Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Stained Glass Window at Yuendumu Baptist Church in Northern Territory, Australia

Stained glass window at Yuendumu Baptist Church in Northern Territory, Australia,
showing the Cross of Christ surrounded by the Dreamings of the various Warlpiri clan divisions.
Photo by Louise, 2009.

I'm doing more research on Ivan Jordan's book, Their Way: Towards an Indigenous Warlpiri Christianity, and found this image of a stained glass window at a church in the area where he and his wife Verl were missionaries from 1973 until c. 2000 (his ministry was centered in the church at Lajamanu).  The church was built in 1967 under the direction of Ivan's predecessor, Tom Fleming, who worked at Yuendumu from 1950-1975.  Ivan writes this about Tom and the window above:

The beautiful stained glass window in the Yuendumu church building with the cross in the centre of the various Dreaming designs of the Warlpiris, is further testimony to Tom's attitude.  The window reminds those entering the building that all people come into God's family through the cross of Christ.  It also reminds them that every person who comes into God's family comes as they are; not as a White person or Westerner, but as a truly Aboriginal person, and for the Warlpiris, they come as a member of their kinship group.  This approach of architecturally relating the people to God in a graphic way is similar to what has happened at other places such as Yirrkala and Maningrida, in Arnhem Land (148).

Click on the image above to see more photos by "Louise" from the church (including more artwork, though sometimes blurry).

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