Gnadenfrei (pronounced nar-den-fray) is a German word that carries a message of Grace and Hope and means, 'free by the grace of God.'
The Vision for Gnadenfrei is to develop a quality Christian service for children, adolescents, adults, couples, and families where the whole person - spirit, soul and body - can be engaged in the process of recovery and personal growth.
We are dedicated to providing a service that supports people on their journey through life's transitions towards healing and wholeness.
Gnadenfrei as a Centre seeks to provide quality counselling and psychological services to meet the needs of the community in a way that recognizes that healing and wholeness ultimately come from God.
Origins of Gnadenfrei
In Australia, Gnadenfrei is the original name of the village of Marananga in the Barossa Valley. In this area is part of the Seppeltsfield Estate, the Gnadenfrei Lutheran Church and the neighbouring winery. One of the earliest settlements in the Barossa valley, Gnadenfrei was settled by pioneering families from Hahndorf, Bethany and Langmeil in the mid 1800s.
In Europe, the original Gnadenfrei is located in Silesia, originally part of greater Germany but after WW2 in Poland. The town of Gnadenfrei can be found in the Owl Mountains southeast of Reichenbach and south of Breslau in the Oberpeilau region.
The founder of the Gnadenfrei community was Ernst Julius von Seidlitz a Christian Pietist with links to a faith community named Hernhutt (established on Count Nikolaus von Zinzendorf's estate in Germany) and the Moravian Bretheren.
Seidlitz, who sought to establish a similar community of faith on his property, was summoned by the government to certify what he was doing following a complaint from the Catholic priest. Although declared innocent he was nevertheless imprisoned in a dungeon for 12 months until the situation had been clarified and the protests had died down. When the Prussian king Frederick the Great, took over Silesia in December 1740, Seidlitz was released from prison.
The name Gnadenfrei ('free by the Grace of God') was created by him in thanksgiving to God for his supportive presence during imprisonment and subsequent release.
The community of Gnadenfrei, which is still in existence, was established on New Testament lines with Christian brethren sharing all things in common.
History of the Centre
In late 1997, an opportunity presented to open a Christian Counselling Centre at Burpengary in conjunction with Burpengary Family Support Service. Previous intake of clients indicated this region north of Brisbane as the second highest area of need. It was also becoming one of the fastest growing regions in Australia with many new housing estates being developed.
Coral Palmer, psychologist, who commenced this service, had come across the name Gnadenfrei three years earlier when visiting the Barossa Valley. Gnadenfrei literally means, 'free by the grace of God.' Coral felt the name was particularly appropriate for her service as it echoed her own experience of God. The butterfly, Coral's own logo, was adopted as it epitomises the transformation of the individual, consistent with an experience of God's Grace, psychological recovery and growth of the whole person.
With continued growth of the Gnadenfrei service the need for more professionals and more room became critical. Options for relocation were explored and tested and it became evident that a purpose built centre was presently out of reach. After finally accepting the need to go into commercial premises, the current premises were quickly found and developed at the present site.