Why are we starting a mission in Tanzania?

The St. Paul Area Synod of the ELCA has had a long partner relationship with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania (ELCT). Many St. Paul area churches have companion congregations in Tanzania, and engage in prayer/presence/projects with those congregations. We are excited to be joining a collaboration that has been underway for decades!

The Lutheran church is strong in Tanzania, with vibrant ministries and congregations across the country. The ELCT is one of the fastest-growing Lutheran denominations in the world. Formalizing our relationship with Kipanga Parish is an opportunity for St. Andrew’s to strengthen our role in the global Lutheran church, and to learn from our siblings in Tanzania as we walk together in faith and ministry.

After some delays due to the pandemic as well as staffing changes at St. Andrew’s, we are officially making a relationship with a parish in Tanzania (Kipanga Parish – a rural congregation with several locations, located in the Iringa Diocese).  Kipanga is approximately 350 miles northwest of the capital Dar es Salaam.

What is our financial commitment, if any, to Kipanga Parish?
As part of our relationship we are committed to providing a minimum of $1,000 per year for six years to Kipanga Parish.

Will we have an opportunity to visit Tanzania, or to welcome someone from Tanzania to St. Andrew’s?
A small group from St. Andrew’s led by Pastors Sarah Breckenridge and Amy Mihelich Smith will visit Kipanga Parish on an exploratory visit during late July-early August 2023. We expect we may offer more trips to Kipanga Parish in the years ahead, as well as other opportunities to walk “shoulder to shoulder” with our partner congregation.

How can I get involved with our new global mission partners in Tanzania?
While we are getting this relationship off the ground in 2023, the best thing we can do is pray – for our siblings in Tanzania, for our group traveling this summer, and for the wisdom and inspiration to find the best way to work together. The way we become present with the people of Kipanga Parish, and how we proceed with projects, will develop as we get to know each other.