St. Matthew is engaged in a mission program known as Companions in Christ which is made available through our Lower Susquehanna Synod of the ELCA. Through this program, individual congregations in central Pennsylvania are joined to a specific congregation in the Konde Diocese, Tanzania, Africa.
Over the years, our congregations have sent many supplies (i.e. medical supplies, education and worship materials, computers, etc.) to congregations in Africa. We have also sent money for various reasons (i.e. digging wells, providing motorcycles for pastors to use in their ministry, providing scholarships, to name a few). Visitors from Tanzania have come to Hanover, and some of us have had the opportunity to visit the African congregations.
St. Matthew’s assigned companion congregation is Itewe Lutheran Church. Itewe is a small congregation of 300 members but is growing quickly! Our own Pastor Kate Schroeder visited this congregation last June, and, partnered with St. Matthew’s Global Mission Team, in helping our members to develop a meaningful relationship with Itewe. In December, 2015, our congregation raised the money necessary to help Itewe build a corn/wheat grinding mill which will 1) provide a needed service in their community, 2) provide income for the parish, and 3) provide a job for someone to run and maintain it.
St Matthew is excited about the future of our relationship with Itewe!
I thank my God every time I remember you, constantly praying with joy in every one of my prayers for all of you, because of your sharing in the gospel from the first day until now. PHILIPPIANS 1:3-5 (NRSV)
St. Matthew’s Companions in Christ outreach is part of the Companion Synod Program of the ELCA.