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 in Christian Education, Diakonia Desk, Gender Violence
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 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 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 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 in Diakonia Desk
LWF Reformation 2017

LWF Reformation 2017

Reflect | Connect | Be Transformed

As we move towards the 2017 celebration of the 500th anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation, LUCSA is reflecting on how Lutheranism has impacted Africans, connecting with the global community with LWF, and opening our hearts towards where God is calling us to continually transform ourselves. Join our communion in the celebration by reading through what it means to be liberated by God’s grace!

The following resources have been provided by Lutheran World Federation, and you can access them by clicking here.

Liberated by God’s Grace

God’s grace is liberating! With this free gift we are able to be free ourselves. The theme for the 500th celebration of the reformation is centered on this gift of freedom. Yet, this gift is not just about salvation.

Salvation – Not for Sale

The gift of salvation is free. We will not be able to purchase our salvation, and we will not be able to sell it away. We must remember that this gift is precious, and that this is the central message of the doctrine of justification.

Human beings – Not for Sale

We are encouraged through this celebration to not just reflect on the past, but also to see the changes we need to make today. Every person is a gift and made perfect through God’s eyes, therefore we must be fully respected in her/his dignity and integrity. We need to address the practices that create or increase poverty by our churches.

Creation – Not for Sale

Humans are not the only precious thing that God created. Our earth has been given as a gift from God and we must work to end exploitative human domination and resource abuse of this gift. We must fully respect and protect the earth as God’s good creation.

Goals of 2017 Celebration

Strengthen the LWF Communion

We want our member churches to recognize the mutuality of being part of the global Lutheran communion and to get involved in regional and global preparations for Reformation 2017.

Deepen understanding of what it means to be Lutheran

We want our member churches to think and talk about how to be Lutheran churches in ongoing reformation in their current contexts.

Strengthen our ecumenical commitment

We want to explore with other Christian World Communions our calling in the world today and how we can respond together.

Reaffirm our commitment to justice and peace

We want our member churches to become a part of a joint diaconal and advocacy efforts to work actively for justice and peace

Global Youth Reformers Network

The Global Young Reformers Network is a group of young LWF members who are working to connect youth globally with what it means to be Lutheran, and the coming events of the reformation celebration.

Their current focus is to create dialogue between informed, inquisitive young reformers about what it means to be Lutheran through their personal stories.

Want to get involved? Join the network by clicking here.

Important Reformation Events

2015

January

Launch of the official Reformation 2017 website

March

Release of study materials written by authors from all LWF regions to explore Reformation 2017 theme

April

LWF interfaith conference presentations to include Christian, Jewish, and Muslim traditions

May

24-29th, Marangu 60th anniversary of the first meeting of all African Lutheran church leaders

June

Results of the LWF Task Force on  Mennonite reconciliation action in 2010

August

Global Young Reformers Network conference in Wittenburg

October

Theology after the Reformation conference

 

November

Launch of the Lutheran theology course taught by Lutheran professors from all seven LWF regions, to run through December

Advent

Joint Roman Catholic-Lutheran liturgical materials released

All Year

Women on the Move from Wittenberg to Windhoek: Ongoing Reformation project

2016

June

13-16th LWF hermeneutics workshop

June

16-21st LWF Council 2016 in Wittenberg

 

Reformation Day 2016

Women on the Move publication to be released

Advent

Anglican-Lutheran study materials released

2017

May

10-17th LWF Twelfth Assembly

October

Reformation day liturgical celebration

Posted by in The Lutheran World Federation
Peace and Unity – 9th LUCSA Assembly

Peace and Unity – 9th LUCSA Assembly

Former President of LUCSA, Bishop SVV. Nambala during the official opening of the 9th Assembly, at Premier Hotel, in Kempton Park.

Bishop Dr. Shekutaamba V.V. Nambala, the President of Lutheran Communion in Southern Africa (LUCSA) expressed his concern that up to date there are no females at the top leadership in the Southern African sub – region of Lutheran World Federation (LWF). The president expressed this during the official opening of the 9th LUCSA Assembly at Kempton Park in Johannesburg on the 1st September 2016

​Lutheran Communion in Southern Africa Joint Reformation Service

Mr. Collen Mafora
Soweto, South Africa 29 October 2016

The following member churches of the Lutheran Communion in Southern Africa (LUCSA), Evangelical Lutheran Church Southern Africa (ELCSA), Evangelical Lutheran Church in Southern Africa (ELCSA (N-T)), Lutheran Church Southern Africa (LCSA) and the Moravian Church Southern Africa (MCSA) have taken one small step towards the realization of a Joint Commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation in May 2017 by hosting a joint- reformation service at the Orlando Communal Hall on the 30th of October 2016 where over 1200 members attended the service.

The joint-reformation service was attended by Bishops, Deans, Pastors and throngs of ordinary members of these churches. The service was led by the bishops of the aforementioned churches, Dean M Mankga of ELCSA, assisting pastors, acolytes from the participating churches.

The theme of the sermon of the day which was delivered by the Rev Dr DP Tswaedi, the LUCSA Executive Director, said, “Putting a Face to Grace”. “It is an interesting and a wonderful day. While the world we live in is characterized by events that are dividing us, today we have to come to the Throne of God and as a family of God’’ said Bishop Tswaedi. The motto for the celebration was Joint-reformation service and the service truly displayed this sentiment as Bishops, Deans and Pastors from all these churches offered Holy Communion to the congregation in a joint spirit. This showed a united front throught the service and confirmed for the first time in a long time that Lutherans were indeed Lutherans. Colourful for that matter! This was further echoed by Bishop S Ngqakayi ‘when he said this was a step in a right to unite the church across the country not just in Gauteng province.

Attendees were reminded that in order for the church to prosper and be able to address the challenges of this century it needed members to continue to dedicate their time and efforts towards building a church that will provide for needs of its members and generations to come.

Posted by in Christian Education
LUCSA Assembly applauds the triennial report

LUCSA Assembly applauds the triennial report

Ms. Nonhlanhla Mokwena delivering her presentation.

JOHANNESBURG –Participants at the 9th LUCSA Assembly held at Premier Hotel on the second day, listened attentively to the Windhoek to Johannesburg Report presented by LUCSA Executive Director Rev. Dr. David Tswaedi. In a report, which covers 57 pages, Dr Tswaedi presented what the sub-region has done in the period from 2013 to 2016.

​Christian Education book 5 launches with a Training 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.

Posted by in Christian Education
LUCSA Assembly delegates witness LUSA functioning

LUCSA Assembly delegates witness LUSA functioning

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.

Posted by in Christian Education
LUCSA ASSEMBLY ELECTED A NEW PRESIDENT

LUCSA ASSEMBLY ELECTED A NEW PRESIDENT

From left: Bishop SVV. Nambala former LUCSA president welcomes Bishop H. Mueller to the cold chair of presidency.

The 9th LUCSA Assembly on September 3, 2016 elected for Bishop Horst Mueller of Evangelical Lutheran Church in South Africa –Natal Transvaal (ELCSA-­‐NT) as the new President and his deputy Bishop Dr Joseph P. Bvumbwe of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Malawi (ELCM) for a three years term of office running from 2016 to 2019.

Drought is not just an environmental problem

Allison Westerhoff,
Boksburg, South Africa, February 18, 2016

The annual Regional Planning Workshop for the Lutheran Communion in SouthernAfrica (LUCSA) gathered 27 HIV & AIDS Resource persons from the 10 southern African countries that make up the sub-regional expression of the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) in Johannesburg, South Africa from 15-19 February 2016. Participants presented reports from their churches offering insight into programmes and the successes and challenges, including issues of climate change.

Rev. Jesaja Jacky Lipito from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in amibia Eastern Dioceses (ELCIN-ED) offered a glimpse into the current challenges their church faces due to the drought during his report.

“We have had many difficulties because of the little amount of rain. eoples’ crops and cattle are dying,” he shared.

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Southern Africa South Eastern Dioceses (ELCSA-SED) also faced challenges with the drought. Their programme for People Living with IV (PLHIV) uses gardening as a way to empower members of the support group with agricultural skills and harvests of fresh produce, which also gives them the capacity to eat at least one meal a day to take their medication. This last year they planted over 20 bags of potatoes and there was no harvest because of the severe lack of rainfall.

The most implemented programme for PLHIV is the garden project. Four member churches and their diocese implement this ainstreaming programme currently. With this plague of minimal rainfall, an agricultural issue has become an HIV & AIDS problem.

In the coming 500th anniversary of the Reformation, one of the themes for the event is Creation: Not for Sale.” Under this theme, the importance of environmental stewardship is explored and the importance of the global church addressing the responsibility to take care of creation.

During the Regional Planning Workshop, the HIV & AIDS resource persons offered support to each other about how to overcome the challenges they face. There was not much that could be offered in addressing the severity of the drought. This challenge is something hat cannot easily be fixed in a conference room with a new HIV & AIDS programme implementation plan. This challenge needs to be addressed by the entire globe, with drastic changes to match the drastic effects of climate change.

On 12 December 2015, at the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21) gathering in Paris, France, 186 countries brought forward their action plans on how they will reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. Throughout the conference world eaders negotiated these action plans and next month in New York, those leaders can sign the agreement. If 55 countries, representing 55% of the emissions, sign this agreement there will be real change implemented.

As the participants of the Regional Planning Workshop return to their countries and home churches, they have a new zeal and more tools on how to address issues of HIV & AIDS. Although some of the projects are suffering because of climate change, the resource persons can find hope in the oming month that their global brothersand sisters will help implement change by signing an agreement that each country will be held accountable in caring for creation.

***
Photo: Ms. Gugu Mkhabela.

Posted by in Christian Education
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