Companion Synod Covenant between the South Andhra Lutheran Church of India and the Northeastern Minnesota Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
The companion synod relationship exists for the purpose of strengthening one another for life and mission within the body of Christ following the principles of accompaniment -- mutuality, inclusivity, vulnerability and empowerment. The relationship between the two church bodies offers us the privilege of participating in the life of another church through word and sacrament, 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 individual persons and as a community of faith. The companion synod relationship increases awareness of the global context of our mutual faith, is based on our unique Lutheran theological understanding of the Gospel and strengthens both companion church bodies for God's mission in the world.
Through the companion synod relationship, as partners in ministry, we will:
• be a part of the vision, life and mission goals of one another;
• be renewed and empowered in faith and in commitment to mission by one another's witness to Christ, learning from each other;
• be educated and challenged by encounters with one another's joys and sorrows; and
• encourage one another to participate in each others ministries through prayer, communication and exchange of resources and people.
As partners in ministry, we will:
• share with each other statements of vision and mission for greater understanding of the companion's unique context for mission and ministry;
• identify assets, gifts, strengths and needs of our respective churches and respond to them with mutual respect;
• continue to embrace and practice transparency and mutual accountability in our ongoing relationship as partners, learning from each other on our walk together in faith;
• be "walking partners" with one another as we pray for each other weekly and communicate regularly through email, newsletters, social media, and visits;
• exchange information and theological resources on a regular basis;
• maintain an "SALC/ NE MN Companion Synod Committee" as a liaison/communication/planning group in each church body as the primary contact between the two companions;
• strive to continue NE Minnesota Synod support for bachelor's degree seminary students from SALC with a special emphasis on providing theological education opportunities for women;
• continue to explore opportunities and discuss ways that the two church bodies can work together to grow into future collaborations of mission and ministry;
• coordinate with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) Global Mission division on funding and financial stewardship for mutually agreed upon specific projects;
• continue mutually agreed upon visits between the two church bodies; and
• review and update this covenant as needed as an expression of our developing relationship.
This agreement entered into at Tirupati, India, February 4, 2019.
South Andhra Lutheran Church The Northeastern Minnesota Synod of the Andhra Pradesh, India Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
Duluth, Minnesota, USA
The Rt. Rev. O. Michael Benhur, The Rev. Thomas M. Aitken, Bishop Bishop