Words by Soane Wainiqolo
Bula Talatala & Faifekau
In our church council meeting 15/12/20 our Minister Rev Kupu suggested that in 2021 that we start church services at Gunyangara (Ski Beach) to include nearby communities Galupa and Birritjimi (Wallaby Beach) once every second Sunday of the month. Members of the 3 communities had to travel 27km one way to attend the church services at Yirrkala. A letter for permission to conduct the church services at Gunyangara was given to the Chairperson of the Gumatj traditional land owners. The Chairperson Djawa Yunupingu was very happy to get the NRCC/UCA through the Yirrkala congregation leadership to begin church services in his Gunyangara community.
The first church service was led by the 3 Yolngu Pastors (Mandaka Marika, Daylulu Marika and Graham Maymuru) on the 10/01/21and they conducted the Holy Communion sacrament in Yolngumata language. There were about 40 community members and kids attending that historic church service and most of the congregation were excited. Our Yirrkala kids performed 2 praise and worship items and in reply the Galupa kids performed their own items. Everyone felt emotional and passionate when Pastor Daylulu Marika read the lectionary readings in the Gumatj language. The 2 lady leaders of Gunyangara (Dorothy Yunupingu and Dolpulngu Yunupingu) stood up and shared that their grandfathers with the Methodist missionaries translated the first Yolngu Bible in their own Gumatj language. We the Gumatj people must return to God and we aim to translate the OT to complete the Bible in the Gumatj language. We are all happy to hear praise and worship songs and the Word of God in our community again etc We request that church services be done here every Sunday and not once a month. Also we need to train our kids and youth in Godly ways and we need help from Yirrkala congregation and NRCC.
We had a big feast after our worship which was prepared by our Tongan congregation at Yirrkala. It was such a great day of worship at the Gunyangara community. We pray for revival that the Holy Spirit move in the lives of the Yolngu people within the 3 communities to come in unity into the Kingdom of God.