Partnership and World Mission
The church maintains partnerships with local fellowships and churches around the world. Fellowship among Christians is expressed in exchanging ideas and working together. Ecumenism becomes tangible when people come together.
The diversity of relationships
Contacts between twin churches
The relationships are as different as the varied contexts. There are a large number of contacts between different churches. Twin churches express their fellowship in mutual giving and taking. The experiences gained from the meetings then affect the local churches. The central idea of “strengthening faith – building churches” becomes a living experience for both partners.
Church partnerships for the regional church
Official church partnerships link the Regional Church of Saxony with the Lutheran churches in the European part of Russia, Latvia, the USA, India, Tanzania and Papua New Guinea. The major focus here is also on meetings and church planting – and global learning. The church partnerships bring to life church fellowship within the Lutheran World Federation. Those involved get to know each other within the Lutheran world community.
Contacts between church organisations and associations
Close partnerships are maintained with organisations and associations too. Two long-standing connections serve as examples: cooperation between the “One World Office” and the Martin Luther King Centre in Havana with a focus on popular education on justice and developing issues and the contact between the “Project Life Association in Lauterbach” and the Roma Church in Romania, which concentrates on church planting and social work.
Developing educational policies and Global Learning
Mutual visits to partners enable people to appreciate the personal and social situation and consider change. Awareness building on development issues and Global Learning are major focus of the partnership work. Partnership groups are advised and supported by the “One World Office”. The annual partnership seminar and the individual support in preparing and evaluating partnership exchange programs are helping in this process. The regional church office invites people to attend network meetings related to specific countries.
Meetings for specialists to exchange ideas
Specialists meeting and exchanging ideas are a major element in relationships in many partnerships. For example, professional groups meet in the partnership between the Leipzig church district and the Minneapolis Area Synod in the USA. Or nursery teachers from Tanzania and Saxony are developing joint ideas for their educational work. The first projects based on the exchange of ideas among specialists are being continued. The experience gained in the project run by the Leipzig Missions Organisation called “Mission to the North”, which enables meetings between specialists from Tanzania, India and Papua New Guinea, has been excellent.
The church offices in Dresden and Prague (the Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren) have maintained close contacts for more than 30 years. They include partner meetings focusing on a specific topic and this also helps the exchange of ideas between employees. Gaining experience in a different context is also helpful and profitable for their own work.
Leipzig Missions Organisation
A special sense of commitment exists towards the Lutheran partner churches through the work of the Leipzig Missions Organisation (LMW): this involves the Lutheran Tamil Church in India and the Lutheran churches in Papua New Guinea and Tanzania. The Leipzig Missions Organisation and some church districts are responsible for the relationships with these churches. Meetings of specialists where ideas are shared are becoming more important here too. The Regional Church of Saxony and the Evangelical Church in Central Germany are jointly responsible for the Leipzig Missions Organisation.
Gustav Adolf Foundation
The Gustav Adolf Foundation is a partner and supporter of Lutheran minorities. Using the motto of “Helping churches around the world”, the foundation provides spiritual and material help for church planting and in emergency situations. Churches in the Lutheran diaspora in Central and Eastern Europe and in Latin America or the Middle East are supported when building or redeveloping church buildings, youth centres, old people’s homes and educational centres. Further support is provided for scholarships, vehicles, theological literature and humanitarian aid for securing livelihoods.
Christian meeting days
The “Christian meeting days” are a gathering of Lutheran Christians from Central and Eastern Europe. This meeting makes visible the distinctive culture, spirituality and experiences in the recent history of the Protestant diaspora churches. The Regional Church of Saxony has been one of the supporters of this movement since 2005 and organised the “meeting days” as part of its church festival in 2011. The Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession in Austria will invite people to attend the “meeting days” in Graz in 2020.
These are just a few examples of the different kinds of relationships.
International church partnerships
International partnership relationships between the regional church, the church districts and local churches and facilities and associations.
- The Evangelical Lutheran Church in European Russia
- Diocese of Kaliningrad
- Diocese of Moscow
- Diocese of Orenburg
- Diocese of the Northern Caucasus
- Evangelical Lutheran Church of Latvia
- Evangelical Lutheran Church in Lithuania
- Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church
- Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession in Poland
- Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren
- Czechoslovak Hussite Church
- Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession in Slovakia
- Evangelical Reformed Church in Transcarpathia/Ukraine
- Evangelical Lutheran Church in Hungary
- Evangelical Church of the Augustan Confession in Romania
- Reformed Church in Romania
- Roma Church in Romania
- Bulgarian Evangelical Alliance
- Protestant Church in the Netherlands
- Church of Denmark
- Church of Sweden
- Church of England
- Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
- Minneapolis Area Synod of the ELCA
- Northeastern Pennsylvania Synod of the ELCA
- Evangelical Lutheran Church in Colombia
- Martin Luther King Center in Havana
- Evangelical Lutheran Church in Southern Africa
- Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania
- Northern diocese
- Meru diocese
- Tamil Evangelical Lutheran Church
- Evangelical Lutheran Church of Papua New Guinea