At St Luke’s we were blessed on Sunday the 12th of October by the singing and story of people from the Federal Republic of West Papua. Jacob Rumbiak, foreign minister, spoke of the aspiration of West Papuans for statehood, self-determination, and freedom. Guided by his Christian faith, and the Christian faith of many Indigenous West Papuans, Jacob also spoke of peace with, and forgiveness for the Indonesian Government and its army as the goal for the Federal Republic of West Papua. Louise Byrne of the Australia West Papua Association, gave an update on events in West Papua, expressing concern about the building of Mosques in West Papua, financed by Wahhabi groups in Saudi Arabia, along with the abandonment by the Indonesian Government of moves toward West Papuan Autonomy. Congregation members have taken up the challenge of becoming part of the ‘Rent Collective’, raising funds to support the offices of the Federal Republic of West Papua at Suite 211, 838 Collins St Docklands.
After worship, everyone enjoyed a time of sharing a generous morning tea and getting to know one another. We even had sweet potato muffins, in honour of our Melanesian guests. St Luke’s will be hosting a film afternoon on Saturday the 8th of November in support of West Papua. The film is called Strange Birds in Paradise. Watch a preview below.