Seeing a Way Forward: The Rev Forbes Matonga

Translate Page

The Rev. Forbes Matonga, a pastor at the Nyadire Mission in Zimbabwe, discusses possible implications that decisions made at the special 2019 General Conference could have for The United Methodist Church in Africa.

UMNews
The Rev. Forbes Matonga. Video image by United Methodist News Service.

Matonga spoke with UM News as part of "Seeing a Way Forward," a video series featuring different perspectives of church leaders on the work of the Commission on a Way Forward.

Way Forward discussions feel misleading to Africans
The Rev. Forbes Matonga feels the original discussion on The United Methodist Church's stance on homosexuality has now morphed into a broader discussion of unity.

Traditional Plan is the only "legal" option for African delegates
As same-sex marriage is illegal in almost every African country, says the Rev. Forbes Matonga, the Traditional Plan submitted to the special 2019 General Conference is the only culturally acceptable option for African United Methodists to support.

"Africans will leave The UMC" if homosexuality stance changes
As The United Methodist Church looks to debate its stance and teaching on homosexuality at the upcoming 2019 General Conference, the Rev. Forbes Matonga says voting in opposition to African culture will cause them to leave the denomination.

"Supporting Traditional Plan doesn't mean supporting schism."
The Rev. Forbes Matonga disagrees with the sentiment that one cannot want to uphold The United Methodist Church's current teaching on homosexuality without wishing for the church to remain united.

"This is not a war."
Leading into the 2019 General Conference, the Rev. Forbes Matonga encourages a gracious discussion of differences.

Way Forward Commission didn't consider Africa
The Rev. Forbes Matonga says the Way Forward Commission's work didn't do enough to include the views of the more than 4 million African United Methodists.

"We need to be gracious to each other."
Regardless of the outcome of the 2019 General Conference, the Rev. Forbes Matonga hopes United Methodists on both sides treat one another with grace.

This is the seventeenth in a series of video interviews by United Methodist News Service. View all interviews.


Like what you're reading? Support the ministry of UM News! Your support ensures the latest denominational news, dynamic stories and informative articles will continue to connect our global community. Make a tax-deductible donation at ResourceUMC.org/GiveUMCom.

Sign up for our newsletter!

UMNEWS-SUBSCRIPTION
Mission and Ministry
Annie Padhuze, headmistress of The United Methodist Church’s Clare Secondary School near Mutare, Zimbabwe, says many of her students do not have birth certificates. United Methodists are helping orphans and other vulnerable children obtain the documents they need to continue their education. Photo by Kudzai Chingwe, UM News.

Lack of birth certificate challenges children in rural areas

Representatives of five United Methodist-related primary and secondary schools reported an average 44% of students don’t have birth certificates.
Congregations
Bishop L. Jonathan Holston, episcopal leader of the United Methodist South Carolina Conference, speaks during the presentation of $800,029 donated by the conference to the Fairfield Children’s Home in Mutare, Zimbabwe. Photo courtesy of the Africa University Public Affairs Office.

Love of children brings $800,000 gift to Zimbabwe

During a 2001 visit to the Fairfield Children’s Home, a South Carolina mission team promised to return. In October 2022, their team leader joined Africa University’s 30th anniversary celebration.
Mission and Ministry
Bishop Eben K. Nhiwatiwa paints a door while working with a Volunteers in Mission team in July at the United Methodist Hanwa Mission Primary School in Zimbabwe. Photo by Erik Alsgaard.

Bishop exhibits servant leadership at mission school

Zimbabwe Area Bishop Eben K. Nhiwatiwa inspires others by joining a Volunteers in Mission team in painting a new mega-block at a church mission school.