Sunday, 11 June 2017

South African connection in the north of Sweden

Newly ordained deacon Linda Jele with her parents, Moses and Eivor - and me.
This weekend I represented Church of Sweden Institute for pastoral Education at the ordination of one deacon and five priest in Luleå Diocese, in the north of Sweden. I have taught a few of them. Among them the deacon, Linda Jele. Her father is from Machadodorp (eNtokozweni) in Mpumalanga, South Africa. I was very happy to be able to greet him in IsiZulu. His name is Moses Jele and he comes from the Swedish Alliance Mission. He has lived in Sweden many years but was back in South Africa a few years as Rector of the Phumelela Bible College (PBC) in White River. We know quite a lot about the Swedish Alliance Mission (SAM) after our ten years in Aneby (in the south of Sweden). A close relative of our daughter’s best friend had been a missionary of the SAM to South Africa. Her name is Barbro Fritz. So I was aware that the SAM operated in that part of South Africa. Today the PBC is run by the Alliance Church in South Africa (TACSA).

Linda Jele has already worked a few years in Piteå Parish. I lived in that Parish when I was younger. From 1970-73 I attended school in Långträsk. Grade 4-6. Linda will now continue her work as an ordained deacon.
Tommy, Joel, Rebekca, Bishop Hans Stiglund, Johannes, Linda and Gustav.
Luleå Diocese also got five new priests. One of them, Joel Wadström, will work within the Swedish Evangelical Mission (SEM) an independent organization within the Church of Sweden. The others will work within different parishes of Luleå Diocese, Church of Sweden. One of them, Rebecka Folkesten, studied at Johannelund School of TheologyJohannes Lindsund studied at our institute, on our campus in Lund, in the south of Sweden. Gustav Frosteblad and Tommy Persson were two of my students at our institute in Uppsala.

I enjoyed being part of this joyous occasion. In two weeks’ time I will participate in an ordination service of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Southern Africa (ELCSA). Will I then meet someone from Luleå?

In Luleå Cathedral I always make a stop at the triptych by Mats Risberg:
Tree of life (sometimes called: Our neighbour in the world).
The artist was inspired by Matthew 25:40.
And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one
of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’

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