June 1, 2022
Today the Uniting Church Assembly and the Walking Together as First and Second Peoples Circle launch a new initiative – Living the Covenant Locally.
It is an invitation for Second Peoples of our Church to engage in learning, theological study and action to deepen our relationship with First Peoples, to grow our understanding of the injustices they face and to live out our commitment to work for a more just Church and nation.
The launch of this new initiative comes after the Assembly renewed its covenant relationship with the Uniting Aboriginal Islander Christian Congress (UAICC) at the reconvened 16th Assembly meeting and as the nation marks National Reconciliation Week, which this year calls for people to “Be Brave. Make Change.”
Advocate for the Walking Together as First and Second Peoples Circle Alison Overeem urged people across the church to help grow a “grassroots movement” committed to relationship and to living out the Covenant locally.
“We must be warriors for change,” said Alison. “We are called to see and feel ‘walking together’. It’s a call to reconcile with the truth telling across the lands and waterways. To know the covenant, is to feel it, and to BE it.”
"It's not just about a yarn or a conversation. It's about an action, about a realistic call to be and walk together.”
The invitation is open to congregations, faith communities, schools, agencies, youth groups, fellowships and all parts of the church. Communities are invited to register by undertaking study or action in one of three areas
- Listen and Learn from First Peoples – Introductory resources
- Going Deeper – Bible and Theological resources for Second Peoples
- Action – Worship, Advocacy and Partnership
The Circle and Assembly Resourcing Unit will be in contact with those who register as they progress and those who complete a study or action will be recognised by UAICC.
Walking Together as First and Second Peoples Panel Member Nathan Tyson said Living the Covenant Locally was a way for people to commit to local expressions of the UCA’s covenant with UAICC and to place First Peoples at the heart of our church and nation.
“I encourage all members of the Uniting Church to access these resources, and to use them to help build strong, respectful and collaborative relationships with First Peoples.”
Steph Teh who is also a Panel member added, “This is an excellent collation of resources that I would like to encourage all to use to learn from the wisdom of First People's so that we can move forward with what it really looks like to ‘walk together’.”
Rob Floyd, Associate General Secretary of the Assembly, encouraged the church to get involved. “I whole-heartedly recommend this exciting new initiative to all members of the Uniting Church. We intend to continue adding resources to this website over time, so I encourage people to revisit the site in coming weeks as they enter further into living the Covenant in their own local community.”
Thanks to First Nations Artist Grace Williams for the Living the Covenant Locally artwork.
Click the button below to go the Living the Covenant website and register your community.
Other National Reconciliation Week resources
Join the Walking Together as First and Second Peoples Circle for an National Reconciliation Week online conversation about what it looks like in practice to walk together: Thursday 2 June 7-8.30pm AEST.
Rev Dr Aunty Denise Champion, Rev Jennifer Hughes and Mission Resourcing in the Synod of SA collaborated to release a video Call to Worship ‘Yanakanai’. The video features the Adnyamathanha language and encourages all to gather and worship together.
The Synod of NSW/ACT acknowledged NRW with a session hosted by Nathan Tyson, First Peoples Strategy and Engagement Manager. Two videos from the session are available:
Impacts of Intergenerational Trauma
Journey of Health and Wellbeing