The Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress (UAICC) has prepared worship resources for congregations to use during NAIDOC Week, which takes place from 3-10 July this year. It contains an Acknowledgement of Country, recommended readings, reflection questions and a copy of the Preamble to the Uniting Church Constitution. It also features prayers prepared by Rev Tim Matton-Johnson, a member of the UAICC Tasmania advisory group.
The theme for this year’s NAIDOC Week is ‘Songlines – The living narrative of our nation’. Songlines describes the dreaming tracks that recorded the journeys of ancestral spirits who ‘sang’ the land into life. These Songlines are captured in traditional songs, stories, dance and art.
The resource explores the meaning of Songlines and how it is reflected in the Eucharist, a ritual established by Christ to renew the covenant between God and human beings.
“Following the Songlines is like walking in the footsteps of God; it helps people navigate a spiritual landscape and a natural one,” the resource explained.
“Each time we celebrate the Eucharist – “do this in remembrance of me” – we ‘sing’ the presence of Christ, we remember the history and the practice of radical discipleship in our context, and we follow the contours of the new life and new community that Jesus calls into being.”
The resource also reflects on why the Uniting Church is called to pursue justice for First Peoples in this country.
“Christians pursue justice not simply because of claims about human rights and equality. We pursue justice because injustice to some destroys community and our capacity to reflect the life of God,” the resource reads.
“The Uniting Church seeks to be a peace-making church, a Church opposed to racism and prejudice, a community without division and distinction – as a sign and foretaste of that coming reconciliation and renewal which God desires for the whole creation.”
Narana Aboriginal Cultural Centre will host a range of free programs from 4-6 July in celebration of NAIDOC Week. It kicks off on 4 July at Westfield Geelong from 11am-2pm with a didgeridoo demonstration and workshop, along with an artwork exhibition. There will also be arts and craft activities for children.
This will be followed by a flag raising ceremony and free BBQ at the Narana Centre on 5 July from 12pm-2pm, and a Narana Songlines Film Festival on 6 July from 9am – 7pm. The festival features a selection of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander documentaries, short films and movies handpicked by the Narana team.
For more information, visit http://www.narana.com.au/
Visit the NAIDOC Week website for a list of events happening in your local area.