Zion Lutheran to continue tie with Tanzanian diocese
MANISTIQUE – Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church in Manistique is one of 18 congregations in the Northern Great Lakes Synod to have a “companion congregation” in the Eastern Coastal Diocese in Tanzania. The relationship between Zion and Magomeni Lutheran in Dar es Salaam, the capital of Tanzania, originally began in 2002. Initially communications between the two churches was slow, brief and infrequent, but, as time went on, it was apparent a relationship had developed.
In 2012, Zion sent an invitation to Magomeni Lutheran, inviting them to visit. Last spring, a delegation from their church accepted the invitation.
Many beautiful sights were shared in and around Manistique, as well as those in Marquette, Munising and Newberry. After learning the professions and areas of interest of the guests, arrangements were made to visit those areas as well. Local visits included the Manistique Water Intake and Wastewater Treatment plants, Schoolcraft Memorial Hospital, Schoolcraft County Medical Care Facility, Emerald Elementary School, FutureMark –Manistique, Manistique City Hall, Northwoods Home Care and Hospice, State Savings Bank, Schoolcraft County Public Transit, School and Public Library, a local farm, Bethany Lutheran Church in Isabella and WTIQ radio station. Because the guests wanted to bring home gifts from the United States, shopping time was also planned.
Areas in Newberry and Marquette were also visited.
During their stay, host families provided housing, as well as showing the guests the local sites and serving local food. Visitors stayed with a host family for half of the time and then switched to a different host for the remaining time.
The guests were able to worship and participate in church services at Zion. They were greeters on two consecutive Sundays and sang Swahili songs praising God. Pastor Mwinuka preached the first Sunday and explained that they are in the process of building a muchneeded new church as they have outgrown the old facility.
Members of the Zion congregation and the local community volunteered in many ways to make the visit a wonderful experience.
Since the visit, Manistique parishoners have been invited to visit Tanzania.