Have you ever felt like the seasons just don’t really match with what happens around you?
I notice it in August/September in Sydney when every year we get these massive winds that come out of nowhere.
As I was preparing to write about how we engage and think about creation during the creation season I came across this fantastic website that tells you how the Aboriginal people of your region explain the seasons. It hit me, what if we were to use the season of creation to strengthen our relationship and understanding of things of our first people?
So below is a couple of resources that might be helpful as you think this through. Which of course leads me to lots of questions… So how does changing our perspective on the nature of creation, change our perspective on the nature of the Creator?
So seasons for me was the first place..
The second place was to see what around me is edible.. I have grown up with the bush just being very pretty. Things like corn, peas, potatoes, tomatoes, mushrooms (I’m so anglo I know!!) are what we eat and everything else around me is just nice to look at, but don’t eat it! This is not the case. How does seeing the bush around us as useful and life-giving not just pretty, change how we see God in this? How does that transformation, reflect the transformation we are called to as Christians as we are called to die to our old way and live a new life in Christ?
So as congregations or families, why not have a recipe challenge? I know the most mind blowing thing was the first time I was introduced to Kangaroo sausage rolls and orange and wattle seed cake. Where had all these flavours been all my life!! How can we work towards making these flavours part of who we are as a nation? Food plays such an important part of our lives and culture. Things like Kangaroo are much more sustainable to farm in Australia. What if as a nation we started to see that the Australian foods were normal parts of our diet and culture, not a novelty.
Aboriginal cultures have a keen love of the earth and creation, it is their Mother. What can we learn from them about how to care for creation? What practices do we need to change in our own lives? How do their stories help us better connect our theology to our land? Each Aboriginal community has it’s own stories that are sacred how do we start to have these conversations together. What does it mean to walk on Her back?
One of my favourite connections is Nungalinya College in the Northern Territory, it is an Ecumenical College, of which the Uniting Church is a partner. Sometimes they share their chapel worship online. Check out some of their work here.
Nungalinya College Youtube Channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCUAmsBobZPXrsRD0bc-t45g/videos
Nathan Tyson is the Manager of the First People’s strategy and engagement in our Synod. He has collated a great collection of resources as we explore walking together as a Church with First nations..
Check out his resources here: https://nswact.uca.org.au/first-nations-resources/
Going to new places and trying new things is scary! It helps to have friends that can go the journey with you. Where is your local aboriginal community you could connect in with to learn with them? As Jesus was challenged by the Phenician woman, so we as a nation, need to be challenged together by our Aboriginal sisters and brothers.
Karen Mitchell-Lambert is ordained in the ministry of Deacon and is the team leader of PULSE.