Bishop Michael Burk of the Southeastern Iowa Synod and Bishop Charles Mjema, Bishop of the Pare Diocese of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania (ELCT) met with Governor Terry Branstad and Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds on April 16th, 2015.

In their second visit to the United States, Bishop Mjema and his wife Pastor Nahana Mjema visited Iowa to further a partnership between the ministries of the Southeastern Iowa Synod and Pare Diocese. The companion relationship, which has been active since 1988, has historically included joint ministry projects, cultural exchanges and visits, and partnerships between congregations in Iowa and parishes in Tanzania.

Bishop Michael Burk said of the visit with the Governor and Lt. Governor “It was a particular privilege for our guests to meet with and to be officially welcomed to the State of Iowa by our elected leaders. It was a gracious exchange between people of goodwill that was followed by a visit to The World Food Prize Hall of Laureates.”

This trip to Iowa also included a celebration of companionship in Des Moines, worship in local congregations, the ordination of a new pastor, a visit to Wartburg Theological Seminary in Dubuque, and several meetings that highlighted the ministry of Lutherans in Iowa.

Bishop Mjema and Pastor Mjema were also part of a time of worship and celebration of the working partnership in Des Moines on April 18. More than 30 congregations have partner relationship with congregations in the Pare Diocese in Tanzania. The trip was a time of mutual appreciation, cultural understanding, and personal connection for communities and leaders who maintain a strong ministerial partnership.

Learn more about our companion synod and see more photos here 


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