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Monthly archive for October 2016

ZWAC holds successful MUMC music festival

Harare Innercity are the ZWAC MUMC Set Piece and Own Choice winners. Photo by Eunice Kadiki, HWD Communicator

Harare Innercity MUMC are the 2016 ZWAC Set Piece and Own Choice winners. Photo by Eunice Kadiki, HWD Communicator

By Eunice Kadiki

MUREWA, ZIMBABWE – The Zimbabwe West Annual Conference (ZWAC) Mubvuwi weUnited Methodist Church (MUMC) choir festival was held at Murewa High School on October 15, 2016. Twenty two choirs took part in the event which was held in the school hall.

Mabelreign South MUMC choir placed 3rd in the Set Piece. Photo by Eunice Kadiki, HWD Communicator

Mabelreign South MUMC choir placed 3rd in the Set Piece. Photo by Eunice Kadiki, HWD Communicator

The MUMC choirs are required to sing two hymns from the Ngoma (the UMC hymn book) – an Own Choice song and a Set Piece. MUMC circuit choirs are free to select a song of their choice for the Own Choice piece. However, the Set Piece is selected by the ZWAC Music Directors. The 2017 Set Piece has already been selected!

Harare Innercity MUMC placed first in both the Own Choice and the Set Piece. Notably the largest choir on the day, the Innercity choir made their voices count to their advantage. The choir was not only “well-oiled” but very smartly dressed too.

Dzivaresekwa - St Dorcas represented HWD. Photo by Eunice Kadiki, HWD Communicator

Dzivaresekwa – St Dorcas represented HWD. Photo by Eunice Kadiki, HWD Communicator

Six choirs from Harare West District (HWD) participated in Murewa. These are Mabelreign South, Innercity, Kuwadzana, Dzivaresekwa – St Dorcas, Granary and Tynwald.

Mabelreign South circuit who had picked ballot number 1, were the other winner from HWD. They placed third in the Set Piece.

Choirs from HWD were well-organised and constituted most of the choirs who sang with the MUMC organisation’s presidents – the pastors. The Dzivaresekwa choir sang with Pastor TE Maforo, Kuwadzana choir sang with Rev Muzori and Granary choir sang with Rev Hoto. Rev Muzori and Rev Hoto are female pastors. HWD were the only district that had female pastors who sang with and in the male choirs. Well done to HWD for leading and setting the “right” trends which other choirs may want to emulate.

Kuwadzana MUMC had Rev Muzori (in collar and blue shirt), a female pastor, as part of their choir. Photo by Eunice Kadiki, HWD Communicator

Granary MUMC sang with their president, Rev Hoto. Photo by Eunice Kadiki, HWD Communicator

Granary MUMC sang with their president, Rev Hoto (far right in collar and red shirt). Photo by Eunice Kadiki, HWD Communicator

The ZWAC MUMC music competitions paid tribute to two of the directors – Richard Chitiyo and Ernest Mupfunya, and ZWAC Lay Leader Diana Chideya – who passed away this year. Candles were lit at the beginning of the festival, in their memory. Rev Kelvin Mwandira is the acting ZWAC music director.

Tynwald were "small" in numbers but big on talent. They placed 7th for Own Choice and 5th for the Set Piece. Photo by Eunice Kadiki, HWD Communicator

Tynwald were “small” in numbers but big on talent. They placed 7th for Own Choice and 5th for the Set Piece. Photo by Eunice Kadiki, HWD Communicator

The MUMC conference festival was well-funded and organised and this seems to be mainly because of the many sponsors who donated funds and trophies towards the winners. The venue was well-adorned – inside and outside – with sponsors’ banners. Every participant walked away with a 2kg bag of maize seed form Seed-Co. Sponsors who were mostly from HWD, included; Seed-Co, Dezign Aluminium & Glass, Black Granite, Tracparts, STC International, Cool Wisely, Aluminium Design and Nic Mart.

Congratulations to the ZWAC MUMC executive for organising a successful music festival. Other organisations and conferences within the UMC can learn a lot from how the ZWAC MUMC festival was organised.

Church pays tribute to Mark Conard…the Chabadza Ambassador

By: Taurai Emmanuel Maforo                                                    

Oct. 25, 2016 ZIMBABWE, Harare. The message of the death of the Rev. Mark Conard spread like veld fire around the United Methodist Connection, particularly on social media as pages of individuals, churches and conferences shared the sad notice. Mark was a friend and ambassador for the Chabadza program in Zimbabwe.

A memorial service held at Chisipiti United Methodist Church in Harare on Sunday 24 October followed. The Zimbabwe church held the memorial service in honour of the great work done by Mark or Mutendi as he was affectionately known. “Mutendi means someone who is a strong believer as Mark was…” said Simon Mafunda the Zimbabwe East Annual Conference Layleader. Rev. Austern Chepiri the Zimbabwe Episcopal Area Projects Coordinator concurred, “…Mark was a strong force in the Chabadza partnership.”

“Friends, many of you have been touched by Rev. A. Mark Conard’s ministry in the Great Plains and even beyond in our connectional and global church. Today we mourn the passing of our friend, brother and pastor. Please, lift up in prayers Joyce, Mark’s children, their spouses and grandchildren” said Kalaba Sanda Chali on his Facebook page. Chali is the Mercy and Justice Coordinator for the Great Plains Conference.

Charity Mukandi one of the Zimbabwe families that hosted Mark Conard on his trips wrote on her Facebook page “I have received with profound sadness and deep grief the sad news of the passing away of Rev Mark Conard may your soul Rest in Eternal Peace”

“(Mark was) A humble and visionary servant of the most high. He has lots of family in Zimbabwe. He is a loved man, hardworking and honest. May your great Soul Rest in Eternal Peace! You will be greatly missed. Gamba rerudairo! Fambai zvakanaka Baba” said Rev. Lloyd Nyarota. Such condolence messages continued throughout the day.

For the Zimbabwean church the loss gripped all those who ever came into contact with him. “Indeed we have lost a dear devoted friend, Mark Cornard” said Rev. Alan Masimba Gurupira the Administrative Assistant to Bishop Nhiwatiwa.

Mark’s ministry will forever be etched in history pages of the Zimbabwe Episcopal Area as a centre piece in the Chabadza initiative. Rev. Gurupira summarised his involvement with Zimbabwe as follows;
• He was the pillar of strength in the partnership between Zimbabwe East Annual Conference (ZEAC) and the Great Plains Conference
• He visited Zimbabwe on several occasions becoming the Ambassador for the local churches presenting the needs of the people of Zimbabwe to partners in the USA.
• He was present at the Mega event in the Zimbabwe Episcopal Area, the 2014 Ebenezer Convention and took part in the celebrations
• He assisted in the fund raising programs for Chabadza, selling wares from Zimbabwe to congregations in the Great Plains Conference. His wife, Joyce was always by his side doing this benevolent work.
• At the 2016 Great Plains Annual Conference he was awarded a silver plaque by the ZEAC, Zimbabwe Episcopal Area in honour of his tireless efforts in this ministry. As a joyful giver he was, he gave to each of the Zimbabwe Episcopal Area visiting delegation a Bible.

Making Ties

Mark visited Zimbabwe in 2007 as part of the delegation to United Methodist Communication Boards that met at Africa University. From that meeting he established solid connections with his Zimbabwean counterparts.

“I met Mark in 2007 when for the first time a UMC general agency body met outside the USA. He was a member of the United Methodist Communications Boards that met at Africa University” said Rev. Lloyd Nyarota who was the then Communication and Projects Coordinator for Zimbabwe Episcopal Area.

“We had great talk and connected at once we initiated the Chabadza partnership of the then West Kansas now part of the Great Plains Conference with the Zimbabwe East Conference. We first connected his Church with Streamview UMC where I used to attend Church.”

Reporting in his own words to the Mercy and Justice Department in his District, Mark Conard stated, “I have been involved with the Zimbabwe Partnership from its beginning. I visited Zimbabwe in 2007 as a member of the General Commission on Communications and became acquainted with some of the leadership, especially in the Mutare District.”

The determined Mark geared up with the establishment of a relationship between the clergy of the Mutare District and the clergy of the Hutchinson District. The Rev. Tazvionepi Nyarota and the Rev. Rick Saylor were the superintendents at the time, and Mark described their leadership as “essential”.

“This began with sending an offering in December 2008 as well as sending a video clip of Hutchinson District clergy singing Christmas songs (in Shona!)” he added.
Efforts were then made to partner churches or circuits in the two districts. Eventually there was an interest at the conference level, and a team was sent by the Kansas West Conference to see how a partnership between the two conferences might work.

“In turn, Bishop Eben Nhiwatiwa (and Greater) visited the Kansas West Conference. This resulted in the Chabadza partnership being established in 2010. Among other things, it was Bishop Nhiwatiwa’s idea for the partnership to be established on a district-to-district basis” Mark recalled.

The Chabadza Connection

Chabadza is a philosophy espoused by Bishop Eben Kanukayi Nhiwatiwa which implies that one gets support from others while they are also found doing something. It is within the strength of this vision that connections between Zimbabwe and sister conferences in the wider UMC have been sustained.

Chali said Mark’s involvement has been significant in a number of projects done in the Chabadza spirit since signing of the partnership in 2010.
“Mark played a significant role in our fundraising efforts to support the ZEAC Conference Office Building. Advocated support for ZOE ministry in Zimbabwe, the Fairfield Homes, and the Communication Centre at the Zimunya Skills Centre.”

“Through his leadership, the Great Plains and the Zimbabwe United Methodist partnership worked together to learn from each other. The partnership moved from transactional to relational with people, both clergy and laity itinerating in both conferences to share what God has been doing in Zimbabwe, Kansas and Nebraska.”
In addition, “Mark ignited some collaboration between St. Paul School of Theology and Africa University and United Theological College in Zimbabwe.”

Last year, I worked with Mark to create a geographically diverse group of eight persons to serve on the Great Plains Chabadza Leadership Team, which Mark led until his stepping down last June.
Many have described Mark’s shoes as those very difficult to fit in.

Outreaches alleviate hunger, reach the world

The handicapped of Nyabira community received maize meal and clothing from the UMC Church and Society committee

The UMC Church and Society committee hand over maize meal and clothing to the handicapped of Nyabira community. Photo by Eunice Kadiki, HWD Communicator

By Eunice Kadiki
HARARE, ZIMBABWE – “God’s workmanship becomes evident in the lives of Christians as they step out of their comfort zone to provide Outreach ministries to needy circuits”. – Connectional Ministries Executive Summary/ HWD 2016 Conference Report

The Harare West District (HWD) has held outreaches in Granary on March 19, Domboshava on April 23, at Darwendale from May 13-15 and at Nyabira from October 19-23. Donated food items and clothing were given to communities in these areas.

The HWD district is the first district to “Therefore Go . . .” by not only preaching the word during crusades but by donating food and clothing items. Thereby helping in alleviating hunger in the communities within the district.

The District also partnered with the UMC (United Methodist Church) Dental Unit, the Cancer Association of Zimbabwe and Population Services International in providing FREE primary health and dental care, and counselling services. Free blood pressure checks were also carried out by medical personnel who are members of the UMC.

These initiatives were greatly appreciated and supported by not only the communities in which they were held, but also by local leaders and chiefs.

When the Government declared a state of emergency due to the effects of drought in Zimbabwe, circuits in HWD responded to the need. HWD circuits of the UMC donated and contributed 15 tonnes of maize and maize meal. The value of the maize and the maize meal was $6 500. The Rushinga “Drought food distribution programme on July 24 was the initial step in assisting disadvantaged communities within areas served by the District’s circuits.” Three hundred and forty three families were assisted with a 50kg bag of maize each or 40kg mealie meal.

An article written by Pastor TE Maforo on the Rushinga programme, was published by the United Methodist News Service and on the website, and literally “reached” the world. The article has been twitted and shared on social media. The article initiated responses from various individuals and organisations, some who have offered to partner with the District when they next embark on a similar food relief exercise.

The Muzarabani mission area is set to benefit next.

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