Guyana, South America
In 1996, Fellowship entered into a partnership with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Guyana. Our mission and purpose: to create conditions for work and joint activities with and through the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Guyana, both clergy and lay, to support, enable and enhance their mission and service to congregations, members, friends and neighbors in their respective communities.
Since 1966 we have completed over 50 different trips with over 250 different individuals from throughout the United States. Some 45% of the participants have been from our congregation, the remainder being from other congregations and denominations. Over the years our teams have included medical, dental, construction, music education, youth, sewing instruction, computer installation, computer skills training, clothing bank, literacy training and mental health consultation/education. Special projects have included the Clergy Car Project, Reformation Parish River Video Evangelism, Education Support for Clergy Children, Reformation Boat Project (St. Paul Lutheran Church, Renwick, Iowa), Clergy Family Medication Support, Financial Support for Graduate Clergy Education and re-introduction of the Guyana Music Festival serving the community at large.
In 1999 Vicki Smith, Director of Music Ministries here at Fellowship Lutheran Church, traveled to Guyana to explore the possibilities of facilitating music as a part of our Partnership. With the strong tradition of the importance of music since the 1500s starting with Martin Luther, it was natural to also emphasis music along with other Partnership activities. Out of that exploration we have had 12 music teachers in Guyana (mostly from St. Olaf College, Northfield, MN, and also from Wartburg College, Waverly,IA).
MUSIC EDUCATION PROGRAM
We are very pleased to have May 2010 St. Olaf graduates Eric Sayre and Michael Murchison in Guyana for 5 months, a “first” for the program in that other teachers could spend generally 8-10 weeks. Eric and Michael are in Guyana from January to June 2011! With early planning and hard work, they have also shipped used, donated instruments that will provide instrumental opportunities for many youth in Guyana. Through this “instrument library”, the instruments will be loaned out for use. They are involved in both the Berbice/New Amsterdam as well as the Georgetown/East Coast Demerara areas.
For more information about Guyana Missions, contact Chuck Worrell
MUSIC ARTS FESTIVAL
The Guyana Music Teachers Association is actively at work as planning continures for the next event. The Music Teachers Association and the Fellowship Lutheran Church Partnership with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Guyana re-established a wonderful and time-honored tradition of Music Festivals when the 2009 Music Arts Festival was successfully completed!
World Mission Week. World Mission Sunday is held in September at Fellowship Lutheran Church. A special guest from Guyana will be attending to update us on the progress of the Lutheran church in Guyana. Check the church calendar for more details.
Construction Mission Team. Since the beginning of our relationship with the church in Guyana, construction teams have spent many days helping local pastors and lay leaders with construction projects and helping to improve church facilities.
Medical Mission Team. Dr. Jane Purser and many other physicians and medical professionals have made several trips to Guyana to offer medical assistance to local peopel as well as help Guyanese medical professionals improve their medical skills.