Prayers of the people
Across the Uniting Church, on this Sunday before Australia Day, we are asked observe a Day of Mourning to lament the ongoing effects of the invasion and colonisation of Australia’s First Peoples. This was endorsed at the National UC Assembly meeting in 2018 at the request of our sisters and brothers in the Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress.
This is the focus of our PoP today. Let us pray:
Creator God, who was encountered by the First Peoples of this land long before colonization,
Jesus Christ, in whom the love and grace that had sustained the First Peoples was finally and fully revealed,
Spirit that was already in the land, revealing God to the people through law, custom and ceremony,
We pray for the First Peoples of this land.
We look to the past.
We see dispossession, and dominance. We see abuse of power as many First Peoples of this land were starved, massacred and driven away from their country.
We cannot change the past, but we can change how it is remembered and acknowledged.
Let us learn about the history of this place where we now live and seek out the stories of the First Peoples in our communities,
Let us honour their sacrifices and their loss,
Let us tell these stories and so give voice to a more complete history of this land.
We look to the present.
We see the ongoing impact of invasion and colonisation today. We see First Peoples, who have shorter life expectancy and high rates of debilitating illness. We see discrimination. We see poor health services, inadequate housing, lack of access to education, and a lack of availability of fresh food at fair prices in many remote locations.
We can change the present.
Let us listen to the Indigenous People of this land.
Let us speak up and use our privilege to influence policy and action.
Let us tell the uncomfortable truth about the inequality that exists today, that we benefit from.
We look to the future.
We see a time when our colonial past is acknowledged and Indigenous lives are honoured.
We see a future where we are not treated differently because of our skin colour, where possessing wealth and power is not given priority, where the voice of the land is heard.
We see a future where time is taken to listen to a different story, where ancient wisdom is respected and honoured.
We can make the future.
Let us focus on what we can change.
Let us hold onto a vision where the land and all who live on it are respected and treasured.
Let us do what we can, whenever we can, to make this vision a reality.
Creating God, Liberating Christ, Spirit moving in this land,
We continue to bring these prayers before you as we pray together the Lord’s Prayer. Amen
Our Father in heaven
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Save us from the time of trial
and deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power,
and the glory are yours
now and for ever. Amen.
Kirsty Bennett, offered for worship 19/1/2020, Epiphany 2A