ELCT Press Release

Date: September 2, 2006
Press release No. 001/09/2006

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Consultation on Poverty and the Mission of the Church in Africa

ARUSHA, Tanzania September 1st -------A FIVE-DAY Consultation on Poverty and Mission of the Church organized by the Geneva-based Lutheran World Federation (LWF) will be held at New Safari Hotel in Arusha from September 4th.

More than 80 participants will attend the consultation coordinated by the LWF Department for Mission and Development (LWF/DMD) and according to an Aide Memoire circulated to participants by the DMD Area Secretary for Africa, Rev. Dr. Musa P. Filibus, participants will include representatives of 30 LWF member churches from Africa. Others would come from Northern partners and a team of theologians from various LWF constituencies.

He said Bishop Dr Zephania Kameeta, LWF Vice-President for the Africa region, and former Deputy Speaker of the Parliament of Namibia, will deliver the Keynote address while the Presiding Bishop of ELCT, Dr. Samson Mushemba will officiate the opening service.

The consultation will among other things, provide a starting point for a team of theologians engaged in an LWF programme with a theme: "Confessing and living out faith in the triune God … in the face of death and injustice." After the consultation, the team will continue in a two-day
intensive seminar.

Facilitators of Africa Lutheran Communication and Information Network (ALCINET) met prior to the consultation on September 1 and 2, 2006 to finalize the setting up of the ALCINET website to facilitate communication and sharing of information on the Lutheran Communion in Africa and other churches worldwide.

Tanzanian Minister for Regional Administration and Local Government, Hon. Mizango Pinda, is scheduled to speak on the Role of Governments and Civil Society in Reversing Poverty in Africa.

The programme shows that participants will be exposed to an overview of realities, challenges and root causes of poverty in Africa; they will visit communities and exchange experiences and foster human solidarity in transforming the root causes and factors that perpetuate poverty.

Participants will engage in discussing soul searching questions like how the church could become an agent for upholding human dignity in the midst of massive suffering and how the church could provide alternative models and become a source of hope in the midst of unjust economic systems in Africa .

He emphasized that "addressing poverty in Africa is an arduous task that goes beyond money or 'aid to Africa.' It calls for a holistic approach, including creating an atmosphere for justice, peace and freedom, which are necessary ingredients for sustainable communities and livelihoods, and
promoting sustainable democratic institutions, good governance and ensuring public accountability."

Rev. Dr. Filibus states that the primary aim of the consultation was to enable member churches reflect theologically on their self understanding and responsibilities of the church and the public within the context of impoverishing conditions in Africa.

The Lutheran World Federation is a global communion of Christian churches in the Lutheran tradition. Founded in 1947 in Lund, Sweden. The LWF now has140 member churches in 78 countries all over the world representing 66.2 million Christians.

Issued by:

Elizabeth Lobulu
Communication Coordinator,
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania

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For more information contact:

Elizabeth Lobulu
Communication Desk Officer, ELCT
E-mail: ELobulu@elct.or.tz