Companion Congregation – Chile
In late April, 2012, the Western Iowa Synod signed a covenant with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Chile (IELCH). Its synod headquarters, four congregations and two mission outreach sites are located in the capital city of Santiago; six congregations, two mission outreach sites, and one bible camp are located to the south of Santiago. In 2014, 15 individuals from throughout the synod (including three from St. Mark) traveled to Chile to learn about the work of the IELCH and to connect with companion congregations.
Early in 2006, St. Mark Lutheran and Lupembe Lutheran signed a Companion Congregation Covenant. This relationship is part of the relationship between the Western Iowa Synod of the ELCA and the Southern Diocese of the ELCT. In this covenant, we committed ourselves to strengthen one another for life and mission within the body of Christ through prayer, exchange of people and resources, and a mutual walk in the journey of Christian faith.
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Between 160 and 220 worship at one of the Lupembe Parish’s seven preaching points (churches): Lupembe Station, Igumbilo, Ihangana, Udinda, Iwanginyi, Mbato, and Kanikelele. The parish supports 13 workers (four officers, seven evangelists, one music teacher, one parish worker) and 45 church elders. There are also Catholic, Seventh Day Adventist, and Assembly of God churches in the area. St. Mark members and Western Iowa Synod staff have traveled to Lupembe Parish six times and hosted guests from Lupembe and the Southern Diocese once (2011).
St. Mark members have raised funds to reroof the Lupembe church and have supported synod projects for the Center for Agricultural Development (CAD), the Well Project, and the Igumbilo Secondary Girls School.
See more photos here: Companion Congregation – Tanzania