TANZANIA – The International Lutheran Council (ILC) sponsored a capacity building conference for pastors, evangelists, and teachers of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Tanzania’s Lake Tanganyika Diocese (ELCT-LTD) in Sumbawanga from March 7-10, 2023.
The conference arose out of an official request from the diocese and Bishop Ambele Mwaipopo.
“It was a joy to visit Bishop Mwaipopo and his diocese in Tanzania,” said ILC General Secretary Timothy Quill. “Events like these play a significant role in ensuring strong Lutheran formation for pastors and church workers, and we were pleased to be able to respond to the ELCT-LTD’s request for assistance in this area.”
The conference brought together nearly 90 people, including more than 40 pastors and nine evangelists, as well as theologians, members of the diocese’s executive council, and staff from the diocesan headquarters. Guest lecturers for the event included ILC General Secretary Quill; Rev. Dr. Detlev Schulz (Concordia Theological Seminary – Fort Wayne, Indiana); and Rev. Peter Brock (First Vice President of the Indiana District of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod).
The Lake Tanganyika Diocese has a great focus on mission. Last year, it opened 18 new preaching points, eleven of which have since grown into parishes or congregations. Additional preaching points continue to be opened every year.
To assist with this growth, the diocese is in the process of opening a new school, which will initially train evangelists and eventually grow to offer pastoral training. Indeed, the diocese sees pastoral training as its greatest need. The school will also educate lay people in vocations and trades, including as teachers and deaconesses.
The Lake Tanganyika Diocese holds membership in the International Lutheran Council as a recognized organization. The ILC has previously supported theological conferences in the ELCT-LTD’s sister diocese, the South East of Lake Victoria Diocese.
The International Lutheran Council is a global association of Lutheran church bodies, dedicated to proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ on the basis of a shared-commitment to the authority of Scripture and the Lutheran Confessions.