|The Revd Tom Slockee|
It was a lovely service at St James Church, Malak. This service is usually the worship time where most Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Anglicans attend. The main theme for the evening was the
return of the prodigal son. Bishop Greg Thompson and Tom spoke about the need to abandon judgment and embrace forgiveness.
As I sat and watched this service, mostly directed to the Indigenous parishioners, I reflected on the genuine example of reconciliation that existed in the church: a Larrakia (traditional owners of Darwin) woman conducted the ‘Welcome to Country’; the New Testament reading was read from the Kriol bible; and traditional language was used in another reading and some songs. The Peace offering was the longest process I’d ever experienced and wasn’t finished until peace blessings were offered to everyone in the church!
It seems that everyone has an opinion about churches’ involvement with Indigenous people in the past. However, there was only good in the service which showed that the Anglican Church is open to learning and improving the way it engages with and supports its Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander parishioners. Tom’s presence here is testament to that.
It was great to be part of the service and to share in the spirit of hope and reconciliation which was evident that night.
Effectiveness and Learning Officer