Christ the King’s Global Mission Team is excited to present Pastor Christopher Smith as our 2020 Global Mission Sunday preacher. A Minnesota native, he has served as a pastor in several Minnesota communities and has also taught at Luther Seminary and the Saint Paul Seminary School of Divinity at St. Thomas. He and his wife Mary, also a pastor, attended graduate school together at Harvard. Some years ago they accepted a joint call to serve at Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church in Apple Valley.
During Pastor Smith’s 19 years serving a variety of pastoral roles at Shepherd of the Valley, the church began and developed its long and rich partnership with the Iringa Diocese of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania (ELCT). He and his parishioners learned much about the country, and he led groups to visit Tanzania. The Saint Paul Area Synod then asked him to found and lead an affiliate of Bega Kwa Bega that would partner with the Huruma Centre Children’s Home, and “Friends of Huruma” began in 2017. He now divides his time between being the Volunteer Coordinator of Friends of Huruma and serving as an interim pastor for a local congregation.
Pastor Smith has visited Huruma Centre several times, working directly with its director, staff, and the children who are under its care. He also works with the Iringa Diocese of the ELCT. His role is to learn what the Centre needs to thrive, providing a safe and loving home and education for homeless children. He works with communities of faith in Iringa, in the St. Paul Area Synod, and beyond to gather the resources to accomplish those goals. Friends of Huruma also has a special partnership with the Evangelical Church in Germany, particularly in the Berlin area.
Here are some quotes from Pastor Smith, reflecting his passion for ministry:
- “Favorite aspects of my efforts are developing relationships with the children as they grow up and attend secondary school, as well as the satisfaction of planning facility projects, raising funds for them, and seeing them through to completion.”
- “The theology and philosophy of accompaniment, which grew up in the world of global missions, informs my life and how I think about my place in the world. If we live by accompaniment, we agree to pray for one another, offer support for one another, and mutually empower one another. This means listening carefully to the needs of the other and discovering with them how best to create a better world together.”
- “We live richer lives when we listen to one another, respect one another’s needs, and work together for the sake of mutual goals.”
- “Global commitments help congregations lift up their eyes and embrace the diverse and amazing world for which Jesus came and died. Congregational relationships with partners across the world give congregations a growing, loving heart for all people and reflect the love of Christ.”