Dear Friends in Christ,
“Then people will come from east and west, from north and south, and take their places at the banquet in the kingdom of God” (Luke 13:29).
We are a part of a global church, drawn together by the Holy Spirit from east and west, from north and south, to be the whole people of God for the sake of the world. Global Companions of the Northwestern Ohio Synod include: The Slovak Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Augsburg Confession in Serbia-Montenegro, the Mexican Lutheran Church, and The Dodoma Diocese of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania.
On Sunday morning, May 7, I was blessed to participate in the Consecration of newly elected Bishop Christian Ndossa of the Dodoma Diocese of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania on the grounds of the Lutheran Cathedral in the heart of Dodoma. Church leaders knew that the Cathedral, which seats 1500 people, would be too small for the event, so thousands of chairs were set up under numerous tents.
The Service of Consecration began at 8:00 a.m. and continued into the early afternoon. The estimated attendance was just over 3000 people, while countless others watched the service that was broadcast on national television across Tanzania. The preaching was powerful. The liturgy was moving. The music led by several diverse choirs was inspiring. The Northwestern Ohio Synod presented Bishop Ndossa with a Pectoral Cross and a Bishop’s Ring. My role in the service was to bless the new Bishop’s Mitre and place it on his head with the Swahili words, “Kwa jina la Baba, na la Mwana, na la Roho Mtakatifu” (In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.)
At the end of the service, we were addressed by newly consecrated Bishop Christian Ndossa of the Dodoma Diocese, Presiding Bishop Fredrick Shoo of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania, and the Vice-President of Tanzania, Philip Mpango. A time of food and fellowship on the grounds of the Lutheran Cathedral followed the Service of Consecration. This was a sacred moment that I will remember for the rest of my days.
In the photo below I am taking part of the consecration of Bishop Christian Ndossa through prayer and the laying on of hands.