The Geneva-based Africa area desk of the Department for Mission and Development (DMD) accompanies LWF member churches in their holistic ministries through programs and projects that respond to particular concerns of church life in the region and specific priorities identified by the member churches.
Strengthening Regional Communion
The DMD Africa Desk assists churches in the region to strengthen communion and collaboration across artificial colonial borders. Three sub-regional expressions of communion – the Lutheran Communion in Central and Western Africa (LUCCWA), the Lutheran Communion in Central and Eastern Africa (LUCCEA) and the Lutheran Communion in Southern Africa (LUCSA) – are vital instruments for accompanying both established churches and young churches in their mission and growth.
Mission and Diakonia
The Africa Desk convenes a biennial church leadership consultation for discussion of challenges and issues in holistic mission, and for sharing practical experiences.
Such gatherings have focused attention on new understandings and ways of being in mission, encompassing the models within the LWF mission document and the challenges on the continent, especially the HIV and AIDS pandemic, poverty and related issues.
Support and coordination is also provided for various joint mission boards, bringing together South-South partners of the churches and their northern partners. This multilateral approach provides essential accompaniment in mission for younger and smaller churches, and strengthens joint action by older and larger churches.
Poverty and the Mission of the Church
For many families and communities in Africa, the petition in the Lord’s Prayer, “Give us this day our daily bread,” is a desperate cry for survival. Recognizing that poverty robs people of their dignity, the LWF Africa region initiated a program in 2006 with the aim of empowering churches to work together in pursuit of “an economy that serves life.”
Coming soon: Read more about Poverty and the Mission of the Church under Faith in Action
Leadership and Governance
The biennial church leadership consultations address issues such as styles of leadership and teamwork, transparency and accountability, and relevant sustainable structures. Participants include women and youth leaders as well as the heads of churches.
The Advisory Committee for Theological Education in Africa (ACTEA) meets annually for consultation, review of theological curricula, encouraging theological research, and advising churches on their theological education programs.
Communication and Advocacy
The Africa Lutheran Church Leadership Conference in 2005 acknowledged the historical impact of communication on mission in Africa, and stressed that communion was not possible without communication. They established the Africa Lutheran Communication and Information Network (ALCINET) for Web, print, audio and video communication work in the African sub-regions.
In cooperation with other units of the LWF Secretariat, the Africa Desk encourages the member churches to develop awareness and capacities for advocacy in their local and regional contexts. The support and accompaniment of communion relationships strengthen the advocacy initiatives of churches and also challenge churches in their own contexts.
Conflict Resolution and Peace Building
An important role for the Africa Desk is to assist and accompany churches that are dealing with internal conflict or conflict between churches. When requested or needed, pastoral visitation teams are organized and mediation services are offered. The focus is on problem resolution, and the healing and building of relationships.
The area desk supports and collaborates with the LWF initiative, Inter-Faith Action for Peace in Africa (IFAPA), with an emphasis on ecumenical and inter-religious collaboration for peace building in Africa.
For further information please contact:
Rev. Dr Elieshi Mungure, Area Secretary for Africa
Ms Margarita Thilby, Administrative Assistant