When Lutheran churches of Namibia and ELCA synods who share Companion Synod ties there meet May 17-20 in Namibia, Bishop Richard H. Graham and a delegation of 12 members of local congregations will be part of the event.
“More than half the population of Namibia are Lutheran Christians,” says the Rev. Bob Allard, synod Global Missions Committee who will travel with our delegation to this nation along the west coast of Africa. “[We] share Companion Synod relationships with the three Lutheran church bodies in Namibia – two indigenous (Evangelical Lutheran Church in Namibia and Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Republic of Namibia) and an all-German church (German Evangelical Lutheran Church). Nineteen Metro D.C. Synod congregations have sister congregations in Namibia.”
Work with children’s hostels, reception of visiting pastors, and provision of financial assistance for seminary students are a few of the many ministries shared between Companion Synods. In addition to Metro D.C., other ELCA synods with this relationship in Namibia are New Jersey, Northeast Iowa and Southwestern Washington, who will also be present for the Lutheran Churches Consultation.
Crosses hand-made by a member of a Metro D.C. Synod congregation will be presented to four Namibian bishops by Bishop Graham during the trip. Thirty-six lovingly stitched afghans will be given to children’s hostels, and funds raised through the Metro D.C. Synod’s Gifts of Hope appeal for sewer system repair, seminary books and hostel needs will be delivered.
“Following the Consultation, the entire delegation will visit churches and diaconal programs throughout the country. They will share in worship services, bring greetings, deliver messages, enjoy great singing and reconnect with Namibian pastors who have visited and served in Metro D.C. Synod congregations,” describes Pr. Allard. A journey through a game park will even be squeezed in to the trip.