After six years away from Central Australia working with the Uniting Church in Darwin, I have recently begun working as the chaplain at Yirara College. Beginning again in Central Australia brings new questions and new ways of seeing things.
Significantly, Yirara College is a truly ecumenical community, with students from many different backgrounds. The majority of students are connected to the Anglican, Baptist, Catholic and AIM churches, through their home communities.
This reality reminds us of St Paul’s beautiful insight in Galatians: ‘In Christ there is no longer slave or free, male or female, Jew or Greek’. And at Yirara we can also say: ‘In Christ there is no longer Lutheran or Catholic, Baptist or Anglican, but we are all one through Jesus who loves us!’
In October I was given the opportunity to travel out to Roper River Valley. It was beautiful to see this big river country. So many of our students are from country crossed by great rivers: Robinson River, Roper River, McArthur River, Katherine River, Daly River. Rivers full of water all through the year, so different from the rivers of the desert!
The different rivers remind us that our students come from many different cultures and language groups, from way up north at Daly River just south of Darwin, across to the Roper Valley communities of Minyerri, Jilkminggan, Urapunga and Ngukurr, then right down through Elliot and Tennant Creek to Alice Springs and deep into the Western Desert.
The diversity of Yirara College is a precious and sacred gift. I look forward
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