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Covenanting resource promotes reconciliation


Published by the Uniting Church Assembly, with full endorsement from the Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress, the booklet, Building Partnerships: a guide to covenant renewal with Indigenous people throughout the Uniting Church in Australia, was produced for use in congregations, presbyteries and community service organisations as a way to explore relationships across the church and invite conversation and action. Reports from those who have used the booklet have been positive.

In February Uniting Church President, Rev Gregor Henderson, affirmed the Federal Government’s apology to the Indigenous people of Australia and encouraged congregations to make use of the Assembly’s reconciliation resources.

“Reconciliation is the heart of the gospel,” Mr Henderson said. “Through the gift of Jesus Christ, God has acted to bring us into right relationship with God and with each other. God asks us to act always in the interests of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:18).”

Margaret Marsh facilitated a Building Partnerships study group at the Bundaberg Uniting Church.

“I’ve been involved with Congress for a long while and I felt it would be good not just for reconciliation not just with Aboriginal people but also as a way of seeing other people who aren’t the same as us, who have different needs,” she said.

Each member of the group had a copy of the booklet, studying and discussing a paragraph at a time. Margaret says that most participants didn’t know much about the Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress or the issues Indigenous people and communities face, pointing out that for one woman from the Bundaberg Catholic Group it was “a great eye opener”.

“I think it’s a great educational tool. It fills in the gaps,” said Ms March. “The good news stories about what other congregations have achieved help people to think outside the square.” All proof that the vision Mr Henderson spoke of is indeed being lived out in the Uniting Church.

A PDF of the booklet can be downloaded at: http://assembly.uca.org.au/resources/news/partnerships  

Other reconciliation resources are available at: http://assembly.uca.org.au/home/.