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2018 ZEAC and ZWAC Appointments

The Resident Bishop of the Zimbabwe Episcopal Area Bishop Eben Kanukayi Nhiwatiwa successfully presided over the historic two-day annual conferences in the Zimbabwe East (ZEAC) and Zimbabwe West (ZWAC) at Old Mutare and Murewa Missions respectively. Attached is the full slate of appointments.

Bishop Eben K Nhiwatiwa announcing appointments

Bishop Eben K Nhiwatiwa announcing appointments



Christmas greetings from Bishop Bruce Ough and the Council of Bishops


In a Christmas message to the people of The United Methodist Church on behalf of the Council of Bishops, Council president Bishop Bruce Ough encourages us to enkindle our longing for the birth of Christ in our lives.

Bishop Ough’s message follows:

Longing for the Savior
Bernard of Clairvaux, the great twelfth century abbot, once wrote about Christmas in his Sermons on the Song of Songs:

During my frequent ponderings on the burning desire with which the patriarchs longed for the incarnation of Christ, I am stung with sorrow and shame… Very soon now there will be great rejoicing as we celebrate the feast of Christ’s birth. BUT HOW I WISH IT WERE INSPIRED BY HIS BIRTH! All the more, therefore, do I pray that the intense longing of those men and women of old, their heartfelt longing, may be enkindled in me.

Confronted with an increasingly secular and commercial celebration – a Christ-less Christmas, if you will – it would be easy to sigh along with Bernard of Clairvaux: “But how I wish it were inspired by his birth.” We have even turned this sigh into a common seasonal lament, and at times seasonal protest: Put Christ back into Christmas!

But, the key to putting Christ back into Christmas is to enkindle or re-ignite or fan our heartfelt longing for Jesus, our hunger for the Christ to be born within us. This hunger is God’s gift to every human being. This longing paves the way for the second part of the incarnation mystery – Christ alive in our souls, our hearts, our inner beings.

The gift of Christmas can only be fully realized and joyfully received if we seek it.

Simeon pleaded to stay alive long enough to see the Messiah.
Mary opened herself completely to conceive Jesus.
The shepherd said, “Let’s get over to Bethlehem as fast as we can and see for ourselves what God has revealed to us.”
The Magi followed a star in search of the new king.
They each wanted the Savior. They each wanted to see and welcome Jesus. They each had a heartfelt longing for Christ in their lives and in the world.

Max Lucado, in his wonderful little book, “One Incredible Moment,” urges us to “Step away from puny pursuits of possessions and positions, and seek your king. Don’t be satisfied with angels. Don’t be content with stars in the sky. Seek Jesus out as the shepherds did. Long for Jesus as Simeon did. Worship Jesus as the Wise Men did. Risk whatever it takes to see Christ.” (page 102).

Every vital, healthy, fruitful congregation I have been privileged to witness, displays an intense longing for the incarnation of Christ. They enkindle this Christmas longing within their members and communities. It is this spirit of longing for and seeking Christ that undergirds our mission of making and equipping disciples of Jesus. It is this spirit of longing for and seeking Jesus that calls us to kingdom life – the radical and transformative reality which was inaugurated by Jesus’ birth.

Hebrews 11:6 reminds us that “God cares to respond to those who seek God.” Other translations read, “God rewards those who diligently seek God.”

This is the good news for us this Christmas. Be diligent in your search for Jesus. Be passionate in your quest for Jesus. Be ravenous in your hunger for Jesus. Be relentless in your journey to Bethlehem. Enkindle your longing for the birth of Christ in your life.

And, so I pray for each of us this Christmas:

Gracious and Holy God, the Giver of all good gifts; we seek but one reward – one gift –in this Christmas season.
Grant us hearts that will not rest until we rest in You.
Grant us hearts that long only for You.
Grant us hearts that seek only Your presence.
|Grant us hearts that will settle for nothing less than Jesus.

May God bless you, your loved ones and your congregation with a joyous Christmas and abundant hope for the New Year!

Bishop Bruce R. Ough, president
Council of Bishops
The United Methodist Church


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.

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