Journey to Colombia 2023

The delegation has returned from an intense and inspiring visit to Colombia.  They thank you for the many ways you have supported them on this journey, especially through prayer during the trip.  If your congregation is interested in hosting a presentation by one or more of the participants from this trip, please call the Synod Office at (780) 430-2636 or toll-free at (780) 439-2636.

Click here to view a video greeting from Pastor Natanael, where he gives thanks for the many ways the Synod of Alberta and the Territories continues to walk in companionship with the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Colombia.

Greetings from Soacha

Life and ministry on the margins of society are both challenging and spiritually fulfilling at the same time. For over 15 years, the beloved family and community of seniors at the Good Shepherd Center, have deeply touched and transformed my life and ministry! Here in the barren hills of Soacha where life is filled with so much challenges and struggles, faith, joy and gratitude abound.  Here we praise God together, we visit families in their homes, we eat together and we dance together. What a life-giving celebration for all of us!  Transforming gifts abound at the margins of society if we only dare to discover and embrace them.

God is so real here in Soacha where nothing is taken for granted! From the perspective of the theology of the cross, “God is most present where God seems most absent”. Thanks be to God for opening our eyes to see and our heart to feel God’s providing, healing and sustaining presence in places such as this!

We praise God for the Synod of Alberta and the Territories of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Canada and  all individual supporters, for your faithful, sustained and generous mission among these precious and beloved seniors of Soacha!

For stories of life-giving empowerment, click here.

December 20, 2022 – Greetings and Thank You from Good Shepherd Community Facility, Soacha, Colombia

2022 Annual Report – Fundacion Camino de Emaus

2021 ELCA Global Mission Directory

May 18, 2022 – ELCA Global Mission Newsletter

October 6, 2021 – Thank you from IELCO

June 21, 2021 – Learn about the Lutheran Evangelical Schools of Colombiaview the powerpoint here.

June 12, 2021 – Music, Prayer, and Missionwatch it here.

March 13, 2021 – An Hour of Prayer, Song, and Celebration in support of IELCO schools:  watch it here.

Our ABT Synod Project Support through IELCO (The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Colombia) 

In conversation and consultation with our Global Missions Companion Partner IELCO, three projects have been identified for financial support by the ABT Synod:

Caracoli: a community engagement and adult program via the Good Shepherd Community Facility and Programs, Bogota

Lutheran School Scholarships: supporting children to complete their education through the four IELCO schools in Colombia

Theological Student Scholarships: supporting theological education for leaders in the church

We appreciate fund raising efforts towards these projects from both individuals and churches.

For more information: IELCO Donation Appeal





ELCA Newsletter – Keeping in Mind Global Mission in South America – May 12, 2020

Companion Synod Covenant

Click 2018 STATEMENT OF COVENANT – English to see the Statement of Covenant between The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Colombia and The Synod of Alberta and the Territories of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada.

The Synod of Alberta and the Territories and (La) “Iglesia Evangelica Luterana de Colombia” (The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Colombia), also known as “IELCO”, are participants in a Companion Synod relationship as outlined in the “Statement of Covenant” that was first signed June 13th, 2003 by Bishop Steve Kristenson (ABT Synod) and Bishop Parada (IELCO). The Covenant has since been renewed by both parties most recently in 2021 by Bishop Larry Kochendorfer (ABT Synod) and Bishop Atahualpa Hernandez (IELCO).

This Covenant relationship is a natural extension of the traditional, long-standing connection that was originally established when Albertans such as Joyce Bergh, the Ostrem family and the Morck family pioneered mission outreach in Colombia beginning in the 1930’s and 1940’s. Joyce Bergh spent 22 years of her life in Colombia and is still remembered fondly by some of her former students who are now leaders in the Lutheran Church in Colombia.

International Global Consultation 2019

The Fifth International Consultation 2019 (November 6-10, 2019) was a blessing to strengthen global partnerships between Synod Companions and to help us think together as part of the faith community about issues of gender justice and migration which are important to all of us. This Consultation, held in Guatemala, included representation from Synods across the ELCA & Canada as well as churches in countries across Central & South America and the Caribbean. It was a heart, mind and spirit stirring week as we shared our stories, listened to one another, and began to see the weaving together of a beautiful community tapestry that is formed in faith.

In addition to being blessed by companionship with the Lutheran Church in Colombia, we in The Synod of Alberta and the Northern Territories are also profoundly blessed by our connection through them with the Southeastern Minnesota Synod ELCA and the South Carolina Synod ELCA. Leaders from these four areas have gotten to know one another better through this ministry and learned to walk and work together. We have been building trust in our relationships with one another as we seek to faithfully live out our calling to proclaim the good news of Jesus far and wide.

It is a joy and a true gift to work side by side with these leaders of Christ’s Church!

Bishop Atalaupa Hernández, The Lutheran Church of Colombia (IELCO); Pastor Mark Cerniglia, SC Synod Companion Coordinator for Relationship with IELCO; Pastor Mark Johnson & Kathy Chatelaine Southeastern Minnesota Synod; Bishop Larry Kochendorfer & Pastor James Hendricksen, Synod of Alberta and the Northern Territories.

September 2019 letter from the National Women’s Ministry of Colombia: