'Transformation is only possible through a personal encounter with God. If we are to see Uganda transformed it must begin with each of us here and the Church of Uganda.' This was the challenge given by Revd Dr Edward Muhima, bishop elect of Busoga Diocese, at this strategic planning workshop.
The Church of Uganda held it's first Mission and Evangelism Strategic Planning Workshop in Lweza Training and Conference Centre. Led by the Revd Johnson Oming, Provincial Mission and Evangelism Co-ordinator and sponsored by CMS, approximately 50 representatives, including bishops, principles of theological colleges and diocesan mission and evangelism co-ordinators, gathered together from almost every diocese in Uganda for four days.
The primary purpose of this event was to begin to develop a long-term strategic plan of holistic mission, focusing on spiritual, physical intellectual, social and economic needs of Ugandan Christians. The theme of the workshop was 'Transforming Uganda through transformed lives' that was a constant challenge to the participants through the daily Bible studies led by the Rt Revd Charles Odurkami and the evening exhortations by the Revd Dr Edward Muhima. Various presentations on the Mission and evangelism in the Anglican Communion, the history of mission in Uganda, Models of mission and evangelism and the mission agencies, and strategies of global mission gave a perspective and stimulation to the future planning.
The main focus of the programme was the participants themselves. Sharing their various experiences, strengths, weaknesses and opportunities in their mission, discussing in groups the situations in their dioceses and confronting hard questions and challenges. It was from these discussions, and the encouragement to think strategically from the facilitator, the Revd Dr Zac Niringiye, that the future strategies for each diocese began to formulate.
The vision was not only for the dioceses of Uganda but for God's mission in the whole world. 'God's mission is much bigger than the Church and if we fail to be his witnesses, he will raise up others and accomplish his own purposes.' Thus the challenge of cross-cultural mission was presented. To cross dioceses, tribal communities, countries and continents. To begin to cross from 'Jerusalem to Judea', those similar to ourselves was the first step to be taken from many, before we face 'Samaria and the world'.
The Church of Uganda approaches mission and evangelism on a holistic way. The Youth and student Work, the Mothers Union and Family Life, Health Services and Christian Health Education, Children's work and the Diocesan Mission and Evangelism Co-ordinators are all part of the Provincial Mission and Evangelism Co-ordinator's desk.