Whereas, The Great Commission (Matthew 28: 16-20) calls the church to baptize, teach, and proclaim the Gospel, and 1 John 3:17 encourages us to assist our brothers and sisters in need and then further exhorts us to not just say that we love each other but to really show God's and our love by our actions; and

Whereas, the companionship between the NW Ohio synod and the Dodoma Diocese is one of mutual understanding and support through prayer, exchanges of people, and the sharing of resources; and

Whereas, The NW Ohio Synod of the ELCA has been a long time companion of the Dodoma Diocese of the ELCT; and

Whereas, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania is the fastest growing denomination in Tanzania, and more specifically in the Dodoma Region; and

Whereas, the pastors, evangelists, parish workers and other church workers provide leadership in evangelism, teaching, preaching, and administering the sacraments in the proclamation of the Gospel, but they are often are not paid their salary because of the abject poverty of many of the people, especially in the rural areas where most of the people live and where subsistence agriculture is the primary means of making a living; and

Whereas, this has created great hardship for the church workers and their families, including the need to raise much of their own food, and the lack of money for school fees, medical expenses, and other essential expenses; and

Whereas, all this results in discouragement among these leaders, and makes it difficult to recruit and retain qualified leadership in the Diocese;

Be it therefore resolved that the Northwestern Ohio Synod establish a special ongoing fund-raising drive to provide salary assistance for the Dodoma Diocese*, using the following means of raising funds:

    1. Ongoing appeal for emergency assistance funds as an item on the Global Mission Remittance Form
    2. Invitation to the pastors of our synod to make an annual contribution to support their colleagues in Dodoma Diocese, focusing on the annual pastors’ retreat at Saw Mill Creek as the time to make the commitment.
    3. Special offering for salary assistance at the time of the annual Companion Synod Sunday shared worship time.

And be it further resolved that the funds so raised would be disbursed in two forms with the direction and oversight of the Global Mission Board:

    1. Up to 50% would be sent as direct salary cash assistance through the Dodoma Diocese office. The direct salary cash assistance would be sent, as available, on a quarterly basis and would be disbursed by the diocese to cover unpaid salaries only. Accountability for the disbursement of these funds will be provided by receiving copies of the signed pay vouchers from the Dodoma Diocese office. Failure to provide the signed pay vouchers would result in the suspension of future assistance until accountability issues have been cleared up.
    2. The balance of the funds raised (at least 50%) would be made available for income enhancing projects grants for church workers in the diocese. Some of these might include the purchase of livestock for church workers through organizations such as The Heifer Project, and/or scholarships for church workers’ spouses to receive training at the Hekima Women’s Center, and/or LWF projects, etc. Procedures for applying for these grants from the Global Mission Board would need to be worked out in conjunction with the Diocese. In the event that a grant program cannot be arranged the balance of the funds would go for direct salary cash assistance.

And be it further resolved that, with the goal of providing encouragement toward and means for transition to financial independence for the Diocese through this salary support, there would be an annual review of progress and analysis of procedures, with a full review of the assistance program after five years.

Submitted by Global Mission Board of the Northwestern Ohio Synod

*As best we can ascertain, the shortfall in salaries for church workers in the Dodoma Diocese each year is roughly the equivalent of $42,000.

Passed by Synod Council May 1, 2004, for submittal to 2004 Northwestern Ohio Synod Assembly and approved May 21, 2004, by Synod Assembly.