Yarning Circle Gathering 2021
In this video attendees at the recent gathering of the Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress (UAICC) hosted by the Queensland Moderator shared how First Peoples are contributing to the growth and development of the Uniting Church.
Participants share about their life and ministry in the Uniting Church and how First Peoples are contributing to the growth and faith formation of all generations in the Uniting Church
Rev Roberta Stanley says, “The time has come for the next generation to become prosperous shoots on the vine.”
Below, Kym Korbe, Goa, Gunggari, Wakka Wakka woman and Co-Lead Covenanting Priority Action Group, shares a reflection on covenant relationship as First and Second Peoples.
The idea of covenanting within the Christian context is an act of hope and faith. It is much more than just a contract. It is certainly not static – it is an ongoing discovery.
The covenanting process happening in our Church is about being earnest, reflective and deliberate in our explorations of a Christ - centred approach towards walking together as First and Second Peoples. Covenanting sits beside the discipleship process – my relationship with God, my relationship with country and people, and my relationship with who I am as an emerging indigenous leader.
It is holding the knowledge that you walk on country that has been occupied for thousands of years and discovering what that walk means to you. You are never alone, because flora and fauna are there, history is there. God is always walking with you. We can be in covenant in all these things. We can be in covenant with each other.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have lived with God as part of our dreaming, spirituality and church life for generations. We understand the responsibility we have to the land (our country) as a life sustaining God creation. God created us all in his image and created lands for our care, and I believe if we are not in relationship with each other and the land, we are not in whole of heart relationship with God.
This NAIDOC week we contemplate what it means to "Heal Country", and we acknowledge that we must also heal relationships, heal people, and heal ourselves. They are one and the same–place and people. I took this week off work, to be with my family and to reflect on this week and what it means to me.
Covenanting can remind us what it really means that we are all walking with each other–if we want to learn more about cultural heritage or make change in our country, we do this best in relationship with other people. We can seek out those we really wish to yarn with and we can really listen to what they say and really say what is true for us. Together we can learn more about what the church can look like, what church can be in Country, wherever two or more are gathered.
Goa, Gunggari, Wakka Wakka woman
Co-Lead Covenanting Priority Action Group