It’s Friday and Sunday’s Comin’!
I had to snag this photo as a sneak preview of the photos that you’ve started sending to Jim Oliver. You will so enjoy seeing the pictures as part of Worship Online! This was taken by Norman Knight in Chile. Watch for it again!
Patrick Matsikenyiri, Africa University’s first choirmaster, died this past week in Mutare, Zimbabwe from complications of COVID-19.
I had never hear of Mr. Matsikenyiri until I learned of his death but it was such a joy to read about him. — this man who had a huge impact on the church in his country and around the world. Here’s a bit about him:
For 22 years Matsikenyiri served as the conference music director for the The United Methodist Church of Zimbabwe before coming to the U.S. to get two degrees in music. As a school headmaster in Zimbabwe he was involved in Zimbabwe’s movement for majority rule. After studying music the U.S. from 1990-1993 at Shenandoah University in Winchester, VA, Matsikenyiri returned to Zimbabwe to head the music department of the newly formed Africa University. He developed not only the four-year music major but also one of the first college-level music education programs in sub-Saharan Africa. He was “involved in all aspects of church music — singing, choral directing, composition, hymnal editor, festival leader, professor and enlivener of global songs in values around the world.”
Mr. Matsikenyiri wrote many songs including Hakuna Wakaita sa Jesu (There’s No One in This World Like Jesus) which can be found in Worship and Song (our small green songbook) and Jesu Tawa Pano (Jesus you are here) which you can listen to in the link below:
One friend said of him, ““Patrick knew all four parts of the songs by memory and could sing them into the phone. It was a thrill to work with him. He made me want to sing. His spirit filled me with joy — Patrick was the melody line that gave voice to The United Methodist Church in Zimbabwe through his teaching, singing, song leading and compositions.”
Patrick Matsikenyiri was also a husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather.
Patrick Matsikenyiri is now part of the great Communion of Saints to whom we look for inspiration and thanksgiving and I was really grateful to learn about him. Like Mr. Matsikenyiri, each of us touches an amazing number of people over the course of our lives. The impact we have is far more than we can imagine when we take seriously that we are the hands and feet and voices of Christ in the world.
When we see a mountain from a distance, it is quite beautiful and when you’re on top of the mountain the view is incredible. However, when the mountain is being climbed, there are many challenges: the path is not straight, obstacles such as rocks and rough terrain make the climb difficult, it’s a long way to the top and you will find yourself hot and exhausted along the way.
When you’re frustrated, discouraged, or dismayed by the obstacles in your path, the words of the Psalms give comfort and inspire perseverance:
Make your ways known to me, Lord;
teach me your paths.
Lead me in your truth–teach it to me–
because you are the God who saves me.
I put my hope in you all day long.
Lord, remember your compassion and faithful love —
they are forever!
But don’t remember the sins of my youth or my wrongdoing.
Remember me only according to your faithful love
for the sake of your goodness, Lord.
Turn to me, God and have mercy on me
because I’m alone and suffering.
My heart’s troubles keep getting bigger–
set me free from my distress!
Look at my suffering and trouble–
forgive all my sins!
Look at how many enemies I have and
how violently they hate me!
Don’t let me be put to shame
because I take refuge in you.
Let integrity and virtue guard me
because I hope in you.
–Psalm 25:1-7, 16-21
The Memorial Service for Nel Hamilton will be Sunday, Jan. 31 at 2:00 p.m. online. Click the Worship button above for our YouTube channel where you can view the service.
John Wesley advised early Methodists to renew their covenant with God each year. The Wesleyan Covenant Renewal is still a part of our tradition. It is a powerful way for you to re-examine how you are doing in your discipleship and for you to re-commit yourself to following through.
Our worship service on Sunday will be the Covenant Renewal service for this year. I hope you’ll be there!