Trinidad and Tobago
In Trinidad and Tobago, the ELCA engages in ministry ecumenically. Lutheran churches have a long tradition of working together in mission. This ecumenical collaboration means:
- less duplication of effort and costs
- more access to operational, on-the-ground expertise
- access to places where there are few or no Lutherans
- stronger, more effective ministry.
In Trinidad and Tobago, the ELCA works through the Caribbean Conference of Churches (CCC) . The CCC is the recognized Regional Ecumenical Organization (REO) of the Caribbean and one of the major agencies at work in the Caribbean today. CCC has been able to establish sound collaborative relationships with other ecumenical and development organizations on local, regional, and international levels. These include U.N agencies, The Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), the British Government's Department for International Development (DFID), and the Regional Governmental and States Bodies including the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) as well as different denominations present in the Caribbean.
The priorities of CCC are:
- Human Development defined as drug demand deduction, family life development, food security, HIV/AIDS response, uprooted people, and violence mitigation.
- Sustainable Socio-Economic Development focusing on poverty reduction, project development fund and disaster response and preparedness.
- Advocacy and Communications: this priority seeks to bring to the forefront public awareness the many critical issues facing the region's people and which indeed threaten to adversely affect various sectors of the society.
- International Relations: CCC is sensitive to the plurality of ethnicity, religion, language, culture and social institutions that compromise the Caribbean region. The CCC approach to international relations has been largely to collaborate with regional professional, institutions, movements that promote integration, etc. CCC seeks to represent views and value-bases of the CCC and its church communities at regional and international fora.
- Theological Reflection and Ecumenical Dialog: Theology has always been a fundamental element in the formulation and implementation of CCC's program, stressing that theology and development are intricately interwoven. In fact, CCC is the pioneer of the region's first Ecumenical Institute.
Churchwide funding through the ELCA Global Mission unit supports key priorities identified by CCC with a grant that provides assistance in the areas of administration or projects that enable the work of CCC in the priorities that have been identified. Also, the ELCA supports CCC with World Hunger funds that focus on the education and prevention of HIV/AIDS with a program in Jamaica.
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