Sunday Worship Service in Namibia

Sunday worship service in a Lutheran congregation in Ondangwa, Namibia Photo by LWF/ J.C. Valeriano


On May 7, 2017 all participants of the LWF Youth Pre-Assembly where invited to go for service in three different churches around Ondangwa. I went with one group to the Ondangwa ELCRN church. When we arrived to the church music from a stereo was already playing and the church was decorated in red liturgical colours and with the reformation theme “Liberated by God’s grace”. I got a strong feeling from the congregation that they’re proud to be Lutherans and we sang a song: “My Father was a Lutheran, my mother was a Lutheran, and therefore I am Lutheran.” When we sang the song I myself felt the pride they were sharing with us.

In the service we were singing, dancing and clapping our hands. And as I’ve felt before in other African Lutheran churches I suddenly felt at home. This coming- home-feeling has gotten into me more and more during the whole Youth Pre-Assembly.

What made the church even more seem like a family was that one of the church elders was explaining to us what was happening during the whole service and presented the rest of the church elders in the congregation. Even we as guests were invited to present ourselves by name and country.

The ELCRN congregation of Ondangwa was very inclusive and when the bible texts were read in the service, they were read in four different languages: Afrikaans, English and two local languages.

The biggest part of feeling like home in this service was to share the Holy Communion together.

Together we were answering Jesus call: “Come to me!” as the pastor was preaching in his sermon.

My newest experience during this service was a song that was done before the sermon: “Get set, get ready, for Jerusalem.” It was so encouraging to move my body, sing and get prepared and motivated to sit down and listen to the sermon. It was also playful and both children and adults seemed to enjoy it.

After the service we were invited to share some food and a reformation cake. I’m so thankful to being able to take part in Ondagwa ELCRN service this Sunday. Thank you Ondangwa and thank you, Namibia!


by Ms Sofia Strinnholm, Church of Sweden, Assembly delegate