In late September the people of Imanpa, a Pitjantjatjara community 270 kilometres southwest of Alice Springs, welcomed Indigenous 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) has held this year.
Pastor Tom Pietsch from Australian Lutheran College spoke on ‘Christ in the Old Testament’. His message was delivered with sincerity, with slow and clear speech, and with rich content supplemented by a well-produced booklet.
The average teaching session had around 35 people. There were about as many women attending as men. This was because the June women’s course had been cancelled due to COVID restrictions. Having women present was definitely a plus. They especially shone with their insightful comments at Wednesday’s meeting, where issues of concern for Indigenous Central Australian Lutherans were discussed. The meeting was constructive, clarifying and almost entirely positive.
Other positives at the course were ‘Cookie’ George Krzoska’s electro-mechanical insights and entertaining antics, Wayne Beven’s managerial wisdom, field worker Malcolm Willcocks’s hosting (especially his choice of venue), the nightly community singalongs, and the many informal conversations course leaders had with attendees between teaching sessions. For weeks afterward, people were still talking about the things they had learnt.
Paul Traeger is the Ministry Support Worker for the Pintupi–Luritja Language Area.