Building support for a growing community

By Catherine Hoffman
New Times Editor & Communications Officer

Posted in News

Imagine a church where the roof is higher than you could ever touch, changing at every moment, dotted with clouds or stars. Imagine a church where you can gather around a campfire for warmth. Imagine a church where the floor is packed red dirt; a church with no walls, allowing the fresh air to circulate.

Imagine a church that could change in a moment.

The roof turns to clouds, to rain, to storm. The floor becomes muddy or sends up clouds of dust. The welcoming breeze turns to a vicious wind.

The Uniting Church faith community at Oodnadatta have been worshipping in an “open air” church for about 10 years. They are familiar with both the beauty and the challenges of this kind of changeable church environment.

With strong attendance by people of all ages, the Oodnadatta Faith Community are seeking to build a multi-purpose church building so they may continue to serve their members – even in extreme weather.

They have a vision of a building that can be used for worship services and for ministry to the remote community in Oodnadatta.

Draft plans are now being prepared to make this dream a reality, and members of the Uniting Church are being invited to support this vital development.

The Pilgrimage of Healing has run annually since 2011 as a part of Reconciliation Week (27 May to 3 June), supported by Mission Resourcing, the Uniting Church SA Covenanting Committee and the Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress (Congress).

The project offers support for the development of Indigenous communities within the Uniting Church in South Australia, and chooses a different focus every year.

In 2018, the Pilgrimage of Healing will focus on Oodnadatta Faith Community’s vision for a new church building.

There are a number of ways to provide support through the Pilgrimage of Healing:

  • Pray for Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress (Congress) congregations and faith communities across South Australia, particularly the remote faith community at Oodnadatta.
  • Contact Congress (see details below) to find out what practical or volunteer support is needed in Oodnadatta or other Congress faith communities.
  • Make an EFT donation or ongoing donations to the Oodnadatta Building Fund to help the Oodnadatta Faith Community realise their dream of having their own church building:

Account name – Oodnadatta Building Fund

BSB – 704095
Account no – 193668

For more information about the Pilgrimage of Healing, please contact Mark Kickett on 0455 438 295 or or Ian Dempster on 0417 217 320 or

The Congress State Office has relocated to the newly redeveloped site at 312 Sir Donald Bradman Drive in Brooklyn Park. Others currently sharing this site are Uniting College for Leadership & Theology, the Adelaide Theological Library and Adelaide West Uniting Church.

More from News

Subscribe to receive News articles by email >


Pilgrim UC host a Great Outback BBQ

September is the month to help out Aussie farmers in remote areas with a Great Outback BBQ. This is what Pilgrim Uniting Church did last week.


Comments (3)