by Paul Traeger
For weeks afterwards, people were still talking about the things they had learnt.
In late September the people of Imanpa, a Pitjantjatjara community 270 kilometres southwest of Alice Springs, welcomed Aboriginal church leaders from all over Central Australia to a teaching course. Due to the impact of COVID, this was the first such course Finke River Mission (FRM) able to be held this year.
One of the unique features of our church’s ministry in working with Aboriginal church leaders is to facilitate pastoral and theological ‘bush camps’ (teaching courses) usually held three times a year. The intention is to locate each of these camps in one of the many communities spread across Central Australia. The teaching or training at these camps is led by a lecturer from Australian Lutheran College and supported by our own Finke River Mission staff translating the English delivery into language for participants. The topic of each camp is organised between Finke River Mission staff and the lecturer. Additionally, each Finke River Mission ministry support worker holds mini bush courses in their area throughout the year.
That the Aboriginal Ingkaartas (pastors) often travel hundreds of kilometres to reach a course shows their hunger and desire to learn and understand more of God’s love and forgiveness for them through Christ. This then supports their ministry amongst their own communities.
Needless to say, these ‘bush camps’ provide a unique opportunity for ‘two-way’ learning, where the ‘teachers’ find themselves inspired by the Aboriginal perspective on the scriptural teachings.
Read similar stories in the 2020 Summer edition of Christ in the Centre, news from the Finke River Mission (FRM) of the Lutheran Church of Australia (LCA).
Paul Traeger is the Pastoral Support Worker
for the Pintupi-Luritja Language Area (Central Australia)
Ministry of the LCA’s FRM