Kidewa Parish is located in the Northeast District of the Iringa Diocese, past Ilula, near the village of Image. It is the last parish before one climbs the mountains to Ilambo. Where the road to the secondary school veers left, you take a right and head East for about four kilometers and then you'll be there.
Our Redeemer Lutheran is located in the South Central Conference of the Saint Paul Area Synod - a stone's throw away from Maplewood. East of Lake Phalen on Larpenteur Avenue, the congregation is in the Northeast Corner of the city of Saint Paul.
Later this summer, the two will become the newest companion congregations in the Bega Kwa Bega companion synod relationship. Mungu akipenda... God willing, of course.
In July, Pastor Karsten Nelson, his sister, and his daughter will travel with a delegation from Prince of Peace Lutheran in Burnsville. They were invited by leaders of Prince of Peace to "come and see" what this relationship is all about. They will follow the group to meet Prince of Peace's companions in the mountainous village of Ilambo. And then they will split off for some time, heading back down the mountain to meet the people of Kidewa, walking beside one another and exploring the possibility - together - of becoming 'official' companions.
Already the people of Our Redeemer are getting ready to meet these new global neighbors. From taking introductory photos to designating a portion of the proceeds from their recent garage sale toward ministry in Tanzania, they are getting ready to send their Pastor as an ambassador on their behalf. A year or two down the road, they hope to send a delegation of their own to build upon the relational foundation that is just now being laid down.
There is much to celebrate... This is all good news!
I'm excited for the people of Kidewa (one of about thirty DIRA congregations with no current partner in Saint Paul) as they prepare to receive these guests. I'm excited for the people of Our Redeemer as they live into an understanding of God's mission as a journey undertaken by many - both near and far. I'm likewise excited for the people of Prince of Peace, who took a risk and invited others to join in a relationship that has been life-giving and meaningful for so many.
There is much to learn here. If you ask me, this is how we grow and this is how God's peaceable kingdom expands: Walking together, one by one and two by two, sharing life -together - in Christ.
All thanks be to God,
The Rev. Peter Harrits, Director of Bega Kwa Bega and Assistant to the Bishop