The Week of Prayer for Reconciliation and National Reconciliation Week (NRW) are held each year between 27 May and 3 June. These dates commemorate two significant milestones in the reconciliation journey—the anniversaries of the successful 1967 referendum and the Mabo decision.
Reconciliation Week Pilgrimage of Healing
The pilgrimage of healing is run annually during Reconciliation week by the Covenanting team in Mission Resourcing. Each year, the campaign focuses on a different project within the Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress (Congress) in South Australia. This year the fundraising effort will go towards supporting young people in the Congress faith community in Oodnadatta.
Young people in Oodnadatta are enthusiastic about the church and the opportunities it provides to build them up as community leaders. The plan is for funds raised by the Pilgrimage of healing to go towards computers and a larger vehicle for the Oodnadatta faith community. This will help young people to access training, engage with outreach activities and more easily connect with other faith communities and congregations.
Donations for the Pilgrimage of Healing can be made to: Oodnadatta Youth & Children’s Ministry Fund. BSB 704095 Account Number 193668
Acknowledgements may be used at the time of gathering, whether for meetings or worship or celebration or lament. They can be used at the beginning of such times or during the proceedings or as a concluding act of remembering and consciously re-contextualising a community.
For examples of acknowledgement of country and first peoples visit Amelia Koh-Butler's blog>
A brief discussion guide for Uniting Church members by Rev. Dr Chris Budden
The Uniting Church Assembly meeting in July 2015 determined:
that a signifcant priority for its life during the next triennium is to explore with Congress what it would means for the practices of the Church to recognise and affrm that First Peoples are sovereign Peoples. (Minute 15.08a)
Sovereignty is about honouring those who were here frst, and starting to negotiate a new way for us to occupy this land together. It raises many issues and questions, challenging assumptions and beliefs. Maybe if we can name what the issues are for us – what we are curious about, what we fear, what we want to know - we can have a more open conversation.
To read more, download the document: ChrisBudden Sovereignty Paper (101 kb PDF)
Partners in Prayer prepared a devotional series for during the 40 days of prayer and fasting in Lent. The 40 Days Devotional includes the filmed testimonies of Indigenous people from many parts of Australia and Australian life. Each day a new devotional was be shared on the 40 days Facebook page, sharing stories of how Jesus has transformed the lives of Indigenous Australians, their families and communities.
Australians Together is a social movement which works to bring stronger communities and healthier relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people. Australian’s Together have designed a video series called Sharing our Story, which is designed as a resource for church small groups. The free four-episode DVD resource has been designed to help discover the shared story of Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.
National Black Congress: Ambivalence and Ambiguity
William W Emilson
Chapter 10 from Jione Havea’s (Ed) book: Indigenous Australia and the Unfinished Business of Theology: Cross Cultural Engagement, Palgrave Macmillan 2014.
This article identifies and explores a range of the issues which Congress and the Uniting Church are still/again dealing with. Emilson identifies and explores some of the big visions that were there at the beginning and also the contestations and complications of many of the issues, challenges and decisions that Congress and the Uniting Church are continuing to wrestle with.
“I’ve found it a really helpful article myself, and believe it would be useful to share among a number of other Congress folk and supporters of Congress. I see no other articles around that cover the matters so broadly and yet with significant depth.” Rev. Dean Whittaker
Following Jesus in Invaded Space: Doing Theology on Aboriginal Land
"I've puzzled about why there has been such a relatively sparse body of contextual and 'place-based' theology emerging from white Australia. Perhaps what has been lacking is the appropriate approach to the Australian landscape. I believe that Chris Budden's theology of 'Second Peoples' provides that approach. This book opens up a project that will hopefully animate a fresh, vigorous, and distinctively Australian theological conversation, especially between First and Second Peoples. But Budden's work is relevant to all of us who dwell on lands that have been invaded and occupied, and who are struggling to understand how to live the Christian tradition as inheritors of a legacy of conquest and continuing racism. This is an important contribution to imagining our future as a post-Constantinian church." Ched Myers, author of Who Rolled Away the Stone?
About the Author
Chris Budden is a parish minister of the Uniting Church in Australia, and an Associate Researcher in the Public and Contextual Theology Strategic Research Centre at Charles Sturt University. He is the author of a number of articles in public theology.
More information and orders
Yarta Wandatha is available from Uniting Church SA's Mission Resourcing for $25.
For more information or to order the book, please contact Bev Freeman at email@example.com or on (08) 8236 4243. Please note credit card facilities are not available.
Reconciliation Week is a time to build mutually respectful relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. Achieving reconciliation involves raising awareness and knowledge of Indigenous history and culture, changing attitudes that are often based on myths and misunderstandings, and encouraging action.
It was agreed in November 2006 that the Presbytery establish Reconciliation Sunday in Reconciliation Week annually, to be celebrated across the Church, and request Church Councils to include this day in their worship calendars. Reconciliation Week begins the day after Sorry Day (May 26th) and includes the anniversary of the 1967 referendum (May 27th) and finishes on June 3rd, sometimes known as ‘Mabo Day’, the anniversary of the High Court’s 1992 Mabo judgement which was a major landmark in the recognition of Indigenous land rights in Australia. It also recognizes the covenant relationship with the UAICC (Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress) of the Uniting Church in Australia.
For more information, please contact Congress Resource Officer Ian Dempster via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Below is a list of resources from previous years. These provide worship planners with alternative options. The resources may also be useful at other appropriate times during the year such as NAIDOC Week (5th – 12th July).
(Resources from 2014, COCU 38A)
Worship Resources for Reconciliation Sunday 2014 (531 kb PDF)
Some Hymns and Songs for Reconciliation Sunday (205 kb PDF)
Music from Songs for Pilgrims (453 kb PDF)
Great South Land (86 kb PDF)
The Gum Tree Couple and Reflection (288 kb PDF)
The Gum Tree Couple (5.3 mb Powerpoint file)
Prayer + Preamble + Story + Prayer (7 mb Powerpoint file)
Intercessory Prayers (11.2 mb Powerpoint file)
Pilgrimage of Healing 2014: Download the flyer here.
(Resources from 2011, COCU 36A)
Lords Prayer in Ngarrindjeri (380 kb MP3 audio file) - recited by Victor Wilson - Kalparrin Aboriginal Community
Worship Resources - Reconciliation Sunday 2011 (1.1 mb PDF)
(Resources from 2008, COCU 44A)
Activity Sheet - Reconciliation Sunday 2008 (30 kb PDF)
The Lost Children narrated - Reconciliation Sunday 2008 (8.2 mb ) - by Aunty Denise
Songs - Reconciliation Sunday 2008 (239 kb PDF)
Worship Resources- Reconciliation Sunday 2008 (193 kb PDF)
(Resources from 2015, COCU 40B)
Below is a link to "The Three Spears" - a Narrunga story told by Nelson Varcoe. This story is available as a
Powerpoint presentation with accompanying text for congregations as a Reconciliation Sunday resource.
The Three Spears (10 mb Powerpoint file)
The3SpearsText (213 kb PDF)
Worship Resources for Reconciliation Sunday 2015 (725 kb PDF)
Pilgrimage of Healing 2015: Download the flyer here.
(Resources from 2012, COCU 39B)
Some Kaurna Words with Sound (4.2 mb )
The Lords Prayer in Kaurna (977 kb MP3 audio file)
Pilgrimage of Healing - Reconciliation Sunday 2012 (304 kb PDF)
Childrens Activity - Reconciliation Sunday 2012 (169 kb PDF)
(Resources from 2009, COCU 39B)
Thukeri Activity Sheet - Reconciliation Sunday 2009 (115 kb PDF)
Thukeri notes - Reconciliation Sunday 2009 (58 kb PDF) - includes suggestions for using the worksheet and questions.
Thukeri narrated (5.9 mb )
Worship Resources Reconciliation Sunday 2009 (958 kb PDF)
(Resources from 2016, COCU 43C)
Reconciliation Sunday is on Sunday 29th of May in 2016. Click on the PDF link below for worship resources.
Reconciliation Worship Resources - 2016 (525 kb PDF)
Pilgrimage of Healing 2016: Download the flyer here.
(Resources from 2013, COCU 40C)
Collected Hymns and Songs 2013 (67 kb PDF)
Whale story - Narrated (2.9 mb )
Whale story - Notes (17 kb PDF)
Pilgrimage of Healing 2013 (318 kb PDF)
Reconciliation Sunday 2013 (232 kb PDF)
Slides from the Whale story
(Resources from 2010, COCU 40C)
Diver and Duck - Reconciliation Sunday 2010 (162 kb PDF)
Worship Resources - Reconciliation Sunday 2010 (371 kb PDF)
(Resources from 2007, COCU 39C)
Worship Resources - Reconciliation Sunday 2007 (123 kb PDF)
- Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress
- National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Ecumenical Commission (NATSIEC) of the National Council of Churches in Australian (NCCA)
- Human Rights and Equal Opportunities Commission (HREOC) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner
- National Sorry Day Committee
- Australians for Native Title and Reconciliation (ANTaR)
- Reconciliation Australia
- UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues
- Narana Creations
- Frontier Services
- Aboriginal Resource Development Services (ARDS)
- Nungalinya College