Australia’s history is tragically scarred with injustice that is still felt today. As a church, and especially this year, we have endeavoured to listen more, learn more and be at the forefront of playing our part in seeing racism eradicated both here in Australia and in cities and nations around the world. As Christ’s ambassadors, we are entrusted with the ministry of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5). Reconciliation begins in our own individual hearts with the Lord Jesus Christ, and then is evidenced as we steward reconciliation with others and the world around us. Thankfully, the Gospel embraces all that makes humanity diverse and wonderful, so with this in mind, we reflect on NAIDOC week and what it means for us as individuals and as a local church.
For those unaware, NAIDOC week is about celebrating and championing the rich cultural heritage of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and the recognition and support of their ongoing connection to country, culture and community. This year’s theme is — ‘Always Was Always Will Be’. It beckons us to reflect on the connection many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have with their traditional lands and how that impacts us today. It recognises those who have occupied and cared for this continent for thousands of years and the cultural wisdom within this ancient history. In the spirit of reconciliation, we are committed to a journey of understanding the importance of that connection; to empower toward building mutual endeavours and future relationships with traditional owners. We understand this may take time and are devoted to listening, learning, and walking humbly with others toward lasting and effective change.
I trust you will join Bobbie and I in being informed and mindful this week of what is deeply important to our brothers and sisters. If you would like to enquire further into NAIDOC week and see how you can be involved in your local community, we have included a few helpful links below. As the book of Hebrews exhorts — let’s consider how we can encourage one another to continue in love and good deeds.
We know there is much to learn as we walk together toward a better and brighter future for all.
God bless you,
NAIDOC Week: naidoc.org.au
Our commitment to diversity and racial equity: hillsong.com/racialequity