unys-elczbannerThe Companion Synod Program is a concrete expression of the communion fellowship among the 140 member churches of the Lutheran World Federation (LWF). It’s also an exciting way to engage in global mission! The Upstate New York Synod has two companion synods: ELC-Zambia and ELC-Zimbabwe, each located in southern Africa. Companion Synod relationships embody the concept of accompaniment: walking together in service and celebration.

Our partnership with ELC-Zimbabwe matches congregations to parishes and the synod office to the national church. This relationship grows through mutual visits by lay and ordained leaders to and from Zimbabwe. Our congregations that are partnered with Zimbabwe parishes are encouraged to pray for one another and to share the gifts each has to offer. Sharing material gifts means a Zimbabwe parish can purchase altar cloths, communion supplies, choral music, or digital access to facilitate communication.

The relationship with the ELC-Zambia is newer, and is between the national church and Upstate New York congregations. In addition to prayers and communication, our congregations have collaborated to provide Kindles for pastors (pre-loaded with books for pastoral education, Martin Luther’s works, etc.) Congregations contributed to the purchase land and seed for sustainable rice farming and the building of a nursery school.