The Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Republic of Namibia (ELCRN) commemorated the 500th anniversary of the Lutheran reformation over the weekend.
In a two-fold commemoration, it also celebrated 60 years since the church's formation out of the work of the Rhenish Mission Church. The celebrations were held at the ELCRN Paulus Parish at Rehoboth, and attended by all six circuits, namely Windhoek, Mariental, Keetmanshoop, Usakos, Tsumeb and Otjiwarongo. Over 1 000 people, including President Hage Geingob and First Lady Monica Geingos, attended the event. According to retired pastor Stefanus Tiboth, the ELCRN grew out of the work of the Rhenish Missionary Society from Germany, which began working in the Okahandja area in 1842. The church was constituted in 1957, and named the Evangelical Lutheran Church in South-West Africa (Rheinische Mission). After Namibia gained its independence in 1990, the ELCRN took its present name.
Meanwhile, the ELCRN also celebrated the 500th anniversary of the Lutheran reformation, which was similarly celebrated in May by all member churches of the Lutheran World Federation (LWF).
The LWF has three member churches in Namibia - ELCRN, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Namibia (Elcin) and the Deutsche Evangelisch-Lutherische Kirche (GELC).
The Rehoboth celebrations started on Friday night with a welcoming worship service, while on Saturday, a family fun day was held and ended with a gospel show.
The celebrations ended yesterday with a worship service, where congregants received holy communion.
Prior to the service, congregants marched from the traffic lights at Woermann Brock to the Paulus Parish dressed in red and white, and led by ELCRN bishop Ernst ||Gamxamub, circuit deans and pastors. The sermon was delivered by bishop emeritus Zephania Kameeta, who said faith cannot be sugar-coated nor can it be manufactured.
Before the closing benediction, all pastors formed a circle and prayed for the President and his Cabinet.