UAICC – We journey together
Pastor Ray Minniecon, Resource Worker for the Uniting Aboriginal Islander and Christian Congress (UAICC) delivered the report to Synod for the UAICC. In the report he discussed the journey together with the Synod of NSW and the ACT.
In giving the report Ray mentioned the passage in Romans 12 where the passage about the body of Christ. “Each of us finds our meaning from the body as a whole, not the other way round,’ said Ray of the scripture. “The body we are talking about of course is Christ’s body. Each of us finds our meaning and function as part of His body. But as a chopped-off finger or a cut off toe we wouldn’t amount to much would we?”
Ray then went on to explain that the UAICC didn’t necessarily feel “cut off” as much as trying to “graft ourselves into” the Church in NSW and the ACT.
“So maybe you can grow another toe, or eye or ear with us,” suggested Ray. “So that we can grow together.”
“First Nations peoples are serving the Lord and filled with his Spirit, that our Creators love and grace is brought to bear our community challenges at every level; that our First Nations peoples are ministering to other First Nations peoples and to the whole world; that the First Nations peoples and non-Indigenous peoples working and standing together in Christ’s Church.
“Our First Nations peoples are achieving spiritual, economical, social, political and cultural independence,” Ray continued. “Our destination hasn’t changed either and that is to grow authentic holistic models of Christian First Nations peoples ministry, churches, centres, leaders within and among our people right throughout NSW and the ACT. So we invite you to be a part of our destination.”
Next year Indigenous peoples will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of the referendum in 1967.
“The Church has the right values to assist us in education about our past, present and for our future,” said Ray about the theological education opportunities. I were to look back from history to where we are today we have come a long way. We are walking in the right direction, we just need more resources to take that journey so we can continue to grow a truly united Church.”
The Moderator, Rev. Myung Hwa Park then asked the President Stuart McMillan to comment on the UAICC presentation.
“It’s really great to sit in on the Synod and see the way that Congress offers leadership to us and offers encouragement in the journey together as the people of God. The invitation that Ray gave us to look at Ephesians 2:14-16 and what that means for us is a really important invitation. In my Easter message this year, it was interesting that Rev. Denise Champion issued the same kind of invitation to journey with First Peoples,” noted Mr McMillan.
“For me, this is a wonderful invitation. I’ve journeyed with First Peoples for the last 34 years. It’s formed me and shaped me and enlivened my spirituality in ways that I am greatly indebted to my brothers and sisters in Christ. So I encourage us to receive that invitation, to spend some time in Ephesians 2: 14-16 and understand what it is that Congress offers us in that invitation.”