For this year's Toowoomba Harmony Day celebrations, it has been a delight to write a special affirmation of peace and harmony for Toowoomba faith leaders to share. Taking up some of the themes of our journey together, including the local Indigenous significance of the Bunya tree, the Goodwill Committee of Toowoomba hope it may be a declaration we can also share and develop in the future. With every blessing upon our many peoples, faiths, and cultures which enrich us all...
We come from many backgrounds
and have journeyed many roads.
We give thanks for these good things of our past.
We rejoice in the first peoples of this land
and their continuing cultures.
We celebrate with all who have left other nations,
brought their learning and made a home in this place.
Just as the Bunya tree has given life for so many generations,
so may we offer shelter and sustenance
and share smiles of peace and harmony.
We bring many gifts and outlooks.
We give thanks for these good things of the present.
We rejoice in the strengths and diversity
of our shared community.
We celebrate our many faiths and stories,
our business and our art.
Just as our environment gives delight to our Garden City,
so may we scatter seeds of understanding,
grow flowers of friendship, plant peace and harvest harmony.
We share many hopes and dreams.
We give thanks for these promises of the future.
We rejoice in its possibilities.
We re-commit ourselves to the common good.
Just as earlier diverse communities gathered
for the great Bunya festivals of the past,
so may we walk together
into a more joyful and reconciling world.
Honouring our elders and raising up children of hope,
may we be a model city of peace and harmony.
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Jo Inkpin is an Anglican priest serving as Minister of Pitt St Uniting Church in Sydney, a trans woman, theologian & justice activist. These are some of my reflections on life, spirit, and the search for peace, justice & sustainable creation.