Lutherans in Minnesota

Companion synods are opportunity for mission, partnership

Congregations or individuals of the ELCA’s Minneapolis Area Synod (MAS) interested in learning more about new opportunities to share in ministry with congregations in Developing Nations are gathering for education and inspiration. The Fifth Annual Global Companion Celebration will be held November 3, 6:00- 8:00 p.m., at House of Prayer Lutheran Church in Richfield.

“The Minneapolis Area Synod has official relationships with the Lutheran church in Leipzig, [Germany,] and in Nigeria,” explained Lauren Morse-Wendt, co-chair of the Global Companion Table of MAS. “But mission by congregations of the synod is not relegated only to those two churches.

“This event brings together all those who are working, or want to work, on mission internationally,” she continued. “Together we can strategize best practices for global mission and develop resources to accomplish these goals.”

Morse-Wendt said that there will be many “take home tools” provided at the Companion Synod Celebration.

The event is also an opportunity to network. During the meal, members of congregations with relationships in similar regions of the world will sit together and discuss ways to support each other’s ministry.

Wendt-Morse, mission and ministry developer at Edina Community Lutheran Church (ELCA), explained that her congregation has been involved in Central America for a couple of years, but “every time I come away [from a companion synod event] with four or five tangible ideas for improving the way we do mission.

‘Making partners of all nations’

Kris Perry, companion synod coordinator for MAS, similarly advocates global travel as a means to gain a global perspective. After viewing the reality of poverty in other countries, congregations can more easily see their role as accompaniment with people. “We walk side by side with our partners, not in front leading them or behind pushing them to do it our way,” she explained. “The old model has ‘us’ doing something for ‘them.’ The new model recognizes we are partners in mission.”

She further explained that accompaniment requires transparency and accountability for all partners. The partners may have differing roles, but each is accountable to the other, according to Perry.

House of Prayer Lutheran Church is located at 7625 Chicago Avenue in Richfield, Minnesota. For more information, contact Morse-Wendt at 952/926-3808 or by email at globalmission@mpls-synod.org. Individuals or congregations outside the Minneapolis Area Synod are also invited to participate.

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