--By Sandra Matoushaya, Zimbabwe Partnership Coordinator-
This year marks the 6-year anniversary of the Chabadza Partnership between the Western Pennsylvania Conference (WPAUMC) and the Zimbabwe Episcopal Area (ZEA).
Chabadza is a Shona word that describes a community spirit of helping someone you know who is already at work. The partnership was formed around the denomination's Four Areas of Focus and includes district-to-district relationships focused on creating new places for new people, usually in new and existing congregations. As we reach this milestone -- our Ebenezer -- let’s celebrate the partnership and all our accomplishments as we continue to further God’s Kingdom.
Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen. He named it Ebenezer, saying, "Thus far the LORD has helped us." This year is 6 years of our partnership and it is our Ebenezer. -- 1 Samuel 7:12
An Ebenezer is a marker-point that shows us where we are and gives us an opportunity to look back at where we started. It comes from 1 Samuel 7: 12.
Mini-Ebenezers have been planned through Western Pennsylvania in March and April to celebrate the partnership.
The mini-Ebenezers will be a time of revival and celebration through singing and dancing, hearing about the district projects and stories from people who have been to Zimbabwe. Dates and locations for the mini-Ebenezers are:
- Franklin District- March 3- 7pm- Galloway UMC
- Pittsburgh and Greensburg Districts - March 13, 2- 4pm, Christ UMC, Bethel Park
- Erie-Meadville District- March 30 -- Edinboro UMC
- Butler and Washington- April 3 - Crossroads UMC, 2-4pm
- Indiana District-April 4 - First UMC, Marion Center
- Kane District – May 1- First UMC, Kane