Prayers of Confession
with words by Alison Overeem, Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress, Tasmania
Alison Overeem from the UAICC Tasmania, Leprena Centre asks, “What does it mean to be “Sorry” through a cultural lens?” Here is her answer. We respond to it today by taking hard river stones representing the hardness of heart that leads to dispossession and trauma. We pray with the prophet Ezekiel that God would put a new spirit within us, taking our hearts of stone and giving us hearts of flesh for love, reconciliation and restoration (Ez 11:19).
On the anniversary of Sorry Day we must trust we know what lies within the essence of being sorry:
- Sorry for heartache
- Sorry for intergenerational trauma
- Sorry for forced removals from a mother’s arms
- Sorry for the deep disconnection from self
- Sorry for the loss of growing up strong in culture and community
- Sorry for the generations stolen
- Of connections stolen
- Of identity stolen
- Sorry for years of healing and trauma and a search for connection and a cultural compass
- We must see that this is not something that happened and stopped.
It ts transient across generations in its trauma and search for healing
- It was and is a taking away
- A taking away from all that defines First People
Saying sorry means that we commit to not allowing this to continue to happen
for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children
Saying sorry means advocating for systemic change now,
for additional resources to keep children and families protected but connected
from UCA Assembly National Reconciliation Week Resource, p6
Let us pray…
God of Holy Dreaming, Great Creator Spirit
We confess our hardness of heart before you.
Our hearts bear the load of wrongs committed in your name
And we are sorry.
We confess our collective cultural ignorance and violence.
Give us new hearts to love one another as we have been loved by you in Christ Jesus.
Renew us by your Holy Spirit to work for justice, reconciliation and care of the earth. Amen
WORD OF GRACE
Jesus breathed on his disciples and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any they are forgiven…”
Therefore by the authority of Christ and with the breath of the Holy Spirit within I am bold to say:
Your sin is forgiven. We are a forgiven people.
Let us live out the reconciling grace of God by working for justice and peace
between first and second peoples in our nation.
offered for worship Pentecost Sunday, 31/05/2020