The Preamble to the Constitution of the Uniting Church states that “As the Church believes God guided it into union so it believes that God is calling it to continually seek a renewal of its life as a community of First Peoples and of Second Peoples from many lands”.
This journey is marked by commitments. In 1985, the Assembly of the Uniting Church unanimously welcomed and agreed to officially support the formation of the Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress (UAICC). In 1994 the Uniting Church in Australia entered into a Covenant with our Congress brothers and sisters so that together we may contribute to a more just church and nation.
The Walking Together as First and Second Peoples Circle encourages members of the UCA to see a destiny together, praying and working together for a fuller expression of our reconciliation in Jesus Christ. The Circle is a space for walking together, for listening to and sharing of the experiences of our Indigenous brothers and sisters. The Circle will consider some of the important issues that impact our ability to live out our Covenant commitments.
The Advocate for the Walking Together as First and Second Peoples Circle is Stuart McMillan.
Stuart is the immediate-Past President of the Uniting Church in Australia and Assembly Consultant Covenanting.
We've asked Stuart to share a little more about himself.
National Reconciliation Week 2020
MESSAGE FROM PRESIDENT DR DEIDRE PALMER Foundational to the Uniting Church is our commitment to being a “fellowship of reconciliation” that reflects the reconciling and renewing work of Christ in the world (Paragraph 3 Basis of Union). During this National Reconciliation Week, with the theme of “In this together”, there are opportunities for us as
NATIONAL SORRY DAY 2020
National Sorry Day is held on 26 May each year – the day before National Reconciliation Week. It is a day to acknowledge and recognise members of the Stolen Generations. The theme this year is “For the mothers and children”. UCA President Dr Deidre Palmer – SORRY DAY REFLECTION As a mother, I cannot imagine
Walking on land that speaks
Leprena UAICC Tasmania led a Walk on Country in February, sharing the stories of the First Peoples of Lutruwita (Tasmania) and their connction to land. Leprena Centre Manager Alison Overeem led a group of about 20 people, including UCA President Dr Deidre Palmer. The walk began at Fanny Cochrane Smith’s church in Nicholls Rivulet, south of
Truth-telling, lament and liberating hope
By Stuart McMillan, Assembly Consultant Covenanting An increasing number of congregations and agencies marked the Uniting Church’s Day of Mourning in January. Since 2019, the Church has asked its members to set aside a day to lament and acknowledge the ongoing impacts of invasion and colonisation on Australia’s First Peoples. People gathered for worship in
Love is always born
By Stuart McMillan, Walking Together as First and Second Peoples Advocate I write this in the season we call Advent, meaning ‘coming’. A time according to the Church Fathers for people to fast, give and pray. A time of contemplation and reflection . Gayle Boss  says: Beyond uncertainty, fear and darkness, know ‘the one
"Beyond his time, a pioneer with vision"
BOOK REVIEW Charles Harris: A Struggle for Justice by William W Emilsen, (Unley, SA: MediaCom, 2019) By Rev. Dr Jonathan Barker William Emilsen has done a great service in reminding us of the key role Charles Harris played in the founding of the Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress (UIACC). Charles is not nearly as well
Acknowledgement of Country: What it means for me?
We’ve asked four UCA people, both First and Second Peoples, to reflect on what it means for them to share an Acknowlegement of Country. Here’s what they said. Alison Overeem, a Palawa woman from South East Tasmania, and manager of Leprena UAICC in Tasmania. To gather in a space and a place that holds stories
Lilla Watson: “Let us Work Together"
Dr Lilla Watson, a Gangulu woman, is often credited with the quote: ‘If you have come to help me you are wasting your time. If you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together’. Dr Watson has always said that she was not comfortable being credited for something
UCA affirms First People's Sovereignty
The Uniting Church has affirmed that the First Peoples of Australia, the Aboriginal and Islander Peoples, are sovereign peoples in Australia. On 13 July, 2018, the 15th Assembly meeting in Melbourne adopted a statement affirming sovereignty of First Peoples, as noted in the minutes below: 18.09 Recognition of First Peoples as Sovereign In the light
Walking Together with Courage
Alison Overeem reflects on the courage needed to walk together. What does it truly mean to walk together? What does “together” truly mean? How do we create spaces and places for this to happen? How do we immerse ourselves in each other’s stories? In a meaningful, reflective and sustainable way that allows us to do