The Church of Uganda is a Jesus-loving, Bible-believing, Spirit-filled Anglican Church engaged in the mission of Jesus Christ in today’s world.
CHARGE by the Most Rev. Henry Luke Orombi
7th Archbishop of the Church of the Province of Uganda
Sunday, January 25, 2004
St. Paul’s Cathedral, Namirembe
Greetings of Dignitaries
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, all God’s people here present, ladies and gentlemen:
This day is of special significance to the Church of Uganda Christians as well as people of Uganda. The significance extends to the worldwide body of the Church. Today the 7th Archbishop of this Church is installed. It seems like yesterday when the outgoing Archbishop Livingstone was installed. His leadership was clear-headed, productive, people-oriented and sound. I have many things to copy from him. I am coming to build on the same foundation. I do thank my fellow bishops who trusted me to lead this Church together with them for the next ten years. I salute all Archbishops who have gone ahead of me with blazing examples.
PROVINCIAL MISSION STATEMENT
The Church of Uganda is an independent Province of the Anglican Communion worldwide, which subscribes to the Holy Scriptures. It is part of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church worshipping the one true God, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. The Church is commissioned to carry out Christ’s mission of preaching, teaching, healing and nurturing her people so that they may have abundant life and build an evangelistic, living, caring, worshipping, peaceful and just community.
I will mention only five challenges among many others:
1. Towards a Sustainable Church
The Church has some physical resources such as land. This land is spread all over. I urge that every Diocese have Title Deeds for every property available. Do we know how much land there is? How can we use these properties to generate the much-needed funds? Can we develop a very deliberate plan for these properties? When we do so, we will be good stewards of God’s property entrusted to us.
The Church of Uganda has between 8-9 million members. This number is strong when properly utilized. Many of these are capable intellectuals. We have resourceful people in other areas as well. I urge our leadership to use these people where they should be so that maximum benefits can be derived from their expertise.
For a long time the people of Uganda have held Church leadership in high esteem. Can we provide consistent leadership to meet the people’s expectations? In the coming years, let us guide and shepherd people accepting changes with open minds. The Holy Spirit is in business in His Church.
2. Church House
I thank Archbishop Livingstone for reviving the Church House vision. It is a noble and practical vision. We have not yet raised enough money to get started. We have under one billion [$500,000] of the five billion [$2,500,000] needed for phase one. I am taking over this gigantic challenge.
You and I can move it forward. I am willing. Meanwhile, I thank the people who worked hard to bring us this far. May the God of Creation help us to move forward. Together we shall get there and do not ask me how as yet.
The Church has a responsibility to the people of Uganda to warn them beforehand to avoid burying many of them. We also need to care for the suffering with compassion. The orphans and widows need our practical assistance as a demonstration of our Christian commitment. I commend those who are involved in the particular ministry of feeding, clothing, treating and paying school fees of these orphans. Thanks you for caring for the widows as well.
4. Uganda Christian University (UCU) Mukono
I thank Archbishop Livingstone for initiating this higher institution of learning. This University has a role in building an intellectually, morally sound and forward-looking citizenship for Uganda and Africa. The demand for space for students is big. One word of caution: please do not take more than you can manage; otherwise the high standard of excellence can diminish due to overflow. I shall work with the University Council and management in order to offer credible opportunities for our people. I thank Professor Stephen Noll and his team for work well done so far. I do seek the President ’s support when we shall bring to your attention issues that need your intervention.
5. Loss of Spiritual Direction
Many of our Christians have gone away from practical Christianity. There are cases of –
• Witchcraft including human sacrifices
• Overwork to make money without taking rest
• Commercializing Christianity, the attempt to come to faith for what you can get out of it. It is like a “give me” club.
• Church attendance by convenience, i.e., Christmas, Easter, Funerals, Weddings only.
These are some of the symptoms of “Loss of Spiritual Direction.” I call upon such Christians to revive their commitments.
1. I desire to create room for the younger generation of our church. They need:
Acceptance and understanding from the Church
Involvement in decision-making
Guidance in their choice of career, marriage partners and mentoring.
Need for assurance that there is safety and stability within the Church.
The Church must practice honesty and integrity. I am pledging my service to this end.
2. I desire to see the Church rise and shine: Isaiah 60:1 – “Arise, shine for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you.” (NIV)
I believe that the Church has a message of wisdom to guide the people of this nation. We can live wisely and so make a difference.
We can strengthen our networking effort from Diocesan-Congregational levels by sharing information, using technology, i.e., radios, newspapers, television, e-mails, etc., to mobilize our people.
We need to further strengthen our positive contribution in health, education, counselling and other voluntary services.
We need to recapture our missionary calling championed by Apollo Kivebulaya, the great missionary to the Congo, a vision later shared by the late Bishop Festo Kivengere. He was one of many I greatly admired and I try to emulate.
I desire to see prayer becoming central in the life of our Church. The more we pray, the humbler we become. When we humble ourselves, God will exalt us and heal our land.
3. I desire to see the Church promote Christian values:
By appreciating our local music and intensify our worship as Africans dedicated to Jesus. Our Africanness must be valued.
By instilling gospel-transformed cultural values refined by the fire of revival in our current generation who are facing cultural crisis today.
By teaching true Christian family values, biblically based and traditionally proven. Families governed by love. Co-habitation and other lesser marriage ties erode the beauty of marriage.
1. With other Churches:
The Christian Church has rainbow colours. No one Church contains it all.
Our riches depend on recognizing each other. Let us share each other’s gifts and contribution.
Let us learn from each other out of humility.
Let us participate together in the Great Commission of our Lord to proclaim the Good News.
Churches together should bring unity to the nation. The future of this Nation depends on us for better or for worse.
2. With the Global Church:
We need the world-wide body of the Church. We need teachers and technology from the outside Church.
We also can teach the Global Church passionate proclamation of the Gospel and Practical Faith.
This Church pledges to stand firm on the Apostolic Faith where many Churches today lack confidence in the power of Jesus which we take for granted here. Please humbly learn from us.
At this time in the Anglican Communion, we are willing to take the leadership role to demonstrate that JESUS IS ALIVE.
3. With Government:
Church and government have co-existed in complementary roles in our society. This has brought harmony, development and peace in many places.
The Church is called to work for reconciliation especially in conflict areas. To this end, I call upon the Government and the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) to seek the way of peace and reconciliation in order to weed out deep mistrust in the North and North-East. This war must come to an end so that as a country we can realise national political health. I commend Government efforts and that of the Acholi Leaders’ Peace Forum seeking to bring peace. We need this peace and God must give us this peace.
I want to thank the Government of Uganda for the freedom of worship we have in this country. I commend the leadership of President Yoweri Museveni for this. The Gospel has been proclaimed widely through mass media as never before. Thank you for the degree of freedom for the press in this nation. I thank the people of Uganda and the international community for changing the face of Uganda.
I thank the retired Archbishop for his focused, exemplary and enthusiastic leadership. I am grateful and shall continue to following his footsteps and build on the same foundation.
I thank the Kabaka of Buganda for being the symbol of unity in the Central Region. Sir, your wise leadership has brought peace to this region and prosperity. May God continue to bless you in your leadership.
I thank the Central Organizing Committee members who worked so hard to prepare for this occasion. Bishop Samuel Ssekkadde has been an able leader.
I have appreciated the overseas partners who have joined us today. Many wanted to come but space and time would not allow it. Among them are people who trained me: Dr. Christina Baxter, Bishop Colin Buchanan, Bishop Harold Millar. Others have encouraged our ministry. There are those who gave materially to the work of God we have been involved in – I thank you all.
I thank Bishop Wilson Turumanya and Sayuni his wife for leading our Retreat. They did the same when I was being made Bishop in 1993. I also thank Rev. Sandy Millar and his wife Annette for preaching at this occasion. His love for Christ has always attracted me. Thank you for coming to Uganda.
I also thank my wife Phoebe for always being by my side. I also thank our children who because of studies cannot be here today. They patiently bore the burden with us as we moved into more responsibility each time. Members of our extended family have also made our home beautiful to live in. Thank you.
Finally, thank you for your physical presence today. This function is special because you have come. I commend each one of you into the hands of the God of grace and the God of surprise who is personally here with us today to grace this day. To Him alone be Glory, now and for ever. AMEN.
The Most Rev. Henry Luke Orombi
ARCHBISHOP OF CHURCH OF UGANDA.