Rev Dr Gordon Moyes The Superintendent Writes
A weekly column by Rev Dr Gordon Moyes, Superintendent of Wesley Mission.
June 18th, 2000

Celebrating 2000:

Last Saturday at Stadium Australia people from across the country and denominations gathered to celebrate 2000 years since Christ's birth. The picture of the day is enormous and I would like to convey to you something of its meaning. In the VIP lounge there was about 200 heads of churches, politicians, mayors, corporate leaders and leaders from the welfare sector. Children in white Celebrating 2000 tops came from 110 schools across the nation, from Geraldton to Cairns. From the moment the pre-program began, while people were arriving, there were roars of excitement - as the Scots Pipe Band came in, there was a huge sense of excitement. And that flow of excitement never stopped.

The Ceremony of the Water:
In the reconciliation ceremony something very authentic took place, very uncontrived. Church and political leaders walked to the centre of the Oval to meet with Tim Edwards and Aboriginal elders. The elders handed them water - there was a moment of hesitation, then they drank the water and embraced the Aboriginals. At that point they linked arms and walked off the Oval together.

One lady reported that when the Reconciliation Ceremony began she thought, "Oh no, this aboriginal stuff." She said, "My approach had been that John Howard's a strong man and not kowtowing to Aboriginals." Then she said, I still don't know what it was, but in that moment when they offered the water again, and seeing the Myall Creek cross and Tim, so non aggressive - not making a demanding statement - then hugging that took place. All I know is I've been changed. I will never see this in the same way again. I don't know how it worked, but I know now I am sorry."

TV Coverage:
In a huge project, a team of 55 people worked on live TV coverage, which went to air on the Australian Christian Channel (Optus) as well as in England and Europe. It was an amazing experience for myself being the front anchorman - live television being incredibly demanding and over such a long period of 5 hours.

The Story's Just Begun:
For most of the children at the Stadium on Saturday, the story has just begun. They will be invited to be a part of Advent Pageants on December 1st and a part of a program called "Re-discovering our Heritage" which marks the Federation of Australia.