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Students interacting with history
13 May 2019
Hitting the road doesn’t always happen in tertiary studies, but that’s just what ALC on-campus history students have been doing in recent weeks. Not only have students read eyewitness accounts of the first Lutherans in Australia, but they have been walking in the same places our forebears trod.
Some of their experiences so far have been: standing where the first Lutheran missionaries learnt and taught the Aboriginal language of Kaurna 180 years ago; walking around the site of the first Lutheran settlement in Australia at Klemzig; and, visiting the churches and houses of the Barossa Valley where early Lutherans settled, worshipped, worked, debated, married, and died.
‘As we receive our own Lutheran story, it is a great experience for the students to get out of the classroom and interact with these historical sites,’ church history lecturer Pastor Tom Pietsch said. ‘The world often passes these places by, so it is important for us as Australian Lutherans to stop there a while, remember, and thank God for our forebears.’
The history class has also been visited by guest speakers and has made a trip to the Lutheran Archives. By digging down to the roots of Australian Lutheranism, students don’t just engage with an interesting story but rather receive a part of their own story. ‘The way we Lutherans delight in the Word of God today is unmistakably shaped by how God fed our Lutheran forebears,’ Pastor Tom added. ‘Looking at the past becomes a way of looking at the present and even looking at ourselves with greater clarity. “The Word of the Lord endures forever,” the Scriptures proclaim, but studying the tightrope on which the Holy Spirit has led the church in faithfulness to his Word is often an exciting adventure!’
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