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Pastor Peter Harrits to preach on Global Mission Sunday

Peter-Harrits_St-Paul-Synod The Rev. Peter Harrits will join us as our guest preacher on Global Mission Sunday on April 19. Harrits currently serves as the Director of Bega Kwa Bega. Meaning shoulder-to-shoulder in Swahili, BKB is the name of the companion relationship between the Saint Paul Area Synod and the Iringa Diocese of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania. 

In this role, Harrits divides his time between offices in Iringa and the synod offices in St. Paul helping to facilitate meaningful companion congregation relationships, similiar to our relationship with the Nduli Parish. 

Made one in Christ

Harrits’ connection to Tanzania formed over a decade ago as he was serving as youth director at Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran  Church in Apple Valley. He led a group of youth and young adults to visit their companion congregation in Tungamalenga, Tanzania, a trip that changed his life. 

In an article by the Saint Paul Area Synod, Harrits said:

“After two weeks of living together and sharing stories of our hopes and fears, loves and losses, and the God who abides with us through it all, we gathered together in closing worship. There, along the communion rail, I observed men and women, Americans and Tanzanians, Maasai and Hehe, all kneeling shoulder-to-shoulder, breaking bread, and sharing wine. 

“In that scene I witnessed a picture of what the church could be, of what the church should be, of what the church is—a diverse multitude made one in Christ. In that moment I felt a stirring in my heart and began to discern a call to go and do likewise—to build connections across cultures and continents and to be part of knitting together the worldwide body of Christ. Following that call has taken me around the world and back again.”

Since his first visit to Tanzania, Pastor Harrits has 
  • Studied International Development, African Religions, Swahili, Globalization, Human Migration, and Christian Mission at Yale Divinity School,
  • Served as Country Coordinator for the ELCA’s Young Adults in Global Mission program in Malaysia, 
  • Developed an innate ability to use technology and social media to extend ministry and to share the stories of the gospel, and 
  • Learned to speak Swahili, Malay, Indonesian, and Spanish. 

Needless to say, we are incredibly excited for the other Pastor Peter to come and share his stories with us on Global Mission Sunday. Join us and help us welcome him to Christ the King on Sunday, April 19.

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