Information for participants


THEME: Marangu to Wittenberg: being a reforming church in a changing African context

The LWF has begun preparations to commemorate 500 years since the Reformation, to be held alongside the 12th assembly in Windhoek, Namibia in 2017. It is in the spirit of reformation that LWF regions and member churches are planning commemorations and celebrations for this major event. For the Lutheran communion in Africa, this commemoration of the reformation will be held in remembrance of the 60th anniversary of the Marangu conference, 1955, the first all-Africa Lutheran conference that led to the birth of the Lutheran Communion in the region.

Under the Reformation and assembly sub-themes, “Liberated by God’s Grace: Salvation not for sale, creation not for sale and human beings not for sale”, the consultation will address visions of a reforming and sustainable church engaged on topics, such as being in communion, addressing and acting together on issues of holistic mission, including challenges and opportunities for a sustainable church in Africa.

The commemoration will bring together about 170 delegates - heads of churches (bishops and presidents), women, youth, and representatives of theological institutions, young reformers, women theologians, religion and development workers, and ALCINET networks - to celebrate the African Lutheran church jointly. Participants from other parts of the global Lutheran communion will include representatives of partners and related agencies, LWF officers and staff from the communion office.

Time and place

May 18 - Arrival for members of the regional advisory team, ALCINET, youth, women, and Doctrinal Commission. Meetings held on May 19.

May 19 - Arrival for other delegates and participants.

May 25 - Departure for all participants.


Venue for Accommodation and Conference
Uhuru Hotel & Conference Centre
P.O. Box 1320
Moshi, Tanzania

Tel. +255 2727 54512
Fax.+255 2727 53518
Mobile:+255 753 037216
email:[email protected]

Link to LWF 2015 COOP

Priority 2, objective 4: The member churches engage in communion building, nurturing trustful relationships and mutual support.

  1. Stimulated processes  for  internal church renewal,  ownership for a sustainable and cohesive Lutheran Communion in Africa
    Indicator: Concrete plans and mechanisms for renewal and sustainability of the region until 2017 are agreed
  2. Agreed on  relevant plans to respond to contextual challenges including  theological education and formation with focus on Lutheran Identity, ecumenism, inter-faith dialogues, and relationships for peace and reconciliation
    Indicators: Mechanisms for relevant theological reflection and discussions are in place, core areas identified, discussed and agreed
  3. Strengthened leadership towards meaningful contribution to the communion  with an input  to the  Africa agenda for the pre-assembly (2016) as well as the 2017 LWF assembly
    Indicators: Plans for the pre-assembly and the assembly are agreed, areas of focus for agenda for pre-assembly identified and agreed
  4. Affirmed a meaningful inclusive communion in Africa region
    Indicator: Gender and generational balance of participants 2015 is reached
Expected outcomes
  • A strengthened and sustainable African regional expression towards 2017
  • Africa regional contribution to the renewal of the LWF as global communion of churches
  • Ecumenical and inter-faith relations in Africa are fostered
  • Commemoration publications come from the presentation
  • Improved participation of men, women, youth, lay and ordained members in the Lutheran churches in Africa
Program and working methods
  • The conference will be structured in three main categories - the recovery of memory, understanding the present, and aspirations for the future
  • Paper presentations of identified topics
  • Working groups and group discussion for Bible studies and main themes
  • Plenary main theme presentation
  • Field visits for learning purposes

Pre-meetings for youth, women, Doctrinal Commission and ALCINET are structured as follows: group discussions, presentations in workshops.

Pre-meeting Youth
The one-day youth gathering will bring together young reformer delegates. They will receive information on the Global Young Reformers Network, develop and agree on regional themes to bring to the global youth meeting and develop their input to the Marangu 60th anniversary.

Pre-meeting and training ALCINET
One day training for ALCINET communication network will be facilitated by the LWF Office for Communication Services to enable them to develop the skills to cover the whole Marangu process. This is a follow-up of the 2014 training in which a small editorial team was nominated for Marangu coverage. The same team will gain skills to enable them continue keeping the running and sustainability of the newly established Africa website while working in their own member churches.


Opening and sending Eucharistic worships will be led by the hosting church in collaboration with selected participants from the region. The sending service is at the same time as the commemoration service. The LWF President will preach and bless the audience. Bibles studies each day will be based on the sub-themes of the reformation and assembly 2017. Each evening there will be a devotion lead by the hosting church.


The LWF Office for Communication Services, ALCINET and local communication networks will be on the ground providing daily coverage. Stories will be written for LWI, ALCINET websites and local media. The drafting committee will be charged with recording the minutes of the proceedings for future organizational memory. A message team will put together the final message of the meeting. The proceedings will be compiled into a publication in the following year.


The following background documents will be produced:

  • Information sheet
  • Draft agenda
  • Annotated agenda with themes and speakers
  • A handbook on Marangu history (1955-2015)
  • The Africa Theological Journal will feature a special issue for the Marangu anniversary titled “Lutheran Identity in Africa”
  • LWF council members and advisors will receive council materials for reference at a separate Lutheran Communion in Africa (LUCA) meeting

The main language will be English, with simultaneous translation in French. Whispering translation in Kiswahili, the language of the hosts in Tanzania, will be offered.


Some 170 participants from church leadership, theological institutions, women, youth, networks, LWF governance, and LWF Communion office staff are expected to participate. Invited guests will include key note speaker, political and government officials, NGOs, representatives of partner churches and participants from hosting church.

The youth quota will be reached by having 20 percent of participants under 30 years. Youth participation is mainstreamed, thus young people are involved in the following parts of the meeting: workshop facilitation that follow panels, delivering youth message to the LUCA, preparing the intergenerational action “Gathering the memoires”, and the cultural evening.

Sponsorship and expenses

The consultation and anniversary is sponsored by the Department of Mission and Development program on Communion Building, Poverty and Mission of the Church in Africa, ALCINET, the LWF Global Young Reformers Network, and the Department for Public Theology and Witness programs on Women Theologians Network, Hermeneutics and Religion and Development.