On September 13th, 2015, trees were planted as part of the Luthergarten project both at the congregations of St. John’s in Hope Vale and Living Waters in Wujal Wujal (both Lutheran Church of Australia), as well as in Lutherstadt Wittenberg, Germany. Just a few hours after the planting in Hope Vale and in Living Waters Wujal Wujal, a common ash tree was planted at 14:00 Germany time in Wittenberg. The tree was planted on behalf of both congregations by Pastor Susanne Erlecke (left), who had spent a sabbatical year working as pastor in Wujal Wujal. She was assisted by Marianne Hänsler (right, with spade) from Salem, who had also visited and who has a close relationship with the people there. That’s why she wore a T-Shirt with the guiding theme of the church “WUWAA,” which roughly means “give one another a hand and help.”
On September 13th, 2015, “Muni Day,” a special event was celebrated in the aboriginal congregations of St. John’s in Hope Vale and Living Waters in Wujal Wujal in the Lutheran Church of Australia as well as in Lutherstadt Wittenberg, Germany. Exactly 130 years earlier, the German missionary Gerhard Schwartz, educated in Neuendettelsau, Germany, arrived in Northeast Australia to proclaim the Christian message. He spent 55 years, the rest of his life, there in the community and was lovingly called "Muni,” which means “black” in the Kuku Yalanji language. The day of his arrival is honored to this day. Ringing in this special festival day was a worship service on the beach in Hope Vale in the morning. At 18:00 in the evening (9:00 in the morning German time), the congregation gathered in front of the Lutheran church to plant the Luther tree. The oldest male resident of Hope Vale, 90-year-old Edward Deemal (behind the tree with spade) planted the tree together with 84-year-old Ella Woibo (left, next to Deemal). A celebration afterward rounded out the day. Only a few hours later, at 14:00 German time, a common ash tree was planted in the Luthergarten in Wittenberg by Pastor Susanne Erlecke on behalf of the congregations.