Christians of Entebbe have celebrated 35 years of existence with praise and worship, and a call to work hard so that at 50, they have transformed even further.
The celebrations held in Entebbe were graced by H.E the Vice President Jessica Alupo who represented President Museveni.
President Museveni extended his congratulations to all the faithful of Entebbe Archdeaconry, upon the celebrations and commended Venerable Canon John Gitta Kavuma, the Archdeacon, for his able leadership.
which has enabled the Archdeaconry “to fulfil its mandate of preaching the gospel and creating a positive impact in the surrounding communities”.
The President asked the congregation to renew their commitment to the service of the Almighty God and mankind, as a ” moment of thanksgiving to God for the journey of the last 35 years and a dedication of all the future plans”.
President Museveni said he recognized the long-standing partnership between the Church of Uganda and Government, especially in achieving the goal of socio-economic transformation of Uganda. “While the most obvious task of the Church is the spiritual well-being of the people; the church has also championed development-related projects focused at enhancing the physical well-being of the communities, in such areas as health, education, tourism,” he remarked.
The President further reminded the congregation to participate in income generating activities and partake of the various programs by Government, quoting the Bible
“…We are a colony of heaven on earth…” (Philippians Chapter 3, Verse 20).
It is important to emphasise to believers that in addition to seeking spiritual nourishment from the places of worship, they should also participate in income generating activities to sustain their households”. He urged them to take the example of Jesus who taught, prayed fasted, but was also a carpenter. “He earned his bread as a carpenter. Therefore, religious leaders should use their pulpits to encourage the believers to work towards poverty eradication”, the President counselled.
He rallied for wealth creation which was a central focus of Government. “By prioritizing expenditure on electricity, roads, schools, hospitals, peace and security, the visionary leadership of the NRM Government has established a solid foundation for Uganda’s development and socio-economic transformation”, he said adding that Development is a collective good for everyone; but wealth and jobs belong to individuals, families, groups or companies.
“We should not have spectators in the drive towards increasing the household incomes” as he reminded them of the four major sectors for creating wealth and jobs: commercial Agriculture, Industrialization, Services and ICT.
In brief remarks before she read his speech, the Vice President thanked God for the preservation of life against the pandemic and other catastrophes.
She thanked God for the prayers and blessings given to the President saying these prayers have enabled him steer this country uninterrupted. “He is still serving and is very strong” as she referenced the words of the Archedeacinary who said people are looking forward to more support through the different programs of Government. “These programs continously need time for implementation that’s why President Museveni will still be with us in 2026 and beyond. Please support him so that the programs he spearheaded and set out are continuously achieved.” These, she added include peace and security.
Responding to issues like road construction among others earlier raised, the Vice President said government works in a phased manner for all Infrastructure projects. Working on the roads is an activity lined up in the NRM manifesto because we know how they impact and transform the lives of the people [in Entebbe] by taking their products to the markets, but also in the general improvement of service delivery as a whole. “They will be done”, she assured them.
On alleged issues of land grabbing and on security in Entebbe, Alupo said the Ministry of lands would be involved and a report availed,adding that it is Government’s responsibility to ensure that the people of Uganda and all their property are protected so that the people carry out their business uninterrupted, therefore, everything to sustain peace and security would be continously done.
The Vice President announced a UGX60m pledge from the President towards their fundraising, stating Government would continue to work symbiotically with the church, especially in regards to service delivery areas of health, education among others. “We look forward to the continued collaboration”, she said.
She further thanked the people and residents of Entebbe for the hospitality,especially that Entebbe is in many ways, the face of Uganda.
Earlier, during the service, the Lord’s commandments were recited, giving great reminders of God’s calling to live purposeful lives. A choir-the Medic choir from Mengo had chorused in a beautiful melody, singing prayerfully to the Lord help us Lord return to your ways, save us, men are marrying men, manifest yourself Lord, people are killing each other, before Ven Canon John Gitta, the Archdeacon spoke.
He gave a background saying Entebbe Archdeaconry which overseas some parts of Kampala, Wakiso and Kalangala was inaugurated in 1987. “The peace that the NRM brought was a launching pad for the success of this Archdeaconry”, he remarked.
He indicated that Celebrations started with an exhibition, a youth conference, a seminar on successful marriages, sports activities and a mass wedding where 22 couples were wedded.
Entebbe Archedeaconary, he said, has 163 churches with 82000 Christians, with the majority being the youth.
The church, Can Gitta said, has embraced poverty eradication, and is working towards fostering development through consolidation of programs that trigger sustainable development.
“The fact that majority of our members are still under the poverty brackets, we as church leaders have embraced to consultatively and scientifically approach the management of the social, spiritual and economic affairs of our believers”, Gitta remarked, giving the Church’s commitment to working with government to “collectively and inclusively solve the challenges that our people face.”
He acknowledged and appreciated the support of government in strengthening freedom of worship in fostering development of various faiths in the country,saying this has helped them to focus and consolidate issues that are critical to them as christians.
“There are issues that can trigger the sustainable development of our archdeacon”, he stated.
He thanked President Museveni for his “visionary leadership” that had championed Emyooga, a Presidential Initiative on wealth creation. “Some of our people have started benefiting. We are also excited about the Parish Development Model and we are optimistic that this program will go a long of increasing household income of the majority of the poor who form a bigger part of our congregation especially the people of Ssese Islands”, said Gitta.
He retaliated the Church’s overwhelming support support towards government programs saying the clergy and christians, “have embarked on a deliberate campaign of community mobilization and mindset change of our people to be vigilant and engage in income generating activities and using every available opportunity to benefit from government interventions”.
He appealed for financial support such as capitalisation of the Entebbe archdeaconary Sacco.
“Majority of our people are active but remain poor due to lack of capital to either start or boost their small medium enterprises”, Gitta said,as he rallied for support,some of which would go into
Youth Skilling and mobilization. “Youth form majority of our congregation, they are ‘energetic but most of them under utilize their force. We have started to mobilize them into formidable productive force by Skilling them. We plan to establish youth Skilling centre which will gradually skill the youths. Land is alreadily available in Wakiso district”, added Canon Gitta.
The day’s preacher Bishop Felix Odeyi- from the Anglican Diocese of Koforidua,Ghana expressed his gratitude for being invited at the auspicious occassion.
“We give thanks to God for the 35years of the lords work, of spreading the gospel, for the Church leaders, founding fathers. This gives us hope and courage”, he remarked as he started his sermon centred on gratitude.
“Look back on your work, because it is easy to take for granted these achievements for which you should be grateful. Reflect upon the goodness, kindness, and mercy of God and the expansion of God’s work and realise that God has been merciful to the Archeadonary of Entebbe. Please dont forget to be thankful because being gratitude enables us to see the Lord’s work done”, preached the Bishop.
He said that it is faith that reminds us to be thankful to God for all possibilities, asking believers to never be discouraged and dismayed because God is with them always. “Trust in the lord as source of all strength. You may not have all the answers to all the problems and challenges you face, but like Joshua did in the Bible, take it all to God because he has all the answers to help you face all the challenges”.
Bishop Felix preached about courage saying Christians should Walk in God’s footsteps, Study his word, follow his example everyday so as to have the courage to face all challenges-with faith.
“Be the light in your communities, show the rest the way to the Lord. Our mission is to bring Christ’s peace to wherever you are, wherever you go. There is no special way for reaching for this, except to pray that God’s light shines in you to be a light to others”, he said.
He encouraged the congregation to take the responsibilities of helping younger access the Gospel.
“Help them face life by taking to them the Gospel of Jesus. You have a responsibility to communities, to your families to meet their needs in this changing world. If you have Jesus in your heart, it is all possible, every challenge is possible and we can change our societies so that people can develop, change, grow” he said, as he moved the congregation to thunderous claps.
“Take your soul building responsibly”, he preached, adding that it takes faith, to get to know and accept Jesus.
At the same function, Sepuya Daniel an Engineer by profession and a member of the Uganda Institution of Professional Engineers was recognized by the Church for his commitment to enforce the relocation of high power that was a potential risk to the church.
Several people attended the celebrations including Bishop Balagadde ssekadde of Namirembe Diocese, Rt.Rev Samuel George Bogere Egesa of Bukedi Diocese, Rt.Rev Dr.Samuel Ezeofar of Aguata of Nigeria, the Presidents of Mothers and fathers Union alongside leaders from several Archdeaconaries.