Beginning its two year journey around Australia, churches and communities will have the opportunity to read and contribute to Reconciliation Well, a national prayer book expressing Australians' commitment to reconciliation.
A joint initiative of Reconciliation Australia and World Vision, Reconciliation Well seeks to bring together churches and individuals across Australia to honour our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Christian leaders and Elders.
Colin Battersby, Relationship Coordinator with World Vision's Australia Program, hopes the prayer book will provide people with an opportunity to not only express prayerful commitment to the journey of reconciliation within Australia, but also speak words of encouragement and vision into the lives of young Indigenous and non-Indigenous leaders.
"Reconciliation Well symbolises a renewed desire by Indigenous and non-Indigenous faith communities across this nation to reimagine the Church in Australia as a movement of brothers and sisters committed to friendship and partnership, built on humility, trust and mutual respect," he explains.
The prayer book features artwork by Safina Stewart, whose ancestral lines tie to Wuthathi Country, Far North Queensland, and Mabuiag Island, Torres Strait, as well as Scotland.
"Prayer is powerful," explains Safina. "It connects us with our mighty God and our fellow man through intercession and empathy."
Safina explains her artwork is about "hope, justice, honour and vision" and "honouring the wisdom of Indigenous Elders who are mentoring and raising up the next generation of leaders for all Australians, Indigenous and non-Indigenous alike".
For a country as blessed as Australia, Safina believes we should be leaders in reconciliation.
"My hope," she explains, "is that the reconciliation modelled by and effected through Jesus Christ's restoration of our broken relationship with our Creator would come to fruition for each of us who call Australia home.
"Put simply, my hope is that everything damaged and broken would be healed, restored and put right."
Safina's prayer is most powerfully reflected in her artwork. Considering the role faith plays in the path to reconciliation, Safina says "it has so much to do with relationship, and demonstrating mutual care, respect and love".
"Being a Christian artist – a Christian person – knowing that every person is precious in God's sight is the platform for everything.
"If every person is precious and you believe they are precious, then you fight for those who have been unjustly done by."
Reconciliation Well is a powerful call to prayer.
Add your prayer to the Reconciliation Well
You can add your prayer to the Reconciliation Well by leaving a comment under a blog by World Vision's Grant Paulson on the Reconciliation Australia website. Share your first name, your city or town and your prayer and they will be added to the Reconciliation Well.
Reconciliation Well is a proud joint initiative of World Vision Australia and Reconciliation Australia.