Wednesday, 05 December 2018

Joy for all at Indonesian Christmas celebration

Written by Rev. Dr Apwee Ting, Assembly National Consultant

More than 150 people attended a special Indonesian Christmas Celebration at Glen Waverley Uniting Church in Melbourne which brought together different cultures and faiths.

Glen Waverley Indonesian Fellowship hosted the service. Special guests included the Consul General of Indonesia for Victoria and Tasmania Ms Spica Alphanya Tutuhatunewa, City of Monash Deputy Mayor Cr Brian Little and Indonesian leaders from different churches and faiths.

A highlight of the service was the retelling of the birth of Jesus in traditional Indonesian tableau performed by members of Melbourne’s Indonesian community, both Muslims and Christians.

 The Free Spirit Choir from the Glen Waverley English-Speaking Congregation sang too, and combined for several songs with the Indonesian Fellowship Choir as well.

A representative of the Indonesian Consulate performed a song on the angklung – a traditional Indonesian instrument, and we listened to the Gembira a cappella Group from Jakarta.

Glen Waverley Minister Rev. Neil Peters preached from Luke’s Gospel on God’s calling to Mary to be part of God’s plan to give birth to Jesus. Mary became one of the most important leaders in history.

After the celebration, the fellowship continued in the hall with an Indonesian feast.

For many who attended it was their first Christmas celebration with Indonesian traditional dance and costume.

It brought together many members of the Indonesian community in Melbourne, who regardless of their different faiths, often celebrate special occasions together.

This was the second Christmas Celebration for the Indonesian Fellowship at Glen Waverley.

In March 2017, Glen Waverley Congregation, under the leadership of Rev. Peters and Chairperson Glyn Howells welcomed the Indonesian Fellowship to use the church for their Sunday service at 1 pm. Since then, the relationship between the Indonesian Fellowship and English-speaking Congregation has flourished. 

This joyful celebration was a reminder that Christmas is for all people, regardless of their culture, language, ethnicity, nationality and faith.

People were united in one spirit of generosity and hospitality, providing a space for others and celebrating together with those who are different.

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