News and Notes
Mark Koenker has left his position as Mission Communication Coordinator and is now serving as the Pastor of Rural Beausejour Parish near Winnipeg. The national office staff celebrated Mark's contribution to ELCIC Mission at a luncheon on October 25. In addition to creating a number of innovative Mission resources such as the Good News Partner tabloid, Mark was instrumental in getting the Companion Synod Program out of the starting blocks. At present, all correspondence and inquiries concerning Mission in the World can be directed to Kelvin Krieger.
Kelvin attended the Division for Global Mission (DGM) Board meeting of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) in Chicago last month. A focus of this meeting was the Companion Synod Program (CSP) which has existed in the ELCA for about a dozen years. All 65 ELCA Synods have at least one companion, 22 have two companions, 4 have three companions, 3 have four companions and 1 synod has five companions. The role of the CSP in carrying out global mission objectives with partner churches is increasing, allowing the DGM more time to attend to new relationships and emerging churches.
The CSP is becoming established in all five ELCIC Synods. In addition to the existing relationships in the Eastern and Saskatchewan Synods, the other three Synods are entering into relationships as follows:
British Columbia Synod - Peruvian Evangelical Lutheran Church
Synod of Alberta and the Territories - Evangelical Lutheran Church of Colombia
Saskatchewan Synod - United Evangelical Lutheran Church of Argentina
Manitoba/Northwestern Ontario Synod - Evangelical Lutheran Church of Cameroon
Eastern Synod - Evangelical Lutheran Church in Guyana
Requests have come in from the Peruvian Evangelical Lutheran Church for two Volunteers in Mission (VIM), one for a musician to teach music in the church and one for a mission outreach pastor. This adds to the ongoing VIM opportunities such as teaching English in Cameroon, communications assistant in Argentina and development education in Mauritania. It is also certainly possible for candidates to apply to become a Volunteer in Mission without a specific position in mind. The ELCIC Mission in the World web pages are under reconstruction and a page listing opportunities for mission service is in the plans.
On October 23, as Jeanne Fomgbami's service as the ELW International Guest for 2002 concluded, the Mission and ELW staff celebrated their combined efforts on the International Guest program and the Good News Partner tabloids. Jeanne was in every synod this year sharing her personal story of Christianity and the "Femmes pour Christ" in Cameroon. Etienne Fomgbami will continue to present his "Simply Share the Good News" evangelism training just about every week until April, leaving three months for follow up with congregations that take the training.
Brian Rude returned to El Salvador at the end of October after a three-month interpretation tour that took him across much of Canada including the Yukon Territory.
Jack and Valerie Frederick are in Canada for three months. They are visiting sponsoring congregations in Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec and taking some vacation time. They plan to return to Cameroon at the end of December.
For Etienne and Jeanne Fomgbami who are expecting their sixth child in June and especially for good health for Jeanne during this pregnancy.
For the people of Guyana who are suffering in times of increased violence since last February and for Volunteers in Mission Barry and Alice Lang and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Guyana as they minister to victims of violent crimes.
For Bonnie Weppler and the national staff of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Papua New Guinea as they go through transition in the leadership of the Finance Office.
For Luther Symons in Bangkok, Thailand for healing of his arm that was broken at the beginning of the year and may require a fourth operation.
For Stuart and Margaret Brown for good health as they adjust to Garoua, Cameroon and for improvements in communications in Garoua where the JCMWA office is now located.
Established September, 1995. Page revised June 2, 2005.