The Chair of the Indigenous Ministry Committee, the Rev Michael Duckett has appealed for Sydney Anglicans to be ambassadors of reconciliation to mark Sorry Day and Reconciliation Week,
"On the 26th of May, this country recognizes Sorry Day and it remembers that over 100,000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children were taken from their families - many to pass, never to meet any of their loved ones,” said Mr Duckett in a video message. "Many are still walking on this earth looking to find their families. So it is still a raw thing and the transgenerational trauma is passed down through generations upon generations. It's still a real thing in the lives of Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islanders."
"We can all say sorry but it is not the word we say, it’s the actions that we do that show that we recognize and show respect to one another and we mourn with those who mourn."
Mr Duckett, who also leads Macarthur Indigenous Church, said Sorry Day and Reconciliation Week go hand in hand. The church also has published a Sorry Day prayer.
Dear Lord and loving Father
We thank you for your grace and mercy shown through your son Jesus Christ who came not to condemn the world but to save it. Today we take time to remember the children who were stolen from their families and suffered the loss of culture and identity. We acknowledge the grief and loss suffered by the many families who had their children stolen.
Father we pray for those who were stolen and ask that you may bring hope and healing to each stolen child who are still struggling today as adults. We pray for peace and comfort to be upon the families who are still waiting for their loved ones to return and ask that somehow Father that you may reunite these broken families. We remember those who have passed away, never to walk on their traditional lands, feel their families embrace.
May you bring healing to the broken hearted, hope to the hopeless And love to those who have never experienced true love. As we grieve today with those who are grieving, may you grant us all hope for the future in Christ Jesus.
We ask all these things in and through the precious name of our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ. Amen
"It's important because you need to understand the past to know where we've been. One, that we don't repeat it and two, that in order to be reconciled we have to make amends and deal with it. So, I love when I think of God ‘s message - that he sent his Son down to deal with our sin. That his Son died upon the cross. That through the blood of Jesus, we are reconciled to him, and he rose in three days. I love that image, that true reconciliation is done and is seen through the blood of Jesus Christ."
In the video, he explains a painting which symbolises reconciliation of people, black and white, to each other and to God through Jesus.The video can be downloaded here.
“As God's people, and as his church, we have the responsibility to be ambassadors of reconciliation. So I want to encourage us … that we would be bringing the true message of reconciliation to this country."