Reconciliation People – UCA NYALC Statement
Back in February this year I had the privilege of being on the facilitation team for NYALC hosted by our UCA President and the Head of our Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress (UAICC). Other amazing national UCA leaders such as the heads of Uniting Care & Uniting Justice also attended this gathering. This is the statement that young adults from around Australia came up with after reflecting of the UCA 1977 Statement to the Nation . What better week than reconciliation week to share it with you all. Great work NYALC.
A link to a pdf to download & share NYALC Statement 2012
A Statement from the National Young Adults Leaders Conference of the UCA
We, young leaders in the Uniting Church in Australia, believe in a God of love, whose will for the world is justice, reconciliation and peace. As “pilgrim people”, we are called to continually discern where God calls us to act. We feel passionately about these issues and we commit ourselves to action.
We are concerned by domestic policies that punish already vulnerable people, such as compulsory income management in Northern Territory Indigenous communities, and the indefinite, mandatory detention of asylum seekers who arrive by boat. With God’s help, we choose to be foolish enough to attempt what many see as impossible: we stand in solidarity with the victims of injustice and discrimination, in particular the First Peoples of this land, refugees and asylum seekers. We do this following the example of Jesus, who teaches that non-violent action is the path to peace.
As future caretakers of the land that we live in, we are upset at the misuse of the natural environment for greed and consumerism and the lack of compassion toward those affected. Our country is not responding enough. Knowing that our country is positioned to make a significant international commitment to climate change, we will act responsibly by advocating for investment in renewable energy and endeavouring to make responsible, ethical decisions in our day to day living.
We believe in a God who seeks for the reconciliation of all people; we are also members of a church that is still “Uniting”. We challenge our church, our government and our nation to listen deeply to the knowledge and culture of our First Peoples. The continued displacement and oppression of the Indigenous people of Australia must stop. We believe that recognition of the Indigenous peoples as the First Peoples in the Australian Constitution is essential for the continued reconciliation of all Australians. If we are serious about pursuing genuine relationships with the First Peoples, we must be open to continued consultation and dialogue. In Christ, we are sisters and brothers, and we commit ourselves to stand alongside each other in love and friendship.
We believe that we were all created equal and are one people in the eyes of God. We encourage our country to embrace and celebrate our diversity. We challenge our government to welcome, with empathy, those who seek refuge in our land. There is no supremacy of any culture or gender; rather, when we work together as a united people, regardless of difference, we will bring about change.
As young leaders of the Uniting Church in Australia, we will continue to be daring in decisions, to push boundaries, and to take pride in achievements of those past and present, while continually discerning how to be God’s Church in a 21st century Australia. We too, are part of the problems of the world, but we commit ourselves to work towards God’s promised goal of the reconciliation of all things by working for justice and for peace in our nation and beyond.