Happy NAIDOC Week!

Thank you for acknowledging, celebrating, and sharing the 2019 NAIDOC Week journey with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples through Common Grace.

We are excited that you are helping to join Brooke’s call for Australian churches to celebrate NAIDOC Week. We still have a long way to go but momentum is building and we are excited that you are apart of the growing movement.  

We are delighted to bring you the following resources to celebrate NAIDOC Week in your church.  

  • Opening words for the Church service (information about NAIDOC Week and Common Grace)
  • Main Bible verse – 1 John 3:11–14. For churches that follow the Revised Common Lectionary we have found that the verses fit for this year’s NAIDOC Week theme except for the New Testament passage of which we have instead selected 1 John3:11-24. Old Testament Readings are Deuteronomy 30:9–14 and Psalm 25:1–10, and Gospel Reading Luke 10:25–37. Also note the Gospel reading in the Parable of the Good Samaritan video that Brooke featured in earlier this year for our Lent series. 
  • Prayer by Bianca Manning (can be used at the most appropriate time in your service)
  • Video Sermon by Brooke Prentis (18 minutes). Please ensure you test this on your sound system. This was recorded in a church service so we apologise for the background noise. 
  • Benediction written by Brooke Prentis
  • Powerpoint slides to compliment the service 

If you would like to discuss an ongoing church partnership with Common Grace we would love to talk to you. Please contact us at info@commongrace.org.au so that we can discuss this further.  

Once again thank you for being passionate about Jesus and Justice, supporting Aboriginal Christian Leaders, and being part of seeking justice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.  

We hope you enjoy celebrating NAIDOC Week with your church community and mark NAIDOC Week on your church calendar as an annual event. 

Opening Words for NAIDOC Service

(feel free to look up the NAIDOC website and add your own words).

Today we join the call from Aboriginal Christian Leader, Brooke Prentis, through Common Grace, to celebrate NAIDOC Week, as a church in these lands now called Australia.

NAIDOC Week is celebrated every year from the first Sunday to the second Sunday of July. This is a week for the nation of Australia to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. NAIDOC celebrations are held right across Australia. NAIDOC is not just for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples but for all Australians. NAIDOC week is a great opportunity to participate in a range of activities and to support your local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.

NAIDOC originally stood for ‘National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee’. This committee was once responsible for organising national activities during NAIDOC Week and its acronym has since become the name of the week itself.

More information on NAIDOC Week can be found at www.naidoc.org.au

The 2019 NAIDOC Week theme is “Voice. Treaty. Truth. Let’s work together for a shared future.” And follows last year’s very moving theme, “Because of her, we can!

We will be using resources today prepared by Common Grace. Common Grace is a growing movement of over 43,000 Australian Christians passionate about Jesus and Justice and focus of four priority justice campaigns of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Justice, Asylum Seeker and Refugee Justice, Climate and Creation Justice, and Domestic and Family Violence Justice. Sign up on Common Grace’s website at www.commongrace.org.au and follow on social media @commongraceaus. As part of the service today we will hear, via video message, from Brooke Prentis, the Aboriginal Spokesperson for Common Grace. 

New Testament Bible Reading

Selected by Brooke Prentis

1 John 3:11-24 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

11 For this is the message you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. 12 We must not be like Cain who was from the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own deeds were evil and his brother’s righteous. 13 Do not be astonished, brothers and sisters, that the world hates you. 14 We know that we have passed from death to life because we love one another. Whoever does not love abides in death. 15 All who hate a brother or sister are murderers, and you know that murderers do not have eternal life abiding in them. 16 We know love by this, that he laid down his life for us—and we ought to lay down our lives for one another. 17 How does God’s love abide in anyone who has the world’s goods and sees a brother or sister in need and yet refuses help?

18 Little children, let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action. 19 And by this we will know that we are from the truth and will reassure our hearts before him 20 whenever our hearts condemn us; for God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. 21 Beloved, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have boldness before God; 22 and we receive from him whatever we ask, because we obey his commandments and do what pleases him.

23 And this is his commandment, that we should believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us. 24 All who obey his commandments abide in him, and he abides in them. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit that he has given us.

Old Testament Bible Reading

Revised Common Lectionary Reading

Deuteronomy 30:9-14  New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

and the Lord your God will make you abundantly prosperous in all your undertakings, in the fruit of your body, in the fruit of your livestock, and in the fruit of your soil. For the Lord will again take delight in prospering you, just as he delighted in prospering your ancestors, 10 when you obey the Lord your God by observing his commandments and decrees that are written in this book of the law, because you turn to the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.

11 Surely, this commandment that I am commanding you today is not too hard for you, nor is it too far away. 12 It is not in heaven, that you should say, “Who will go up to heaven for us, and get it for us so that we may hear it and observe it?” 13 Neither is it beyond the sea, that you should say, “Who will cross to the other side of the sea for us, and get it for us so that we may hear it and observe it?” 14 No, the word is very near to you; it is in your mouth and in your heart for you to observe.

Old Testament Bible Reading

Revised Common Lectionary Psalm

Psalm 25:1 – 10 (NRSV)

To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
O my God, in you I trust;
    do not let me be put to shame;
    do not let my enemies exult over me.
Do not let those who wait for you be put to shame;
    let them be ashamed who are wantonly treacherous.

Make me to know your ways, O Lord;
    teach me your paths.
Lead me in your truth, and teach me,
    for you are the God of my salvation;
    for you I wait all day long.

Be mindful of your mercy, O Lord, and of your steadfast love,
    for they have been from of old.
Do not remember the sins of my youth or my transgressions;
    according to your steadfast love remember me,
    for your goodness’ sake, O Lord!

Good and upright is the Lord;
    therefore he instructs sinners in the way.
He leads the humble in what is right,
    and teaches the humble his way.
10 All the paths of the Lord are steadfast love and faithfulness,
    for those who keep his covenant and his decrees.

Gospel Reading

Revised Common Lectionary Reading

Luke 10:25-37 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

25 Just then a lawyer stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he said, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 26 He said to him, “What is written in the law? What do you read there?” 27 He answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbour as yourself.” 28 And he said to him, “You have given the right answer; do this, and you will live.”

29 But wanting to justify himself, he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” 30 Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell into the hands of robbers, who stripped him, beat him, and went away, leaving him half dead. 31 Now by chance a priest was going down that road; and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. 32 So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan while traveling came near him; and when he saw him, he was moved with pity. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, having poured oil and wine on them. Then he put him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said, ‘Take care of him; and when I come back, I will repay you whatever more you spend.’ 36 Which of these three, do you think, was a neighbour to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?” 37 He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”

Note Brooke’s Lent video on The Parable of the Good Samaritan 

NAIDOC Prayer by Bianca Manning

Bianca is an Aboriginal Christian Leader, Gomeroi Woman, and Communications Officer for Common Grace

Loving God, 

We thank you and praise you for who you are, for your unending love for us and your creation of these lands on which we now live. We thank you for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, who you placed as stewards and custodians of these lands and waters. 

Father God, we come before you this NAIDOC Week to celebrate the successes, achievements, and resilience of our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander brothers and sisters. We recognise those Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Leaders who are using their talents to enrich our communities and inspire us all in many ways. We honour First Nations peoples who have fought everyday for the past 230 years for rights, culture and land. They reveal the true meaning of strength and survival. 

Lord, will you increase our capacity this NAIDOC Week to humble ourselves and listen afresh to truly hear the voices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. We pray that Australian churches, communities, and governments at all levels would provide platforms for First Nations voices to be heard and taken seriously. We pray that Internationally recognised Treaties will be established and the ongoing sovereignty of First Nations peoples will be recognised. 

We acknowledge and lament the injustices of the past and present, and ask for your mercy and healing.  May the truth of the history, of these lands now called Australia, be told in its entirety, and truth telling become a priority for our government and all citizens. We pray that you would open hearts and ears ready to embrace Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander brothers and sisters and empower all peoples to take action against injustice.   

Lord Jesus, you are worthy of our devotion and worship. Through the cross we are reconciled to you and are your family under Christ. You call us to love one another just as you have loved us. So we pray that this NAIDOC Week, love will increase and the call for Voice, Treaty, and Truth will be heard. 

In Jesus name we pray, 

Amen.

Video Sermon by Brooke Prentis

Video can be downloaded via this link.

Benediction

Written by Brooke Prentis

May our footsteps, on these ancient lands, 

remind us of creation and connectedness, in our search for truth.

May the Gum Tree, from it’s roots to it’s branches, 

remind us to dig deep and reach high, in our action for justice.

May the Eagle, who soars in the sky, 

remind us of the power, in our call for love.

May the expanse of the lands and seas, of the sky and stars, 

remind us of God’s timing in our faith in hope.

May the Holy three, Creator Spirit, Lord God, (Papa) Jesus, 

remind us of community.

Now with grace, mercy, and peace, go in truth, justice, love and hope. 

Slides

Slides can be accessed here.