Christian Education Desk

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
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 trisha 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 trisha 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 trisha 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 trisha in Christian Education
African Lutheran Theologians Meeting 2014

African Lutheran Theologians Meeting 2014

November 10th-13th, 2014

The ALT (African Lutheran Theologians) met at Lakeview Airport Lodge to reflect on the relationship of biblical interpretation, human development and gender justice. The workshop is attended by participants from Ethiopia, Tanzania, South Africa, Madagascar, Zimbabwe, Cameroon, DRC, and Nigeria. Among the many issues that the participants deliberated on was the emphasis that Africa is deeply religious, and it is necessary to mobilize this religion for further development. It was observed that the biblical interpretation is central to this process as it can provide tools for critical thinking analysis and community mobilization. Through such empowering reading of the bible, the society in Africa can be developed.

Posted by trisha in Christian Education, 0 comments
Africa Conference on Land Grabs

Africa Conference on Land Grabs

Gravitazz Continental Initiative (GCI), in collaboration with a number of civil society organisations including the Thabo Mbeki Leadership Institute, The Centre for African Renaissance, The UNISA School of Law, The Walter Sisulu University School of Law, Brilliance of Hope and Human Rights Institute of South Africa organised a conference from the 28-29 October 2014 addressing the new phenomemon of land grabbing on the African continent. Land Grabbing is loosely defined as the sudden rush by powerful multinationals, rich individuals and certain countries across the world to acquire large tracts of land for various purposes. These land transactions often target countries with weak land policies, carried out under questionable circumstances and have massive negative impact on the local populations. This conference was a culmination of over a year of planning, consultation and mobilisation of a wide spectrum of stakeholders across the African continent including private sector, NGOs, CBOs, academic institutions, traditional Leaders, UN agencies, governments and the various arms of the African Union especially the Pan-African Parliament and NEPAD. Various speakers hailed the occasion for being the First Conference on Land Grabs organised and held on the African Continent. The conference brought together academics, social movements, media, private sector representation, activists, UN representation, NGOs, researchers and delegates from outside of Africa.

Posted by trisha in Christian Education
An African Woman’s Perspective of Reformation

An African Woman’s Perspective of Reformation

Rev. Madika Sibeko tells her perceptions of Reformation as a Methodist preacher during her key note address.

On October 27th in the Peace Chapel at Emseni Conference Center, Rev. Kasper led the opening worship to open the hearts of the present theologians. The women gathered at the Female Theologians Forum are from the 15 member churches LUCSA . All the women have studied theology or are in the process of studying, and are here to be empowered through community with other theologians. The hope of this forum is to further prepare for the 500th celebration of the Reformation that is to commence in Namibia in 2017.

Rev. Dr. David Tswaedi, the Executive Director of LUCSA, followed the chapel service with an opening blessing that poignantly opened the theme of the forum, “Rediscovering Grace: An African Woman’s Perspective on Reformation.” He reminded the women that this forum draws us to the centre of the Gospel, which is grace itself. “Grace is the pith, the centre, of the theme. Where grace is absent, the face of God is missing as well,” he concluded.

Then the Former Presiding Bishop of Namibia, Rev. Dr. Kameeta, led a short testimony of how his service in the office of the Bishop helped him to rediscover God’s grace and its renewing power. “God’s grace is nurturing like mothers milk,” he stated, “May you rediscover strength through God’s nurturing grace.”

The week will continue with sessions that are focused on what it means to be a Lutheran, to celebrate the reformation that has happened already with in the Lutheran church since the reformation, and how we can further reform in the coming 500 years.

Posted by trisha in Christian Education
A Message from Rev. Dr. Elieshi Mungure

A Message from Rev. Dr. Elieshi Mungure

Dear brothers bishops leaders in the region,

I send you very warm greetings from the LWF communion office in Geneva trusting all is well with you.

I am writing to share some sad news of the passing on of dear brother and former colleague Dr. Eliawony Meena from the Evangelical Lutheran church in Tanzania.  Dr. Meena died suddenly on Saturday –past midnight of October 4th , 2014 at Tumaini University Makumira where he was serving as Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences. You may remember Dr. Meena as he served the LWF through the Department for World Service, as Country representative for Botswana and later Malawi. As an LWF-DWS Country representative in the above churches and countries, am sure he worked closely with you at very personal level too. According to the information I received from Makumira, the late Dr. Meena will be laid to rest on Thursday the 9th October in his village in Mamba, Kilimanjaro.

It is due to the above working relationships that I am humbled to share this information with you. If you wish to send a condolence note to the family and the ELCT, kindly send to the General Secretary Mr. Brighton Killewa (bkillewa@elct.or.tz) and copy to the Vice Chancellor of Makumira Rev. Professor Joseph Parsalaw.(vc@makumira.ac.tz)

I wish you God’s blessings,

Rev.Dr. Elieshi Mungure
LWF-DMD, Area Secretary for Africa

Posted by trisha in Christian Education, The Lutheran World Federation
Youth Leadership Programme

Youth Leadership Programme

“Together we can make it”

30th March-6th  April 2014

33 young people, youthful young adults from across Southern Africa gathered from the 30th of March to the 6th of April in Johannesburg, representing most LUCSA member churches. The overall Objectives of this training are:

  • To provide young aspiring leaders with essential understanding of their rights, responsibilities and duties as responsible citizens, to exhibit leadership skills, which shall include soft skills in combination with factual knowledge on issues of local and international importance, as well as increased consciousness about ethics and values and the consequences of one’s own actions and inactions.
  • To develop a cadre of future Lutheran church leaders from different LUCSA member churches, different southern African countries and different walks of life which.

The main Values are the following:

  • Key values such as tolerance, openness, personal integrity, respect, hard work, social responsibility, compassion and preparedness to work for the common good stand at the centre of training young leaders.
  • It is an exciting journey, and the second leg is scheduled for early July.  The training is action-based, experiential and highly participatory, and that probably sets it apart from most trainings to date. The high energy levels have been carried over onto Facebook, where discussions continue, and assignments are discussed.
Posted by trisha in Christian Education, The Lutheran World Federation