Praise God from whom all blessings flow! All blessings flow from God, and today we are here to praise Him for those blessings. As the Bible says, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” (James 1.17)
Surely, today’s climax of the Golden Jubilee of the Diocese of Kampala is a testimony of the blessings God has given to us, not only through all of our Jubilee celebrations, but throughout the 50 Years we have been in existence. Our Jubilee theme has been “God’s Mission Our Priority.” We pause this year to remember just how far the Lord has brought us. EBENEZER!!! At the same time, I am so grateful for our Assistant Bishop, Bishop Hannington Mutebi, the Diocesan Staff, all the clergy, and the lay leaders of the Diocese for also seizing this moment to look forward and declare our renewed commitment as a Diocese to God’s Mission.
The City of Kampala is such a diverse and vibrant context for our ministry. It represents hope on so many levels. It is the centre of our government that works so hard to see all of Uganda become a middle income country. The best universities and schools, and the best healthcare facilities draw lots of people to Kampala for a better future. The opportunity to escape grinding poverty in many of our villages has resulted in significant population growth in the City. Our famous traffic jams suggest that the appeal of Kampala often strains the City’s infrastructure that was originally designed for fewer people. The wealthiest elite in our country live in Kampala alongside some of the poorest of the poor.
I thank God that one of the highlights of our Jubilee celebrations this week was active outreach and ministry in several of our slums. We had an amazing visit to slums in Katanga and Kisugu, and I thank our churches that are based in those slums and who minister day in and day out there. I thank our wealthier churches for partnering with them, and especially for supporting children in those communities. Your labour is not in vain. There are 60 children being cared for in Kanyogoga Namuwongo and two are now in university. What a testimony! In our next 50 years as a Diocese, we need more of this kind of ministry – there is the challenge of street children, health and hygiene issues in the slums, and the rampant unemployment of our youth. I call on our churches to work together to grow this outreach ministry.
We have a future plan of constructing an income generating project for the Diocese of Kampala in order to increase our resources to fulfill the Church of Uganda’s vision of “A Christ-centred, self-sustaining Church” in order to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the City of Kampala. Brothers and sisters, this is possible if we work together and keep our focus on Christ!
The transformation of All Saints’ Cathedral represents all the opportunities for the Diocese to engage God’s Mission as our priority. I especially want to thank our Provost, Rev. Canon Dr. Rebecca Nyegenye, and her team, and the ACP for their tireless efforts to see this new Cathedral reach this level today. This is another Ebenezer. “This far the Lord has brought us.” There is still more work to be done, but what a blessing to be able to celebrate our Golden Jubilee in the new Cathedral.
Friends, as the Bible says, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” (Gal 6.9) Do not give up yet!
The Cathedral’s ministry is very squeezed because of lack of enough land. Plot 8 that is just behind us here is available for us to purchase. It is a very strategic plot for the development of the Cathedral and our entire ministry as a Diocese. The cost to purchase Plot 8 is 9.8 billion shillings. Today I am launching the campaign to purchase Plot 8 and claim it for God’s Mission. Please join me to support this expansion and keep God’s Mission as our Priority.
I now invite our good friend and fellow Anglican to deliver His Excellency’s message. Rt. Hon. Rugunda, you are most welcome!
The Most Rev. Dr. Stephen Samuel Kaziimba
Archbishop of Church of Uganda/Bishop of the Diocese of Kampala