Welcome...

Join us every Sunday for our weekly 9:30am service.

We are a community of faith seeking to live out the radical good news of Jesus. We open up our land, buildings and resources in the heart of town with the hope of creating a 'meeting place' for people of diverse cultural backgrounds.

The John Flynn Memorial Uniting Church was built for the people of the outback and was inspired by the life works of the Reverend John Flynn.

Follow this link for our other regular activities and groups.

Congregation

Welcome...

Join us every Sunday for our weekly 9:30am service.

We are a community of faith seeking to live out the radical good news of Jesus. We open up our land, buildings and resources in the heart of town with the hope of creating a 'meeting place' for people of diverse cultural backgrounds.

The John Flynn Memorial Uniting Church was built for the people of the outback and was inspired by the life works of the Reverend John Flynn.

Follow this link for our other regular activities and groups.

Adelaide House

Adelaide House

Adelaide House was designed by John Flynn in 1920 and built by the Australian Inland Mission in 1926. One of the earliest buildings in town, this ‘bush nursing hostel’ offered health services and hospitality to those living in the tiny town of Stuart.

Museum features outback nurses stories, Flynn’s story, Pedal Radio invention and passive outback architectural design.

Anangu Connections

Anangu Connections

The relationship between Christian people in the APY lands and the Uniting Church in Alice Springs goes back more than 80 years. It is founded in the history of the church’s involvement with the Ernabella Mission at Pukatja in the Musgrave ranges of South Australia.

Throughout the Northern Synod, urban congregations have entered into partnership relationships with indigenous congregations in their area. Anangu and other First Nations people attend our services on Sunday morning. Components of our service are in both English and Pitjantjatjara.

Meeting Place

Anangu Connections

The Meeting Place: that is what we hope and dream to be. Our land and buildings are located on the Todd Mall in Alice Springs, and many people pass through or stop by on our lawns each day. It is our vision to help people connect: visitors and locals, across cultures and ages; to be the beating heart of our town. In collaboration with volunteers from across the community we run a drop-in centre, an Op Shop, and the Adelaide House tourist centre. In all of these activities we want to welcome people in a safe and inclusive manner, and play our part in helping revitalise the centre of this wonderful town and region.

Upcoming Events

Recent News

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Alex McLean on the environment, faith and a life caring for creation

Sep 15, 2016

Last Sunday we celebrated ‘Seasons of Creation’. Here is a video link to the challenging and thoughtful input that Alex McLean shared with us about his […]

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An Address by Dr Steve Bevis outlining our vision to be a ‘Meeting Place’

Aug 2, 2016

Please click below to view Dr Steve Bevis addressing the Alice Springs Uniting Church, July 31 2016. You will be taken to the Alice Springs Uniting […]

MeetingPlaceJune19

We visit our community – in prison.

Jun 15, 2016

We visit our community wherever they are: and that includes prison. Other’s are too far away to visit, whether the grieving in Orlando, those on […]

MeetingPlaceApril032016

Worship from the Heart

Apr 2, 2016

We live in the heart of Australia – what a privilege! We like to think that Alice Springs is the beating heart of Australia. Some […]

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Last Saturday a group of our intrepid volunteers poured concrete and lifted steel. That’s right, they installed our new basketball hoop. It is great to get to this point, and we are so thankful for all who donated towards our little appeal to help out with our work at The Meeting Place. More to come soon on that front… In the meantime, there are going to be a LOT of happy young Aboriginal people using this hoop and backboard over the weeks and months ahead!

The work of creating a safe, engaging and respectful space in the heart of town is vital. On the same weekend as we installed the hoop, a series of vandalism incidents involving young people caught the town’s attention. On Tuesday, I went on ABC 783 local radio to talk about the issue, and also to talk about The Meeting Place and the difference it is making in town through the step-by-step building of understanding and connection across cultures and experiences. I was also asked about the community meeting held in Alice Springs for the Royal Commission on child protection and youth detention in the Northern Territory. It is important to share our learnings with the community and to advocate for those who least have a voice, and who, as a consequence, are most likely to make their presence felt in perhaps less desirable ways!

Speaking of the Royal Commission, it was good to see a decent turnout and to listen to the commissioners explain their approach, rationale and hopes. If the process is driven by positive and community-led dialogue then the outcomes may be helpful. That said, Rosalie Kunoth-Monks voiced her concerns at the meeting that Aboriginal people, as people of a different culture to the mainstream government who established the inquiry, and as speakers of different languages, were already marginalised. Her strong voice on behalf of the families and victims seemed to register - and I hope that Mick Gooda’s clear and supportive response to those concerns is but the first step in a journey that will lead to changes for the better.

This week was also momentous at the church itself as we said the last goodbye to a wonderful woman: Deaconess Lorna Nellie Stevenson. Lorna passed away last week at the age of 94 years. She was a contrarian to the last and loved to the last. She gave her life to the people of the ‘outback’ and ‘remote communities.’ A finer person you won’t happen across. I made sure her funeral service kept to time - for fear she would haunt me from beyond the grave. And with the wind blowing and rain threatening, at the graveside I said: “Well, let’s get on with it, Lorna wouldn’t want us standing around.” It was an honour to lead her final farewell.

To finish the week, I head to the Beyond Festival on the outskirts of Canberra. By all accounts the weather is not looking good! But, on the other hand, the festival line up surely is! It’s a ripper of a little festival, with the focus on creativity, justice and community. I’m looking forward to being there, performing a few tunes on Friday night, and hanging out with some of Australia’s finest musos, changemakers, and lovers of life. Why not make the trek yourself? You won’t be disappointed.

If you’d like to contribute our work at The Meeting Place the details are below.

Cheers,
Steve

If you'd like to join our mailing list and receive a PDF version of these posts, please write to emily.hayes@aliceunitingchurch.org.au

BSB 634634 (Uniting Financial Services)
Acc 100 039 619 (Alice Springs Uniting Church)
(In the reference put: ASP 18 plus your initial and surname, so we can track deposits).
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Below is a short refection given last Sunday morning by Emily Hayes, our church administrator. It is based on Ray Minniecon's talk for Season of Creation and her own life story and powerfully picks up on our own experiences of life here in Central Australia.

(The link to the video is found below the text).

I found Ray’s sermon very powerful and there is a lot in there to think about and that I could reflect on, but I was particularly moved by the image of the scarred tree. It has been another yet challenging week here at Alice Springs Uniting Church/the meeting place. I look around and I see our own scarred buildings, I see the scars of those I work with, and I see my own scars. I also see the scars of the young people who hang out at the drop in centre; scars that are far greater than their age. It can be hard to hold on to hope. But, I too was a pretty broken young person not that long ago: playing around with alcohol, drugs, boys, and testing the limits of the authorities. Yet by the grace of God, my family, a very ordinary yet totally extraordinary church community - who created a forgiving, welcoming and non-judgemental space to come home to - I found a way.
And now here I am and people ask me how we are going to fix all these problems and the truth is I don’t really know, but, as we say here, the meeting place is about “meeting not fixing our way to a better world”. This week the community gathered on the lawns and were led in song by the Central Australian Aboriginal Women’s Choir, a wall was knocked down but some young people helped us to clear the bricks, and ITECA – the indigenous theological college that the churches of Central Australia are trying to set up – held a workshop with Aboriginal church leaders to discuss ministry and leadership. The faith and wisdom that was shared should give us all much reason to hope. And now, this morning, here we all are, first and second people, of all ages gathered to give a moment of our busy lives to our God and his creation.
In all this I get glimpses of the connected world that Ray refers to. That these scarred buildings and people can offer such a space shows us, as the story of creation reminds us and as we sing “God makes beautiful things, He makes beautiful things out of the dust.”
So, I pray as you all go into your workplaces, communities and families this week you remember this. As you carry your own scars and despair for our planet; as you journey with people who are hurting, sick or dying, may you hear the voice of the Creator, may you see Him in the beauty of creation as well its scars and may you know, that it is all - as it was said in beginning - very good.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=svqmCYRiFj8
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Last Sunday we celebrated 'Seasons of Creation'. Along with powerful video input from Ray Minniecon, we also held our 'In our midst' section where a congregation member shares something of their own story of faith and discipleship. It is always inspiring! Here is a video link to the challenging and thoughtful input that Alex McLean shared with us about his commitment to care for creation, to enjoy 'places' as an act of worship, and to connect our work and lives with the future redemption of our world, 'scarred as it is.'

youtu.be/cDwSLytG0fE
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It has been another big week in Alice.

On Sunday we hosted the Sacred Song event for the Desert Festival. It was a wonderful community event with performances by the Central Australian Aboriginal Womens' Choir, the Samoan Choir, the band from the Christian Family Centre, 'Sunday on the Fly', and our own church choir led by our Anangu women and featuring our young adults and children! What a remarkable moment!!!

Throughout the week, music has continued to be shared on our lawns, and the Tangentyere Council have installed a 'pop-up shop' on the veranda of Adelaide House; their wonderful Aboriginal artworks beautifully complementing the museum which continues to host many visitors to our town. What a rich experience for everyone who spends time in the centre of town. We are pleased to help host these ventures.

Tonight, as I write, the 'night markets' are on again on the Todd Mall and or lawns will be used for many creative activities. An all age team will open our Op Shop and, of course, The Meeting Place drop in centre will be open as usual, but doing the highly unusual work of creating a safe space for people to meet and hangout. We are pleased that despite the struggles, many young Aboriginal people are continuing to choose to make the drop in something like a second home.

We have also received the news that Grace Darling has come through her surgery in Adelaide and is doing very well in the circumstances. How do we know? She is ordering the nurses around! We are so thankful her strong spirit is with us still.

And thanks to you for sticking with us in this journey.

We trust that somehow, in each of our activities, that which is good, true and beautiful grows just a little bit brighter in our hearts and the world we share.

Steve
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This morning we have Alex Mclean sharing his experiences, a video of Ray Minniecon guiding our thoughts about creation and country, and Emily Hayes leading us in worship. A rich community time awaits! Come along. 9:30am. ... See MoreSee Less

Facts & Figures

  • uniting_church_australia
    2,500 Uniting Church congregations across Australia each week
  • congregation
    777 Congregation 2016
  • sundays
    3120 Sundays since Church opened
  • connection
    1 Number of persons it takes to bring god into your life.