Listening to the ‘Statement from the Heart’
In 1967 we were counted, in 2017 we seek to be heard.
We leave base camp and start our trek across this vast country.
We invite you to walk with us in a movement of the Australian people for a better future.
Quote, Statement from the Heart
In 2017 the Anglican Church of Australia responded to the historic Statement from the Heart made by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander representatives at Uluru.
General Synod supported the call for a constitutionally-entrenched First Nations’ Voice to the Commonwealth Parliament and asked the Public Affairs Commission to prepare resources in consultation with the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Anglican Council.
ABM has responded with an 8-part study designed to help the church listen to the Statement from the Heart and to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Christians.
It was written by ABM’s Reconciliation Coordinator, Celia Kemp, with art by the Rev Glenn Loughrey and an Appendix by Dr Carolyn Tan.
It has been endorsed by the Primate, the National Aboriginal Bishop, the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Anglican Council and the Public Affairs Commission of the Anglican Church.
We are grateful for the generous support of the Society of the Sacred Mission who have subsidised the printing and distribution of the study.
Celia Kemp and Glenn Loughrey respect the plea from Uluru by ensuring that this ‘sacred link’ is very much to the forefront in what they write and paint. The fact that theirs is a combined effort from a non-indigenous writer and an indigenous artist makes ‘A Voice in the Wilderness’ even more hopeful. The response includes impressive paintings by Glenn, who is a Wiradjuri man and an Anglican priest. Celia’s words are more than words; the reader can feel her spiritual passion for the project, and her desire to give public expression to the call of the indigenous peoples for justice, truth and acknowledgement. To this end, Celia has researched an enormous number of papers and consulted the most up to date information and websites on Aboriginal history and cultures. She has assembled this material alongside stories, quotes, scripture, questions and prayer. I commend this study to churched and unchurched alike, and hope that as we read it we become better informed about our past and more able to find a pathway to a creative future.
A Voice in the Wilderness is an excellent guide to prepare us for such a journey. The Anglican Church has passed synod resolutions and made submissions in support of constitutional recognition and reforms to bring about substantive legal changes for First Nations People. The Church has also called for resources to enable people to reflect theologically on the issues and on the Uluru Statement. A Voice in the Wilderness is one wonderful example of such a resource. It provides informative links, discussion questions that force us to reflect on our assumptions, Biblical reflections, with quotes and prayers emerging from First Nations’ voices and their experiences of God in this land. The stunning and confronting artwork by the Rev Glenn Loughrey is a brilliant illustration of the themes that also make us ponder our hard history and need for a better way.
Celia Kemp, the author, will be well known to those who have used and loved the ABM apps Into the Desert and Deep Calls to Deep. A Voice in the Wilderness is also written in Celia’s clear and concise style, with a huge depth of reading and research behind it. She has also consulted widely with First Nations People and others across Australia in writing this. I congratulate the ABM on a superb and much-needed publication.
The National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Council commends it as a ‘powerful document which is engaging and thought provoking’ and the Primate has encouraged all Anglicans to embark on the journey of discovery it offers.
Download a six-part Leaders Guide to accompany A Voice in the Wilderness.