A new bush church has been dedicated at the small community of Engawala in the Northern Territory,150 kilometres north-east of Alice Springs.
Until recently, the congregation had gathered for monthly worship on a basketball court. Several years ago, locals decided that they wanted their own church building. Assisted by local community development workers, they have been converting an old house into a small church.
While work on the church is ongoing, Michael Jacobsen, Finke River Mission (FRM) support pastor for the Alyawarr region, reports that an opening service was held in June. Northern Territory MP Chansey Paech spoke as pastors Marcus Wheeler, Michael Jacobsen, Rodney Malbunka, Michael Tjapiard, Christopher Tjanima, Malcolm Willcocks, Philip Wilyuka and Neville Doecke, and Jeff Iversen, from community development program contractor My Pathway, looked on. FRM support workers officiated, and other Aboriginal pastors and linguists and the Central Australian Aboriginal Women’s Choir participated in the service.
Church vessels were donated by St Paul Lutheran Church Morawa in Western Australia, and Pastor Michael says a plaque will be placed in front of the new church with the inscription: Aboriginal Lutheran Church of Engawala.
‘The Lord made us, and we are his; we are his people’ (Psalm 100:3).