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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Easter Service 9:30am

Apr 16, 2017

Happy Easter. Service 9:30am. All welcome!

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Silence is Deafening over Digital Shortwave Radio

Feb 15, 2017

The glaring omission in public discussions following shortwave broadcast termination in Central Australia is a viable alternative, like Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM). DRM is a [&hel

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Dr Steve Bevis reflects on our vision of being a Sanctuary for Travellers

Feb 13, 2017

In this three part series, Steve Bevis reflects on our vision statement as a congregation to be a sanctuary for travellers, a reconciling community, and […]

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Rachel Neary reflects on experiencing God in the hard places

Feb 13, 2017

In late 2016, during Advent, our congregational member Rachel Neary reflected on her experiences working in addressing domestic violence in the NT. In particular, Rachel […]

Read More

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Ah, noise.

The drop in at The Meeting Place is often loud! Loud with joyful banter, hip hop beats, youtube videos, films.

But there are also periods of quiet too: board games, drawing, gentle conversations, the silence of many mouths munching pizza.

Young people drift in, young people drift out. Some stay for 10 mins, some stay all evening.

It doesn’t matter, the raucous moments, or the chilled-out times. What’s important is that even for a moment our precious young people in Alice Springs feel welcome, to just be who they are, no questions asked. Even if we are always ready to listen if they want to talk.

And all that is possible because our wonderful volunteers are there through it all. The young, and not-so-young. The extroverts and the introverts. All of them are passionate to create a safe and welcoming space in the heart of town, in the heart of life in the outback.

And, of course, it is great to have the resources to keep this space open.

From new sheeting to fix holes in the walls, to computers, to data projectors, to paint, to food vouchers at Woolies, it all makes a difference. And all of this ‘stuff’ helps our volunteers provide an engaging space for young Aboriginal people. It wouldn’t be possible without the generosity of our supporters both in town and across the country. There are so many who help. There are people who donate money, and local organisations like The Bakery and Brumbies who offer leftover baked goods. Other people offer their skills and insights to keep our hearts and heads on track - not to mention our buildings upright - it’s all necessary!

The generosity of our financial givers has meant that we can now add to both the noise and the silence in the form of the sounds of acoustic music. Yes, this week we were able to purchase a bunch of guitars and drums that can be used by the young people. It’s nice to be able to offer creative tools to young spirits. Soon we’ll be repainting a mural on our inside wall. And I can’t wait to see what their fertile minds come up with this time around! It will be great to sit and strum songs while others do all the hard work!

It was a classic moment the other day as our young cleaning team came in from St Josephs Flexible Learning Centre to do the weekly clean of the church, op shop, offices, and Drop In. As they got out of the vehicle in our car park they walked past the mural on the back of our shed (soon to be an Arrernte language art installation!) - it’s a big ‘welcome to alice’ over the Aboriginal flag - and they excitedly said: “Redfern! This is Redfern!” “Yeah, this is Redfern!”, they laughed. It was great to hear that sense of connection, the light-hearted sense that their story was part of a bigger story, and that the centre of Alice Springs could look and feel like a place in the Australian story that is Aboriginal. Of course, not everyone would be happy about being associated with Redfern, both its symbolism and its history! But as our church and Meeting Place grounds stand in the shadows of the new Supreme Court it surely is an interesting dynamic that young people could feel that they were in a place that to them looked and felt Aboriginal; politically Aboriginal. A whole PhD lies right there, but at The Meeting Place we are more interested in the people and the connections that can be made, and the path that can yet be made together. Yes, there will be political implications, but we want to explore the truth of our place and time by getting to know each other and each others’ perspectives. That is the kind of ‘meeting place’ we want to be.

Along the way, and into the future, it is our hope that this will lead to transformation. The transformation of all of us; for we all need to change and grow if our future is to be better than our past - even if we explore how the best of the past may yet find its way into our future plans and actions.

Thanks for taking this journey with us, with our young people. They are the ones who will both make the path and walk it. Let’s celebrate every step.

Steve

You can support our work at The Meeting Place:
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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We can do so much more together.

We know it is true, but how often do we labour on alone? Stuck in our small thoughts.

Part of the idea of being a ‘Meeting Place’ is not to just do things for others, but to be inspired by others ourselves. We need to learn to be a meeting place - and to discover what it could be - as much as we can offer this opportunity to others.

This week we have had a huge cleanup of our old church shed. It was packed to the rafters with what we generously call ‘things we might need one day’. Others might say ‘junk’. Some of it was definitely rubbish. Whatever, it is now cleared.

It was great to see people come together to sort things for the tip, or for re-selling and repurposing! There was lots of energy as people got stuck into it.

And what was great is that friends from across the community were also involved. And not only in the cleaning up, but in the reason for the cleanup. Yes, the reason for all this wonderful communal energy was the proposal that the shed be used for an art space to celebrate the local Arrernte language. The church was approached about allowing our tired-old shed to be used in this way and - voila! - people came together to make it possible!

It is going to be a wonderful to see the shed transformed over the next month into a hub for creativity and celebration. The event is called: Apmere Angkentye-kenhe | A place for Language. The project opens June 16. If you’re in town come and visit. You won’t miss it - the shed will be bright yellow!!!

Yes, sometimes it takes a vision from the outside to lift our eyes and inspire us to act.

I stood outside our church building the other night. Inside, ‘Sustain: Food, Soul and Community’, our alternative service/event, was taking place. It is a wonderful thing - a sacred, quiet and creative space where people can reflect, pass a few gentle words and enjoy something to eat. The art by Hilary and Tamara was inspiring and challenging. It’s good to reflect, and it’s good to reflect not only on the grace and love that centres our lives, but on the things that need that love, that need that grace.

While I was standing outside an incredible scene unfolded as the day ebbed away. Huge flocks of birds flew among the trees on the mall. Yes, the silence was broken by a wild message from the heavens as these birds chirped and sang and swooped and soared.

Sometimes it can feel like dusk, and we all need the quiet of evenings and rest. But the energy of those birds busted open the evening and was inspiring. After the evening comes a new day. And those days are best lived with the shared energy and ideas of our whole community.

Thanks for being with us on this journey.

Your support is invaluable.

Steve
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Good Friday; a day to reflect, with gratitude in our hearts, with all creation.

This morning our Anangu sisters sang this song in Pitjantjatjara.

Here, another sister sings out on country. Thank you Hillary.

www.facebook.com/hillaryschier/posts/10155185959619664
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'Sustain: Food, Soul & Community' is coming up Easter Monday April 17, 6pm. It's a long, long weekend - finish it off with gentle sounds, visuals that invite thought, good company and nibbles. ... See MoreSee Less

Facts & Figures

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