The Tanzania Companionship Committee is the bridge of support between this synod and the North Western Diocese of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania. The committee hosts visitors from Tanzania, raises funds, coordinates the endowment fund for educational ministries, and works to deepen and strengthen our relationship. Our primary focus is commitment to Christian education in the diocese, especially by supporting American teachers at Kibeta English Medium Primary School (KEMPS).
Committee chair: Pastor Dan Ward
Udugu means brotherly or sisterly relationship. It is an apt way of describing our relationship in Christ with the North Western Diocese of Tanzania. We invite congregations to celebrate our companionship on the last Sunday of September, or any fall Sunday you choose.
Here are ways to prepare for Udugu Sunday:
The Tanzania Companionship Committee has collected a variety of ideas to help make your Udugu Sunday a success. From prayers, to hymn suggestions, to special foods, and swahili phrases, download this resource for lots of ideas.
Special Udugu Sunday offerings will go toward scholoarships for KEMPS students. Download and distribute this flyer showing how even small gifts can make a big difference.
You can invite a special guest speaker to be with your congregation on Udugu Sunday. Contact Lois Rimbo for help in setting this up.
Earthquake in Northwest Diocese
On September 10 our companions in the Northwest Diocese and the surrounding Kagera region was hit by a 5.7 magnitude earthquake. We have been told that 50 people in Bukoba have died and more than 500 injured. We anticipate these numbers to rise as relief workers assess the damage in the surrounding villages. Read a letter from Rev. Elmereck Kigembe the General Secretary in the diocese and find information on how to help here.
Repairing damaged churches
A few months back, four churches in our sister Northwest Diocese in Tanzania were deliberately damaged by fire set by religious extremists. The cost to restore these damaged churches was estimated to be at least $11,000. The Tanzania Committee of our synod felt strongly that we should extend our prayers, our love, and our financial support to restore the damaged churches to their former glory.
Though the generosity of individuals and churches in our synod, $11,000 was given and has now been sent to our brothers and sisters in Tanzania for the purpose of restoring these churches. As Christians are being persecuted throughout the world, we are pleased to help these communities of faith. As they now worship in their restored churches, they will know that their Christian sisters and brothers in have walked with them in their time of trouble.
Could you teach in Tanzania?
If you're a teacher who loves new experiences that involve children and travel, we are looking for you! Kibeta English Medium Primary School (KEMPS) in Bukoba, Tanzania, is supported by the Metropolitan New York Synod. We are searching for elementary teachers willing to spend two years modeling English, teaching a variety of subjects and open to living in a new environment.
Transportation, housing in Tanzania, health care coverage, and a small stipend are included. Our current teachers, Michelle and Trevor, will be returning to the United States soon. Please share the video or bulletin insert with teachers you know! For more information and an application, contact Pr. Perucy Butiku.
Named in memory of his beloved mother, the Tilchen Computer Lab (TCL) was generously donated in 2006 by Mr. Henry Timnick to KEMPS, our Lutheran primary school in Tanzania. Recently Mr. Timnick issued a challenge grant saying that he would donate $20,000 if others could raise an additional $12,000 toward the upgrade. MNYS churches were asked to raise offerings for this purpose as part of 2013 Udugu Sunday celebrations. The Tanzania Companionship Committee is pleased to announce that the challenge has been successfully met and that the Tilchen Computer Lab will soon be completely upgraded with new computers. There is also a plan to raise additional funds to maintain the lab for the future.
Has your congregation ever considered partnering with a global companion? These MNYS congregations are now partnering with congregations in Tanzania, geographically located here.
St. John's, Poughkeepsie and Kashura Parish
Christ/Cristo, Freeport and Kikomero Parish
Advent, Manhattan and Biirabo Parish
Trinity, Brewster and Kibondo Parish
Good Shepherd, Plainview and Kashenye Parish
Cross of Christ, Babylon and Kaagya Parish
United, Mount Vernon and Kanyinya Parish
Saint Peter's, Manhattan and Bukoba Cathedral
Companion congregation relationships grapple with our oneness in Christ as we grow in relationship and share the gospel. Friendships are formed and opportunities for experiencing another culture are offered. If you or your congregation is interested, please contact Pr. Perucy Butiku.
What does it mean to be companion synods?
It means that together, we will:
- be accountable to one another through a built-in review process
- commit to being transparent in our companionship
- commit to clear and strong communication
- pray for the Holy Spirit’s guidance
- seek to develop long-term relationships of mutual support for the sake of God's mission
- value and use the diverse gifts the Holy Spirit has given us.
Our Endowment Fund
In 2003, the Synod Assembly voted to create a permanent $1 million endowment fund for Christian education in the North Western Diocese. The interest (5% per year) is funding the salaries and expenses of American teachers at KEMPS.
While the endowment is self-sustaining, donations are gratefully received to strengthen the work. Checks should be made payable to the Metropolitan New York Synod with "Tanzania endowment fund" in the memo line. You can also designate your online gift here. Thank you!