Mission - Events

Mission 21 Uganda

A report on the training offered to the Church of Uganda (Diocese of Kumi)
by Revd Dean Fostekew and Gill Young of the Scottish Episcopal Church
11-19 March 2004

The Training

21 lay and ordained leaders from the Diocese of Kumi, plus the Diocesan Secretary, Diocesan Treasurer and the Provincial Mission Co-ordinator met for three days at Green Top Hotel and Conference Centre, in Kumi.

The purpose of the three days was to train the gathered delegates in facilitation and consultancy skills that would enable them to implement an 'Ugandanised' version of Mission 21 into Kumi Diocese as a pilot project for the Church of Uganda as a whole.

Over the three days those gathered were introduced to the Mission 21 philosophy, the foundation material (MYCMI -Making Your Church More Inviting) and trained in basic facilitation and consultancy skills that can be used to implement the foundation material and to train future facilitators in the diocese/s.

The training went well and the participants said that they felt well prepared for the task and that they were able to translate the training/skills to different aspects of their lives as well as to Mission 21. One facilitator, a teacher, said that he was going to train his colleagues before anyone else as the skills he had gained were very appropriate to his role in the classroom. The translators also said they could see how the training related to the foundation materials and how they paved the way for a greater understanding of MYCMI.

The Translation

The translation team said that they had found the experience of translating MYCMI challenging, not just because of the material and its concepts but in the fact that meeting together had been problematic due to distances to be travelled and work/home commitments.

The following are some of the comments made by the translation team:

  • It was very exciting work. I liked the content very much and although some bits were not fully appropriate to Kumi we found discussing the replacements stimulating.
  • The translation encouraged great co-operation and working together.
  • The MYCMI material helped in the translation as it reminded them that they were a team and working through the exercises built them as a team.
  • The material inspired us - one member is now exploring a vocation to the priesthood because of the experience.
  • A big challenge was breaking the M21 sentences into shorter Ateso ones.
  • The material is very relevant to us.
  • The translators felt that they had gained an insight into the church in Scotland and that M21 will bring a change in Kumi; especially in involving others in ministry and encouraging lay ministry. The section on encouraging and caring for volunteers was important learning.
  • It was not a literal translation but a translation that kept the meaning. Not a transliteration which was good.
  • This is the first draft and we will revise it as we use it in response to what people say about it.
  • Felt that ones own knowledge of English grew as we learned new words.

The team consisted of 6 men and 1 woman. 2 teachers, a theological college principal, university chaplain, lay leader, diocesan missioner, youth officer for the diocese.

The fact that this draft is a first attempt and will be revised with use is good as it reflects what we did in Scotland in 'tartanising' the original material from the American. Much of what the translators said about the processes they had used and challenges they had faced were again similar to those we experienced in the SEC this filled me with hope.

Implementation

Over the next few weeks the facilitators will identify other facilitators that they will in turn train in facilitation skills. The Ateso version of MYCMI will be shared and congregations identified to be the pilots. Within the next month or so MYCMI will begin to be used. Some of the congregations have already been identified especially those in which we have preached on this and our previous visit.

Each facilitator will have a copy of the Ateso version and the English version and will use them in tandem initially. Unlike Scotland not every member of the MYCMI team will have a copy of the material; the facilitator will use the material in the most appropriate way.

The facilitators will meet together in the future at least another two times and funding for this has been left for this. The archdeacons who will act as local co-ordinators will also meet with John Omagar (and Johnson Ebong-Oming) in the future as will the translators. Again funding was left for this to occur.

Future Development

Those trained as facilitators will act as co-ordinators in their local areas for Mission 21, identifying individuals to train as facilitators and to prepare congregations for MYCMI. The 21 for Mission 21 will continue to meet as a group to chart the progress of Mission 21 in the Diocese of Kumi and will be supported by the regional archdeacons and the diocesan and provincial missioners.

Dean and Gill and Marjorie have been invited to return to Uganda to evaluate and review the progress and success of Mission 21 in 2005/6.

Conclusions

The training week was intense but rewarding. The responses of the facilitators to the MYCMI material and the facilitator training were positive and encouraging and their comments on the relevance of the ethos and materials in relation to Ugandan culture led us to believe that we had 'got it right'. MYCMI and Mission 21 are now in another continent and God willing it will spread and develop in appropriate cultural ways.