Word and sacrament ministry
At the heart and centre of our worship is Jesus Christ, who is present for us and with us through his word and sacraments. We gather for worship to receive from Christ his precious gifts and treasures of forgiveness of sins, life and salvation.
Out in the desert, Lutheran worship looks and sounds very different to how it's done in the city. Worship in Central Australia may not have stained-glass windows, clean pews, ornate altars or carpet in the church. Yes, it does have flies, dust, dogs, thatched roofs and improvised altars, but the wonderful message of God's love and forgiveness through Christ is still at the heart and centre of worship.
Five-day pastoral and theological ‘bush camps’ are held three times a year. The location of these camps is usually 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. The topic of each camp is organised between Finke River Mission staff and the lecturer. Also, each Finke River Mission support worker holds mini bush courses in their area throughout the year. That the Ingkaartas 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.
Through Finke River Mission, the Lutheran Church of Australia (LCA) provides Christian secondary education at Yirara College to Aboriginal boarding students from remote Northern Territory, Western Australia and Queensland communities. Finke River Mission's long and positive history with the Aboriginal people of central Australia has contributed to the success of the college; parents are confident to choose the college as a Christian environment in which their children can attend school. Yirara is located seven kilometres south of Alice Springs on the Stuart Highway. The site covers 32 hectares and includes school buildings, dormitories, sporting facilities, staff accommodation and camping areas. More about Yirara College ...
Hermannsburg Historic Precinct
The Historic Precinct at Hermannsburg consists of old buildings and their contents, including artifacts from the late 1800s and early 1900s. Established in 1877 by Lutheran missionaries from Germany, most of the buildings were constructed during the time of Pastor Carl Strehlow. The mission is strongly associated with him, his wife Frieda and his son, T G H (Ted) Strehlow, with Pastor F W Albrecht and his son Paul, and with the famed Arrernte watercolour painter Albert Namatjira. Visitors can tour the buildings, including the original church and visit the gallery that houses two original watercolours by Albert Namatjira and also offers for sale contemporary watercolours in the Hermannsburg style. More about Hermannsburg Historic Precinct, including opening hours ...
Hermannsburg General Store
The Finke River Mission general store is an integral part of the Hermannsburg community. It provides employment, and its staff take an active role in local activities, assist in interpreting documents and offer encouragement, sympathy and Christian support when needed. Hermannsburg is situated 130 kilometres west of Alice Springs on the banks of the Finke River and is home to approximately 800 Western Arrarnta people.