To watch a Christmas message from UCA President Stuart McMillan please click here or on the image above.
See below for transcript.
Stuart McMillan: Christmas greetings to you. I’m Stuart McMillan, the President of the Uniting Church in Australia. Light breaks into darkness to reveal where we are and where we’re going. Friends I’m here with the Rev. Richard Cassady and I’ve spent the day on Nywaigi country (at Mungalla Station near Ingham in north Queensland).
Rev Richard Cassady: So this is my grandfather’s country. Nywaigi country. Grandfather he would say though that whenever we’re going across country make sure that you’re very respectful. Make sure you announce yourself also, and so one of the ways that we do that is, he would say take a pebble, and when you come to a waterhole like this one here you toss that pebble into the water. It’s only a pebble so that your footprint is going to be small, so that pebble’s going to make a small splash, but the presence – your ripple – that’s going to be great. And so he would always say, we have to actually watch our footprint and step carefully where we go, especially on another person’s country.
Stuart McMillan: When Australia was colonised country like this was violently and illegally seized and we acknowledge that some in our Church ignored the Bible’s teachings in the way they treated others during that colonisation. For this I apologise to all First Peoples.
Holidays and New Year are great times to reflect on life’s big questions. I give thanks that more Australians are exploring what it means to acknowledge sovereignty for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. We need much more conversation about just terms treaties that reflect the truth of our history and redefine our coexistence on this land.
At Christmas we celebrate that Jesus – the light of the world and the presence of God – is a light to all people.
On behalf of the Uniting Church in Australia I wish you and your loved ones, the fullness of God’s light and love this Christmas.