The Anglican Diocese of Masvingo in Zimbabwe, companion diocese of the Episcopal Diocese of Fond du Lac, has a new bishop-elect. The Bishops of the Province of Central Africa held their Episcopal Synod and selected the Ven. Osiward Mapika who had been elected by the diocese following the retirement of Bishop Godfrey.
Mapika was born in Mvurwi and grew up in Shurugwi in the Midlands Province of Zimbabwe. He was made Deacon in 2002 and Ordained Priest in 2003 in the Diocese of Central Zimbabwe. He is married to Jane Khumalo Mapika and blessed with three children, two girls and one boy.
Posted first to St. Patrick's Mission in Gweru as Deacon he was posted to St. Barnabas in Gweru Chiundura the following year. After serving three years in the Diocese of Central Zimbabwe he joined the then newly formed Diocese of Masvingo where he served for seven years at All Saints, Wrenningham in Chivhu and Holy Cross/St. Peter's, Zvishavane. He was appointed an Archdeacon and Vicar General of Masvingo. He moved to Harare in 2012 to St. Phillip's Mission District for eight years and then Holy Trinity, Ruwa in 2019 where he is currently Rector. He is also Archdeacon of Harare North Archdeaconry.
Mapika holds an M.A. in Religious Studies: Religion and Sustainable Development, a B.A. In Theology and Religious Studies, Diploma in Religious Studies and a Diploma in Pastoral Studies. He was trained at Bishop Gaul College in Harare.
Please keep bishop-elect Mapika and the people of the Diocese of Masvingo in your prayers.
The Diocese of Fond du Lac has received notice from the Anglican Diocese of Masvingo, companion diocese, that the Archbishop of the Province of Central Africa, the Most Rev. Albert Chama, has appointed the Rev. Reverend Friar Fungayi Nyandoro, CHT, as the Vicar General of Masvingo Diocese. He will be in charge of the Administration of the Diocese of Masvingo until a Diocesan Ordinary is elected. The Rt. Rev. Godfrey Tawonezvi, founding bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Masvingo, retired in March 2020 after 20 years as bishop.
Friar Fungayi was a part of the delegation from Masvingo that visited the Diocese of Fond du Lac in 2019. Please include him in your prayers that the Holy Spirit may give him the wisdom and fortitude to serve the Flock of God in humility, truth and prayer.
The Rt. Rev. Godfrey Tawonezvi, founding bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Masvingo, Companion Diocese of the Diocese of Fond du Lac, retired March 25, 2022. He served the church for 28 years, 20 of them as a bishop. When appointed bishop in 2002, Bishop Godfrey started with three priests and now the diocese has 35. There were initially two congregations, and the diocese now has 38 districts with 148 congregations. Below is a farewell message he recently sent to the Diocese of Fond du Lac.
The Diocese of Masvingo entered into a companion relationship with the Diocese of Fond du Lac in 2016. Since then, we have journeyed together, praying for each other, sharing experiences and information, learning from each other and encouraging one another in the furtherance of God’s work in our respective Dioceses.
In 2019, my wife Albertina, Friar Fungayi and I had an opportunity to visit the Diocese of Fond du Lac. We really enjoyed the generous hospitality we received where ever we visited. We are profoundly grateful for the opportunity we got to meet and interact with some of the Clergy and Laity in the Diocese of Fond du Lac.
I appreciate the cordial relationship I had with Bishop Matt Gunter over the years. I personally learnt a lot from him as we interacted. It was also a pleasure to have communicated with the Lay Canon for Administration, Matthew Payne.
Let me express my gratitude and appreciation and that of the Diocese of Masvingo for your generous support over the past years. You supported many relief and developmental programmes in the Diocese of Masvingo. Allow me to mention the most recent lucrative dairy project at Christ The King Daramombe Mission you have supported. We are short of words to express our gratefulness for your generous donation which enabled us to fulfil our vision of establishing a dairy project in the Diocese.
As I retire I am aware that the three Episcopal Dioceses of Wisconsin are exploring possibilities of reuniting. You will continue to be in my thoughts and prayers as you go through this process.
I retire with good memories of the companion relationship between our two Dioceses. I pray and hope that this companionship continues.
I am appreciative of your prayers, support and fellowship during my Episcopal Ministry in the Diocese of Masvingo.
May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you Grace and Peace (2 Cor 1:2).
With love and prayers
Bishop Godfrey Tawonezvi
The Rt. Rev. Godfrey Tawonezvi, founding bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Masvingo, Companion Diocese of the Diocese of Fond du Lac, will officially retired on March 25, 2022. The Anglican Church has five dioceses in Zimbabwe. He had served the church for 28 years, 20 of them as a bishop. When appointed bishop in 2002, Bishop Godfrey started with three priests and now the diocese has 35. There were initially two churches, and the diocese now has 38 districts and 148 churches. Vicar General Friar Fungayi Nyandoro will administer pastoral care in the diocese until another bishop is appointed.
During a farewell celebration in December, one speaker noted Bishop Godfrey had "fostered discipline in the clergy and congregants, the construction of buildings including maternity wards, church buildings, drilling of boreholes, feeding the disadvantaged in community among other works. We can never replace you."
A report in the Masvingo Mirror noted Bishop Godfrey spearheaded many development projects including distribution of 50,000 treated mosquito nets to a malaria stricken area, construction of a clinic, construction and commissioning of a vocational Training Centre, distribution of maize seed to thousands of households, construction of a maternity ward and a weekly feeding program for the less privileged.
At the farewell celebration, Bishop Tawnezvi left people in stitches when he said he "worked with troublesome priests but managed to bring them back into line." He continued "I leave this diocese a happy and satisfied man with happy memories. It is hard to lead a diocese with limited resources but you supported me.
"we look forward to continuing to work with our friends in the Diocese of Masvingo," Bishop Matt Gunter shared. "Bishop Godfrey's retirement marks a time of transition in that diocese, which means more opportunity to build new relationships and share in living out the Gospel."
The Companion Diocese Task Force is currently sponsoring an Epiphany Campaign to raise funds for dairy cows in Masvingo.
The Diocese of Masvingo, companion diocese of the Diocese of Fond du Lac, is starting a dairy farm. Since Wisconsin is the "Dairy State", it would be udderly ridiculous for us not to help! In Epiphany we remember gifts - gold, frankincense and myrrh - and in this spirit the Companion Diocese Task Force calls members of the Diocese of Fond du Lac to give.
The diocesan-wide fund raising effort from From January 6-March 5 is to fund dairy cows for the farm at Daramombe, Zimbabawe, and Anglican school campus in the middle of 1,200 acres of school owned farmland. Each heifer costs about $2,000 with at least 5 needed to start a good herd.
One cow isn't enough. The campaign kicks off with 2 cows funded by early givers! Can we build a herd? Our goal is to build the herd with every congregation providing support to the effort. How many cows in the herd is up to you! Every contribution - from as small as the price of a fast food meal to as large as the cost of a professional sporting event - can change the lives of entire communities in Zimbabwe.
Ready to give? Click here.
The Anglican Diocese of Masvingo has been selected as a recipient from the 2021 Diocesan Outreach Fund by the Deacon Council of the Diocese of Fond du Lac. Each year, funds are set aside from the diocesan operating budget to give "beyond the diocese." The intent is giving beyond diocesan structures, though recipients may come from inside the geographical boundaries of the diocese.
The Council determined to provide $10,000 after being made aware of great need from the impact of the pandemic. The majority of funds were from assets on hand in the Outreach Fund. The remainder will come from a pending bequest to the diocese. The Executive Council determined 10% of that bequest, when received, will be added to the Outreach Fund.
Representatives of the Diocese of Masvingo visited the Diocese of Fond du Lac in 2019. Plans for a return visit are pending due to the pandemic. "The financial support our diocese has provided to our brothers and sisters in Masvingo over the past few years has been amazing," Bishop Matt Gunter commented. "We know our relationship is about more than money. We lift each other up in prayer daily, and in our congregations every Sunday. But the challenges in their situation has meant funds have greater impact and the support is an example that we can do more together as a diocese than we might be able to do as individual parishes."
Members of the diocese will have another opportunity to support the work of the Diocese of Masvingo during Epiphany. The Companion Diocese Task Force will be raising funds to purchase farms animals for the agricultural ministries in Masvingo. Learn more about their development projects here. Look for details on how you can provide a chicken, pig, cow or other animals on January 6, 2022.
It was reported in October that members of the Diocese of Fond du Lac responded generously to the appeal for our companion Anglican Diocese of Masvingo. An additional $5,000 was received in October and November and been sent to the diocese. Over 115 people responded to the appeal raising nearly $25,000 to assist with the need of our companion diocese. This special appeal exceeded funds raised during 2019's Bishop Appeal and reflects the commitment of the people of the Diocese of Fond du Lac to support the broader church beyond our local community. Gifts will continue to be received and forwarded.
The Diocese of Fond du Lac maintains a companion diocese relationship with the Anglican Diocese of Masvingo in Zimbabwe. In late May, Bishop Matt and Bishop Godfrey enjoyed a Zoom conversation prior to Companion Diocese Sunday (watch here). Recently, Bishop Godfrey sent a report about the diocese during the pandemic. The report includes information about the Transfiguration Skills Centre which was supported by the Bishop's Annual Appeal in 2019. Since the relaxation of COVID19 regulations, activities have just started. Production of pigs is already underway. Planting of vegetables in the garden has started. Chicken rearing and egg production will be resumed shortly. There is a vision to have the capacity to supply the surrounding boarding schools with farm produce. Read the complete report, with pictures here.
Over $20,000 raised as part of the diocesan Annual Bishop's Appeal has been entrusted to a companion diocese. The Episcopal Diocese of Fond du Lac in northeast Wisconsin and the Anglican Diocese of Masvingo in Zimbabwe started a companion diocese relationship in 2016. This relationship expands understanding of one another, nurtures friendships, and proclaims the Good News of the Gospel in local communities and cultural contexts. Each diocese prays regularly for the other since the relationship began. In June this year, three members of Masvingo visited the Diocese of Fond du Lac.
The Annual Bishop’s Appeal offers opportunity to support the work the diocese by providing resources for leadership, vitality, and through initiatives that transform lives. The 2019 missionary church portion of the appeal was designated for the Diocese of Masvingo. To date $20,334.12 has been raised, more than doubling a $10,000 goal.
"Let me make special mention of two of our congregations," Bishop Matthew Gunter shared. "St. John the Baptist in Wausau, sent a gift collected from members of the congregation of over $10,000. The women of St. John's sent an additional donation for the work of the Mother's Union in Zimbabwe."
"St. Luke's in Sister Bay," Bishop Gunter continued, "sent a donation for the Mother's Union as well. Nearly 100 individual gifts have been received toward this goal of the appeal. What a blessing it is to share what God has provided."
The funds will support Masvingo's Transfiguration Skills Training Center and aid Cyclone Idai recovery efforts. The center is a diocesan project that impacts the community. It imparts skills to youth to start projects and improve their livelihoods through chicken rearing, piggery, market gardening and maize production.
The Annual Bishop's Appeal continues to receive contributions. To give, visit diofdl.org/appeal.
Vital Congregations. Prayer and Worship. Missionary Church. These are the three areas of focus for the Episcopal Diocese of Fond du Lac in being a people of God’s mercy and delight. “Our ministry together is rich in both hope and possibility,” Bishop Matt Gunter wrote to congregations launching the first Annual Bishop’s Appeal in Easter. The invitation is for the people “join me in supporting work that helps us live Jesus' way of love.”
The Annual Bishop's Appeal (diofdl.org/appeal) is an opportunity for members and friends of the diocese to support its work in providing for vitality in congregations. Support can also be given to initiatives that will transform lives. Developed by the diocesan Executive Council and approved by the Diocesan Convention, it is intended to give people in the pews an avenue to give directly to the broader church. Bishop Matt consults with church leaders each year to determine two or three areas for the appeal with a goal of supporting diocesan mission and ministry beyond regular budgetary processes.
“I find the three areas of the 2019 appeal exciting,” Bishop Matt shared in a recent interview. “They reflect ways for us to be on offense as I talked about in a Pastoral Address.”
The first area of the appeal is Vital Congregations. “We can do more,” Gunter noted, “to help congregations be as vital as possible.” Contributions are for supporting ongoing clergy and lay leadership development as well as diocesan initiatives like the current Faithful Innovations.
A second area of the appeal is Prayer and Worship. “If you haven't heard yet, the Presiding Bishop visits us in October,” Gunter reminded. “We can be great hosts for all who come to hear his particular message of the Way of Love.” While the Executive Council has made a financial commitment to assure the Way of Love Revival will happen, additional funds will make it the best as it can be. Hosting an event for 500-800 people is a big undertaking with significant expenses related to rental of the Expo Center, staging, lighting, sound, a tent, renting tables and chairs rental, and of course, a lunch. Contributions are for underwriting the costs of the revival, so it will be open to the public at no cost, including a free lunch!
The final area of the appeal is Missionary Church. “We can help our companion diocese in two ways,” Gunter said. “Recovery efforts after Cyclone Idai, and help transforming the lives of people in a way to help them thrive.” Zimbabwe has numerous political, economic and social challenges. Industry, social services, and other sectors have collapsed resulting in high unemployment. University graduates and other skilled people are unable to get jobs because the jobs are not there. Most people have resorted to vending to sustain their families.
The Diocese of Masvingo has developed ways of intervening to mitigate the situation, cognizant of our Lord's instruction in Matthew 25:40. Bishop Godfrey has specifically requested assistance for the Transfiguration Skills Training Center. The Center imparts skills to young men and women who can then start their own projects, improving their livelihoods. Skills taught are in chicken rearing, piggery, market gardening and maize production. Embarking on these projects builds a sense of self-reliance and hope for positive change and self-worth. The projects enable participation in both church and society through survival skills provision.
Vital Congregations. Prayer and Worship. Missionary Church. These are the areas of the appeal. Contributions may be made and used in all three areas or designated for one or two of the areas. To give, visit diofdl.org/appeal. The appeal runs through the end of Pentecost.
“There are lots of good things going on in the Diocese of Fond du Lac already,” Bishop Matt concluded. “This is an opportunity to build on that goodness.”
The borders of Zimbabwe are more than 100 miles from the Indian Ocean, but that didn’t stop the damaging effects of Cyclone Idai on the people and places of the Diocese of Masvingo. Masvingo is in a companion relationship with the Diocese of Fond du Lac, the Episcopal Church in northeast Wisconsin. Eastern parts of the Masvingo diocese, along with areas of their sister Diocese of Manicaland, were impacted.
Many have asked how they support the recovery efforts related to the damage. The Anglican Church in Zimbabwe includes Anglican Relief and Development in Zimbabwe, whose chair is Bishop Godfrey of the Diocese of Masvingo. Funds received by this agency will be used to assist victims of Cyclone Idai and support affected households.
International donations are hard to make and each one includes wire transfer fees. For this reason, the Episcopal Diocese of Fond du Lac will collect funds for the Cyclone Idai Recovery Fund. Individuals may give online at diofdl.org or send a check to the Diocesan Office with Idai in the memo line. Congregations are encouraged to hold a special collection for Cyclone Idai Recovery and send collected funds to the Diocesan Office. The total collected with be announced when our guests from the Diocese of Masvingo are visiting the end of May.
The Diocese of Fond du Lac is in a companion diocese relationship with the Diocese of Masvingo in Zimbabwe. We recently received a report on the work of the Mothers' Union there and thought we'd share it.
We look forward to welcoming our guests from Masvingo the end of May.
Compiled by: Thompson Matthias Maduba, Diocesan Development Officer
FUNDRAISING AND OUTREACH
The Mothers’ Union as one of the Guilds within the Diocese are a very strong force to reckon with. The Anglican Diocese of Masvingo and many a family unit and institutions of different natures have benefitted from the generosity and hard work of the Mothers’ Union. In line with the virtuous qualities of a woman spoken of in Proverbs 31v10-31, the Mothers’ Union fundraise on a large scale through design and sale of a variety of Mothers’ Union material and other Guilds under the Mothers’ Union like St. Agnes Guild for the girls and St. Veronica Guild for the single mothers; such items like t-shirts, shawls, scarfs, jerseys, bags, guild books & cards, bibles, hymn books, MU pins and medals, hats and umbrella. Fundraising is the major source of income for the Mothers’ Union. They also assist financially in building churches, rectories and clinics. They paid money to Buhera Rural District Council for St Stephen Murambinda Church’s rates to enable construction of the rectory to proceed. St Martin Masasa was appreciated for hosting Lady Day in 2018 with 20 x 50kgs bags of cement for rectory construction as well.
They built and fully furnished a maternity home at Daramombe Mission Clinic (one of our key Missions in the Diocese). The Maternity home was officially opened by the Minister from the Ministry of Health and Child Care in 2010 and it is the first maternity home to be built in Chikomba District within our Diocese. The Mothers’ Union used funds got from their fundraising activities to build this special facility. The Mothers’ Union have also assisted in enabling availability of clean water facilities including the drilling of the borehole and installing the solar power system to pump the water, 5000 litre water tank and stand at St. Michael’s Mambo Mission in Buhera and bought a 5000 litre plastic water tank and stand for Holy Cross Manyene, in Chikomba District under the Diocese of Masvingo. Buhera is very arid and water for consumption is a huge challenge because it hardly receive any meaningful rains. Last year the Buhera area was hit by cholera due to lack of clean sources of water. The Mothers’ Union has plans to drill more boreholes for the communities in Buhera, if funds permit.
Through their outreach activities a lot of lives have been touched and transformed; of those in Masvingo Remand Prison, Chiredzi Prison, Mutimurefu Prison, Chiredzi General Hospital, Masvingo General Hospital, including the various Old People’s Homes and Orphanages in Masvingo and beyond. The less privileged are also addressed whenever the Mothers’ Union holds the Lady Day Celebrations. The Mothers’ Union has three students who graduated last year from tertiary institutions (2 from Great Zimbabwe University and 1 from Masvingo Polytechnic College) whom they were paying fees for. Currently they have 24 students including 2 university students they are paying fees for using funds got from fundraising activities. They have plans to buy residential stands and build houses for rentals so that their fundraising efforts are boosted and their outreach expands further too.
The Diocese of Fond du Lac will welcome visitors from its Companion Diocese of Masvingo from May 29 - June 6, 2019. The visit will include a celebration of Companion Diocese Sunday on June 2.
Those visiting will be Bishop Godfrey Tawonezwi, his wife Albertina Tawonezwi, and the Rev. Fungayi Nyandoro, Friar of The Community of Holy Transfiguration. The Companion Diocese Task Force is planning a number of opportunities for members of the diocese to meet those from Masvingo. More details to come
As we approach Thanksgiving, we are thankful for support shown by members of the diocese in two areas of outreach. The United Thank Offering will receive $378.33 collected in the blue UTO boxes on delegates' tables at our Diocesan Convention. These funds will be distributed through the UTO granting process. Learn more about UTO here.
The Diocese of Masvingo, our companion diocese, has received $2,669.06 collected from across the diocese. $1,144.75 was collected at the Diocesan Convention Eucharist and $1,524.31 was received from congregations' Companion Diocese Sunday this past May. Those congregations are Trinity, Oshkosh; St. Augustine, Rhinelander; St. Peter, Ripon; Grace, Sheboygan; St. Peter, Sheboygan Falls; St. John, Wausau. Thank you to all who support outreach across the diocese. Learn more here.
The Companion Diocese Committee of the Diocese of Fond du Lac is pleased to announce plans for a visit from our brothers and sisters in Christ from our Companion Diocese of Masvingo. God willing and government agencies consenting, four members of that diocese will visit northeast Wisconsin around the time of our Diocesan Convention, October 20. Initial plans include visiting around the diocese, giving everyone a chance to meet with them. Details and plans will be share when they are finalized. Learn more about the relationship at diofdl.org/masvingo.