Press Release: 1 September 2006
By Aileen Ngu, Director of Communications, Church of the Province of Uganda
The 18th Provincial Assembly of the Church of the Province of Uganda was opened on Wednesday, 30th August 2006 at Uganda Christian University, Mukono by the Rt Hon Prime Minister, Prof Apolo Nsibambi.
He brought greetings from His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Uganda and the Cabinet members.
In his remarks, the Hon Prime Minister encouraged religious leaders to emulate the retired Archbishop Nkoyoyo’s example of acquiring skills in entrepreneurship. While he understood that God is the first priority, Christians should not marginalise the material aspects of life.
He also thanked the Church for her contribution towards helping to bring down the infection rates of HIV/AIDs, making Uganda a success story. The Church’s commitment to the Authority of Scripture and the Biblical values of abstinence before marriage and faithfulness within marriage enabled the Church to provide the leadership in formulating a national response to this call. He identified that the Church was working in a unique and vital role, especially when homosexual activists from the West are ‘trying to disturb us’, both religiously and politically. He said that the Church was right to ostracise Senyonjo for supporting homosexuality.
The Hon Prime Minister added he was “proud of the unique contributions of the Church to our Country”. He continued to say that we still need to lead together to achieve self-sufficiency and appealed to the Church to assist in re-afforestation. There was also work we had to do together in Northern Uganda for the resettlement, rehabilitation and restoration of our people and this required 1,000 billion shillings.
The two-day event, occurring every two years, was chaired by the Archbishop, the Most Rev Henry Luke Orombi. In his charge, Archbishop Orombi called on the young people of our churches to remain in the Church, be fed and trained for the future of this country. He asked the Assembly members to begin an aggressive programme of involvement for the youth.
The Archbishop thanked the Provincial Secretariat and his team for starting to design a policy framework to enable the Church to have a clear sense of direction with regard to human resource policy.
On the Anglican Communion, the Archbishop confirmed that the Church of Uganda had already broken communion with the Episcopal Church of the United States of America (ECUSA) in 2003 because of their consecration of a practising homosexual as bishop. The election of the new Presiding Bishop was also a set back in our relations because her theology was unacceptable and not a way forward in resolving the crisis. The tear will not be repaired as long as ECUSA does not move forward towards repentance.
The Archbishop in his address also called on the Church to amend and update its constitution “in order to clarify the biblical and evangelical character of the Church within the wider Anglican Communion”. He proposed a revised article stating that the Church of Uganda “shall be in full communion with all churches, dioceses and provinces of the Anglican Communion that receive, hold and maintain the Canonical Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments as the Word of God written”.
For the first time, the Church gave away copies of Rick Warren’s book, Purpose-Driven Life, to all delegates. The Assembly’s theme was ‘Seek ye first the kingdom of God’ (Matthew 6:33). Commemorative items like caps, umbrellas, pens, stickers, mugs and t-shirts were made available to the delegates with the slogan “Church of Uganda – It’s all About God!”.
The Provincial Assembly was attended by members of the Houses of Bishops, Clergy, Laity, Womens and Youth representatives, as well as members of the international community and observers. It was closed by the Archbishop on Thursday, 31 August 2006.