I’m at the Region IV Global Mission Consultation. The purpose is to brainstorm and strengthen our global partnerships. Each of the six synods in Region IV has one or two Lutheran synod elsewhere in the world.

1. Arkansas-Oklahoma Synod – ev Luth Ch of Tanzania
2. Nebraska Synod – Ev Luth Ch of Tanzania, Northern Diocese and the Ev Luth Ch if Argentina and Uruguay 3. Central States Synod (Kansas and Missouri)
4. Northern Texas-Northern Louisiana Synod – Evang Luth Ch of Sierra Leone 5. Southwestern Texas Synod – Ev Luth Ch of Costa Rica
6. TX-LA Gulf Coast Synod – Ev Luth Ch of Peru and ELC of the Central African Republic

Each synod has three people here – those who are working closely with these global partnerships in their synod. There are two here from the churchwide office in Chicago. I don’t usually come, since Assistant to the Bishop Peggy Hahn handles our global partnerships. But since this meeting was held on our turf, at Lutherhill, I came as host bishop.

The conversations have been helpful. We’re learning from one another, discussing the challenges of the money and power differential, how we send personnel, how we do medical missions, how we do child sponsorship, how we do trips, how we communicate across geographical, technological, cultural and language divides, how we manage congregation-to-congregation relationships, conflicts and so on.

It’s a bright, energetic, passionate, highly-committed, forward-thinking group of people. I love hanging out with people who love the world.