The Kenya Evangelical Lutheran Church (KELC) Women Department accompaniment by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) is developing a Church Gender Justice Policy. The process has been on since March 2019 and will go until December 2019.
It is at the Public Participation stage involving female, male and youths of both genders in the LWF 40:40:20 ratio quarter system of representation. As a LWF member church we are using the 2013 LWF Gender Justice Policy as one of our sources. Participants are opinion leaders drawn from the grass-roots to share their views on the gender related issues as understood and practiced within their local congregations and communities.
The methodology applied in the forums is holding interactive meetings with the people, educating them on gender justice, group discussions & interviews, listening & observation, documenting the findings, analyze and reporting. The program involves: Climate setting involving self-introductions and getting the expectations of the participants, sharing the objectives of the workshops, introducing the Biblical and theological foundation of gender justice, educating and sensitizing on all issues around gender justice at global and domestic contexts and sharing key principles and benefits of having and practicing gender justice.
The facilitation and moderation of the process is done by a technical team mandated by the KELC Executive Council of 04.05.2019. The Campaign is coordinated by Rev. Catherine Ngina Musau accompanied by the KELC Secretary General Rev. L. N. Mwololo, the Youth Coordinator Mr J. Kapanga and the Women Dept. Coordinator Pw. Alice Mwaringa and others. Already this process has been done in the South Coast, North Coast and Kilimanjaro Church Districts reaching more that 150 participants and targets to meet 105 more people of the Central Deanery by end of July 2019.
By design the idea is to train leaders as ToTs in order to keep the gender justice campaign an ongoing discussion. This is a deliberate move to enable the program be rolled out to the grass roots. This eases the understanding, adoption and implementation of the gender justice policy by 2020. We are expecting its approval during this years’ KELC General Assembly in December.
We continue to appreciate the accompaniment of the ELCA our mutual partner in mission for
The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) is calling for two applicants from KELC to apply for the Young Reformers program. Applicants must be between the ages of 14 to 27. Check out the attached document for more information and all other application criteria.
Kisii Mission, in Western Kenya, is the latest KELC community to host a seminar to learn about women’s issues. In December, a delegation from the Women’s Department, together with their partners from Hope Foundation for African Women facilitated a 4-day workshop to discuss the topics of Gender-Based Violence, Female Genital Mutilation, Human Rights, and Economic Empowerment.
The facilitators used a new learning model called Popular Education (PE). PE engages all participants to collectively and critically examine their environment and everyday experiences, so that they can take control of their own learning and development. This style of learning requires a lot of active participation and discussion. PE is a new style of learning for many people in Kenya. The participants in the seminar received it with excitement. Each successive day more people came to the seminar, as positive word of mouth had spread through the community of the new and engaging presentations.
At the end of the seminar, participants responded that they learned about legal rights that they did not know they had, including rights concerning their health and their access to social services. Other participants shared that this seminar has inspired them to work together as a community to improve on the economic standing of the whole community, rather than letting jealousy divide them. Lastly, they learned that ordinary people can create change, even if only few resources are available. Together they can protect each other from gender-based violence and insist on their human rights, within their families and their communities.
2017 will be a celebratory year for KELC. In February we will celebrate the 25th anniversary since becoming an independent church. In October we will join all Lutherans in celebrating the 500th year of reformation. Both of these commemorations will be important for KELC and our members. To ensure that we are able to spread the message of these anniversaries, we held a seminar for all of our church leaders to learn and share ideas about the history of our church, the current situation, and our future as a church.
The first day of the seminar focused on the Lutheran Reformation. Rev. Luke Mwololo presented on the Lutheran World Federation theme, “Liberated by God’s Grace”. The participants than attended small group sessions on the 3 subtheme topics: Salvation- Not For Sale, Human Beings- Not For Sale, and Creation- Not For Sale. These subjects were presented by Rev. Luke Mwololo, Rev. Catherine Ngina, and Ms. Elizabeth Hendrickson, respectively. The day concluded with a session on the history of the reformation, led by Rev. Johnes Ole Meliyio.
The next day we continued our discussion based on the information presented the previous day. The participants were able to share their ideas on how these themes are lived out in daily life in Kenya, and within our congregations. Bishop Zachariah Kahuthu moderated the discussions and later provided inputs on the history and future of KELC as we reach this important anniversary of 25 years since independence.
We concluded our time together with the dedication of a statue of Martin Luther, as well as the planting of 10 trees, all within the compound of Voi Lutheran Guesthouse. We look forward to continuing to celebrate these 2 important anniversaries within Kenya and with Lutherans around the world.