During National Reconciliation Week (26 May – 3 June, 2024) we invite you to take the time to read, reflect and pray about how we might seek reconciliation and justice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. In 2 Corinthians, Paul teaches us that Christians are to be Christ’s ambassadors in the ‘ministry of reconciliation’, so that we might demonstrate the gospel in action, sharing Christ’s love with others:

“All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”

2 Corinthians 5:18-21

Below are a few articles, some with helpful practical steps we can take.

National Reconciliation Week (Anglican Board of Mission)

“Each year on May 26th, we solemnly observe Sorry Day, reflecting on the colonial atrocities inflicted upon the Stolen Generations. We remember the brutal actions against children and infants who were forcibly removed from their families, told that their culture, community, and families did not want them. These children were led to believe they would be forgotten by their loved ones and communities.

Such falsehoods have permeated the mindset of our nation. For many Australians, ignorance of these atrocities was commonplace, either because they were unaware or complicit in accepting government policies without question. It is estimated that 1 in 3 Indigenous children (estimated 20,000 – 25,000) were forcibly removed from their families and placed in institutions rife with abuse and torture. These children suffered immensely, often ending up in non-Indigenous homes where they were trained to be domestic servants and stockmen, effectively subjected to unpaid labour…”

Reconciliation Through the Cross (Common Grace)

“Nature is a wonderful teacher that reminds us of deep truths to inspire our engagement with life, reconciliation and justice.

After a bushfire rages through a eucalypt forest, when the trunks are blackened and leaves have been burnt to a crisp, a fascinating process of new life takes effect. Green shoots, leaves full of life, begin to grow all over the trunk and branches. These are called epicormic shoots. 

If you have ever witnessed this, I’m sure you were amazed at how new life could emerge out of such a tragic, desolate and harmful situation. 

These surviving trees are sometimes called upside-down trees, with new leaves sprouting on the trunks and the high branches left empty to resemble roots floating in the sky. Upside-down trees remind us of the upside-down Kingdom that our King Jesus leads us into. Where death leads to life, beauty emerges from the ashes, suffering and mourning are turned into joy in His presence and hope always persists…”

Old Sins Cast Long Shadows: A Call to Action (The Gospel Coalition, Australia; 2016)

In this final installment of his 4-part series examining the wrongs perpetrated against the first Australians, Peter Adam asks what we should do about the crimes perpetrated by European settlers against the first Australians…”

  1. We should confess our sins
  2. We should make peace
  3. We should provide appropriate recompense
  4. What practical steps should we take?

Acknowledgement of Country:

We acknowledge the traditional custodians of this land, the Wodi Wodi people of the Dharawal nation.  On this land they continued their cultural, spiritual and educational practices, and we pay our respect to them as we seek to do the same in our community and for our children. As we gather on these ancestral lands, we also acknowledge our God & Heavenly Father who made the heavens and the earth, and to whom we are responsible for the current stewardship of this land that has been entrusted to us.