Programs that deliver change
The programs of the LWF in Africa that promote church development centre around three institutional areas of work:
Each of our churches is a valued member of the communion. Promoting the network and the value the network brings members is a core component of our work. Strong churches that draw on one another for advice, support and collegiality are better able to support both congregations and the communities they serve. Communion-building in Africa includes leadership meetings, regional support offices, mutual accompaniment, communication with churches, networking and coordination opportunities, communications networks, and the young reformers network. In 2015, an intercontinental meeting commemorating 60 years since the first meeting of African Lutherans takes place in Tanzania, seeking to further strengthen collaboration and untiy in the region. Communicators in Africa will be trained to strength their skills to report activities across the region.
The LWF's flagship program is a region-wide initiative to confront poverty and economic injustice. A number of programs are planned for 2015 to deepen theological understanding of diakonia, and to develop the LWF’s theological framework on poverty and economic justice in Africa. One group will work on climate change issues, alongside youth and advocates of climate and ecological justice. Other programs include Africa agricultural development and the tracking of public expenditure. Other programs will nurture the interest of young people in service, encourage churches to share experiences with other regions of the world, work closely with regional and ecumenical development and advocacy bodies, encourage gender and youth empowerment, and set up a regional hub to coordinate the work of networks on HIV and AIDS. Disaster response planning is a priority in six African countries in 2015. Key people will be chosen to train others and reserves of volunteers will be created should disaster strike. In 2015, churches in Cameroon, the Central African Republic and Nigeria will receive specific help with emergency appeals.
Our work to support congregations and promote healthy communities can only happen if the churches themselves are flourishing. This program builds on existing frameworks to encourage growth and sustainability in the churches. Continuous development of theological capacity allows churches to confidently proclaim the gospel and promotes holistic mission. In 2015, programs that develop curriculum for schools teaching Lutheran theology and reviews of curricula on HIV and AIDS mainstreaming and interfaith relations will be held. Seminars on theology will be held in Tanzania, focusing on Holy scripture, proclamation and doctrine.