Monday, 20 July 2009

My heart is heavy, my hope wavering

Yesterday afternoon was a difficult session. So many people felt hurt, unsafe, confused. 
We were considering a proposal to amend the preamble of our constitution. The amendment would include the story of the Indigenous people of this land, and their relationship with the Uniting Church (and the three uniting traditions). It is a difficult story to tell; a hard truth to hear. And there are clearly still issues of misunderstanding between Aboriginal and Islander people and other members of the church, particularly around how we name our experience of God. 
By the end of the session, I was in tears, and my heart was heavy. I am so disappointed that we couldn't hear the pleas of Indigenous and non-Indigenous members to hear this proposal as a request from our sisters and brothers to help us all live out our covenant relationship (the covenant came out of the 1994 Assembly meeting), and for the rest of the church to accept that request with grace. 
We have adjourned the discussion on the proposal, and will be considering the proposal again this morning. I hope we can this time act with grace, and acknowledge the ugly truth of the history of the relationship between first and second people to this land, affirm the place of our Indigenous members in the Uniting Church, and celebrate the hope of the covenant that tells our story truthfully, tells the story of our dreams and vision for the reconciliation Jesus, the Sacred Spirit, our Creator may bring in our land, between our many different peoples. 

A lot of people were hurting last night. May the Sacred Spirit heal us. 

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