One Council to Represent Three Churches

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By Staff Reporter WINDHOEK The German-speaking Lutheran Church (GELC) of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Namibia (ELCIN) synod has adopted the constitution of the United Church Council of Namibia Evangelical Lutheran Churches. Consequently, as from next year, the council will represent three Lutheran Churches, advise the member Churches in joint projects and coordinate international relations. A press statement issued after the 36th synod of the church held recently said cooperation within the three churches would be encouraged without interfering in the independent constitutions of the three member churches. The synod also deliberated on the issue of having to cut down on the number of pastors because of financial constraints. A repreentative of the Evangelical Church in Germany, Torsten BÃÆ’Æ‘Æ‘ÃÆ”šÃ‚¶hmer pointed out that, due to the financial stress abroad, the church was in the process of cutting down on expenses. For this reason, he said the church was keeping a close watch on the churches’ drafted strategies and the number of pastors. But, instead of cutting down the numbers of pastors, the synod decided to increase their own contributions for their locally-paid pastors in order to intensify pastoral care, especially in the countryside, as well as Youth work. Among the topics the synod tackled were the sustainability of the number of pastors and how to better utilize the capacities of its members. The synod delegates from 14 German-speaking congregations in Namibia showed their deep appreciation for the support so far received from the Evangelical Church in Germany. This was agreed upon as ‘top priorities’ in the discussion on the strategic goals of the church. The general secretary of the Council of Churches in Namibia, Reverend Phillip Strydom, encouraged the German-speaking Lutherans to listen intently to God’s dream and to identify a significant role for ELCIN (GELC) within the Namibian society. The synod took up the matter and authorized the Church Council to initiate social-diaconical projects accordingly. ELCIN (GELC) was founded in 1960 as a German-speaking Lutheran Church in Namibia. Today it has about 6ÃÆ’Æ‘ÀÃ…ÃÆ”šÃ‚ 000 members organized into 14 congregations reaching from LÃÆ’Æ‘Æ‘ÃÆ”šÃ‚¼deritz to Tsumeb.