Singing has always been important to the Indigenous people of central Australia. Much of their traditional religion (or ‘Dreaming’) has been communicated through the chanting of songs. When the first German missionaries noticed this, they also taught the gospel to these people through Christian hymns. Central to the missionary endeavour was the establishment of choirs led by various people over the past 100 years. These choirs helped people learn the Western hymns that had been translated by the missionaries, encouraged others to write Christian hymns in their own language, and also supported the life and worship of the congregation. Today, these choirs have survived a period of demise since their zenith in the late 1960s, and now, with the support of the FRM, they have once again taken their rightful place as central to the mission of many FRM congregations. They also play a vital role promoting the work of FRM and showcasing the modern cultural heritage of central Australia to the general public.
In 2015, the Combined Central Australian Indigenous Choir, like a boomerang, want to bring something back to the churches and people of Germany who sent out their loved ones so long ago to such a foreign place. They want to bring back the gospel through their singing, dancing and painting to share it with the Christians and other people of Germany. The way they share the gospel through song, dance and painting is unique and powerful to the post-modern young people of today who are seeking something different than modern churches can usually offer. The Finke River Mission is working hard to send the CCAI Choir to the 2015 Kirchentag in Stuttgart (see www.kirchentag.org.uk for more information). In Neuendettelsau, Germany, the Mission EineWelt, Centre for Partnership, Development and Mission of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Bavaria will be their official sponsor, providing much-needed accommodation, meals and other support. However, this ‘Boomerang Tour’ will also need financial help with travel. This will be a significant event for the choirs, for the Finke River Mission, and for the LCA. If you would like to help sponsor this once in a lifetime opportunity for our FRM choirs, then please give to the work of the FRM.