Our relationship with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Guyana (ELCG) began in 1997 and was formalized in 2000 when Bishop Pryse and Rev. Roy Thakurdyal, the president of ELCG at that time, signed a partnership agreement. In the early years there were several exchange visits in both churches; youth, women and church leaders. In recent years, however, the interaction has diminished to sending representatives to each other’s conventions.
In May of this year the Eastern Synod sent three delegates, Bishop Michael, Vice-Chair Laurie Knott and Rev. Riitta Hepomaki, assistant to the bishop, to the 75th Convention of the ELCG.
“I am extremely grateful to have had this opportunity to experience what it means to be the church in a different context. I found out that we aren’t that different! We are all people who want to serve our Lord, want to build relationships and engage with the people in our local communities,” says Knott.
She continues, “In Guyana, a country where many are without, I was impressed by the kindness, generosity and resilience of the people I met. Elocia Smith, secretary for the church, summed it up well. She said when you run into obstacles, you can fall down and turn into dust or you can choose to pick yourself up, brush off the dust and keep moving forward. Good advice for all of us!”
We were delighted to welcome Rev. Conrad Plummer, the newly-elected president of the ELCG to our assembly. He painted a picture of Guyana to the assembly by describing the multi-faith and multicultural landscape of his country.
President Rev. Conrad Plummer addresses the Eastern Synod Assembly.
While there are many challenges for the church in Guyana they are balanced with many blessings; resourceful people with a strong faith and boundless hospitality.
“During my time here I realized that we in Guyana may have something to offer you; a long history of multi-faith co-operation. We value the relationship” said Plummer “we want that relationship not just to continue, but to grow.”
—Riitta Hepomaki and Liz Zehr