Pictured above (in no particular order): Rev. Dr. Wakseyoum Idosa Negeri, President of the EECMY; Rev. Pereje Jemberu, Vice President of the EECMY; Rev. Dr. Berhanu Ofgaa, General Secretary of the EECMY; Tadelech Loha, women's ministry; Girma Borishie, Admin and Finance Director of the EECMY; Rev. Abraham Mengesha, President of the Central Ethiopian Synod of the EECMY; Deed Jaldessa of the EECMY; Rev. Dr. Albert Collver, LCMS Director of Church Relations; Rev. Dr. Joel Lehenbauer, LCMS Exec Director of the CTCR; Dr. Michael Rodewald, LCMS Africa Regional Director.
Today, 3 September 2012, we visited the headquarters of The Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus (EECMY) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The EECMY was founded in 1959 and presently has about 5.8 million members. The EECMY is generally regarded as one of the fastest growing churches in the world. In 2009, the LCMS signed a working agreement with the EECMY to see where we could cooperate. The purpose of our visit was to follow up on that agreement and to become more familiar with the people and congregations of the EECMY.
These leaders of the EECMY graciously agreed to meet us one day after the funeral of Prime Minister Zenawi. President Wakseyoum attended the Prime Minister's funeral on Sunday. The entire country of Ethiopia has been mourning Prime Minister Zenawi's death.
At the meeting the LCMS presented gifts to President Wakseyoum, including this red stole which was given as a special gift from President Harrison.
Martin Luther's Small Catechism translated into Amharic also was presented, along with copies of the Witness, Mercy, Life Together Bible Study. WMLT was well received by the EECMY as it is compatible with the EECMY's approach to wholistic ministry, chiefly that human care and social work needs to be done with Word and Sacrament ministry.
For the rest of the week, we will be visiting various synods (districts) and congregations of the EECMY.
After our meeting we had some famous Ethiopian Coffee and then headed to Saint George Orthodox Church.
Saint George Ethiopian Orthodox Church is an octagonal church built in 1896. It is a relatively small church that holds about 200 people. Shoes must be removed before entering the church, and there are separate gates / doors for men and women to enter. People with certain ritual uncleanness are not able to enter the church but must remain outside the gates until purified. The Ethiopian Orthodox Church has existed since Philip the Evangelist explained the Old Testament prophecies from Isaiah to the Ethiopian Eunuch in Acts 8:26-40.
The church is named after Saint George.
Christ defeated Satan on the cross.
The final judgement.
The archdeacon of Saint George's Cathedral gave us a tour. He was very interested in comparing the beliefs of the Orthodox church with the Lutheran "priests."
The archdeacon demonstrated the chanting of the liturgy in Ge'ez, an ancient South Semitic language that resembles Hebrew and was the original language of Ethiopia.
He also demonstrated the use of the drums.
When the drums are played the chanting is faster. This form of chanting has existed since the 6th century AD.
Tomorrow we visit EECMY congregations outside of Addis Ababa.
Posted 3 September 2012 by Rev. Dr. Albert Collver, LCMS Director of Church Relations.
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Location:Airport Rd,Addis Ababa,Ethiopia