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August 05, 2018 – World Service Fund (General Commission on United Methodist Men)


"There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope of your calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism." —Ephesians 4:4-5a, NRSV

Since March 2018, the men's fellowship at Granary United Methodist Church, King David Circuit, in Zimbabwe, has strived toward a common goal: building a parsonage.

"It's progressing very well," said Eric Takura, men's fellowship chair. By using members' personal transportation to carry building materials, the group saves money.

Simbarashe Nyamugure, associate chair, described his role as "liaising with builders, mobilization of building materials, supervision of builders and their welfare and [working with] city council inspectors.

"This inspires me to achieve more every day," he said. Nyamugure feels joy in donating, "even after volunteering in the church."

Lay leader Misheck Chatsama explained that building the parsonage will "ensure our pastor and family stay at a convenient place and save money by not paying rent. I am happy to see the spirit of togetherness within the church, which has seen a growth in numbers as men lead in giving, together with their families."

He added, "Let's do what we can while we can. … In everything, God will always provide."

Gilbert Brecious Sirewu, a carpenter by profession, covenanted to install the parsonage roof, while other members have provided cement, doorframes and stone.

"In the face of worshipping under a temporary shelter," said lead pastor the Rev. Josephine Yeukai Hoto, "the church is alive. Men lead in hymns, and many souls are won to Christ."

When your congregation supports the World Service Fund, you strengthen the outreach of United Methodist men's ministries. Thank you!

—Chenayi Kumuterera, Zimbabwe West Communicator, Harare, Zimbabwe

Loving God, you call us to unity—"one Lord, one faith, one baptism." Remind us often that by working and witnessing together, we can accomplish great things for you. Amen.

From Discipleship ResourcesEleventh Sunday after Pentecost/in Kingdomtide, Holy God, source of all good things, you have blessed your children with many gifts, and each of us can serve and help build your kingdom here on earth. We know at times we have denied our giftedness and dismissed the impact our gifts can have. As we ask you to dedicate our tithes and offerings today, we remind ourselves that you seek not only that we open our wallets but open our hearts and our whole being to the work of making your love and compassion the norm, not the exception in this world. We pray this in Christ's name. Amen. (Ephesians 4:1-16)

Staff members of the General Commission on United Methodist Men are urging church members to join the World Council of Churches' "Thursdays in Black" campaign against a culture that enables sexual violence.

The initiative emerged during the 2013 WCC Assembly in South Korea. The campaign was inspired by the "Black Sash" movement of white women protesting the apartheid policies in South Africa.

Argentinean "Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo" wore black as they stood outside the presidential palace in Buenos Aires every Thursday demanding to know what happened to their children who "disappeared" under the former military dictatorship.

Gil Hanke, top staff executive of the Nashville-based commission, invites United Methodists to observe "Thursdays in Black" by wearing black on Thursdays and sharing stories of domestic and gender-based violence that occurs in the church and surrounding communities.

"Wearing black on Thursday will not end violence against women," said Hanke. "Wearing black will, however, remind us that we are part of a culture that treats women as objects."

—Adapted from General Commission on United Methodist Men website

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