Australia Day should be like a funeral.
Wait. Let me explain.
There are four things at a funeral- There’s a degree of grief and a degree of celebration of the person’s life. How much of each depends on the person’s life. There’s more celebration and less grief if it’s an elderly person who’s lived a good life, and a lot more grief for someone who’s died young and tragically, and the celebration of the life they have had is there but overwhelmed. The degrees of grief and celebration will vary too, depending on how close the person who died was to you.
So, with Australia Day- there needs to be both grief and celebration. Grief at the dispossession, traumas and injustices our Indigenous people have experienced. And celebration of the great things about our country- its natural beauty and wonders, and our human community, our prosperity and freedoms. We won’t all feel the grief the same. It will be much stronger for our First Peoples; and for them it may be so strong the celebration is overwhelmed. But all of us, and especially us Second Peoples, we need to acknowledge both.
The other elements of a funeral are looking back on the person’s life and looking forward into the future. The eulogy and tributes look back over the past, and there will be something of the future- whether it is the Christian hope of life after life, or a non-religious comfort that the person will live on in the hearts and memories of their family and friends.
So with Australia Day, we need to look back and acknowledge the full history, making a point of including our First Peoples’ history; and looking forward with a commitment to reconciliation and a fair future together.
As Christians I believe an important part of our call is to work towards reconciliation, doing our best to bring our polarised nation together.
here to edit.
What’s with the name free_key.com?
The ‘.com’ is meant to represent that we are a community – not a family. We’re too big and diverse to be a family. Members of a family share a common heritage and background – but we have many heritages and this fact makes us all very different. A family lives together by circumstances of birth; we live together by choice. A community is a bunch of people all trying to live together – and it’s not always easy. To do it we’ve got to get right with each other.
What about the ‘free_key’ bit?
What we’re about here is getting right with God and getting not too bad with each other. As Romans 5: 7-11 tells us Christ has made it okay, made us all right with God. More than just all right – we are friends with God through Christ. Paul goes on to say in verse 18 ‘the one righteous act sets all humankind free’ – we are free through Christ. Through Christ we have life, peace and hope We are free through the grace of God. Grace = the free, unearned, unconditional love and forgiveness of God. Grace is the ‘key’ – we are ‘free_key’ people.
We are also ‘freaky’ people – don’t panic, it just means unique, rare or unusual, remarkable, an ‘only one of’. Each of us is unique and therefore unusual, remarkable, and . . . well, freaky. We each have our individual weirdness, it’s all weird – there is no normal. We are the beauty of the world- all the freaky people make the beauty of the world (Michael Franti). All the freaky, free_key people make the beauty of the world.
free_key.com mission statement
-welcome everyone into the family of God
-share the good news
-listen to each other, kids and adults
-discover our gifts, we’ve all got some
-worship together, praise God and Jesus
-participate as we feel comfortable
-enjoy ourselves, have fun
-relax, be ourselves, make misteaks, misstakes, mistakes, mistaykes . . . errors.
Yesterday we found a thank you card in the letterbox at the front of the church (which doesn't get used very much). And in it was a very generous donation. The anonymous donor was thanking us for our support, and hoped to help with replacing our front window which was smashed late last year. If you're that person- thank you for your thanks and donation and we are delighted that we've been able to support you.