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Global Mission: What is it?
By Rev. Emily Carson
The three core priorities of our synod are developing leaders, equipping congregations, and accompanying global partners. Walking alongside our global partners is at the center of what we do as the Southeastern Minnesota Synod! The people of the synod are in direct partner relationships with the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Colombia (IELCO), the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Tanzania-Central Diocese (ELCT-CD), and the developing Lutheran church in South Sudan. These relationships are rooted fully in a spirit of accompaniment.
Kathy Chatelaine, the synod’s Director for Global Mission/Companion Synods shares, “Global mission is an incredible gift of accompanying – walking together in service in God’s mission – sisters and brothers from Colombia, Tanzania, South Sudan, and southeastern Minnesota along the ministry journeys to which God calls each of us.” Walking together is what it’s all about.
Colombia: The synod’s relationship with IELCO was established in 1994 with a focus on education and special ministries. A great way to stay informed about the current happenings of the Lutheran church in Colombia is through the blog of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) missionaries serving there, Curtis and Katie Kline. Their blog address is http://8000feetandcounting.blogspot.com/.
Tanzania: The synod’s relationship with the ELCT-CD goes back to the beginning of the ELCA. The partnership was first established in 1989. Currently, there are over 6.5 million Lutherans in the ELCT! The Lutheran church is growing rapidly in that part of the world. The synod’s partnership in that country focuses on education, health care, and other ministries.
South Sudan: The development of the Lutheran church in South Sudan is in its early stages. The country was formed in 2011. Together with the ELCA, our synod has played an important role in the building of the Lutheran Center in the capital city, Juba. A portion of the funds raised through Leading Together (http://semnsynod.org/leadingtogether) have supported that work. The building will contain a worship space, community center, and health clinic. Rev. Wal Reat currently serves as one of the ELCA missionaries in South Sudan. He went through candidacy in our synod and served at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Faribault. In addition to accompanying our global partners who live abroad, the people of the synod also walk alongside the Sudanese worshipping communities that exist right here in southeastern Minnesota.
Getting Involved: Are you interested in becoming more connected to our synod’s global partners? Please begin by praying! The annual weekly prayer calendar is available online. It includes all of the congregations in our synod as well as all of the congregations and special ministries of our global partners. It can be viewed and downloaded online at http://semnsynod.org/prayer-calendar. In addition, each issue of the synod’s quarterly magazine, River Crossings, includes specific prayer requests related to each partner ministry.
More ways to get involved in global ministry:
- Contact Kathy Chatelaine at the Office of the Bishop (firstname.lastname@example.org/507-280-9457) for specific accompaniment opportunities.
- Take time to learn about each country – its people, geography, history, and current politics.
- Invite a member of the Global Mission/Companion Synods Table to give a presentation to your congregation.
- Participate in the upcoming Tanzania Summit on October 8 at Zumbro Lutheran Church.
- Participate in the 2018 Southeastern Minnesota Synod Assembly focused on the theme of accompanying global partners.
- Celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation by giving a $500 gift to the synod through Leading Together.
We give thanks for the Spirit’s movement through these global relationships in Colombia, Tanzania, and South Sudan!