Tuesday, December 18, 2012
Walking on country: Uniting College Candidates Indigenous Immersion
News via email overnight of funding approved for Walking on Country, an indigenous immersion experience, which we want to have as a compulsory part of our training for candidates for ministry at Uniting College. It’s a project that I’ve been quietly working away on for well over a year – first in going ourselves as a family, then in seeking partnership with Uniting Church Congress, then in approaching a potential funding partner, then in finding a person to provide leadership, including to write up the bid ….
• That a three day/three night educational and spiritual experience of Indigenous culture, history, politics and contemporary lifestyle be incorporated into the training and education of Uniting Church (of South Australia) candidates for Ministry.
• That this occur in different locations each year, based with an Indigenous community.
• That over a three year cycle, with up to 10 candidates attending each year, this program will be attended by the entire Ministry candidate cohort.
• That the program consist of Preparatory reading, an Immersion experience, and a post-trip forum.
1. For participants to become informed and educated about life in particular Indigenous communities
2. For participants to explore ‘decolonisation’ of their colonised thinking and relationships,
3. For participants to develop conceptual, emotional and spiritual foundations for covenanting and friendships with Indigenous communities and the UAICC
4. For participants to commit to a journey of reconciliation with Indigenous Australians, and to the vision for Covenanting in the Uniting Church.
Three days is nothing.
Although it might be better than nothing.
And it fits with a number of other intentional processes we’re working on – looking not for a one-off tokenist experience, but consciousness raising on multiple fronts.
Because missional leaders need to experience boundary crossing – in their guts and bodies and in their contexts – as well as their heads.