Namibian Companion Synod
Since 1990, the New Jersey Synod has been blessed and nourished through the relationship with our companion synod, the Lutheran churches in Namibia. During that time, we have visited one another, connected local congregations in Namibia and New Jersey through the sister congregation program, and supported one another in prayer and giving.
Being a companion synod is rooted first in the relationship between us, as we are connected as part of the Body of Christ. While we may help support projects in Namibia or give money, our relationship is the foundation upon which the rest is built. The ELCA roots it in the concept of accompaniment, promoting “the values of mutuality, inclusivity, vulnerability, empowerment and sustainability” (from www.elca.org). We walk together, united by Jesus’ love and grace, and lift one another up for the ministry God calls us to.
The Lutheran churches in Namibia is made up of 3 different denominations: the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Namibia (ELCIN), the Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Republic of Namibia (ELCRN), and the German Evangelical Lutheran Church-ELCIN (GELC-ELCIN). Each of these churches is rooted in different traditions when they were founded by missionaries, tend to be more geographic, and are striving to reconcile into one denomination. They also reach out to their communities and help to address the needs that they see there.
The Namibia Companion Synod Team of the NJ Synod is currently reconnecting with the Lutheran churches in Namibia and hearing about the ways that people and congregations are still connected to those churches. We are planning a visit to the Namibia Embassy in Washington DC to hear more about how things are in Namibia, preparing for a possible visit from the church leaders in Namibia, and planning a trip to connect and grow this relationship. Together with our sisters and brothers in Namibia, we work to build up the body of Christ for the sake of the world.
For a quick fact sheet about Namibia, click here.