Faith in action
We will be providing resources for National Reconciliation Week for individuals and churches to stand together to re-imagine our nation and continue to pray, act, and walk for Reconciliation (27 May - 3 June)Read more
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 is the Aboriginal Spokesperson for Common Grace.
In 2000 Ben Johnson was a youth delegate representing the Salvation Army on a journey of Reconciliation from Canberra to Uluru.
David Cook was part of the organising committee for the Melbourne Walk for Reconciliation in the year 2000. His reflection is part of our Gallery of photos and stories of Christians who participated in Walks for Reconciliation.
Artist Safina Stewart has prepared a colouring in sheet for Sorry Day. Find it here.
Rachel reflects on the way Jesus met people and what that might have to say to us as we consider the 250 years since Captain Cook’s encounter with Aboriginal people.