About FACE: A life-changing experience
Two moments that stay with Megan Graham from her time on About FACE differ in context but share common elements of community and hope.
The first is sitting and painting in the sun with a group of Uniting and Aboriginal Christian Congress women.
A woman in the group started to hum a gospel song. One-by-one voices joined in until a spontaneous sing-along was in full swing.
The second is chatting with a local Aboriginal man in Port Augusta, South Australia, about his personal experiences of discrimination and racism.
He shared with Ms Graham his dream to create a karaoke lounge for Indigenous youth and the fact that his funding applications for the idea had been denied time and time again. What affected her was that, despite all this, he was still trying.
Ms Graham feels her heart was opened and expanded through the experiences she had on About FACE.
“I was able to connect with the core of God without pretences or any of the stuff that doesn’t matter. I felt so at home with my Congress family — in my make-up-less, rugged state.
“I felt beautiful, worthy, and loved. I was just human and that was enough.”
Since returning from About FACE, many opportunities have also been opened for Ms Graham to continue her connections and relationships with Congress and she has dived into them.
The ongoing relationships that are formed through experiences like About FACE are why National Chairperson of Congress, Ken Sumner, believes that the program is critical to Congress.
“About FACE gives hope to the future of the covenant that we have between the Uniting Church and Congress. The sharing of our stories and culture brings an awareness and understanding for healthy relationships.”
In January 2012 the opportunity is open to anyone over 18 years to have their own “About FACE” experience, connecting with Congress communities around Australia.
By Tess Keam
Early bird registrations close August 12; all registrations close September 30. Further information and application forms can be found on the About FACE website or by contacting the About FACE 2012 office on 9251 5271 or email.