Course engages the covenant

Perth Theological Hall (PTH) and the Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress WA (UAICC) are holding a course on Covenanting and Building Relationships with First Peoples.

While part of a requirement for ministers seeking admission to the Uniting Church, it is open for everyone to attend and will provide a sound introduction to the Uniting Church’s covenantal relationship with the First Peoples of Australia.

Held over two days, from Tuesday 30 to Wednesday 31 August, the course will strengthen and build relationships between members of the wider church and the UAICC. Stories around the campfire will enhance the experience.

The first day will be an immersion experience, engaging with Aboriginal spirituality, laws and customs, as well as sharing experiences of being Aboriginal in today’s Australia.

The second day will focus on history, including Australia’s treatment of Indigenous people, the Stolen Generations and the formation of the UAICC in the Uniting Church.

Rev Emeritus Prof Bill Loader, principal of Perth Theological Hall, said that the course is an opportunity for Uniting Church members to remember our past and look forward along our covenanting journey into the future.

In 1994, the Uniting Church in Australia signed a covenant with the UAICC acknowledging Australia’s painful past and agreeing to work together in a new way forward. Since then, this covenanting journey has been acted out in many ways and has become a vital element of the Uniting Church in Australia.

“The aim is to provide people with information about what’s happened in Australia’s history. So we actually hear the stories; we hear the positive stories, we hear the stories of pain,” he said.

“It’s creating an experience of encounter and engagement. Creating a space for people to bring to the surface what they know and what they don’t know and it will also do it in the framework of faith.”

Cost of the course is $75 for both days and will be held at Chittering Valley.

For more information and to register email cedal@wa.uca.org.au.

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