September 13, 2023
Preaching from the Heart
Reflections from across Australia
The Creative Ministries Network Congregation, connected to the Presbytery of Port Phillip East in Victoria, has compiled a fantastic anthology of sermons in light of the upcoming referendum. In it you will hear preachers from around the country grapple with what it means to accept the invitation of the Uluru Statement from the Heart and walk alongside First Peoples towards justice.
“In 2023 we see glimpses of hope once again. We see a call for Voice, Treaty and Truth."
There are twenty sermons from Indigenous and non-Indigenous preachers that reflect on the importance of establishing a First Nations Voice enshrined in the Constitution as a necessary step towards establishing a fair and truthful relationship with the Australian people.
Project coordinator, Rev John Bottomley, said: "These sermons convey a heart-felt message from Indigenous and non-Indigenous preachers united in God’s love for healing and justice to speak truthful words to their congregations about this important moment for the future of we who live together under the Southern Cross."
"Many of these preachers are deeply concerned that the Statement of the Heart’s gift to the Australian people is being drowned out both by polarising political debate, and also by fear and political self-interest. Each sermon invites Australian church members to open their hearts to God. There is a call to church members to listen for how God’s love for justice, seen in Jesus Christ, is being trampled."
‘This anthology of sermons is a call to listen for God’s word of justice and recover its fundamental importance for healing the divisions caused by historic injustices.’
In an introduction, by Nathan Tyson, Director, First Peoples Strategy and Engagement, NSW/ACT Synod, he writes,
"I recognise and pay respect to those Aboriginal people who continue to fight for justice for First Peoples in this country – it is a difficult, tiring, frustrating and often heartbreaking task.
It is often a fight that feels lonely and fruitless, as the challenges and opposition sometimes seem insurmountable.
But we see glimpses of hope, as William Cooper and his colleagues must have seen following the Day of Mourning protest in 1938, following which Churches implemented the Day of Mourning service.
We saw glimpses of hope in 1967, when a referendum saw a Constitutional amendment to allow Aboriginal people to be counted as part of the Australian population.
We had glimpses of hope in 1991 when the findings of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody were released.
We saw glimpses of hope in 2008 when the Hon Kevin Rudd offered an apology to the Stolen Generations on behalf of the Australian Government...
In 2023 we see glimpses of hope once again. We see a call for Voice, Treaty and Truth.
We see an opportunity for justice, reparations and healing."
The book is freely available to download. Front cover artwork, 'Crying Country', is by Glenn Loughrey.
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