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The year 2017 has provided great music moments sandwiched by unique historic storylines when it comes to the Mubvuwi weUnited Methodist Church (MUMC) Organisation.

The Zimbabwe East (ZEAC) and West (ZWAC) Annual Conferences both staged music festivals up to conference level, with Area festivals scheduled for next year and indeed both musicals lived up to their billing.

Not only was the music rich in creativity and industry, it was, thanks to two history defining moments that ensured 2017 was a year with a difference for the Vabvuwi society.

The Zimbabwe West Annual Conference converged in the City of Kings and Queens Bulawayo at the ZITF Hall 3 on October 15 for the festivals with 19 choirs making the cut for the music celebration.

The festival will be best remembered as the one that announced the renaissance of the Mabelreign (Revelation) MUMC choir who did more than enough to win both categories.

The performance was deserved, more so with their own choice delivery, a rendition of the hymnal Mwari wakati handikukanganwi, sung in Ndebele.
The United Methodist Church is in the final stages of unveiling a Ndebele Hymn Book with songs in the hymnal being aligned to the Shona Hymn Book.
For instance, the popular Mwari Mubatsiri wedu which is hymn 46 in the Shona version will also appear in the Ndebele hymnal as hymn 46.

About five choirs in the conference attempted Ndebele hymnals during the festivals, a historic feat for the church as it seeks to use the development as a tool for evangelism especially in the Bulawayo – Midlands District where the language is mostly used.

ZWAC Connectional Ministries Director Rev Vienna Mutezo hinted that upon the passing of resolutions at the Annual Conference, all MUMC Choirs in the ZWAC next year will be asked to do their own choice songs in Ndebele.
In the Eastern conference, debutants Southlea Park wrote a Cindrella story by being crowned conference music champions in just their first dance as a circuit at a festival held at Mutare Inner City on November 11.
Moments like these come once in a lifetime and Southlea Park truly announced their arrival on the big stage with a splash, beating 21 other choirs to the honours in the set piece song.

The choir proved to all and sundry that their win in the district musicals was no fluke as they showed composure and nerves of steel to sing at the very last ballot and won.

Own choice specialists Chitungwiza Circuit (St Stephens) won the own choice category.
The major highlight of the festivals was the colour brought about by the Centenary regalia worn by all the participating choirs.
Reminiscent of the pre Ebenezer Convention hype in 2014 where the RRW organization took the lead in marketing the occasion by drapping themselves in Ebenezer regalia in music festivals prior, the MUMC took notes and the application was beautiful.

2018 will be a momentous year for the Zimbabwe Episcopal Area, the MUMC in particular, as they will celebrate 100 years in ministry in massive celebrations to be held at the iconic Chiringaodzi camp site.
With that in mind, the ZEAC MUMC saw it fit to raise awareness of the event one year before by fitting regalia which chronicles the years in existence of the organization as well as the sub theme Mark 1 vs 17 : Mwari wakati nditewerei and the quadrennial theme , Therefore Go :Matthew 28 vs 19.

It just remains to be seen what 2018 holds for our church with such a historic occasion coming its way but one thing for sure is the MUMC have given a few ideas of what to expect.

Music, a component which the MUMC has used with evangelistic effect to popularize and position our church as a singing church in Zimbabwe and beyond our borders, will very much form part of the celebration equation with composers being asked to pen songs for the event.

After all is said and done, the 2017 MUMC musicals served its purpose not only to evangelise and give birth to new music champions but they also served as a good dress rehearsal to what 2018 will bring from both conferences as they will combine efforts to ensure the Centenary celebrations will be one to behold.

Bishop and Area Cabinet meet to Close the 2017 Business

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By Taurai Emmanuel Maforo – Cabinet Reporter

The Zimbabwe Episcopal Area Cabinet meets for the end of year meeting at Manna Safari Lodge in Harare which is being jointly hosted by Harare East and West Districts. The Area Cabinet brings into conversation the Bishop, Administrative Assistants, Connectional Ministries Directors and all the 13 District Superintendents.

The Cabinet meeting reviews the ministry done by the church in the year and looks at the finer details of the Annual Conference Sessions to be held at Old Mutare and Murewa Missions on 9-10 December and 16-17 December 2017 respectively.

The Zimbabwe Episcopal Area has high on its agenda the 2017-2020 Transitional Period in which the church has set its sights at the creation of two Episcopal Areas. Zimbabwe East and Zimbabwe West will have their own Bishops by 2020. In preparation of the new dispensation the Zimbabwe Episcopal Area has made remarkable progress in the construction of Head Offices – Zimbabwe West has already been completed while the Zimbabwe East HQ nears completion. Circuits and Districts have started making contributions towards the Episcopal Residences.


The Zimbabwe East Annual Conference UMYF Annual Revival was held at Claire Mission from 28-30 April 2017 characterized by joy, colour and moments to cherish in living memory.
Youths from the conference seven districts namely Harare East, Marange, Chitungwiza Marondera, Makoni Buhera, Mutare, Mutasa Nyanga and Chimanimani Chipinge turned the sacred Mission into a hive of activity as they packed the site for the annual meeting.

Proceedings started on Friday night with hosting District Superintendent Reverend Portia Kanoyangwa reminding youths that life is a journey worth walking with Christ by your side always. (Judges 14 vs 5-9 , Matthew 27 vs 52-53)
There was a solemn moment as the conference took time to pay tribute to the late student pastor Pastor Timothy Nyazungu, whose contributions in his short ministry were remembered.

Saturday was a roller coaster characterized by sermons from invited speakers with Reverends Bango and Ernest Kasambira taking centre stage in the morning sunshine.

Rev Bango preached under the theme NaJehovha Tinokunda, saying with God we can always prevail regardless of situations and limitations whilst Rev Kasambira told Christians if one has to follow Jesus, one has to deny oneself and in some instances, turn a new leaf.

Murewa UMP District Superintendent Rev Henry Chareka warned youths against compromising on their faith, adding that as we walk in trying times, God’s Word should make us bold.

A Holy Communion service led by Conference Connectional Ministries Director Rev Joseph Chimberengwa and a teaching by Conference Lay Leader Mr Simon Mafunda titled “The future of United Methodism lies in the young people of Africa” characterized the afternoon proceedings.

The night session had Rev Bango and Rev Kasambira returning for their second sermons with the new addition to the cast being the other invited preacher, firebrand youth preacher ,Forgive Marimbita whose two sermons moved the audience in the cold environs of Claire.
Marimbita’s messages revolved around Christians waiting on the Lord, putting trust in Him and establishing a relationship with Christ.

The musical interludes livened up the site with the Chitungwiza Marondera Praise Team bringing contemporary music to the fore whilst there was the presence of the legendary Harare MUMC Choir Vabvuwi who wowed the youths all night and left many asking for more.

For some, it was their first time seeing them perform and they milked the moment.

Both choirs were in top notch form and gave the revival the much needed vibe of grace.
The organization of the revival was excellent with the hosting Chitungwiza Marondera and Marange Districts sending advance teams two days before the event.

By the time the revival ended in the early hours of Sunday morning, the multitudes that converged at Claire had been served with life enhancing messages and music which to today still rings loud in their memories.
The Eastern Conference Revival was held concurrently with the Zimbabwe West Annual Conference Youth Revival which was held at St Mark Highfield Circuit.

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