Within the global Lutheran family, the ELCA has bilateral “companion church” relationships with many national Lutheran church bodies. These global relationships are deepened by the ELCA Companion Synods Program, which connects 65 ELCA synods in over 120 international companion relationships.
The Metropolitan Chicago Synod’s companion synod is the Central Diocese of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Southern Africa (ELCSA). The Companion Synod relationship exists for the purpose of strengthening one another for life and mission within the body of Christ. It offers us the privilege of participating in the life of another church through prayer, study, communication, and exchange of people and resources. It opens our eyes to the global challenge that Christ offers us today and calls us to deepen our commitment and discipleship as individuals and as a community of faith.
Over the past three years, the MCS and the Central Diocese have been laying the groundwork for Congregation to Parish Partnerships. These relationships connect a Metro Chicago Congregation with a Central Diocese Parish for the purpose of strengthening one another for life and mission within the body of Christ. The partnerships will focus on Prayer, Presence, Projects, and Peace. We have our first ten congregation to parish partnerships getting started in their pilot year of 2020-2021.
Accompaniment is a response to the changing context of global mission. For many years, North American and European church bodies established funded and directed missions around the world. Today, the churches they helped found are independent and self-governing. As a result, global mission is an endeavor shared by mutual participants in the body of Christ. Learn more on the Global Mission section of ELCA.org.
Over the years, the Metropolitan Chicago Synod has supported the Diakonia AIDS Ministry (DAM) in Soweto. DAM continues to do vital community work through health care services, after school programing, and support groups.
A delegation from the Central Diocese of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Southern Africa traveled to MCS for the Installation of Bishop Yehiel Curry in October 2019. Bishop Rev. Dr. White Makabe Rakuba and his wife Rienke, Rev. D.J. Prins and his wife Karen, and Masejo Mathobi were our guests. Throughout the week, they visited MCS congregations and met many of our partner congregations.
To learn more about our companion synod relationship, contact the chair of the Companion Synod Advisory Committee, the Rev. Elaina Salmon, (630-257-0719), or the Synod’s Companion Synod Coordinator, the Rev. Sunitha Mortha (773-248-0021).
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