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 LISTEN

Opportunities for you and your church to hear Indigenous perspectives on life in Australia and our shared history.

WATCH & DISCUSS

“Sharing our Story” is a video-based small group discussion tool produced by Australians Together. Over four sessions a group  looks at a different historical stages in the relationship between Indigenous and non-indigenous Australians, the impact on Indigenous people, and the shape of a biblically informed response. The videos, a leaders guide and other resources can be downloaded from the Australians Together website.

WATCH & DISCUSS

 “First Australians” is a 7-part documentary film that “explores what unfolds when the oldest living culture in the world is overrun by the world’s greatest empire. 

Over seven episodes this documentary depicts the true stories of individuals – both black and white – caught in an epic drama of friendship, revenge, loss and victory in the most transformative period of Australia’s history.” Each part is approximately 1 hour long and can be viewed at SBS On Demand. Links to discussion guides are available at BlackfellaFilms website

READ & DISCUSS

Invite people to be part of a book club that meets to discuss books by Indigenous authors and/or about Australia’s history. The guide below includes tips on running a group, discussion questions to use, and recommended books.

REFLECT

As we hear the stories of Indigenous Australians we must ask what God is saying to us. This section points to resources that help you think biblically and theologically. In particular, we have included resources from Indigenous leaders and theologians.

FIVE SMOOTH STONES. READING THE BIBLE THROUGH ABORIGINAL EYES

A paper by indigenous Christian leader Grant Paulson and Whitley Theological College professor, Mark Brett. Explores five key themes of Indigenous culture – family, land, law, language, and ceremony – in light of the Bible.

EMBODYING JUSTICE, RECONCILIATION & RECOGNITION

A 3 part podcast exploring the meaning of justice, reconciliation & recognition for Indigenous Australians. By indigenous leader Brooke Prentis & pastor-theologian Geoff Broughton. Available from Surrender Conference podcasts (school to 2017 dates talks)

HOW DO WE THINK BIBLICALLY ABOUT CONSTITUTIONAL RECOGNITION?

A three part podcast exploring questions of land, sovereignty & constitutional recognition (each approximately 1hr long). By indigenous pastor & theologian Ray Minniecon. Available from Surrender Conference podcasts (scroll to 2016 dated talks)

longshadows

A 4 part blog series by Peter Adam, Anglican vicar and former Principal of Ridley Theological College. Available from the Gospel Coalition.

WORSHIP

After a period of listening, we encourage churches to recognise Australia’s First Nations in their church life and worship 

acknowledgE country

Acknowledge country at special public events & celebrations (eg a conference, an anniversary dinner, a “vision Sunday” church service), in your church newsletter and on your church website. For more on why this matters and how to do it see the overview provided by Australians Together.  

SPECIAL DAYS/WEEKS

Indigenous history and peoples are celebrated at various times throughout the year, such as Reconciliation Week (June) and NAIDOC week (July).  These are great times to include justice for Indigenous people in the worship of your church and to join in events run in your community. We have included links to resources for the various days in the toggle boxes below. These will be updated during the year

ABORIGINAL SUNDAY (SUN BEFORE AUST DAY)

In 1940 Indigenous leader William Cooper called Australia’s churches to set aside the Sunday before Australia Day as “Aboriginal Sunday”. This is now being promoted and resourced by Common Grace. Click here to sign up and receive resources.

Australia Day (JAN 26)

Australia Day is intended as a “day to reflect on what it means to be Australian, to celebrate contemporary Australia and to acknowledge our history” (Australia Day website). Yet for many Indigenous Australians it signifies the invasion of their country and the history of dispossession, exclusion and cultural destruction that followed.

In their worship on the Sunday closest to Australia Day we encourage churches to acknowledge indigenous Australians and the unresolved questions that remain as a result of the colonisation of Australia by Britain.

As Australia Day 2021 draws near we will add to these resources.

#changetheheart prayer services (from Common Grace)

Australia Day info (from australiaday.org.au)

An indigenous perspective on Australia Day (from Creative Spirits)

Indigenous prayers (from Common Grace)

Preaching on Australia Day (from the Gospel Coalition)

Reconciliation Week (May 27-Jun 3)

Reconciliation week “a time for all Australians to learn about our shared histories, cultures, and achievements, and to explore how each of us can contribute to achieving reconciliation in Australia.” (Reconciliation Australia). 

 This is a great opportunity to launch your church participation in “Journey to the Heart”, participate in events in your community, and to include indigenous nations in your worship.

Reconciliation Week info (from Reconciliation Australia)

 

NAIDOC Week (JULY 5-12)

NAIDOC week invites all Australians “to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.” (Reconciliation Australia). 

This is another opportunity to launch your church participation in “Journey to the Heart” or one of the activities in the campaign, participate in events in your community, and to include indigenous nations in your worship.

 

NAIDOC Week info (from NAIDOC)

RElationship

At the heart of reconciliation is the building of respectful, just and healing relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. 

LEARN YOUR LOCAL HISTORY

Invite a small group to research the history of the local Indigenous nations and to share what they find with the church.  Councils, libraries and local Indigenous organisations are a good place to start.  

MEET OUR INDIGENOUS BAPTIST CHURCHES

Six indigenous Baptist churches are part of the Baptist Churches of the Northern Territory. Let some of their leaders introduce them to your church via video.

GET TO KNOW LOCAL INDIGENOUS GROUPS

Find out what Indigenous community groups are functioning in your local area and how you can build just, respectful and healing relationships with them

SUPPORT INDIGENOUS MINISTRIES

Provide prayer and financial support to an indigenous ministry.

 

ADVOCATE

In this section we will point you to opportunities to speak to Government and community about  justice for indigenous Australians.