Pamoja 2020

Date posted: Wednesday 15 May 2019

There is no church so big and so rich, that it wouldn't depend on the gifts of others; there is no church so small and so poor it wouldn't be able to enrich others.

-  Josiah Kibera, LWF President (1977-1984)

Bega Kwa Bega is the phrase we use to describe our companion synod relationship with the Iringa Diocese of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania. Translated into English, it means “shoulder to shoulder” and it describes the way in which we accompany one another in a spirit of mutuality, inclusivity, and vulnerability. At its best, this Bega Kwa Bega relationship is reciprocal and involves teaching and listening… giving and receiving… as we work and celebrate life lived pamoja – together in Christ.


Building on that strong history, a learning cohort of rostered ministers from across the synod is being formed to participate in a Congregational Leadership Summit in Iringa in February 2020 with fourteen of our peers from across the diocese and other partners in mission. In both contexts, God’s church continues to change and congregational leaders face both significant challenges and new opportunities. By way of shared presentations, discussions, and excursions, through this cross-cultural summit on congregational leadership...


  • Saint Paul Area Synod participants will gain in-depth knowledge of the ELCT (one of the largest and fastest growing Lutheran bodies in the world) and learn about different methods for evangelism, lay leadership training, pastoral care, and community engagement.
  • DIRA participants will be better equipped in the areas of communications, church management, pastoral formation, best financial practices, and stewardship.
  • All participants will have a broader worldview, a better understanding of the expectations their congregations have of them, and an opportunity to share with one another the joys and challenges of their context or community.


Your voice and your presence matter. If you are new to this companionship and have never been to Iringa, the summit will introduce you to the Spirit-fired vitality of the Lutheran Church in Tanzania. If you have existing connections, this journey will deepen your appreciation and broaden your understanding of the life that we share. Whatever your background, whatever your experience, there is much to teach and learn. There is a place for you.


Consider yourself warmly welcome – karibu sana.



The Rev. Peter Harrits
Director of Bega Kwa Bega and Assistant to the Bishop



Leadership Summit Flyer

2020 Pamoja Participant Guide that can be easily shared with the tentative schedule and cost details.


Applications Due July 19

To apply, complete this initial interest form. Applications will be received and reviewed on a rolling basis until Friday, July 19. Selected participants will be notified no later than Friday, July 26.



The Saint Paul Area Synod cohort will meet four times in the Fall of 2019 to prepare for the summit and the physical journey. Our time in Tanzania will begin with the ordination of new DIRA pastors and then be followed by a four-day summit. When the summit concludes, participants will be divided into small groups to spend the weekend in a village parish with selected DIRA pastors.

During the summit, participants from each side will take turns leading and responding to presentations on a variety of topics - each from their expertise. During the village immersion, participants will meet evangelists and lay leaders and experience first-hand life in a rural ELCT congregation.



While in Iringa, Saint Paul Area Synod participants will stay at the Lutheran Center. During parish visits they will be provided local accommodation.



Ruaha National Park is located along the Western edge of the Iringa Diocese and is one of the largest in Tanzania. An optional 3D/2N safari is proposed following the conclusion of formal programming for a time of fellowship, rest, and relaxation in this corner of God’s creation.



Total program costs will vary based on the number of participants. With eight travelers, program costs (including 15 days of lodging, meals, ground transport, safari, visas and fees) are estimated to be $2750. Airfare in February typically runs $1300-2200+ per person depending on routing and airline preferences. For more information see the Summit Flyer.


Continuing Education Credit

As a learning cohort of the Saint Paul Area Synod, participants will receive a certificate marking 30 hours of continuing education contact hours.



Contact for more information.