The St Philip's English-language and Dinka congregations shared a combined service a few times a year, especially on festival days. Both languages were used, with hymns in Dinka and English, Bible readings in both languages and the sermon interpreted from English to Dinka or vice versa. We joyfully gathered together at the Lord's Table and shared enriching fellowship. Pentecost 2011 was an ideal occasion for our such first combined service.
The Revd Steve Clarke preached the Pentecost sermon and Congregation Leader Peter Manuot Kuot interpreted into Dinka.
This is one of the hymns we sang together:
Nhialic WaaNhialic Waa loong–wo bei ne luee–kic.
Yom ee gaak, ku rem ee wat,
Ku tiip aa ye goor ne Yin-hom.
Bang–dit de door piir a–theer a–to ne yi–cin.
Father God, you free us from slavery.
Transcription by Colin Forbes
On 18 December 2011 St Philip's celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of the dedication of its church building, and the 30th anniversary of the its consecration. The Dinka and English language congregations of St Philip's joined forces for this service and the church was full.
The response for the prayers was sung in Dinka:
|Translation: "O Lord, open our lips, And we shall declare your praise. O God, make speed to save us, O Lord make haste to help us."|
After the prayers, we sang:
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be: world without end. Amen.
Praise the Lord. The Lord's name be praised.
We shared scrumptious brunch in the courtyard after the service. During brunch, members of the Dinka congregation sang and danced joyfully in praise of God.
On Saturday 18 May 2013, the Dinka Congregation held a special celebration of St Philip's being its parish home, with guests from near and far. This note from Elizabeth A. and David F. told the story.
What a wonderful celebration, which began shortly after 1 pm and didn't finish until well past 7 pm!
Visitors from Sydney, youth choir and dance group from Melbourne, parishioners from St George’s Pearce and many others. Rebecca was warmly applauded for her greetings and prayers in the DinkaBor language.
Lots and lots of (long) speeches; David was asked to speak and gave a short expression of welcome and mutual membership of St Philip's community—translated by Peter Kuot for the Dinka folk—Peter also translated for Rebecca. The youth choir and dance group were very energetic, with drums and keyboard and much vocal accompaniment.
The Church was full, with standing room only at the back and along the side aisles.The many children and babies present were very well behaved. The Dinka ladies dressed in their finest and many of their menfolk in suits.
Tracy, David and I were sitting at the back until we were ushered to the front. The Dinka were very solicitous of our well-being and a member specially interpreting for us, including a Dinka man who came to sit with us to explain what was being said. At a personal level I now have a greater appreciation for those from other cultures/countries who do not understand our (Australian) language and customs. Linda and Fred found seats further back.
A Bible was held up—black on the outside but white on the inside – the further comment made that we all had the same red blood in our veins. Extending this to the thought that regardless of the Bible cover, it was the inside content that is the mutual faith of both St Philip's congregations. A number of our Dinka friends expressed their appreciation of our presence at the function.
Afterwards there was a great feast at which we were adopted as 'parents' to one visitor— assuring us that we had permission to correct him if we saw him doing anything wrong.