Good morning, our dear friends from the Media Houses and our “Media Evangelists” and all Christians in the Church of Uganda.
Praise God from whom all blessings flow!
On Monday, 7th December, we will be convening the first-ever Archbishop’s Leadership Summit.
This will be a one-day event that will bring together approximately 50 leaders from each of our 37 dioceses, plus provincial leaders, to reflect on the leadership challenges from ministry during the season of the pandemic, as well as look ahead for the kind of leadership opportunities the church needs to provide in the coming years.
In total we are expecting about 2000 leaders to participate in the first Archbishop’s Leadership Summit. Never before has the Archbishop been able to meet all the leaders of the Church of Uganda at the same time. This will be a very big breakthrough for us as a church.
Because of the ongoing need for social distancing, the Archbishop’s Leadership Summit will be held over Zoom and video conferencing set-ups in every diocese, with all the SOPs being observed. The Summit will also be live-streamed on the Church of Uganda’s Facebook page and the Words of Hope Ministries Facebook page for anyone who would like to follow.
The theme for the first ever Archbishop’s Leadership Summit is “Business Unusual: Accelerating the Conversion of the Head, the Heart, and the Hands.” Our Keynote speaker is Bishop Nathan Gasatura from Rwanda. The beauty of Zoom is that we can bring in international speakers without them having to travel anywhere.
Other speakers will be Professor Augustus Nuwagaba, Bishop Alfred Olwa, Mr James Abola, Rev. Lydia Kitayimbwa, Canon Dr. Ruth Senyonyi, and the Managing Director of Equity Bank, our good friend and partner in development.
We want to especially thank Airtel for their partnership in upgrading the internet connections in all 37 Dioceses and for their support in advancing the Church of Uganda’s internet infrastructure and capacity. As I have said before, we need a mindset change. Internet is no longer a luxury; it is a necessity. Thank you, Airtel, for supporting us as we adopt this mindset change.
I have said many times that we are in a season of “Business Unusual” and this season requires us to understand that we are also called to “Leadership Unusual.” The purpose of the Archbishop’s Leadership Summit is specifically for our key church leaders to be renewed, encouraged, and challenged with the leadership tasks before us as a church.
This Summit is primarily focused on leadership within the church. It will not specifically address our current political climate or electoral issues. We do believe, however, that as we become more responsive leaders in the church that we will also become more responsive leaders in our communities and in our country Uganda.
For those who are wondering where the voice of their church is in the midst of our immediate challenges, I want to assure you that the voice of your church is very strong through our combined efforts with the Inter-Religious Council of Uganda.
As Religious Leaders, we are non-partisan and we are pro-Uganda. We are pro…a peaceful Uganda. A prosperous Uganda. And a united Uganda.
As Religious Leaders, we have already met with the Electoral Commission and offered them our support to ensure non-violent campaigning, equal opportunity for all candidates, and free and fair elections.
We have already met with the top police leadership and they have promised not to use live bullets and excessive force in the exercise of their duties. It’s only fair that they have also asked us – Ugandan citizens – to obey the laws and respect the public health SOPs to reduce the spread of Covid-19.
As Religious Leaders, we will continue to meet other leaders and stakeholders in the country in order to promote non-violence and a peaceful campaign and election season.
Campaign and election violence has often been a sad part of Uganda’s past. But, let’s remember – We are now in a season of Business Unusual. Along with our church leaders, I am calling upon all leaders and all citizens to embrace a more peaceful way of conducting ourselves in campaigns and elections. We can do better than this, and we deserve better than this.
By the end of the Archbishop’s Leadership Summit, we hope the Church of Uganda will more fully embrace the new tools available to us, realize the need for a changed mindset in order to achieve our mission and vision, and have a unified strategic direction – even during “business unusual.
We are appealing for your prayers for the success of the Archbishop’s Leadership Summit and inviting you to participate through the live-streaming on Facebook.
The Most Rev. Dr. Stephen Samuel Kaziimba
ARCHBISHOP OF CHURCH OF UGANDA.