2016

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.

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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.

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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