Karibu, Karibu, Karibu Wageni Wetu... This is a musical refrain with which countless travelers from Saint Paul have been greeted by their companions in Iringa. Paired with waving branches, jingling bells, and stomping feet, the words "Welcome, Welcome, Welcome Our Guests" usher weary travelers into a hospitable embrace - a physical manifestation of the One-ness we find in Christ. For many it is an overwhelming experience that remains with them for a lifetime.
Beginning next week, on Friday Nov 3, we have the opportunity to return the gesture as Bishop Blaston Gaville and his wife, Pamela Kasenda, arrive in Saint Paul for a ten-day visit with us. During their time here, they will experience the wide variety of ways in which the people of the Saint Paul Area Synod worship, learn about the different Lutheran schools and institutions that are a part of our public life in Minnesota, and celebrate thirty years of walking together as companions engaged in God's mission in the world.
While a complete listing of public events that they will be attending is listed on the synod website
, here are a few that deserve special consideration:
Thursday, Nov 9 - 'Bishop to Bishop: A Public Conversation'
The entire BKB community is invited to join Bishop Gaville and Bishop Lull in a public conversation about their perspectives on life and ministry in both Tanzania and Minnesota as well as the ways in which we might deepen our relationship with one another. If you are looking for an in depth conversation, you won't want to miss this. 9:30-11:30am at Christ Lutheran on Capitol Hill. More information and RSVP on the synod website.
Saturday, Nov 11 - 2017 BKB Fall Festival
Prayer is one of the central pillars of our companion synod relationship and this year's Fall Festival will give participants the opportunity to engage in experiential prayer stations, learn about Evangelism in the ELCT, and connect with others who have had their lives touched by our companions in Iringa. To top it off, Bishop Gaville has been invited to preach during our sending worship. 8:30am-12:30pm at Our Savior's Lutheran in Stillwater. More information on the synod website.
Sunday, Nov 12 - Annual Tanzanian Dinner
Prince of Peace Lutheran in Roseville will again be hosting their annual Tanzanian Dinner and they are throwing the doors open to the public. In addition to being a fundraiser for their companion congregation, this will serve as our public Farewell to Bishop Gaville and Pamela. 5:30pm at Prince of Peace Lutheran in Roseville. Email Caryn Josephson for more information and to RSVP (firstname.lastname@example.org
We trust that this will be a wonderfully-full experience for them and are grateful for your help in extending a great big Minnesota welcome!
The Rev. Peter Harrits
Director of Bega Kwa Bega & Assistant to the Bishop