Global Missions Ministry Team

Reaching out across the globe is an important outreach ministry of McFarland Lutheran Church. The Global Missions Ministry Team guides and spearheads our efforts here at McFarland Lutheran Church. The Global Mission Ministry Team serves at least three main purposes:

  • 1. to promote the global mission of the ELCA,
  • 2. to educate the congregation about global mission issues,
  • 3. and to enable McFarland Lutheran Church to participate in the global mission of the ELCA.

Though our global mission efforts you can make a difference across the world, get to know personally leaders of the around the world, and learn from other cultures. If you are interested in participating on our Global Mission Team, participating in the Mini-Global Mission Event or learning more about our global outreach efforts please contact our church office at 608-838-3184 or complete the Sharing Your Time and Talents form.

McFarland Lutheran Mini-Global Mission Event

The Global Mission Ministry Team was formed about 14 years ago. It was in the fall of 1998 that we held our 1st Mini-Global Mission Event, modeled after the much larger ELCA Global Mission Event. This exciting event is held annually, usually in October. It features speakers from different countries all around the world, missionaries, and local people who provide workshops on different aspects of Global Mission. Come and learn. Come and share your passion for global mission.

ELCA Global Mission Event (GME)

McFarland Lutheran Church encourages and supports its friends and members to participate in the ELCA Global Mission Event. Global events like the Global Mission Event help ELCA members receive the gifts of Christians and churches around the world.

The goal of global events is to equip participants to deepen their understanding of the accompaniment model for mission, which stresses mutuality and acknowledges that all members of the body of Christ are gifted.

For more about the ELCA Global Mission Event visit:


Pastor Jerry Pribbenow formed a relationship with Pastor Benson Bagonza while ministering in Wataga, Illinois. Pastor Bagonza began his studies in Chicago to obtain his Doctorate degree in 1998.

In 2000 Pastor Bagonza was elected General Secretary of the Karagwe Diocese, Kaganga, Tanzania. The responsibilities of this position forced him to travel often and for extended periods of time back to Tanzania. It was at this time that the Global Mission Ministry Team decided to move the Bagonza family to McFarland. Frida Bagonza had 2 years of college left before obtaining a degree in accounting. We felt our church community could better provide support spiritually, emotionally, and financially for their family if we had them living in our community. This is how our relationship with the Karagwe Diocese began and continues today.

In 2002 the Rev. Dr. Benson Bagonza was elected Bishop of the Karagwe Diocese, Evangelical Lutheran Church of Tanzania and installed into office June 2003. Bishop Begonza has returned to McFarland Lutheran Church to preach and teach a number of times. Likewise, a group from McFarland Lutheran Church has traveled on a mission trip to Tanzania.

Imani School

photo of children at the Imani School

About the year 2000 is when McFarland Lutheran Church was invited to begin raising money for a new elementary school to be built at Imani located in the Northwest part of the Karagwe Diocese. The building of this school began in late 2001. Fund raising for the school was a joint effort between MLC and St. John’s Lutheran Church in Eau Claire.

Each year a classroom was constructed until now there are 8 classrooms, a library, dormitories, teachers prep room, and a duplex to house teachers. There are about 230 students enrolled in the school. McFarland Lutheran Church continues to support the Imani English Primary School by providing tuition scholarships for about 35 students. We also provided tuition money for Bishop Bagonza’s daughters. Education of the young people in the Karagwe Diocese continues to be a primary objective of the Diocese and parents. As more children are educated there is a better chance for families to rise above poverty.

If you have an interest in learning more about opportunities to fund Tanzanian students, the construction of classrooms, or provide supplies please contact our church office at 608-838-3184 or complete the Sharing Your Time and Talents form.

Tanzania Donation Opportunities

McFarland Lutheran Church has partnered with Global Health Ministries, in Minneapolis, to send 3 shipping containers to the Karagwe Diocese loaded with supplies for the hospital, school, and the Bagonza Family. The members of MLC continued to support the Bagonza family and also raise money for the continued construction at the school.

If you have an interest in learning more about opportunities to minister to the people of Tanzania or to travel to Tanzania please contact our church office at 608-838-3184 or complete the Sharing Your Time and Talentsform.

photo of children at the Imani School


Here at McFarland Lutheran church we have a personal relationship with the Lutheran church in Liberia and one of its pastors. In 2004 William Boymah came to McFarland Lutheran Church to preach at the worship services. He formed a strong relationship with several members. At the time he was studying at Wartburg College in Dubuque, Iowa. After graduation he returned to Liberia where he is evangelizing the young men in his diocese. McFarland Lutheran has sent monies to be loaned to people with small businesses for purchase of sewing machines and cows. Bibles and Christian books have been sent. And we have provided a scholarship fund to educate young boys and girls in Liberia. McFarland Lutheran Church has provided the seed money to begin this project which is self-sustaining.

photo of children at the Imani School




Puerto Rico

Here at McFarland Lutheran Church we have a personal and ongoing relationship with the members of Reconciliation Lutheran Church in Puerto Rico. Every other year a group of around 25 people, high school youth and adults, go to Puerto Rico on a cultural immersion/mission experience. While there we do service projects at Camp Eduardo Roig (where we stay) or at nearby Reconciliation Lutheran Church. We become aware of the beauty of God’s creation and the interrelatedness of nature in the tropics by visiting El Yunque (the rain forest), taking in the natural wonders of Camuy Cave, and checking out one of Puerto Rico’s beautiful beaches.

More importantly, we immerse ourselves in the culture of this tropical territory of the U.S. by worshipping, working, and sharing meals with our friends at Reconciliation Lutheran in Levittown, a suburb of San Juan. It is there that we learn (or try to learn) how to dance – salsa, the Maringa, maybe even a tango. But whether we learn to physically dance or not, living, working and learning with our Spanish-speaking brothers and sisters in Puerto Rico teaches our hearts to dance with God’s love for each other and for all creation.

Our next trip is planned for March 24-30, 2012.

Flamingo Fandago Fundraiser

Flamingo Fandango

The Puerto Rico Mission 2012 Team is proud to reintroduce the Flamingo Fandango Fundraiser. The flamingos are a major source for raising funds for Puerto Rico mission projects.  The fun begins when you purchase the opportunity to flock someone’s yard with pink flamingos.  Be sure to stop by our table and sign up for the excitement. We still have a few available spaces for you to join us in Puerto Rico; if you are interested contact Mike Catterall at 838-8772.


As a partner congregation of the South Central Synod of Wisconsin, McFarland Lutheran Church’s companion synod is the Northern Evangelical Lutheran Church (NELC) of India. Together we learn from one another, pray for one another and provide money and support.

The NELC is committed to building a unified church, a serving church, a witnessing church, and a growing church whose mission is to fulfill the Great commission of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ to go, preach, teach, and make disciples. (Matt.28:19-20)

The NELC works in three states of North India -- Bihar, West Bengal, and Assam -- as well as mission work in Nepal. This has also meant working in several languages, including Santali, Boroni, Bengali, and Hindi.

Headquarters of the Northern Evangelical Lutheran Church are in Dumka, a growing educational center northeast of Calcutta. Theological training is provided by the Santal Theological Seminary, the only theological school in India in the Santali language. Theological education by extension (TEE) is being developed to provide training for local leaders in teaching, pastoral and sacramental ministry as well as offering continuing education to pastors.
The church's membership is diversified. Santals, one of India's aboriginal peoples, form the majority. A smaller Santal group and the Boros -- originally a Mongolian tribe but long in Assam -- and the Bengali comprise the rest of the membership. Most of the Santals, Boros, and Bengals have been kept poor by the successive ravaging of cyclones, flood, drought, and famine. Another group, of Hindu and Muslim origin, is the fruit of the Swedish Mission in Cooch Behar and the Norwegian Mission among Muslims. No other Lutheran church in India has such a richly mixed membership, nor has any other followed the leading of the Spirit with such apparent spontaneity as has the NELC.

The NELC has its main hospital at Mohulpari, as well as several health centers and community health programs. The Saldoha Leprosy Home and Hospital, founded in 1922 by the Danish Santal Mission, uses part of its campus as a training farm for leprosy patients (a project of the Lutheran World Federation Community Development Service).

The NELC has established a mission board and has active mission work not only among the ethnic groups which have been the traditional focus, but also work in Nepal and Bhutan.

The NELC is one of ten members of the United Evangelical Lutheran Churches in India. The UELCI is a member of the World Council of Churches and the Christian Conference of Asia. The UELCI carries out mission development in India, and has also become a member of the United Mission to Nepal.



As part of our global outreach here at McFarland Lutheran Church we help support missionary Rev. Charles Fredrickson in Japan. Rev. Charles Fredrickson serves the English-speaking Meita ministry of the Japan Evangelical Lutheran Church in Nagoya, Japan.

In addition to Charles’ salary, our financial support also provides housing, baggage shipment, pension, social security contributions, children's education, local transportation and international travel. We invite your prayers and your contributions for Charles and the Meita congregation and outreach programs.

photo of quilts made by the Piece Corps

Piece Corps Ministry

As a part of our outreach ministry at McFarland Lutheran Church a group of friends and members of this congregation gets together every Tuesday morning during the school year and makes quilts for Lutheran World Relief (LWR).

An LWR quilt is special! It brings warmth on a cold night, shelter from the sun on a hot day. It becomes a bed, a room divider, a backpack to carry belongings, and at times even a home.

Quilts distributed by LWR to refugees and other people in need are made by recycling blankets, fabric samples, remnants, or other new pieces of fabric. Each quilt is one of a kind, with a beauty all its own, made as a gift of hope by caring people. Each fall the quilts are displayed in worship and then packed and sent around the world through Lutheran World Relief.


Every year at McFarland Lutheran church we collect layettes for Lutheran World Relief (LWR). In refugee camps, hospitals, and villages around the world, gifts of layettes convey a warm welcome to newborns and their mothers.

You are invited to put together layettes to be shipped overseas. Include the following items in each layette:

  • Two shirts or Onesies® (or similar item)
  • Two gowns or sleepers (with or without feet)
  • Two receiving blankets
  • Four cloth diapers, flat fold preferred
  • One sweater or sweatshirt
  • Two washcloths
  • One bath-size bar (4-5 oz.) of gentle soap, in its original wrapping
  • Two diaper pins


Do not add other items or leave out any of the items listed. Gently used, clean items can be substituted for new ones. Wrap items in one of the receiving blankets and secure with diaper pins. Do not enclose the kit or any of its contents in plastic bags.


  • Sizes up to 24 months may be used. Consider varying the sizes of the clothing items so the layette will continue to be useful as the baby grows.
  • Sweaters may be knitted or crocheted from leftover yarn, or made from heavy double knits or fleece. Select a pattern that suits your skill level. Preferred styles have buttons or ties down the front.
  • A bolt of flannel can furnish a number of receiving blankets, diapers and gowns. A square cut the width of fabric (usually 36" or 45") easily makes a blanket. Diapers can be made by using a pinking shear to cut pieces 25" X 27" (note: this is a change in size from previous guidelines).
  • Use care when making blankets and diapers with flannel. It may be necessary to zigzag edges or sew a hem to prevent raveling.

LWR's approximate cost to handle and ship one LWR layette overseas is $1.10. You can make a difference by contributing layettes.

School Kits

Every year at McFarland Lutheran church we collect supplies for school kits that will be distributed by Lutheran World Relief (LWR). A school kit may provide the only supplies for children returning to school after the disruption of war. School kits help parents continue their children's education, even while living in a refugee camp, for example. A school kit may also be used in adult literacy classes.
Include the following items in each school kit:

  • Padded or spiral notebooks of ruled paper approximately 8" X 10-1/2" totaling 150-200 sheets (if using 70-count notebooks, please include three); do not include loose-leaf paper
  • One blunt scissors (safety scissors with embedded steel blades work well)
  • One 30-centimeter ruler, or a ruler with centimeters on one side and inches on the other
  • One pencil sharpener
  • Six new, unsharpened #2 pencils with erasers; secure together with a rubber band
  • One eraser approximately 2-1/2"long
  • 12 sheets of construction paper in assorted colors (if necessary, fold in half to fit into the school kit bag)
  • One box of 16 or 24 crayons
  • One sturdy cloth bag approximately 12" X 14" with cloth handles or drawstring closure (see below for downloadable patterns)


Do not add other items or leave out any of the items listed. All items should be new and in good condition. Remove any excess packaging and pack items in the bag, fold the handles over, and secure with two large rubber bands or tie with yarn. See a sample school kit wrapped and ready for shipping. Do not enclose the kit or any of its contents in plastic bags.

You and your family can make a difference by contributing school kits.

Health Kits

Here at McFarland Lutheran church we reach out across the world by inviting the members and friends of this congregation to put together health kits for refugees. People who must flee their homes quickly often do not have time to pack essential items. Health kits can help refugees maintain personal hygiene while living in exile. Items may also contribute to a new start for those who can return home.

Include the following items in each health kit:

  • One hand towel, dark color recommended
  • One washcloth, dark color recommended
  • One bath-size bar (4-5 oz.) of soap, any brand, in its original wrapping
  • One adult-size toothbrush in its original packaging
  • One comb, wide tooth preferred, remove packaging
  • One metal nail file or nail clippers with file attached, remove packaging (do not substitute cardboard emery boards for the file)
  • Six Band-Aids® (or similar brand), preferably 1/2" to 3/4"; secure together with a rubber band

Do not add other items or leave out any of the items listed. All items should be new and in good condition. Wrap smaller items in the washcloth; wrap washcloth and remaining items in the towel and tie securely with ribbons or yarn. Do not enclose the kit or any of its contents in plastic bags.

LWR's approximate cost to handle and ship one LWR health kit overseas is $1.10 . We invite you to put together health kits.

For information about Lutheran World Relief (LWR) visit:

Global Health Ministries

Here at McFarland Lutheran Church we collect surplus medical supplies from local hospitals and clinics and ship them to Global Health Ministries in Minneapolis,MN. These supplies are shipped to third world hospitals and clinics. For more information on Global Health Ministries visit:

ELCA World Hunger Appeal

For information about the ELCA Hunger Appeal and how you can help feed those in need click here:

ELCA Disaster Relief

For information on how you can respond to disasters around the world visit:

Circle of Love

Here at McFarland Lutheran Church we encourage the friends and members of this congregation to consider being involved in the Circle of Love program. This program based at Bethel Lutheran in Madison brings children ages 8—12, an adult chaperone, and translator from the Chernobyl region of Ukraine, to Madison each year. Families are needed to host young people and provide for their needs. A number of families at McFarland Lutheran Church have been a part of this wonderful ministry and incorporated these children in the life of this congregation. If you have an interest or would like more information about Circle of Love please contact our church office at 608-838-3184 or complete the Sharing Your Time and Talents form.

Hope 4 Kids International

Here at McFarland Lutheran Church we support one of our members who is actively involved in the outreach efforts around the world through Hope 4 Kids International. She has personally traveled to Romania and Uganda to help children there. The mission of Hope 4 Kids is to bring hope to kids in greatest need around the world through medical and dental care, dignity by providing practical things that kids need, joy through entertaining and bringing smiles, and by bringing Christ’s amazing love to each of them. We invite you to prayerfully consider providing items for children as the needs are made known.

For more information on McFarland Lutheran’s global outreach efforts please contact our church office at 608-838-3184 or complete the Sharing Your Time and Talents form.

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