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A Dinka-language congregation was a part of St Philip's for over four years. It first gathered at St Philip's on Sunday 1 May 2011, St Philip's Day, and was farewelled on 11 October 2015; the number of people, especially children, outgrew our accommodation.
The Anglican services were largely in the Bor Dinka language of South Eastern Sudan and held each Sunday afternoon. The English-language and Dinka congregations also shared combined services, especially on festival days such as Pentecost.
The Reverend Peter Manyok Kuot led the Dinka Congregation as a lay minister from its formation as part of St Philip's. Peter was ordained as a deacon in the Anglican Church of Australia on 28 February 2015 and was supported by lay ministers and an elected Leadership Council. On 8 July 2012, Bishop Trevor Edwards had presided and preached at a special service at which the Reverend Monica Adua Garang was presented with the Bishop's authority to officiate. She had been ordained in the Sudan over ten years before and her ordination was now recognized in our diocese— a joyous occasion to celebrate!
Earlier, the first leadership had been inaugurated at a special service on Sunday 7 August 2011 at which there were also many baptisms of children and children. Holy Communion was celebrated and Revd Rebecca Newland preached on Take heart, Jesus is with you.. The Rector of St Philip's had oversight of both English-speaking and Dinka congregations and the covenant between the Rector and the Parish, approved by our Bishop, extended to both congregations; the leaders of the two congregations conferred regularly.
Members of the Dinka congregation at the St Philip's 2012 celebration Easter Breakfast.
Rebecca reassures a boy about to be baptised, the boy's father, assistant Brian, and Daniel look on.
To minister with its Dinka people, St Philip's undertook a Cross-Cultural Ministry program, led by Revd Andrea de Vaal Horciu, with funding from the Diocese and from Anglicare. Just one of the many aspects of this ministry was Homework and Learning Club, with free tuition, homework support and social activities during the school term for primary and secondary students from our the Dinka community.
The youngsters also enjoyed the playground!
By mid-2015 the numbers of children attending the Dinka services had greatly outgrown St Philip's accommodation and the congregation moved to establish a new ministry unit at St Paul's Ginninderra Anglican Church at Spence. Revd Peter Kuot said that it was sad that he and his people had to leave as they had been welcomed and happy at St Philip's. They were glad to have been part of the St Philip’s community and were especially grateful for the support of Revd Rebecca Newland and for Revd Andrea's work with the community and the children.