Where to find us
24 New Street
Worship on Sunday at 2.00pm
(except fifth Sunday of the month)
Dandenong Lutheran South Sudanese Fellowship
Bi̱ Kuäär ni̱ Kuoth te kɛɛl kɛ yɛ. The Lord be with you – and welcome to the Dandenong Lutheran South Sudanese Fellowship!
We are a Nuer-language worshipping community formed in 2002 by South Sudanese migrants settling in Melbourne, centred around Dandenong.
Our homeland is the Upper Nile region of the Republic of South Sudan, which gained its independence in 2011 after decades of war. In particular, we come from Bentiu, Malakal and Jonglei. Many of us fled to neighbouring countries when we were young, with early adult years away from home and in refugee camps.
We came from these places to Australia with our young families, but we are still connected to our people back home. Some of us became Christians in Africa, and when we came here, we were received into the Lutheran Church by baptism or confirmation.
In time, we hope to fully integrate into Australian society and the Lutheran Church of Australia. Our leaders, therefore, worship at the Sunday morning Holy Trinity English-language service, but we also gather for worship in our heart language on Sunday afternoon. This is conducted by our leaders – lay men and women deaconesses – supported by the congregation pastor and our own volunteer pastoral worker.
Our children are growing up as young Australians, more familiar with English than Nuer. It is very hard for them, particularly in their teenage and early adult years. We cannot parent our children in Australia the way we used to back home, so this is very difficult for us too.
We currently worship on Sunday afternoon in the Marian Room, 24 New Street, Dandenong, and have fellowship in our homes or other places when we gather in big groups (COVID-restrictions permitting).
Things that matter to us most
- Our children and their future, with particular concern for their faith and participation in the church, their participation in their Nuer cultural heritage and language, and our ability to parent them well here in Australia
- Having a pastor to serve God’s word and sacrament to us in our heart language, and to lead us in our life as a Christian community
- Our church life together as we wish to live it out, including with other Lutheran Sudanese Fellowships and with the Nuer United Christian Churches group here in Melbourne
- Our Sudanese family back home
- The Bentiu Lutheran mission in South Sudan
Ways we try to put this into practice
- Weekly worship in the Nuer language, with occasional Holy Communion
- Women’s group, choir practice and leaders meetings
- Bringing our children to baptism
- Learning together so that we are stronger as a community
- Providing our own pastoral and other leaders
- Participating with and hosting other South Sudanese Fellowships
- Supporting our families and the Bentiu Lutheran mission in South Sudan
- Participating in the whole congregation including English-language worship services and contributing to its leadership and finances