Our partnership with Cathedral Church in Lushoto, began August 2005. The Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod has been matching up our congregations with congregations in the North-Eastern Diocese of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Tanzania. Upper Dublin is now beginning to develop this international spiritual friendship! Visit the ELCA's Global mission page for more information. Read about our five trips to Lushoto, Tanzania.
What is a Companion Synod Program?
The ELCA began the Companion Synod Program to help American churches experience the gifts and witness of a church in Africa, Latin America, Asia, Eastern Europe or the Middle East. The partnership exists for the purpose of strengthening one another for life and mission within the Body of Christ. We mutually participate as we design our relationship together, via study, communications, exchange of pastors and lay persons, scholarships, resources for worship, music and the arts, and Christian education. This is an excellent opportunity to increase global understanding, and, where churches live under oppression or danger, to advocate for justice on behalf of our partners.
Interesting Facts about Cathedral:
- Membership: 1000 adults, 600 children
- Weekly Worship Attendance: approximately 600 Sunday School has 500 children
- Confirmation Class 122
- Two worship services Sundays, three choirs and a band with guitars and piano
- All choirs are involved in various evangelism projects, as well as visiting the sick in hospital and homes to sing and pray together!
Cathedral has five (satellite mission churches called) sub-parishes in the mountains around Lushoto. These are served by lay 'evangelists' who travel each Sunday up steep dirt roads to reach the small temporary structures of some sub-parishes, while others are growing large and have permanent buildings (like Ubiri and Ngulwi) Several members of each sub-parish are chosen as Council members who travel down to Cathedral Church, for their Council meetings and to conduct business together.
We Learn From Each Other!
There are many ways that Upper Dublin Lutheran Church hopes to accompany Cathedral Church and its mission in the future. And, Cathedral Church will mutually support UDLC as well, as this is not meant to be a one-way partnership based on financial gifts!
How Else Can We Help?
Secondary School Scholarships (about $500 per year) Tuition and uniforms are needed by students to attend high school. Girls especially are not given this privilege easily, and most families cannot afford the extra expense. The children sponsored are asked to correspond regularly with their American sponsor, and send photos, and share their spiritual life and career plans with sponsors!
Visitors Exchange Upper Dublin is able to bring several staff members, lay evangelists, students, seminarians, over to experience life in USA, for a few weeks, or for a semester of study. We also are able to go there to Lushoto, to visit and learn more about their mission work in that cultural context.
Worship Services share prayers and music on same Sundays. On certain Sundays, we can share prayers for each other, sing the same songs (in Swahili), they can sing our UDLC favorites, and Children even share sermons ideas and illustrations between pastors. UDLC has the ability to show taped video of worship at Cathedral and preaching of the staff on occasion at our worship to build the sense of connection between the people.
Correspondence Letters and pen pal exchanges can take place mostly on snail mail (few have internet access for emails) between all ages in our congregations, Sunday School, Widow's group, Choirs, Confirmation classes and others! Names are available right now!
Financial Support While this is NOT MEANT TO BE THE MAIN manner of working together, it IS certainly and important part of our partnership. At Christmas, special gift offerings can be made for purchase of cows, band instruments, choir uniforms, building materials for new churches, computers, video and DVD resources for Christian Education, and crafts for children, etc. Also major gifts can be given for internet connections to be established, computer labs for the church and community, and visitor exchanges for the Tanzanian visitors to come to USA.
Sebastian Kolowa University College (SEKUCo)
SEKUCo is a partnership project of the North Eastern Diocese of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania and the Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America! It is located in Magamba, Tanzania, and will be opening October 23, 2007 with a delegation from Upper Dublin attending and several other Synod visitors! SEKUCo will be an affiliate of Tumaini University and will be open to all persons regardless of religious beliefs. It will offer Teacher Education with an emphasis on Special Education, Nature Conservation and Eco-Tourism, and Law! For more information visit our website at www.SEKUCo.org Our synod is cooperating with the NED...of TZ to build a university that serves special needs students in all of Tanzania and surrounding countries...IT will also be a Law School and Tourism training program.