Faith in action
We each have a role to play in addressing the overrepresentation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in our prison systems – lets start by pledging our support.Take the pledge
Yesterday in light of the latest episode of the ABC’s #4Corners (25/07/2016) I called us to prayer. But with prayer must also come action. Many people are calling on the Government to act. We the people also need to act. We the church also need to act.
We need to remember we only saw the stories of 6 boys in the Northern Territory. There will be stories to come from the States and other Territory - stories over many decades. There will be stories about how girls have been mistreated including being stripped naked. I have been to court with our children and reviewed CCTV footage from Juvie where the Corrections Officers have flat out lied. In community we know these stories – heartbreaking, sad and real stories. We’ve seen how these stories have destroyed our young people, have destroyed futures, have destroyed families.
My heart and call is still for the churches to wake up to where Jesus is calling us. And to act. The churches continue to reduce funding to Aboriginal ministries, close down our churches, have us operating in derelict buildings, not fully employ Aboriginal pastors, Aboriginal youth pastors, Aboriginal prison chaplains, Aboriginal court chaplains, and not support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Christian Leadership development. Sometimes churches don’t do anything at all. This is why grassroots movements like the Grasstree Gathering are so important.
As Aboriginal Christian Leaders we are with the families of these kids each and every day - providing practical support, prayer support, love and care - all through the power and strength of Jesus. We do this because it's family. We do this because it's what Jesus would do. We do this because we are living our Jesus radical call on our lives. But we are sick of doing this on our own and on our own resources. We need the churches to stand beside us as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Christian Leaders and to support us.
You can stand with us by contacting your own church pastor, head of church, minister or denominational leader and asking them to make a public stand for justice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, in response to the Four Corners report.
They might like to do this via social media, from the pulpit this Sunday, in an email or letter to the church or denominational members, or by writing a column or 'Letter to the Editor' for their local paper. Also ask them to write to the area's governmental leaders to express their concern and commitment to justice.
Grace & Peace,
Brooke Prentis and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Justice Team
Brooke Prentis reflects on #ClintonsWalkForJustice and the injustices Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples still face in Australia, exhorting us to walk forward together, step-by-step.
We grieve for Wayne Fella Morrission. We grieve for Tane Chatfield. We grieve for every preventable death in custody.
On Interntional Day Against Nuclear Tests, Common Grace supporter Penny Kleemann looks at the past and present impact of nuclear programs on Traditional Lands in South Australia, and how we can respond.
Brooke Prentis invites us to love, to listen, to share as we reconcile divided cultures through a shared love of all of God's creation.