Last year the ‘Hearts and Hands’ Women’s Fellowship of St Paul Lutheran Church, Blair Athol (SA), kindly donated a set of paraments to Titjikala Lutheran Church. Although originally made for the opening of the St Paul church in 1967, the paraments were still in good condition.
However, the St Paul altar is significantly longer than the altar at Titjikala. What to do? We decided to turn the paraments into banners. A hanging rail was installed on the wall behind the altar, just in time for Advent. The Titjikala congregation were really happy to have a special ‘new’ banner to help to make their church building look extra festive. But more than this, they were proud to be connected with the life and story of St Paul Lutheran Church, Blair Athol.
During the service, we also celebrated the baptism of four young ones and communed 81 parishioners. That Sunday was the last time Pastor Philip Wilyuka led worship at Titjikala. Our Father welcomed him home on 22 January this year.
His funeral was held on 20 February 2020, with well over 400 people attending. Due to the large numbers, the funeral service was held at the basketball court. One of the locals had decided to bring the ‘parament’ banner from the church and hang it at the front of the court. So there, suspended above Pastor Wilyuka’s coffin, were the words ‘Hope in the Lord’ for all to see.
Titjikala is 119 kilometres south of Alice Springs, with a population of around 270. Please remember the Titjikala ‘mob’ in your prayers.
Malcolm Willcocks is the Pitjantjatjara Support Worker in the Western Arrarnta Language Area.