Category: Global Vision

May 23, 2013

Mission Idea: ROAR for Tanzania

Motorcyclists at Upper Dublin Lutheran Church are sponsoring ROAR: Ride Organized for A Reason to raise funds to help purchase a motorcycle for use by their mission partners at Cathedral Church in Tanzania. This 75-mile scenic motorcycle tour will be held rain or shine on Saturday, June 8. Registration and pre-ride meeting starts at 8 am...

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May 6, 2013

Gardens Grow in Tanzania

Tom and Susan MacPherson, missionaries from our Synod at Irente Children’s Home in Tanzania, gave the Assembly an update on their mission and ministry Saturday morning — live from Tanzania via Skype. The MacPhersons have been serving as part of the companion relationship between SEPA and the North East Diocese of the Evangelical Lutheran Church...

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October 4, 2012

Tanzanian University Gets New Name

As of October 2012 SEKUCo will have a name change to Sebastian Kolowa Memorial University (SEKOMU). Since 2006 our synod has been partnering with SEKUCo to start and expand this University College. In a very short period of time they have gone from being a new College to having provisional approval to function under the Tanzanian Department of Education to now becoming a full fledged University with a new name. Congratulations to Sebastian Kolowa Memorial University.

June 6, 2012

Tanzania Mission: The First Six Months

SEPA Synod lay missionaries Susan and Tom MacPherson have completed six months of their two-year adventure in Tanzania. Click through for an update from the MacPhersons on their work at Irente Children's Home and information about how you or your congregation can support their ministry. Download an insert to use in your Sunday service bulletin for a Sunday in June or July. Please remember the MacPhersons in the public prayers in your church.

April 12, 2012

Easter in Arusha

"The Easter Sunday service was filled with great joy. We sang some favorite Easter hymns and we were asked to assist with the distribution of Communion...The church was packed. With a few dozen people still in the aisle, the bread almost ran out...The pre-poured wine and juice also ran out, and they were served common cup. It was a joyous occasion." Since early November, Tom and Susan MacPherson have lived in Tanzania, representing our synod as they work at the Irente Children’s Home, a mission of the North Eastern Diocese of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania. In addition to their work caring for the children, Susan teaches English, bookkeeping, and computer skills to many of the workers at the orphanage and Tom works as a handyman. More importantly, they both share God’s love with all the people they meet and find God’s love in those same people. Join in their journey by reading their "Partners in Mission" blog at Read more to learn how to send encouragement to the MacPhersons and how to support their work.

December 19, 2011

Furaha ya Krismasi!

"We would like to send our warmest wishes for a Joyous Christmas and Happy New Year to all of the congregations of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod and to the Bishop and staff," missionaries Tom and Susan MacPherson write in their Christmas message from Tanzania. "Our Christmas tree (pictured) is made of pine cones, tissue paper and construction paper."

November 21, 2011

SEKUCo Nears 1,600 Students

Sebastian Kolowa University College (SEKUCo) in our companion synod in Tanzania began its fifth year of operation in October with 1,584 students enrolled. What began with 138 first-year students has grown more than 1000 percent. The first group of students who graduated last December have for the most part found productive jobs as teachers, administrators, and other professionals working to improve the lives of students with special needs. Download the latest SEKUCo newsletter after the jump.

November 21, 2011

TZ Fund Request is a Scam

ELCA Global Mission staff report that a letter received in several synods from a pastor in Dar Es Salaam is a scam. The appeal from Pastor William Maheka Pamui, Senior Pastor of St. John Evangelical Lutheran Church in Dar es Salaam, asks for financial contributions to be made to a bank account in New York to help provide 10 wells for clean drinking water. ELCA staff report that a regional representative in Tanzania confirms that the request is not genuine.

October 27, 2011

Missionaries Blessed To Serve

“I’m sure if someone had told you even 5 years ago that you would be gladly giving away and selling your worldly possessions to serve Christ, by giving yourselves to care for infants and preschoolers and to mentor teenagers learning to be childcare workers at the Irente Children’s Home… you would have laughed -- or cried,” Bishop Burkat told Tanzania missionaries Tom and Susan MacPherson at a sending service Oct. 23. “But Our Lord, who is rich in mercy and imagination…has chosen you for this very special safari,”

May 11, 2011

MacPhersons Commissioned

“Like good stewards of the manifold grace of God, serve one another with whatever gift each of you has received.” (1 Peter 4:10) Surrounded by family, friends, and congregations supporting ministry in Tanzania, Tom and Susan MacPherson were commissioned by Joanne Carlson, Assistant to the Bishop for Global Vision, and Bishop Claire Burkat, to serve...

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March 9, 2011

A Journey of Service in Tanzania

Missionary Tom MacPherson, about to serve as volunteers at Irente Children’s Home in Tanzania, writes about the experience on our website: “Almost 3 years ago, a group from St. John Lutheran Church, Philadelphia, traveled to Tanzania. Susan and I were blessed to be part of that group. As we prepared to go, our church family financially supported us through fundraising, encouraged us, and most of all prayed for us. We never thought it would have such a major impact on our lives.”

February 8, 2011

City Couple to Serve in Tanzania

It is with great joy that we announce that Tom and Susan MacPherson, members of St. John's, Philadelphia, have been confirmed for placement as volunteeer mission personnel with our companion, the North Eastern Diocese of Tanzania. The MacPhersons will serve at the Irente Childrens Home, located in the village adjacent to Lushoto where the diocesan office is located. Please pray for Tom and Susan as they prepare for their assignment and for those who are preparing to receive them.

February 4, 2011

Companion Synods: Blessed to be Church Together

Through teaching, learning, praying and worshipping, the people of our synod have been blessed to journey together as companions with the North Eastern Diocese in Tanzania and with the Silesian Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession in the Czech Republic. Joanne Carlson, Assistant to the Bishop for Global Vision and Events, writes in an update on SEPA's global companionships. The Tanzania partnership continues to grow and deepen. Unfortunately, the Silesian church, the only one of the ELCA's 135 companionships to do so, terminated the relationship in response to the 2009 Churchwide Assembly actions on sexuality.

December 7, 2010

Tanzanian Journey: Inside Graduation Day 2

A report on the first graduation at Sebastian Kolowa University College in Tanzania, from our representative, Susan Pursch, chair of the SEPA SEKUCo Committee.

December 6, 2010

SEKUCo’s First Class: A Tanzanian Journey 2

Susan Pursch, chair of our Synod's SEKUCo Coordinating Committee, traveled to Tanzania for the first graduation at the Sebastian Kolowa University College there. Read more to share her observations from the journey...

November 3, 2010

SEKUCo to Graduate First Class

On Dec. 4, our companion Tanzanian diocese's Sebastian Kolowa University College (SEKUCo) will graduate its first class of 135 students. Thanks to generous support from individuals and congregations in the Southeastern PA Synod, the university has expanded, with more than 1,300 students enrolled this fall.

September 8, 2010

One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism, One People

"The opportunity to bring the Word of God and to baptize in the name of the Triune God in a place far away, to a people foreign to my culture, in a language not my own, was one of the highlights of my call as a pastor and a bishop," Bishop Burkat writes about her recent safari to visit our compaion synod in Tanzania. "This was truly a time when distance narrowed, offering a glimpse into God’s amazing grace!" Click to read the Bishop's message and a diary of the journey.

September 8, 2010

Tanzania Safari 2010

As I reflect on my journey (safari) in the day-to-day account that follows, I hope you will sense the great privilege it is to be joined by Christ to this diocese, and that you will see in the lives and witness of the people, the great love of God in Christ that continues to be lavished on the world.

September 8, 2010

Video visit our newest companion congregation

Our newest congregational companion, Mikanjuni Lutheran Parish, is now connected to St Luke, Devon. From the bishop's travel diary: A band greeted us as we first were asked to sign the guest book and then were escorted into the very large sanctuary. Mikanjuni had for about 11 years been a sub-parish of Kana Lutheran Parish, companion to St. John Lutheran Church, Philadelphia (Mayfair). (Read more)

December 14, 2009

SEKUCo sees challenges due to rapid growth

The Sebastian Kolowa University College (SEKUCo), the college of our Tanzanian companion synod, now has 824 students. Most of those enrolled are in the special needs education program, which is the only one of its kind in Tanzania. Rapid growth, while welcome, poses some challenges for the new college, with many students needing off campus housing and the libraries and classrooms requiring expansion.