First Lutheran was the ceremonial site for the renewal of vows between two South Sudanese members who, as young people, sought safety in United Nations refugee camps in Ethiopia during wartime. Their love for one another grew and they were officially married in a civil ceremony in 2003 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. At that time, it wasn’t possible for them to participate in very important Nuer wedding traditions or to be married in a church. Their desire to have their marriage recognized in Nuer culture and to celebrate with their community and three children has always been important to them and this past Saturday the vows spoken 19 years ago in Ethiopia were finally made official in Nuer culture.
Preparations for the official uniting of the two families began months ago in Ethiopia. The love of family, tradition and community are so strong in Nuer culture that wedding guests traveled from Canada and eight states to celebrate. It was an extraordinary day of worship, song, food, dancing and fellowship!
(First Lutheran is the host of a Nuer worship service every Sunday at noon in the Chapel. All are welcome to come and worship!)