ELCT Press Release

Date: October 28, 2008
Press release No. 002/10/2008

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Malasusa Addresses LMC Roundtable

The Presiding Bishop of ELCT, Alex Gehaz Malasusa, has addressed the Roundtable of the Lutheran Mission Cooperation (LMC) at Haydom in Mbulu District, Northern Tanzania. The meeting took place from 13th to 16th October, 2008.

LMC (Lutheran Mission Cooperation) is an instrument for coordinated interaction between the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania (ELCT) and its partners abroad. Twenty ELCT Dioceses, ELCT Common Work and 13 churches /mission agencies from Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Germany and the USA have formed the LMC to coordinate their work in spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ in Tanzania as well as in the northern countries.

The following is full text of the speech:

Address by the ELCT Presiding Bishop
5th Lutheran Mission Cooperation Roundtable
Haydom Lutheran Hospital, Mbulu
October 13-16, 2008

Honorable Chairperson of the Lutheran Mission Cooperation (LMC),
Honorable out-going Secretary of the LMC,
Honorable new Secretary of LMC,
Distinguished Guests and
LMC family members.

Greetings in the Name of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

On behalf of Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania (ELCT), I take this opportunity to welcome you to this Roundtable which specifically aims at strengthening our partnership ties. Most of you have traveled from afar to be here today. This shows how much you value this unique partnership.

We are meeting now because we all know one thing, that “we as partners in mission” and as instruments of God’s mission (Missio Dei), we meet to share our experiences to fulfill the goal of bringing Good News of hope to the world as indicated in our (LMC) Mission Statement.

For the advantage of us all, I quote our Mission thus stated: “Proclaiming the holistic Gospel in word and deed through visioning, planning, monitoring and evaluation.”

I also would like to take this chance to share with you some important events which happened last year. I personally, and on behalf of the ELCT, would like to thank all who took part in my installation last November. Many of you, partners from the North, took part in this event by joining your partners in Tanzania. You did so because you value and respect our partnership.

This year we also had some sorrowful events. At this juncture I would like to say that we lost one of our friend, colleague and to most of us a brother, Bishop Nehemiah Bomani, of the ELCT East of Lake Victoria Diocese. Let us stand for a minute in memory of him. But in connection with this, we also have good news; the General Assembly of the East of Lake Victoria Diocese which has just ended two weeks ago has elected the new Bishop Andrew Gulle, who is among us today. I have the pleasure to officially introduce him to you.

Again last November as you might remember Bishop Jacob Mameo Ole Paulo of Morogoro Diocese was consecrated, in April this year Bishop Renard K. Mtenji of Ulanga Kilombero Diocese was consecrated, and in May this year Bishop Dr. Hance Mwakabana of South Central Diocese was consecrated. I have the honor to let them stand before you and I officially introduced them to you.

This meeting takes place after the last year Roundtable at Sebastian Kolowa University College (SeKUCo) in which we passed many short and long term resolutions to guide our common goals. It is my hope that this meeting apart from discussions on strengthening our partnerships from within and with our members overseas who are here, it will also evaluate the impact of the past and ongoing programs.

Such an undertaking will not only give a signal as to where we are at the present time, but also challenge new thoughts and concepts on how to strengthen our relationship. With the spirit already existing of sharing goals as a unit, I hope this meeting will be the meeting of sharing experiences based on constructive and mature criticisms.

This happens guided by our strong historical ties of relationship, from which we have constantly reviewed modes of interactions from one-way traffic patterns of relationship to pattern of respect and mutual sharing of experiences. But above all we are obliged to live together as Christians and partners, as Paul argues, “[a]ccept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God” (Rom. 15:7).

Having said that we are all partners, I want to pose a challenge to ELCT members. Do we have good relationship between dioceses or between units? Some of the units are in deep financial and managerial crises. Every one knows. Can’t we have a forum to talk on how to empower each other? I am sure if we come together as partners in Christ, God will be with us. Again how does partnership with the Government looks like in fulfilling our mission goals, such as running hospitals, schools and other social services?

While looking into maintaining and strengthening this partnership at this round table, I call upon working together in order to have multiple ways to fulfill our mission goals.

We ELCT will continue valuing and respecting this outstanding historical partnership.

Last but not least on behalf of the ELCT I would like to give my cordial thanks to Lars Hofgren who has served LMC with all his heart and cooperation. To most of us in the ELCT Lars will remain a role model for responsibility and accountability. Allow me to call Lars “Rafiki wa ELCT.”

In respect to this I would like to welcome the LMC Secretary Mr. H. Wilms. We promise and assure you good cooperation for the entire time during your service here in the ELCT.

Now on behalf of the ELCT I wish you a gracious and a blessed 5th LMC Roundtable.
May God bless you all.

+Bishop Alex Gehaz Malasusa
Presiding Bishop, ELCT

For further information on the meeting visit http://www.lmc.or.tz/news/2008.LMC-RTConference.html

Elizabeth Lobulu
Communication Coordinator,
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania
Box 3033, ARUSHA, Tanzania.
Phone: +255-27-250-8856/7
FAX: +255-27-254-8858
E-mail: Elizabeth Lobulu <ELobulu@elct.or.tz>

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For more information contact:

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