The companion relationship exists for the purpose of strengthening one another for life and mission within the body of Christ.

Companion Synod – Pare Diocese, Tanzania

Companions in Christ

  • Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania
  • Pare Diocese
  • Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
  • Southeastern Iowa Synod 

Vision

The companion relationship exists for the purpose of strengthening one another for life and mission within the body of Christ.  Through prayer, study, communication, and exchange of persons and resources, it offers mutual benefit for our respective churches. It opens our eyes to the global challenge that Christ sets before us, calling us to deepen our commitment and discipleship as communities of faith and as individual disciples.

History

The Imani Moja Companionship between the Southeastern Iowa Synod, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania, Pare Diocese began in 1988.  Former bishops, Werger  and Mshana, initiated the companionship and visited each other’s territory between 1988 and 1993.  Companion Congregation relationships began in 1998. Over the years, bishops have continued to build relationships with each other by visiting each other’s country.  Bishop Burk visited the Pare Diocese in May, 2009, and Bishop Mjema travelled to the Southeastern Iowa Synod in May, 2011.  Bishop Burk returned in June, 2012 along with 8 members of the Companion Synod Vision Trip. Many people from congregations have visited and corresponded, building upon the foundation principles of accompaniment: “Walking together in solidarity that practices interdependence and mutuality.”

Companion Synod Committee:

Chair:
Gus Gustafson
Lutheran Church of Hope, West Des Moines

Pastor Josh Martyn
Zion Lutheran Church, Clinton

Marta Bauer
Bethlehem Lutheran Church, Vinton

John Meyer
First Lutheran Church, Fairfield

Dianne Garber
Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, Cedar Rapids

Synod Staff Liaison, Pastor Eric Carlson

News and Events

 

2014 Vision Trip to the Pare Diocese

The companion relationship exists for the purpose of strengthening one another for life and mission within the body of Christ. As we seek to accomplish this purpose and deepen the relationship with our sisters and brothers in the Pare Diocese, a Vision Trip to the diocese took place June 23-July 4, 2014. 

Goals of the Vision Trip

  • Be renewed and empowered in faith and commitment to Christ’s mission by one another’s witness to the Gospel.
  • Be educated and challenged by encounters with one another’s joy and sorrows.
  • To enhance and increase understanding about the work of the Companion Synod Ministry.
  • To increase individual understanding of the concept of accompaniment, especially for those who have not had the opportunity to visit the Pare Diocese.
  • To enlarge and deepen understanding of the work of the Pare Diocese in areas that include but not limited to: evangelism, education, agriculture, and health and human services. 
Resources

Partner Congregation/Parishes (coming soon)

      • PDF of Congregation/Parish Partners and Main Contacts/Pastors
      • PDF of Iowa and Pare Map

Building Congregation/Parish Relationships

      • Building Interest
      • Learn about your companionRemember your companion in worship
        • Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania
        • Tanzania: Country Info
      • Taste and see!
      • Create personal relationships
      • Visit your companion
      • Invite visitors
      • Communicate…in other languages!
      • Sister congregation program
      • Missionary sponsorship

  • ELCA Companion Synod Handbook
      • For ELCA Congregations.pdf
        • Building Interest
        • Learn about your companion
        • Remember your companion in worship
        • Taste and see!
        • Create personal relationships
        • Visit your companion
        • Invite visitors
        • Communicate…in other languages!
        • Sister congregation program
        • Missionary sponsorship
      • Planning Trips.pdf
        • Why are you going?
        • Have you been invited?
        • Joint agreements
        • Don’t overburden your companion
        • Choosing participants
        • Commissioning the delegation
        • In case of evacuation
        • Sample planning timeline
        • Orientations ensure a smooth, positive experience
        • Assemble an important document file
        • Welcome Forward book and Web site help delegations prepare for international travel
        • Words from a fan of Welcome Forward
        • Orientation One: Initial Information Session
        • Orientation Two: First Cross-cultural Session
        • Orientation Three: Second Cross-cultural Session
        • Orientation Four: Companion Church Session
        • Orientation Five: Pre-trip Planning Session
        • Daily reflections on the journey
        • Debriefing your journey
      • Hosting International Guests.pdf
        • The gift of cultural exchange
        • Helpful resources on hosting international guests
        • Set the vision and purpose
        • Keep both bishops in the loop!
        • Who should visit?
        • Send the invitation
        • Agree on mutual responsibilities
        • Sample planning timeline
        • Plan the visit
        • Help guests secure visas (add link to American Embassy in Tanzania)
        • Detailed itineraries can help
        • Practicing ahead of time is a good idea
        • Start early
        • Arrange tours and visits
        • Plan on rest, spontaneity and family visits
        • Address financial issues early
        • Arrange for housing
        • Arrange local transportation
        • Provide insurance for medical care (Southeastern Iowa/Pare Diocese covenant coming soon)
        • Enable guests to share
        • Orient your visitors
        • During the visit
        • When the visit ends
      • Appendices.pdf
        • Appendix 1: Protocol agreement
        • Appendix 2: Some thoughts about being companions
        • Appendix 3: Synod/Diocese Covenant (Southeastern Iowa/Pare Diocese covenant coming soon)
        • Appendix 4: Sample application
        • Appendix 5: Sample trip evaluation
        • Appendix 6: Sample letter of invitation to guest (Southeastern Iowa/ Pare Diocese version coming soon)
        • Appendix 7: Sample official invitation addressed to consulate (Southeastern Iowa/ Pare Diocese version coming soon)
        • Appendix 8: Visas
        • Appendix 9: Accompnaying your companion’s scholarship students
      • Orientation Handouts.pdf
        • Handout A: Vocabulary Worksheet/Swahili Basics (coming soon)
        • Handout B: Accompaniment Kyrie
        • Handout C: Cross-cultural Relationships
        • Handout D: Cultural Norms Worksheet
        • Handout E: A Code of Ethics for Tourists
        • Handout F: Team Member Roles
        • Handout G: Journaling Worksheet
        • Handout H: Receiving International Visitors
      • Financial Considerations (coming soon)
      • Organizational Partners (coming soon)

Find more information about how to partner with a parish in the Pare Diocese or learn more about the activities of companion congregations. Contact Pr. Eric Carlson, Assistant to the Bishop at [email protected] or 515-263-5541.