Kenji Marui travelled to Australia as part of the Moderator’s Dialogue on Reconciliation to consult and build a relationship with the Uniting Church in Australia, the Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress, and Indigenous groups in Australia. He reflects on this experience:

“At a theological gathering of our Canadian visiting group, Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress members, and students training for ministry, we engaged in earnest conversation about the effects of colonialism in our lives, in our churches, in our societies. As a second-generation Canadian born to Japanese immigrants, I struggled to find my place in the discussion. I don’t look like a settler but have throughout my life operated with such a mindset. Yet I also know the effects of racism and discrimination. I grow weary of having to explain or justify myself in society, of my reality of being unrepresented or misrepresented in media.

“There was tension in discussing the interrelation of gospel and culture because it is such a one-sided dynamic: Christianity has been so dominant and pervasive, so closely associated with assertions of Western superiority, that it becomes difficult to disentangle Jesus’ true messages and intent from the historical and traditional interpretations of his parables and teachings.

“Aboriginal culture has long been deemed second-class at best and downright demonic at worst.

“As we look to what might come next in this unfinished process, there is a commitment and understanding that this work is too important to ignore. The work goes on thanks to your gifts for Mission & Service.”

If Mission & Service giving is already a regular part of your life, thank you so much! If you have not given, please join me in making Mission & Service giving a regular part of your life of faith. Loving our neighbour is at the heart of our Mission & Service.

For more Minutes for Mission resources, see our photo collection and video playlist.

Excerpt from www.united-church.ca, Round the Table blog, March 28, 2018