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Opportunities for you and your church to hear Indigenous perspectives on life in Australia and our shared history.
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.
After a period of listening, we encourage churches to recognise Australia’s First Nations in their church life and worship
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.
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)
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.
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.
At the heart of reconciliation is the building of respectful, just and healing relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.
In this section we will point you to opportunities to speak to Government and community about justice for indigenous Australians.