Tanzania Companionship Committee



Tanzania Companionship Committee

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 a commitment to Christian education in the diocese, especially by supporting American teachers at Kibeta English Medium Primary School (KEMPS).

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.

How do we do this? Celebrating Udugu Sunday!

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 scholarships 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.

For over twenty years, the Metro New York Synod has been supporting the Kibeta English Medium Primary School (KEMPS) in Tanzania, but like all of us, the COVID-19 Pandemic was a difficult time for the school, and they need your help. Since the start of the pandemic, there’s been no “Udugu” Sundays — donations from which have, over the years, helped provide scholarships to children from poor families and supplies/maintenance for the school.

We are asking congregations and members to support the students and staff at KEMPS this holiday season and consider holding an “Udugu” Sunday to raise support*.

*The memo line for checks to this effort should say “KEMPS Strategy.”


KEMPS-Tanzania_3Supporting KEMPS
Kibeta English Medium Primary School (KEMPS) started in 2003. At the time, the local Tanzanian diocese realized the need for an English Medium School in the area. In Tanzania, most classes are taught in Swahili for grades 1 through 7, but all classes after that are taught in English. Having a school where children can start learning English at a young age means that they are able to be more proficient by high school and gives them a strong advantage toward success. Our synod has now supported 10 English teachers at KEMPS and continues to support projects and updates through fundraising campaigns.

Congregation Partners
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 The Rev. Perucy Butiku. You can also learn more through this guide

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!