Companion Synod

Central Diocese of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Southern Africa (ELCSA)

Within the global Lutheran family, the ELCA has bilateral "companion church" relationships with many national Lutheran church bodies. These global relationships are deepened by the ELCA Companion Synods Program, which connects 65 ELCA synods in over 120 international companion relationships.

The Metropolitan Chicago Synod’s companion synod is the Central Diocese of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Southern Africa (ELCSA). The Companion Synod relationship exists for the purpose of strengthening one another for life and mission within the body of Christ. It offers us the privilege of participating in the life of another church through prayer, study, communication, and exchange of people and resources. It opens our eyes to the global challenge that Christ offers us today and calls us to deepen our commitment and discipleship as individuals and as a community of faith.

Diakonia AIDS Ministry

Our synod maintains a strong partnership with our companion synod. Projects supported by the synod, include the Diakonia AIDS Ministry (DAM), and Project Education that assists students at Mapetla High School. 

Thumbnail image for women_companion.jpgAccompaniment: A Lens and Methodology for Global Mission
Accompaniment is a response to the changing context of global mission. For many years, North American and European church bodies established, funded, and directed mission around the world. Today, the churches they helped found are independent and self-governing. As a result, global mission is an endeavor shared by mutual participants in the body of Christ. Learn more on the Global Mission section of


Eersterust Education and Community Center Dedicated December 18, 2011

The Eersterust Education and Community Center was dedicated on December 18, 2011.  More photographs of the event are available here.

Letter from Bishop Miller read at the dedication -

Dear Bishop Phaswana and members of the Central Diocese:

Congratulations on behalf of the Metropolitan Chicago Synod, ELCA, on the dedication of the Eersterust Christian Educentre that will take place on December 18, 2011. I remember visiting in 2008 and hearing about the plans for this project that now, because of your faith, dedication, and perseverance, is now a reality.

I am glad that the synod was able to participate in helping to make this dream a reality with funds from Wilmette Lutheran Church (proceeds from the sale of their building), and other congregations. We are grateful for our partnership with the Central Diocese, and look forward to other ways in which we can share with and learn from each other. May God continue to bless this project as it works in the community - making God’s love made known in Jesus Christ a reality for a world desperate to hear of God’s grace, mercy, and compassion.

In Christ,

Wayne N. Miller



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