People across the Southwestern Minnesota Synod have been holding in prayer our friends in the South Eastern Diocese in Southern Africa as it deals with overwhelming flooding in recent weeks. At the same time, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Southern Africa (ELCSA) has gathered in assembly and elected a new presiding bishop – and this is someone many here know well!
The good news is that Bishop NM Myaka, bishop of the South Eastern Diocese, was just elected to serve as Presiding Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Southern Africa.
Each of the 65 synods of the ELCA is partnered with a Companion Synod somewhere in the world. The Southwestern Minnesota Synod is connected to our friends in the South Eastern Diocese in Southern Africa. In that church body, a diocese corresponds to a synod here, and a circuit corresponds to a conference. ELCSA includes 4 diocese. The South Eastern Diocese happens to include 10 circuits, just as our synod includes 10 conferences.
Bishop Myaka has served as dean of the Umngeni Circuit and was recently elected to serve as bishop of the South Eastern Diocese. The Umgeni Circuit has related to the Crow River Conference, so Bp. Myaka has especially close ties with congregations in this conference, and across our entire synod. We will continue to hold in prayer our friends in the South Eastern Diocese, both as they continue to recover from flooding and now move to elect a new bishop in the coming weeks.