Multi-faith coalition promote national weekend of prayer, reflection and meditation on the Voice Referendum
A multi-faith alliance of Australia’s major religions will coordinate the National Weekend of Prayer, Reflection and Meditation this weekend to celebrate the opportunity for recognition and reconciliation offered by the impending Voice to Parliament referendum.
On 27 May 2022, the fifth anniversary of the Uluru Statement from the Heart, nine leaders from key religious peak bodies came together at the From the Heart and Soul event to sign a Joint Resolution that called on a bipartisan action to hold a Referendum on a First Nations Voice.
The peak bodies were the Anglican Church of Australia, the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, the Australian National Imams Council, the Australian Sangha Association, the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, the Hindu Council of Australia, the National Council of Churches in Australia, the National Sikh Council of Australia, and the Uniting Church in Australia.
In February 2023, the same peak bodies sent an open letter to all Parliamentarians requesting that they support the Voice.
“Together and individually we want to create some moments where we can be present to God and in those moments seek and discern as communities and people where God is guiding us in considering the invitation contained in the Uluru Statement from the Heart. As people of faith – this is what we must do, ” Rev. John Gilmore is President of National Council of Churches in Australia has said of the weekend.
“As people of faith, we believe that supporting a ‘Yes’ vote will serve as a meaningful and faithful expression of these important shared values reflected in our various faith traditions. Supporting a ‘Yes’ vote will help all Australians be part of the one human community, will further reconciliation with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and will affirm the dignity of all people in this land.”
With the campaign for 14 October Referendum on Indigenous Recognition and a Voice to Parliament now officially under way, the multi-faith alliance has coordinated the National Weekend of Prayer, Reflection, and Meditation to celebrate the opportunity for recognition and reconciliation offered by the impending landmark vote.
56 years on from the momentous 1967 referendum, the weekend’s reflections will commence at 11am on Friday 8 September as representatives from Australia’s Buddhist community embark on a 56-hour meditation, concluding on Sunday 10 September at 7pm.
Across the weekend, services across faiths and the nation will reflect on the Referendum, focusing on themes of unity and reconciliation.
Faith leaders are also holding media events around the country to explain to the broader community why they believe the Referendum offers our country such a great opportunity for hope and healing.
The Multi-faith prayer service takes place on Friday 8 September at 11am, at the Emanuel Synagogue, Woollahra.