National Reconciliation Week 2020
Church Resources - Full Service
- Acknowledgement of Country from your service leader (2:00 - 5:00)
- Welcome & Introduction from your service leader (4:00)
- Song “Build My Life” or “Be Thou My Vision” (4:45)
- Song “Incarnate One” (3:35)
- Bible Reading Old Testament: Proverbs 4:11-12, 18 (NRSV) (00:30) Adam Gowen
- Bible Reading Old Testament: Micah 6:8 (NRSV) (00:21) Adam Gowen
- Bible Reading Psalm: Psalm 56:10-13 (NRSV) (00:35) Safina Stewart
- Bible Reading Psalm: Psalm 15 (NRSV) (00:44) Amy Hickman
- Bible Reading New Testament: Colossians 2:2-4 (Msg) (00:42)
- Bible Reading New Testament: James 2:14-17 (NLT) (00:44) Desai Smith
- Bible Reading Gospel: Luke 10:25-37 (NRSV) (1:59)
- Video message from Brooke Prentis - Interwoven: The Power of We (17:16)
- Song “Song of Freedom” (4:16)
- Reconciliation Prayer (1:30)
- Promote Common Grace’s National Reconciliation Week series (2:00)
- Aboriginal Blessing by Uncle Vince Ross (00:30)
We have uploaded all the resources for your service onto a shared Google Drive folder which you can access here. We have also listed each resource out below:
We have put together some powerpoint slides to guide you through your service. Please download the powerpoint file and edit to adapt to your service format. To download - right click - download. After download please recheck formatting.
Acknowledgement of Country
It is entirely appropriate for a non-Aboriginal person to do an Acknowledgement of Country, but not a Welcome to Country. We encourage you to find your own words for Acknowledgement of Country but you can find some suggestions here.
Welcome & Introduction
These words are suggested only as a way to introduce Common Grace, National Reconciliation Week, and this service. You can edit and adapt these words or use your own.
Welcome to the service today. Today, through the support of Common Grace, our church is participating in National Reconciliation Week. National Reconciliation Week is a national annual celebration that is held from 27 May to 3 June each year and encourages us to continue to build relationship between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non-Indigenous peoples of all cultures in these lands now called Australia. This year’s National Reconciliation Week theme is “In This Together”.
During National Reconciliation Week all Australians are invited to learn more about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and histories, to share that knowledge and help us grow as a nation. Today, our church is joining the call of Common Grace for churches all across Australia to participate in National Reconciliation Week.
Common Grace is a growing movement of over 47,000 Australian Christians passionate about Jesus and Justice, invites us to be led by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Christian Leaders to pursue friendship and Reconciliation in our lifetime.
Do you know the significance of National Reconciliation Week? National Reconciliation Week runs from May 27 being the anniversary of the 1967 Referendum that effectively gave Aboriginal peoples full citizenship rights by finally being counted in the national census, until June 3 being the anniversary of the 1992 Mabo decision that effectively overturned the lie our country had lived of ‘Terra Nullius’ – ‘empty land’ or ‘land belonging to no one’.
And do you know how National Reconciliation Week started? The 1991 Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody had 339 Recommendations – only a handful have ever been implemented. The final recommendation, Recommendation 339 said, “Initiate a formal process of reconciliation between Aboriginal people and the wider community.” But it was Christians that led the way when in 1993, the International Year of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, Christians started the Week of Prayer for Reconciliation which was supported by Australia’s major faith communities. In 1996, society caught up to the churches and we had Australia’s first National Reconciliation Week.
Some of you might have been involved in the Walks for Reconciliation in the year 2000. People came out in the tens and hundreds of thousands right across Australia. Common Grace are looking for photos and stories from that moment so please contribute if you would like to share. That means this year is the 20th anniversary of those walks.
And so today we show that we are #StillWalkingForReconciliation.
Links and charts for the suggested songs are in the Google Drive Folder “2. Worship Song Resources”. Please start with the document ‘0.0 Song Notes National Reconciliation Week 2020’ which provides an overview.
Song 1 either “Build My Life” or “Be Thou My Vision”. Either can be played live (with appropriate licensing)
Song 2 “Incarnate One” can be played as a clip from Youtube or played live (permission given for use in Reconciliation Week services with Common Grace)
Song 3 “Song of Freedom” can be played as a clip from Youtube or played live (permission given for use in Reconciliation Week services with Common Grace)
“Incarnate One” and “Song of Freedom” are songs by Pastor Helen Wright of @heartcriesworship. Helen is the Creative & Justice Pastor at Newtown Mission in Sydney.
Below are the Bible readings we are suggesting for this service. Due to most churches now doing services online we have video recorded these being read by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Christian Leaders and non-Indigenous members of our Common Grace Aboriginal justice team. Also feel free to use your own bible readers and the pdf of each Bible Reading is in the 3. Bible Readings folder. Please feel free to use all the Bible Readings or whichever ones you feel fit the service the most appropriately. All Bible Readings are relevant with each of the three video sermons however we recommend Luke 10:25-37 and specifically if using the “Interwoven - The Power of We” sermon please ensure you use Colossians 2:2-4 (The Message).
Old Testament Bible Readings
- Proverbs 4:11-12, 18 (NRSV) Adam Gowen - Aboriginal Christian Leader (00:30)
- Micah 6:8 (NRSV) Adam Gowen - Aboriginal Christian Leader (00:21)
Psalms Bible Readings
- Psalm 56:10-13 (NRSV) Safina Stewart - Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Christian Leader (00:35)
- Psalm 15 (NRSV) Amy Hickman - Non-Indigenous Common Grace Team Member (00:44)
New Testament Bible Readings
- Colossians 2:2-4 (Msg) Bianca Manning - Aboriginal Christian Leader (00:42)
- James 2:14-17 (NLT) (00:44) Desai Smith - Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Christian Leader
Gospel Bible Reading
- Luke 10:25-37 (NRSV) Mitch Eastment - Non-Indigenous Common Grace Team Member (1:59)
We recommend playing Brooke Prentis' message from Surrender Conference 2019 - Interwoven: The Power of We - for the full service resources which goes for (17:16 mins). If you would like a shorter sermon there is also “Rethinking Reconciliation” (9:08 mins) or also “The Good Samaritan” (3:43 mins).
If your online church is engaging with discussion times during the service the following reflection and questions may be helpful and can work with all of the three video resources:
As human beings we often gravitate towards ways of thinking and behaving based on “in” and “out” groups: or “us” and “them”. This is a natural human tendency. However, it is something which Jesus calls us to acknowledge, face and move beyond. If you are challenged by this, firstly, take heart in knowing that the intent in Jesus’ challenge is not to create guilt and condemnation. As we honestly face our own biases and blind spots, Jesus lovingly invites us into abundant life. To be free to love in spite of any differences is to reflect the heart and nature of Jesus. It is freedom from the fear which drives the need to exclude those who seem different.
With this in mind, reflect on these questions:
How can you see your Aboriginal neighbour & Aboriginal brother and sister?
How can you love your Aboriginal neighbour/brother/sister?
How can you be on the same road and walk beside your Aboriginal neighbour/brother/sister by giving your hand, your time, your resources, and your heart?
Pray thanking God for his unending love for us. We are relentlessly pursued by a God who invites us into abundant life. Pray for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Christian Leaders, pray for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, pray for true Reconciliation with truth, justice and love.
We've provided a Reconciliation Prayer which is from the Wontulp Bi-Buya Indigenous Theology Working Group, 13 March 1997. We have provided this as a video message with the prayer being read by Bianca Manning, a Gomeroi woman. We have also provided as a PDF for a member of your congregation to read.
Please promote to your church Common Grace’s National Reconciliation Week 2020 (#NRW2020) series that will include:
- Daily devotions in your inbox during National Reconciliation Week by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Christian Leaders. These will be short, powerful reflections and include a call to action. You can sign up for these here
- Follow Common Grace on Social Media @commongraceaus to join other Australian Christians in creative ways to engage and share the message of Reconciliation and commit to #StillWalkingForReconciliation. #StillWalkingForReconciliation will be the hashtag Common Grace will be using during National Reconciliation Week 2020
- Post a photo of your church building/sign/zoom call and post to your Facebook page following the service saying “(insert Church name) is #StillWalkingForReconciliation this #NRW2020 with @commongraceaus”
Uncle Vince Ross, a Madi-Madi elder, has written a blessing which we recommend to use to conclude your service.