National Sorry Day
For many years in our Australian history, Aboriginal children were taken away from their parents by our government and other agencies. It caused those children and their families a lot of pain and hurt. National Sorry Day (26 May) gives us a space to reflect upon this part of our story and the impact that it still has on our indigenous people today.
This week Ravenswood will be participating in a number of activities centred around reconciliation, including the Voices for Reconciliation Event held in the Auditorium on Thursday and the Junior School Reconciliation Assembly on Friday.
If you have not seen it, I recommend ‘Kanyini’ which is a great piece of documentary work that gently gives us some insight into the effect of the separation of Aboriginal Children from their families, and the movement of Aboriginal people from their traditional lands had on our indigenous brothers and sisters. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fAOcfkcGDKA
For more information you can go to the National Sorry Day Committee website https://www.nsdc.org.au/
As a Christian person, I hear the words of Jesus in the ‘Sermon on the Mount,’ “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, 24 leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.
As part of my response to this, I share with you a prayer that I wrote, as part of my reflection on this issue.
A Prayer of Lament and for Reconciliation
Lord of Grace
It was not me, but it was my people
It is not part of my experience, but is part of my story
It is not my fault, but I am partly to blame.
Can there ever be enough grace to bring healing to our aboriginal people?
Can there ever be enough forgiveness to bring reconciliation?
We are broken and less because of the brokenness and lessening of our aboriginal brothers and sisters.
For this I am sorry.
I mourn their loss.
The loss of
I am sorry for our people.
I am sorry for the past
I am sorry for the present
I am sorry for the future, even though I hope that we may work to make it better
I am sorry for the systematic erosion of kanyini – the connectedness
l am sorry romma romma – madness of selfish, hypocritical practices and that have disenfranchised our aboriginal people
For the massacre of life
For the bringing of death
For the rejection and breaking of oneness
For the failure of compassion
For the chaos and sadness that our aboriginal people are left with as a legacy and inheritance –
Stuck between two cultures
Stuck between two worlds
stuck between two times
Stuck between the past and the future
l lament the sad reality that the people who lived in the present are now stuck in a present that should never have been.
God of Justice , bring justice
God of hope, bring hope.
God of reconciliation, stir in us the change that might open the way for reconciliation.
Jesus, who is the way, show us the way.
Jesus, who is the life, lead us into better life.
Jesus, who is the truth, open us to the truth.
Help us make things right.
This we pray.
This reflection was prepared by Rev. Jon Humpries, Chaplain at Ravenswood School for Girls