WORLD FEDERATION OF METHODIST AND UNITING CHURCH WOMEN
SOUTHERN AND EAST AFRICA AREA
AREA SEMINAR REPORT: NAIROBI KENYA
We thank God for His faithfulness, we held our area seminar and weaving together program in Nairobi Kenya from the 25th – 30th November 2019, at the Methodist Resort and Conference Centre. Nine units from our area were represented. The pre-area seminar weaving together was attended by seven unit presidents and one UMC Kenya unit president as an observer.
The world president Alison Judd gave the opening devotion reminding us all that we are chosen people called to proclaim the wonderful acts of God and we are messengers of joy to the world. She gave each participant a knitted angel as a symbol of an angel in us bringing joy to the world.
On the second day of the program, the unit leaders were introduced to Ketso by the World President to identify priority actions for the area. The area officers and unit presidents really enjoyed the Ketso and wished if they could also have it in their Units.
The weaving together closed with the Holy communion presided over by Rev. Eunice Indigasi, the Women’s Fellowship Coordinator in Kenya.
The area seminar began on the 27th of November with the banner parade from all our units present followed by the area banner and finally by the World President and World Vice President held the world banner as they entered.
- DRC Congo.
- Methodist Church Kenya
- M.C.S.A. Women’s Manyano.
- M.C.S.A. Women’s Association.
- African Methodist Episcopal, Zimbabwe.
- United Methodist Church, Zimbabwe.
- United Methodist Church, Zambia.
- United Methodist Church, Kenya.
- Methodist Church in Zimbabwe.
The Area President, Sipiwe Chisvo led the candle lighting prayer ceremony and welcomed the delegates introducing the four World Officers who graced the area seminar, World President – Alison Judd, World Vice President – Matildah Johnson; World Secretary – Mataiva Robertson, Emeritus Ann Connan and Rev. John Connan.
The devotion which was then followed by the theme introduction was done by the Methodist Kenya Woman Clergy. They said that we are chosen people who represent a precious possession of God, we are the bible some people read and we need to exemplary and be holy. We do not have to lose track of what God has chosen us to do which is to proclaim His goodness.
The Area President presented the area report outlining their achievements and travels within the Area. New units have been brought in and these are United Methodist Church, Kenya and United Methodist Church, Zambia. More so United Methodist Church, South Africa which has been a member but had not been participating for quite some lengthy period of time.
The area Seminar had in attendance for the very first time sixteen women from DRC, one-woman representative from Burundi. Also present was Sister Grace Musuka, the UMC Women’s Regional Missionary and she was accompanied by women from Zambia, South Congo, Malawi, East Congo and Cameron. Although Cameron is not in our Area we were so pleased and quite excited to have them present at our Area Seminar and we are grateful to the Regional Missionary, Grace Musuka for making it possible for these dear sisters to be able to attend.
The Area President in her report stated that the area has enrolled a girl student by the name Tendai Muzandaka at Africa University in Zimbabwe, on full sponsorship by the area studying for a Social Welfare Degree Course for three years.
The Area Helen Kim Scholar, Phiwe Ngwgodla attended both Weaving Together and the Area Seminar and she gave a report on a project that she embarked on in her community that is of collecting sanitary pads from churches and distributing them to girls at a Secondary School with enrolment of 350 girls from grade 8 -12 in her township once every month.
Unit Presidents reported on work being done in their units towards sustainable development goals numbers 1,2,4,5 and 13 that are relevant in our Southern and East Africa Area. Units reported that they are assisting quite a number of needy children in the form of school fees and providing them with school uniforms. Skills training is ongoing in all Units and women are earning some income through acquired skills.
Methodist Church Kenya Women Fellowship reported on how they are mentoring and training girls and women on the Christian alternative rite of passage from the traditional practice of female gentile Mutilation(FGM). the mentor-ship has seen girls being inspired to continue with their education after receiving training on the dangers associated with female genital mutilation and early marriages.
The women at the Area Seminar commemorated Thursday in Black and the Leadership issued a press statement on violence against women. It was notable and great fulfilling that the statement was made and issued out during the 16 days of activism.
Five workshops were offered on Child Marriages, Well Woman, Entrepreneurship, Human Trafficking, Female Gentile Mutilation and all five were very well attend by the women.
The Presiding Bishop of the Methodist Church in Kenya, Rev. Joseph Ntombura who is also the Chair of African Methodist Council officially opened the Area Seminar with a message that we have been chosen to impact the world and our church, we are a special race of God and precious to Him. We had a sermon led by Rev. Dr Easther Obasi-ike. She said that we are chosen to be
- Ambassadors for Christ reconciling for the nation, to talk about your sending country which is heaven.
- Living Epistle – 2 Corinthians 2:3
- You are the salt of the earth – Matthew 5:16
- You are the light of the world – Matthew 5:17
- His Aroma – Perfume 2 Corinthians 6:18
- You are a friend of God John 15:15. The qualification is on 1 Corinthians 1:26.
Rev. Gloria Hokonya from Zimbabwe and Rev. Dr Mary Kinoti from Kenya gave powerful sermons encouraging us that it is our time now to be game changers in the world, we are special in God’s sight.
The seminar closed on Saturday with a memorial service for those who departed since we last met at our consultative meeting in Harare’ Zimbabwe in June 2017. Roses were placed in a vase by each Unit President in memory of those who have passed on in their Unit and Holy communion were both presided over by Bishop Elect of Nairobi Synod Rev. Dr John Maromba.
The Area President presented gifts of appreciation to all the four World Officers for their presence at our area seminar. Our host Methodist Church, Kenya Unit President, Pauline Ntombura also presented gifts to the following, all four World Officers, Area Officers and all Unit Presidents. How thoughtful the Unit was and it is really appreciated the African spirit of giving. We enjoyed the Kenyan hospitality as all of us shared a cake presented to us at the end of it all, and everybody present enjoyed a piece of the delicious basket shaped cake from the host.
Asante Sana Mama Africa (Thank you very much Mama Africa)