Students of the LUSA Varsity

JOHANNESBURG ‐ The delegates of the LUCSA Assembly witnessed the now operating Luther Varsity in Southern Africa (LUSA) as they visited the brainchild tertiary education center of LUCSA during the evening of 3rd September 2016. LUSA was registered as legal entity in 2014.

HIV/AIDS Youth Regional Peer Education workshop

Ms. Gugu Mkhabela Benoni,
South Africa, 17 May 2016

25 young adults and pastors gathered to explore the newly published LUCSA Christian Education Resource Book 5 at eMseni Christian Center in Benoni, South Africa from 14-­‐17 May 2016. The training workshop was unique for participants as they discussed what it means to be a young African Lutheran in today’s context.

Rev. Othusitse Morekwa, LUCSA Diakonia Desk Officer and contributor for Book 5, urged the participants to reflect on the curriculum and how they can translate it into their own cultures.

“We ought to invite the Lord, dwell on the text, share what we have heard in our hearts, and pray together,” he urged.

The youth were eager to express their own understandings of culture and how the church can play a role both in their spiritual life and personal life.

Mr. David Daniels from the Moravian Church in South Africa (MCSA) took the idea a step further by asking, “How are we as a church guiding our young people? Is the church responsible for the current situations in our countries, and the youth? How can we take this book back to our churches and impact our youth and young adults?”

Ms. Tlago Oliphant from the Ecumenical Accompanier Palestine Programme in Israel (EAPPI) capacitated the participants in advocacy and conflict resolution skills.

“It is my duty to be a mouth piece and tell stories of those who can’t tell their own stories,” Ms. Oliphant shared.

She asked the participants to consider what changes they want to see in their communities, “and that whatever change we want to do, or might want to bring in the church, we ought consider the feelings of other people.”
The participants also learned about asset mapping, advocacy, and conflict resolution skills during the day, and bonded over games and a movie night in the evenings. Participants were invited to watch the movie, “Luther” to see the origins of the Lutheran faith come to life.

Book 5 was developed with the help of 6 member churches’ youth (ELCM, ECLIN, ELCB, ELCSA, MSCA, and ELCSA-­‐NT), under the guidance of Rev. Dr. Philip Knutson, LUCSA interim Christian Education Desk Officer.

The three pillars for Book 5 are “Transformation, Reconciliation, and Empowerment”. These three key words are essential to The Gospel, and were the foundation for the curriculum found in Book 5.
LUCSA hopes this book creates an impact, to be faithful and confessional Lutherans even to the rural areas of the southern Africa region. The participants each left with a complimentary copy of the LUCSA Book 5, and returned to their home churches with a better understanding of what it means for them to be an African Lutheran, and how they can fit the resources found in Book 5 into their own context.