Humans of the Uniting Church
March 21, 2023
This year, we’re excited to be featuring some of the inspirational people who make up the Uniting Church. Check out the growing hub of stories here.
If you know of someone with a great story to tell, contact us and nominate them to be featured.
This week we share a special Harmony Week edition of Humans of the Uniting Church featuring Lilliani Tahaafe-Williams. Lilliani is a member of Darwin Memorial Uniting Church and a PhD Candidate, Charles Darwin University & Sámi Allaskuvla (Norway).
"I was brought up in a family and home that lives and breathes cultural diversity"
What is your Uniting Church story?
I was baptised as an infant in the UCA, and my parents are both ordained ministers of the UCA. I’m an active member of Darwin Memorial Uniting Church, and while I’m completing my PhD, I serve as a member of the Northern Synod Standing Committee and of the Assembly Standing Committee.
What is one thing you would like the Uniting Church to pray for?
The continuing struggle of Aboriginal and Torre Strait Islanders for equality and justice in their own country now called Australia, currently through the Voice Campaign and The Uluru Statement from the Heart, and for UAICC as it prepares for its upcoming national conference.
What have been your experiences of cultural diversity and what have they taught you?
I was brought up in a family and home that lives and breathes cultural diversity framed in terms of agency and responsibility. I have been blessed with an international and ecumenical upbringing and education that further expanded my culturally diverse horizon.
As a young, coloured, woman of faith I am deeply alarmed by current approaches to cultural diversity. My observation is that in the Church both minority ethnic and dominant mainstream interests misappropriate cultural diversity as a box ticking exercise which diminishes its value as human interaction and engagement with high standards of human intelligence, experience, and practice.
What are the biggest challenges we face in overcoming racism in our Church and in our communities?
Seriously addressing the legacies of our colonial history, and taking the time to carefully and respectfully seek a common life and future with First Peoples, shaped by justice and human dignity from their perspective.