Youth Meeting 2018

Youth Meeting 2018

Youth under the age of 30 make up some 70% of the population in Southern Africa and face many challenges related to education, unemployment, gender justice, health and climate change.  So, are youth pessimistic or optimistic, afraid or hopeful about the future? 

Seven young adults representing several member churches of the Lutheran Communion in Southern Africa (LUCSA) met recently at Outlook Lodge at the Lutheran center in Bonaero Park, Johannesburg to start planning for an all LUCSA youth conference in 2019. (LUCSA, with 15 member churches across ten countries in Southern Africa, is a sub-regional expression of the Lutheran World Federation)

The youth unanimously and energetically agreed to work with the Lutheran World Federation theme for 2019-2024 “With passion for the Church and the World.”  

The committee worked on a draft programme that will include reports on youth activities from member churches, as well as Bible studies, presentations and discussions.  The conference will focus on what it means to be “Young Reformers” promoting revival in the church, Lutheran identity, diakonia, gender justice and care for creation.  The LUCSA INFOHUT program which teaches computer skills and life skills including information about HIV & AIDS will be a key part of the programme.  

LUCSA member churches will be invited to send two active youth representatives, a young man and a young woman, to participate in the conference.  Invitations will also be extended to the LWF Youth Desk in Geneva and to a Lutheran youth representative from the Lutheran Communion in Central and East Africa (LUCCEA) and the Lutheran Communion in West Africa (LUCWA). 

The LUCSA youth are enthusiastic and committed to establishing a Youth Desk in the Communion Office and to building strong relationships between youth in the member churches and making a lasting difference in their respective churches and in the region. 

Posted by trisha in Christian Education, Diakonia Desk, Gender Violence
It Takes Two

It Takes Two

LUCSA recognizes and appreciates the important role of communication between and among couples. While enhancing the quality of relationships, it can help to prevent conflicts among couples and resolve the most challenging situations including the challenges brought by HIV and AIDS.

The LUCSA HIV and AIDS Desk recently conducted a trainer of trainers Couple Communication workshop for the clergy and their spouses in the ELCSA-WD with a view to them starting couple communication activities in their respective constituencies. During training the participants were given safe spaces to discuss unfolding issues including a special dinner on the last evening of the workshop.

Posted by trisha in HIV & AIDS
Leading by example towards the end of AIDS by 2030

Leading by example towards the end of AIDS by 2030

As 2030 draws closer, it has become imperative for all to increase their contribution to end AIDS. The LUCSA HIV and AIDS Desk has committed to build on to the HIV and AIDS information through HIV and AIDS and TB treatment literacy for the clergy and survival skills for PLHIV. Three such activities have been held in the member churches so far this year. The participants availed themselves for HIV testing at the end of the workshops. It is hoped that, armed with this information, the participants will motivate others for HIV testing in order for those testing positive to register early and start treatment.  Timely interventions and better outcomes.

Posted by trisha in HIV & AIDS
The Church as a Workplace

The Church as a Workplace

Most of the time, the church is externally focused, giving service to all those in need. There are very few programmes if at all, for the church employees. The HIV and AIDS DESK introduced the programme on mainstreaming HIV and AIDS, TB and Gender in the workplace to the church employees of the ELCZ-WD through a mentorship exercise. A total number of 28 people represented the church institutions in the western diocese. The aim of the programme is to address the underlying issues that increase the risk and vulnerability of the church employees to HIV exposure, the effects of AIDS as well as impact mitigation within the workplace and during working hours and beyond. All the 9 institutions have since established committees which will be responsible for the conduct of the workplace programme. Orientation of these committees will be done in the last quarter of 2018.

The Church as a Workplace
Posted by trisha in HIV & AIDS
LUCSA council meeting

LUCSA council meeting

The LUCSA Council meeting was held from 3rd -7th September at the Outlook Lodge in Bonaero Park.

The Council is made up of the heads of Evangelical Lutheran Churches in 10 Southern African Countries and 5 in South Africa, 4 women 3 representatives that are elected from these member churches on a rotational basis.

LUCSA Council,Partners and Staff

The meeting started at 16:00 on 3rd September 2018 and this was attended by the President of LUCSA Bishop Horst Müller, the deputy president Bishop Dr Joseph Bvumbwe, Bishop Gilbert Filter, chair of Programme Committee for Education, Theology and Ecumenical Relations, Bishop Chemist Faindi, chairperson of the Programme Committee for Mission and Diakonia, Mrs. Kidi Tshukudu, chair of Standing Committee for Finance and Administration, Mrs. Lynette Burger, women representative, Rev Zelda Cossa, youth representative and the Executive Director Rev Dr David Tswaedi.

The meeting started with a devotion in the morning and in the evenings and these were held in the Chapel.

On the 4th September 2018 during the Opening Service, the new members of the Council were inducted by the LUCSA President Bishop Horst Müller assisted by the Executive Director Rev Dr David Tswaedi. They were Rev Martin Abrahams from MCSA, Bishop Absalom Mnisi from ELCSA, Bishop Eduardo Sinalo ,Mrs. Esther Mathulwe and Miss Emanuela Ndawanapo from EILA. They also each received copy of the LUCSA Constitution.

The sermon was delivered by Bishop Ernst //Gamxamub from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Republic of Namibia (ELCRN).

The meeting continued with the report by the Executive Director. Fraternal greetings were given by LUCSA Partners. Rev Dr Elieshi Mungure sent greetings on behalf of the Lutheran World Federation (LWF). Rev Michael Schultheiss gave greetings on behalf of the Evangelical Lutheran Mission (ELM) Rev Kevin Jacobson on behalf of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA)  Rev Dr Christine Keim sent greetings on behalf of the German National Committee (GNC/LWF)

There were presentations made by the LWF Council members Bishop Dr Veikko Munyika from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Namibia (ELCIN) the LWF report, Rev Elitha Moyo from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Zimbabwe (ELCZ) on Gender Justice and Mr. Khulekani Magwaza from Evangelical Lutheran Church in Southern Africa (ELCSA) on Climate change.

On 5th and 6th September 2018 the different programme committees went into the breakaway rooms to discuss issues around the programmes and possible amendments to the LUCSA Constitution.

The meeting adjourned on the 6th September 2018 with the closing service led by Bishop Chemist Faindi from ELCZ.

Posted by trisha in Diakonia Desk, HIV & AIDS, InfoHut
A Step on the Way to Reconciliation

A Step on the Way to Reconciliation

A-step-on-the-way-to-Reconciliation

Commemorative service marking the repatriation of mortal remains from former German Southwest Africa

(LWI) – On Wednesday, 29 August, Germany gave back to Namibia mortal remains that it had taken out of the country during the colonial period (1884 to 1919). To mark the occasion, a commemorative service was held by the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD) and the Council of Churches in Namibia in Berlin’s Französische Friedrichstadtkirche.

Immediately after the service remains were handed over to the Namibian government representatives in an official act by the German Foreign Office and the Namibian embassy. On 31 August they are to be received at a state ceremony in Windhoek, Namibia.

Ernst //Gamxamûb, bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Republic of Namibia – a member church of the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) – and head of the delegation of the Council of Churches in Namibia, gave a joint sermon with Petra Bosse-Huber, EKD bishop for ecumenical relations. In it, Gamxamûb recalled the history of Namibia and Germany, which had been “born of a very bad experience and reality.”

Learning from the past to write anew the future

Bishop Gamxamûb urged the congregation: “Let us therefore learn from our past to write anew our future, characterized by the following values: human dignity, respect, equality, good cohabitation, empowering one another to exercise peace and justice.” When visiting a UNHCR camp in Botswana in 1980, he said, he had had an unforgettable experience. He heard Namibian refugees singing a moving lamentation, which they did every evening: “When I die here, let my bones be returned home.”

“Let us therefore learn from our past to write anew our future, characterized by the following values: human dignity, respect, equality, good cohabitation, empowering one another to exercise peace and justice.”

— Bishop Ernst //Gamxamûb, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Republic of Namibia

Bishop Bosse-Huber declared: “This day moves me greatly. We intend to do something today which should have been done many decades ago: namely, to give back mortal human remains of people who became the victims of the first genocide of the 20th century, to their rightful descendants.”

Keeping memory alive and overcoming wrong

At its Twelfth Assembly in Windhoek, Namibia in May 2017, the LWF adopted a Public Statement on Reconciliation with respect to genocide in Namibia.

It says: “We are encouraged to know that the governments of Namibia and Germany have taken up this pain and are committed to a process of telling the truth and doing justice in view of what they both call today a genocide against the Herero, Nama, and other indigenous people. We are grateful for the role of churches and civil society groups that have promoted and continue supporting processes of reconciliation and healing of memories.”

Posted by trisha in The Lutheran World Federation
13th Assembly and 36th Anniversary

13th Assembly and 36th Anniversary

From August 23 to 26, 2018 the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Malawi (ELCM) gathered in Lilongwe to hold its 13th Assembly and to celebrate its 36th anniversary.

The assembly was officially opened with a worship service and sermon by Bishop Joseph Bvumbwe based on the theme “May God bless the works of our hands” taken from Psalm 90:7. The bishop explained the meaning of Kilimanjaro as Kilima (journey) and Njaro (impossible) saying that for the church “mission impossible” was possible with God’s power and accompaniment.

Some 200 lay delegates and 70 pastors from 9 Deaneries were in attendance.

The assembly received a consolidated report highlighting the work of the church and its departments over the past four years including 60 feeding centers for vulnerable children, the mobile clinic service, income generating activities such as small-scale bakeries and improved sustainable agriculture and crop storage techniques, malaria and HIV prevention, environmental protection and climate change adaptation encouraging fuel efficient stoves and tree planting programs.  The report also mentioned the introduction of the INFOHUT project by the Lutheran Communion in Southern Africa (LUCSA) which trains young people in computer technology and life skills.

The historic church assembly adopted a new constitution allowing for expansion from one to three dioceses and ordination that “shall no longer be based on gender.”

At the celebration international and regional partners were warmly welcomed with speeches, choirs and dance including displays of the Diaconal and congregational work of this growing church.

Posted by trisha in Diakonia Desk, HIV & AIDS, InfoHut
Response to the Vulnerable

Response to the Vulnerable

The prophetic voice of the Church is visible where the Church responds and advocate on behalf of the marginalised, the disadvantaged and vulnerable in the society. LUCSA heard the cry of the disadvantaged special school pupils in North West Province of South Africa. The community of Atamelang village have a school called Lialian Lehetla Special School with about 200 leaners with special needs. The school provides Socio-psyche services and vocational training for children with special learning needs.

The challenge for the school is that there is no kitchen and cool room where meals are prepared for children. LUCSA responded by assisting the school to build a kitchen and cool room with an amount P250,000.00.  The cheque was handed by the LUCSA Director and representatives of ELCSA- NT, ELCSA and LCSA pastors.

LUCSA Executive Director-Lilian Lehetla School

Responsible to the Vulnerable

Current Schoo-Kitchen Donated by LUCSA

Responsible to the Vulnerable
Posted by trisha in Diakonia Desk
Lunodia Diakonia Training

Lunodia Diakonia Training

Champions are not only the ones who win – especially now when we watch, think and breathe World Cup – Champions are those who are ready and willing to stand up for an important cause and spearhead difficult journeys.

The “Lunodia Champions”, Diakonia practitioners from across Southern Africa and various LUCSA member churches have been equipped over the past years to train others in Diakonia, but also to initiate and inspire Diakonia projects in a participatory fashion.

They are currently gathering to document their journey, their learning and their experiences in order to reach out to all those who have not been part of the training.  It is exciting to produce a LUCSA publication with a focus on Diakonia, hence the key function of Church, and surely even more exciting if the book is written by those who are also the actors – surely a publication to look forward to; the publication is to be launched in early September.

And of course as Diakonia Champions they never stop designing and implementing relevant projects, ranging from training and capacity building projects to income generating projects and even advocacy projects for a safer and healthier environment.

Diakonia is the path.

Posted by trisha in Diakonia Desk, 0 comments
International Refugee Day

International Refugee Day

LUCSA and Outreach Foundation jointly commemorated the International Refugee Day (20th June 2018) in Johannesburg, South Africa.

International Refugee Day
International Refugee Day

LUCSA  conducted the awareness raising and listening to the stories of refugees and assylam seekers in Johannesburg on the 20th of June 2018 during the commemoration of the International Refugee Day. LUCSA together with Outreach Foundation jointly organised the commemoration with the aim to sensitise churches about the refugees challenges in Johannesburg and also create a space of listening to the concerns and challenges refugees encouters in Johannesburg. The event took place at Hilbrow, Johannesburg. There were about 200 people who attended the event and majority were foreign nationals from 14 African countries. The event was also attended by human rights organisations, media and other stake holders who deal with issues of refugees.

LUCSA Annual Workshop on Issues of Migrants, Refugees and Displaced People

International Refugee Day

LUCSA Diakonia Desk conducted a follow up and capacity building workshop for LUCSA member churches coordinators for diakonia desks and pastors who are serving congregations which are at hot spot areas. The workshop was conducted in Johannesburg. There were 21 participants from the LUCSA member churches. The aim of the workshop was for the participants to share stories and experiences from the work they are doing in their countries and also to enquire more knowldge about the issues of migrants in the SADC region.There were also site visits to some of the migrants and refugee projects  in Johannesburg.  Participants got the opportunity to interact with refugees in South Africa. The President of LUCSA Bishop Horst Muller officially opened the workshop  with words from John7:40-52. The Bishop urged participants  to respond positively at their churches in order to address issues refugees,foreign nationals and displaced people.   Bishop  Filter  the LUCSA Chair for PETER Committee  also encouraged participants to keep on helping their member churches to respond to the issue of Migrants. He said that Christian Education is a tool to be used by churches to address these issues.

Participants were from the following Member Churches:

ELCB, ELCM, ELCIN, ELCRN, ELCSA, ELCSA, ELCZ, ELCZA and LECA

Posted by trisha in Diakonia Desk
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