Almost 12 months on from the endorsement of the LCA Reflect Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) and six months after copies were distributed to all congregations, schools and agencies of the LCA, we might ask: ‘Are we there yet?’
One way is to measure our progress against the RAP’s four objectives, which encompass building relationships through listening; understanding what is important to Aboriginal people; providing a culturally appropriate mechanism to address recognition and representation; and developing appropriate ways to encourage and enable Aboriginal people to serve and lead in church life.
While we have made a start, there is much to be done before such matters are embedded into the fabric of the church.
We can still improve our awareness. For example, did you know that more than 80 per cent of those who identify as First Nations or Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander peoples in Australia live, work and raise families in urban areas? So, we may have First Nations peoples in our local communities and ministry spaces but may not know that unless we build strong relationships and provide environments that are culturally inclusive, safe and welcoming.
Remember, every journey starts with a first step. But genuine cultural inclusivity takes time to embed, so such actions need to be ongoing.
We would love to hear and share your ministry’s stories and photos about relationship building with First Nations peoples – email them to firstname.lastname@example.org
Want ideas? Here are some initiatives by Lutheran ministries:
- Utilising worship resources shared by the Commission on Worship (lca.org.au/wpp), for occasions of significance for First Nations peoples
- Discussing, researching and identifying the traditional country upon which a ministry is happening and including this information on signage, websites or publications
- Incorporating stories and resources from the LCA RAP website (www.rap.lca.org.au) into ministry programs
- Visit www.lca.org.au/spread-the-word to find promotional materials (A5 flyers, PowerPoint slides and social media posts) to help you spread the word about our Story of the Week.
- Read the full Story of the Week and others like it in The Lutheran. 11 editions/year. Only $30 (digital) or $45 (print or print & digital – Aust), $47 (NZ). Gift subscriptions available. To subscribe: online www.thelutheran.com.au email email@example.com phone 08 8360 7270