ness - Jonty interviews Ness about her working life, her career before becoming a Minister, and the challenges of finding a healthy work/life balance. 

October 13 2022 - 023: Artistry with Jonty Cornford Ness - interviews Jonty about his life and work as an artist. 

October 6 2022 - 022: Mailbag Episode  - Rev Ness and Jonty go through a handful of the many messages and questions from listeners we have received since starting this podcast. We also share a nice surprise. 

September 29 2022 - 021: The Exorcist Part One - Rev Ness and Jonty dive into a discussion about the demonic and the nature of evil framed by a look into the 1973 film The Exorcist.


September 22 2022 - 020: Swearing & Language - Strap the fk in, because you cts are gonna fkn flip the fk out. That's right, we're going to be talking all about swearing and foul language from a Christian perspective. In order to talk about them, we do use the full gambit of curse words pretty liberally in this episode, so if that's going to be too much for you then this episode may not be for you. And that's ok

September 15 2022 - 019: Dating (Love, Sex & Jesus Part 9) We round out our series on intimacy and sexuality with a chat about the wild world of dating.

Paul & Morgan on YouTube:


September 8 2022 - 018: Celebrating Palm Sunday (Love, Sex & Jesus Part 8) This week we attempt to be professionals while talking about masturbation. 

Teen Sex By The Book by Patricia Weerakoon:

"Can Christians Masturbate?" by God Is Grey:

September 1 2022 - 017: Marriage & Affairs (Love, Sex & Jesus Part 7) As we continue our look into topics of intimacy and sexuality, Ness gives us a peek through a window into her marriage, some of the rough patches, and the places where God intervened on their behalf. It is a story of healing and grace where brokenness and separation had every right to come out on top. 


August 25 2022 - 016: Queer Theology Part 2 with Rev James Aaron (Love, Sex & Jesus Part Six) Jonty and Ness are joined by the legend himself - James Aaron. James shares stories of the queer experience in the church, in ministry, and in his health journey. Watch Ryan Sickler's Dave Chappelle story here.


August 18 2022 - 015: HEAVEN IS FOR REAL (Film Review) Jonty and Ness break down the 2014 film Heaven Is For Real with special guest Richard Penisini.


August 11 2022 - 014: Abortion and Roe v. Wade (Love, Sex & Jesus: Part 5) Ness tells a story from her past, and we hear from a dual-citizen lawyer on the recent Roe v. Wade controversy.


August 4 2022 - 013: Queer Theology (Love, Sex & Jesus Part 4) Jonty and Ness crack open the Bible and dive into some of the most famous Bible verses that are used to talk about homosexuality to see what they actually say. We also hear from both Matthew Vines and Caleb Kaltenbach on these verses from a New York Times piece called Debating Bible Verses on Sexuality.


July 28 2022 - 012: Purity Culture with Anonymous Guest (Love, Sex & Jesus Part 3)  This week we are joined by an anonymous guest to talk about the effects of purity culture, and systems of control and abuse built around the concept of a woman's purity.

July 21.2022 - 011: What About Porn? (Love, Sex & Jesus Part 2) Jonty and Ness are joined again by psychologist July Ryan to discuss the effects of pornography on the brain and the desperate need for education and discussion around pornography.

July 14. 2022 - 010: Sex on Screen (Love, Sex & Jesus Part 1) Jonty and Ness dive into week one of a series on sexuality and intimacy by talking about how they first became aware of sexuality as a child and where those perceptions came from, before talking about the virtues and dangers of sex on screen. Ness has a good ol' fashioned rant in vent central, and Jonty reveals his inner gaming loser.

June 16, 2022 - 009: FILM REVIEW: FIRST REFORMED (Where the F**k is God, Part Eight  Jonty and Ness discuss the question of where God is amongst climate catastrophe through the lens of Paul Schrader's 2018 masterpiece "First Reformed". We do spoil the whole film, so if you care about spoilers go and see the film first. You won't regret it, it's awesome. 

June 10, 2022 - Filthy Hope Ep. 008: Poverty and Homelessness with Graham Long Wayside Chapel's Graham Long joins us to chat about poverty and homelessness and ask the question of where to find God amongst it all. 

​June 2, 2022 - 007: Where the F**k is God, Part Six - Infertility and IVF with Dr. Rob Henke Dr. Rob Henke is our guest this week to ponder the question: where the f**k is God amidst infertility and IVF?

May 26, 2022 - 006: Where the F#@k is God, Part Five: War with Dr. Keith Suter Dr. Keith Suter joins the podcast to ponder the question: where the f**k is God in war?

May 20, 2022 - Filthy Hope Ep. 005: The Unlikely Minister We take a quick break from asking the question "where the f**k is God" while Ness tells a story about God working in unlikely places and Jonty gets on his high horse about movies. 

May 13, 2022 - Filthy Hope Ep. 004: Where the F#@k is God Part Four - Childhood Trauma w/ Rev Ness This week Rev Ness recounts her story of surviving childhood trauma and abuse, and the complexities of finding God in the midst of that trauma. We do need to warn you: this episode goes there. It contains accounts of sexual assault and violence, so listener discretion is encouraged. 

May 6, 2022 - Filthy Hope Ep. 003: Where the F#@k is God Part Three - Psychology w/ Julie Ryan. We continue to ask the tough questions about God's presence amongst some of the messiness of our lives. This week psychologist Julie Ryan talks to Jonty about her experiences working in psychology, and what's going on at the Oasis in Double Bay. 

April 29 2022 - Filthy Hope Ep. 002: Where the F#&k is God Part Two - Depression & PTSD w/ Jonty. We continue to ask the question of where God is amongst the tough moments in our lives. This week Jonty shares about his experiences of depression and PTSD, and how those experiences were tied up in spiritual trauma in the church.

April 22 2022 - Filthy Hope Ep. 001: Where the F#&K is God Part One - Anxiety w/ Rev Ness. In week one of our series "Where the F#$k us God," Rev Ness shares her story of dealing with anxiety and mental health issues. 


We now have Podcasts from Uniting Heart and Soul

3 April 2022 - Luke 15:11-32 Family Business

27 March 2022 - Luke 1:26-38 The Birth of Jesus is Announced

20 March 2022 - Luke 13:1-9 "Repentance"

6 March 2022 - Luke 4:1-13 "Temptations"

27 February 2022 - Luke 9:28-36 "Transformation of Jesus"

20 February 2022 - Luke 6:17-26 Epiphany 6 "Sermon on the Plain"

13 February 2022 - Luke 5:1-11 "Push out into deep water."

6 February 2022 - Luke 2:22-40 "Jesus is presented in the Temple."

30 January 2022 - John 2:1-12 "The first miracle of Jesus"

23 January 2022 - Luke 4:15-21 "The Spirit of the Lord is to preach good news to the poor."

16 January 2022 - John 1 "Before the world was created, the Word already existed"

9 January 2022 - Baptism of Jesus

2 January 2022 - Christmas 2 - New Year Resolutions

26 December 2021 - Christmas 1

19 December 2021 - Peace- Advent 4

12 December 2021 - Love - Advent 3

5 December 2021 - Peace - Advent 2 John the Baptiser

28 November 2021 - Hope - Advent 1

21 November 2021 - Mary, Mother of Jesus - God's Wonder Woman of the Bible

7 November 2021 - Another Unnamed Legend - God's Wonder Woman of the Bible

31 October 2021 - The Samaritan Woman - God's Wonder Woman of the Bible

24 October 2021 - Joanna - God's Wonder Woman of the Bible

17 October 2021 - Salome - God's Wonder Woman of the Bible

10 October 2021 -Poor Widow - God's Wonder Woman of the Bible

3 October 2021 - Priscilla - God's Wonder Woman of the Bible

26 September 2021 - Kick Ass Men in the Bible, Paul and Silas

19 September 2021 - Kick Ass Men in the Bible, Saul who became Paul

12 September 2021 - Kick Ass Men in the Bible, Judas Iscariot

5 September 2021 - Kick Ass Men in the Bible, Joseph

22 August 2021 - Pillars of Health, Emotional Health

15 August 2021 - Pillars of Health, Spiritual Health

8 August 2021 - Pillars of Health, Physical Health

1 August 2021 - Pillars of Health, Mental Health

25 July 2021 - Feeding the 5000, Rev Brian Jago

25 July 2021 - Armour of God

11 July 2021 - Being Family

4 July 2021 - Daring to be Healthy & Well

27 June 2021 - Daring to be Patient


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