Children’s Day is celebrated across Australia each year on 4 August. It is a time for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families to celebrate the strengths and culture of their children. It is also an opportunity for all Australians to show their support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, as well as learn about the crucial impact that culture, family and community play in the life of First Nations children!
The 2020 theme is, “We are the Elders of tomorrow, hear our voice”.
A resource prepared by the SA UCA Synod to acknowledge National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day
This resource has been developed by Tarlee Leondaris (Covenanting Officer) and Melissa Neumann (Intergenerational Discipleship) from the Mission Resourcing team, Uniting Church in Australia, Synod of South Australia in partnership with Chris Barnett (Intergenerational Ministry – Children & Families), Synod of Victoria and Tasmania)
This resource has been designed for use in worship on Sunday 2nd August, 2020. We hope it encourages and enables congregations and faith communities to acknowledge National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day which is held on 4th August each year. This resource includes a Welcome to worship, Acknowledgement of Country, Prayer for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and Links to resources, including an activity pack to share with an Aboriginal community or UAICC community that you have connection with.
Images and videos that could be used in worship can be downloaded from here. This resource is available to download here (Special Days and Seasons section)
Welcome to Worship
Welcome to worship at ___________.
Today as part of our worship we are acknowledging National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day, held every year on August 4th with the aim of celebrating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children. The date 4th August was historically used to communally celebrate the birthdays of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children who were taken from their families at a young age, without knowing their birthday – the Stolen Generations. In 1988, the first National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day was established to celebrate, give confidence to and make Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children feel special and included. We acknowledge this day as a church in covenant with Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress (UAICC).
Acknowledgment of Country
Use the AIATSIS map of Indigenous Australia to find the Nation where you are gathering.
As we gather in this special place, we acknowledge the ___________People as the traditional custodians of this land. We give thanks for their commitment to nurturing this land over many generations. We honour the sacred stories that belong to this land. We pay our respect to Elders past, present and for those emerging who will lead their communities into the future. We commit ourselves to empowering children to continue the journey of reconciliation on this land.
Today we acknowledge the deep hurt experienced by the children and the families of the Stolen Generation. We pray for those who as children suffered terribly from forcible removal from their family and community. We pray for those children who grew up away from their own culture, contributing to the loss of their own sense of self-identity. We recognise that these sufferings cause intergenerational trauma. May Your healing presence be felt by all impacted by this trauma.
Lord, please help our governments and policy makers to learn from past mistakes. We pray for cooperative decision making between governments and First Peoples.
Thank you for the contributions our Aboriginal brothers and sisters make to our shared faith and the direction of the Uniting Church in Australia. Lord, help us to hear the voices of First Peoples and to learn from each other and stand alongside each other.
Help us to celebrate the lives of children as you taught us in scripture “Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.” Lord, please hear our prayers for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children. We pray these children learn their culture from Elders. We pray these children grow to be strong leaders in their communities. We pray they grow to feel empowered. We pray they grow to know their voice counts. We pray they always encounter Your grace. Amen.
Documentary: ‘In my Blood It Runs’ available free on ABC iView until 10:49pm on 4 August 2020.
‘In my Blood It Runs’ is a powerful portrayal of life as an Aboriginal child. The documentary follows 10 year old Dujuan as he faces the challenges of he encounters at school and within his own community. It is an eye opening experience learning some of the difficulties Aboriginal children experience face reconciling their culture with ‘westernised’ expectations.