This is my Uniting Church
Alice Springs Uniting Church
October 31, 2023
"We create space to tell stories, to listen to each other and to pray for each other."
Describe your church community
The Alice Springs Uniting Church worships on the lands of the Arrernte people, the lands they call Mparntwe. Through this land, God has nurtured and sustained them for some 50,000 years.
We are located in the heart of town in the John Flynn Memorial Church building. Grateful to those who went before us, we seek the Kingdom of God in this time and place.
We are a proudly intergenerational, multicultural, and affirming church. We have Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples and languages sharing in ministry together. We are a safe church for all no matter their age, race, gender, sexuality, or where they are in life or faith.
We value the deep stillness of the land in which we live. We allow the creation and the community of which we are a part to shape our discipleship.
Justice, sustainability, reconciliation, and equality are key expressions of the holistic faith we seek to nurture in each other, and in the wider community which we serve.
What’s one thing that makes your community unique?
Alice Springs, in the heart of our country, is a unique place. Our church that stands in the very heart of our town reflects that uniqueness.
We open up this land and buildings with the hope of creating a 'meeting place' for people of diverse backgrounds.
Despite some of the news headlines about our town and what others believe about it, we believe that everyone has a gift and that we are placed in the heart of Alice Springs to be:
"A welcoming sanctuary for travellers;
A reconciling community
A people caring for others;
In the name of Christ."
What are the intercultural and/or intergenerational aspects?
All people no matter their age or culture are valued and serve in our community.
We worship in English and Pitjantjatjara.
We sing ancient hymns, modern praise songs, and everything in between. We also worship in silence.
We create space to tell stories, to listen to each other, and to pray for each other.
We try not to tell each other what to believe but we wonder about God and Jesus and the Holy Spirit together.
Where do you see God at work in your community?
I see God at work in all this.
What are some of the challenges you are facing?
Our town, Mparntwe has been on national news a lot this year. And while, I often find it hard to recognise the town I know and love in what has been reported, there is no doubt there is some trouble here. And our church in the very centre of town, and our members who are working and living in this place, feel the impacts of it.
This trouble is not particularly new. I believe it is rooted in a history of violence against, and the exclusion of First Nations people from the town and its institutions, quite literally from 1928 until 1964 the town area was a prohibited area for Aboriginal people. While thankfully this is no longer the case, the referendum result shows most Australians still wish for Aboriginal people to remain on the margins. Our community is reeling from this referendum.
What can the rest of the church pray for you and your community?
Pray for the above challenges