A Destiny Together: Justice for First Peoples

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A Week of Prayer and Fasting

In July 2012 in Adelaide, the members of the 13th Assembly of the Uniting Church listened to members of the Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress (UAICC) tell stories about the effects of the Federal Government’s ‘Stronger Futures’ legislation (and the ‘Intervention’ before that) on their lives and their communities.

The Assembly members were very moved by the stories of harm and exclusion and responded in two ways. The first was to ‘down tools’ and make a silent procession through the streets to the South Australian Parliament to pray and sing in a public vigil of lament. The second was to adopt a resolution calling on the Church to engage in a week of prayer and fasting for justice for the First Peoples. Read more

The week, celebrated 17-23 March 2014, included a public prayer vigil outside Parliament House in Canberra. Church members from all over Australia came to Canberra to participate in what is likely to be remembered as one of the most significant events in the life of the Uniting Church. Rev. Rronang Garrawurra, Chairperson of the Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress (UAICC) and Assembly President, Rev. Prof. Andrew Dutney, led the service. From remote communities in places like Arnhem Land and the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands and from the centres of our big cities, people gathered to pray, pass the peace and share in Holy Communion. After the service people gathered at Wesley Uniting Church in Canberra to talk together.

Throughout the week, UCA members around the country, as individuals and in small groups, engaged in a discipline of fasting and prayer. Congregations and presbyteries held special services and ran community forums to raise awareness about the many issues faced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and encourage action.

The worship materials and resources produced by UnitingJustice Australia working with the UAICC, are available by clicking on the Resource link below. Videos and images, including the Canberra vigil and forum, are also available. All these can be used at any time.

Resources

Videos

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A Message from the President, Rev. Prof. Andrew Dutney, about the 'A Destiny Together' Week of Prayer and Fasting   Rev. Rronang Garrawurra, Chair of the Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress, speaks about real partnerships between First and Second Peoples in Australia   How does your faith shape how you think about reconciliation?   Why does constitutional recognition of Australia's First Peoples matter to you?
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Why is reconciliation important to you?   Candace Champion, from Salisbury Uniting Church in Adelaide, speaks about the importance of Constitutional Recognition to her   A Destiny Together – the Uniting Church prays for justice    

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