Evangelical Lutheran Church in Zambia
Who is the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Zambia and what are its ministries?
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Zambia (ELCZ), a member of the Lutheran World Federation, has about 5600 members in 30 congregations, and eight preaching points served by 14 pastors (three of whom are women) and 13 evangelists. The ELCZ is also a member of the Lutheran Communion in Southern Africa (LUCSA) and the Christian Council of Zambia. The ELCZ is committed to building a spiritually vibrant, self-propagating and self-reliant church dedicated to serving God and His people through preaching, teaching and service. In addition to congregational ministry involving people all ages, outreach and evangelism teams travel within the country.
How do the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Zambia and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America accompany one another in ministry?
Through the churchwide ELCA Global Mission unit, the ELCA relates to and is in bilateral relationship with over 80 companion churches and institutions. The ELCA Global Mission unit stewards a church-to-church relationship with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Zambia.
Churchwide funding through the Global Mission unit supports key priorities identified by the ELCZ, including leadership training, church administration, mission outreach, education, and diakonia (e.g., proclamation through service). The ELCA provides scholarships for theological training at regional seminaries and universities. One ELCA mission personnel serves in Zambia.
The ELCA also funds significant work in Zambia through the Lutheran World Federation (LWF), a global communion of 140 churches (including the ELCA) and 68 million people that is grounded in a common Lutheran faith. The LWF provides space for Lutherans from around the world to share joys, challenges, and expertise as they seek the healing of the world. ELCA World Hunger
funds help support the Department for World Service (DWS), the LWF’s relief and development arm, and the Department for Mission and Development (DMD), which focuses on holistic ministries through which the church participates in God’s mission to all creation.
In Zambia, the ELCA supports the work of the LWF Department for World Service country program in Zambia
. The LWF/DWS Zambia program engages in refugee work, HIV & AIDS awareness, integrated rural community development, and food security projects.Zambia: the context where the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Zambia serves
The Republic of Zambia, which gained its independence from the United Kingdom in 1964, has 12.2 million residents who speak English and over 70 indigenous languages. Between 50 and 75% are Christian, and between 25 to 49% are Muslim and Hindu. Only 1% of the population claims indigenous beliefs. A given Zambian can expect to live about 42 years; the HIV and AIDS rate is 16.5%.
Once one of the richest countries in Africa, it is currently one of the poorest. Because the U.K. focused primarily on the development of mining, to the exclusion of other sectors like agriculture, Zambia’s rural areas are still far behind in investment in infrastructure. Zambian farmers are paid little for their produce, and many farmers have migrated to the cities in search of jobs. Cooperation continues with international bodies on programs to reduce poverty, but Zambia has very high public debt. The unemployment rate is nearly 50%.
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