The ELCA describes their vision for Global Mission as “accompaniment” and defines it as walking together in a solidarity that practices interdependence and mutuality. This vision shapes our Global Mission efforts at Gethsemane.
We have a formal partnership with Iglesia Concordia, a small and faithful congregation in San Salvador, El Salvador. Each summer we travel with a delegation to visit our partners for a week of worship, relationship-building, sightseeing, learning and service work. We are thankful for the hospitality and generosity that we receive on each visit. As we take these steps to walk together in solidarity we recognize that the partnership we have with Iglesia Concordia is with our entire congregation and not simply those who travel.
When we travel we bring along donations of medicines, books and other items on request, we have also brought down hand-made liturgical gifts like a stole, communion-ware and an altar cloth, translated letters and photos to share with our partners. These offerings are one way that all of our members can participate in our partnership. We regularly pray for our partners in worship and encourage individual prayers for Iglesia Concordia, their ministries and members as another way that we can walk together.
We look forward to the work of identifying new ways to walk alongside of Iglesia Concordia with mutuality and interdependence as our relationship grows and trust that there will be new ways for our members to be engaged in this vital ministry.
Finally, as we continue to grow our partnership in El Salvador we are building relationships with the Lutheran Church in El Salvador and several churches in the Minneapolis and St. Paul area synods that also have partnerships in El Salvador. These ongoing partnerships have been a blessing as we continue to learn about partnering with a global congregation.