Ukama at First Congregational Church of Wilmot, UCC
The heart of the relationship is the love of Christ and the call “That they may all be One”. John 17:21
History: In June of 1996, the Rev. Dr. W.M. Mkwakwami, President of the United Church of Christ in Zimbabwe, was present for the Annual Meeting of the New Hampshire Conference of the United Church of Christ, and witnessed a unanimous vote calling for the establishment of a global partnership between the Conference and that denomination. The purpose of establishing the partnership was to promote a deep sense of friendship (ukama) among the churches of the two settings of the Church of Jesus Christ. http://nhcucc.org/uploads/documents/conference-ministries/wider-church-relations-ministry/Ukama/Ukama_About_History.pdf
Out of that vote The Ukama Mission Group was established to work to further the commitment of the United Church of Christ in Zimbabwe http://uccz.org and the New Hampshire Conference, UCC to walk together in faith and to serve together in ministry among God’s people. This effort is supported by Common Global Ministries of the United Church of Christ. http://nhcucc.org/conference-ministries/wider-church-relations-ministry/ukamapartnership
Wilmot UCC Story
Within a year of the arrival of Reverend Sara Marean, the First Congregational Church of Wilmot, UCC (FCCW) became one of the Ukama-Partnered churches with Eastlea Church, Harare in 2015. Initially members of both churches engaged in prayer exchanges and soon the Wilmot church provided books and school supplies for Eastlea Church’s Sunday School. FCCW later sponsored two students to attend High School. A pen pal program also exists for those parishioners interested in creating an in depth, cross-cultural relationship. In 2016 Reverend Sara Marean was part of a New Hampshire Conference delegation traveling to Zimbabwe for the Installation of the UCCZ President. She returned with gifts from Eastlea Church including a clock set to Zimbabwean time and several pictures of Zimbabwean life currently on display in our fellowship hall. Two years later in October 2018, the Conference hosted a delegation of 5 from the UCCZ. Abigail Sithole from Eastlea Church in Harare was sponsored by First Congregational Church of Wilmot, UCC and stayed with various parishioners in their homes. She joined the church for two weeks, preaching, attending community events, and sharing her reflections with children and adults.