The Archbishop of the Church of Uganda, The Most Rev Dr Stephen Samuel Kaziimba Mugalu, has encouraged Christians to follow the preventive guidelines communicated by the President of Uganda against the spread of corona virus.
“As Christians and as the church, we value life and support all efforts to promote life. Jesus said, “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” (John 10.10),” Dr Kaziimba’s message reads in part.
He notes that people have asked him, “If we can’t meet for worship in church on Sundays and mid-week, how will we have church?”
“Yes, it will be hard to not meet together on Sundays, but we should be assured of Jesus’ words, “Where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.” (Matthew 18.18)” he says.
Below are the guidelines contained in his message.
- I have already encouraged Home Cells in my Charge and they are the ideal place for Sunday worship to take place. Some cells may need to sub-divide so they are no more than 10 people. But, Sunday worship can take place with home cells in homes, observing, of course, the appropriate behaviours of not shaking hands or hugging and keeping at least one metre of distance between you and others. If you’re sick, please stay home.
- I am calling on all husbands and fathers to step up and take responsibility for leading your families in daily home prayers and in Sunday worship. The Family is the smallest church, and every home needs its “Family Altar.”
- Some churches have developed the capacity for online streaming of worship services. I call on you to expand that capacity for also broadcasting services without the presence of a congregation. Please also share with your diocese and the provincial office the times and online address for these broadcasts, so others can benefit.
- We are asking all Bishops to develop “Radio Church,” and asking all radio stations to collaborate with the church under these extraordinary circumstances and provide airtime on Sunday mornings to broadcast local language worship services into every home.
- We also encourage all Bishops to link with local TV stations for ways to broadcast a local language Sunday service through television. I want to emphasize how this situation reminds us of our great need for a church TV station, as I identified in my Charge, and I hope we will now understand the urgency for it.
- I will be recording a daily devotion to be circulated on social media and I encourage you to access the devotion through the Church of Uganda’s Facebook page and Twitter accounts. Please use it with your family and home cells. www.facebook.com/ChurchOfUgandaNamirembe/. www.twitter.com/ChurchOfUganda and www.twitter.com/Archbishop_COU.
- There is an African Proverb that says, “When an African sings, he prays twice.” In Italy, where communities have been locked down for several weeks already, residents in apartment buildings and nearby homes are singing together from their balconies and front doors. Please, take the initiative and be a blessing to your neighbours by singing songs of praise and worship together in our communities…but at a distance!
- I also want to encourage Christians to reach out to one another in as many ways as possible – phone calls, text messages, social media – so we continue to encourage one another in our faith. This is especially important for the elderly and those who may be isolated. Please make sure they have the practical, emotional, and spiritual support of the Christian community.
- Do not neglect to worship God through your tithes and offerings.
a. Bishops and Clergy should explain to their Christians how to use online banking, if available, to continue giving weekly tithes and offerings.
b. Alternatively, using Mobile Money may be another means.
c. It may be possible to pass by your local church during the week and give your offering privately.
d. If none of those are available, I urge every Christian to set aside their weekly tithes and offerings. When we do come back together again – and, we will! – we will have a big in-gathering as a Thanksgiving to God for his great faithfulness (Lam 3.21-23).
See the full message by scrolling through the table below