ENTEBBE: African Anglicans Must Rise Up and Bring life to Ailing Global Anglicanism - Apb Orombi
The following is the opening speech delivered by Ugandan Archbishop Henry Luke Orombi to the CAPA All African Bishops Conference being held in Entebbe, Uganda.
By Henry Orombi
August 24, 2010
The church of Uganda and the Nation with open arms receive you to Entebbe. This is a unique place where both the International Airport and the state House are situated.
Nearly six years ago we all gathered in Lagos - Nigeria for the very first time as bishops from Africa. We were well received by the Church and the people of Nigeria, an unforgettable experience. Today you are in Uganda, the Pearl of Africa - Welcome.
THE CHURCH OF UGANDA
Our Church has a population of 10.2 million Anglicans spread across the Nation forming 33 Dioceses and 35 bishops most of whom are to host you and make you feel the breeze of the Victoria Lake and receive you with form hand-shakes and hugs.
We are a Church that experienced the joy of the gospel as it came to us in 1877 brought to us by the Church Missionary Society by invitation. We are also a Church that has paid the price for the gospel by the sacrifice of the early believers who laid down their lives - "the Martyrs." The blood of both Bishop James Hannington and these early believers laid the foundation of this Church. A century alter, yet another martyr St. Janani Luwum paid a price by laying his life for the sake of the gospel (Feb. 1977) during dictator Amin's rule of terror.
The church experienced the Fire of Revival lit in Rwanda and burnt its way to Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania and Burundi later to be known as the famous "East African Revival." We have this legacy which is the driving force of this Church. We treasure the gospel, we preach the gospel, we believe the gospel and we seek to live by the gospel.
WHAT ARE OUR EXPECTATIONS?
We do not believe that your coming here is just for a conference as usual - No. Something beautiful is in the air.
* You have come to a town which is the "gateway" to the country of Uganda. May your feet that have walked though this gate bring good news of our Lord because they are beautiful. How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who publishes peace, who brings good news of happiness, who publishes salvation, who says to Zion, your God reigns." Isa. 72:7. We have hosted the Commonwealth conference (CHOGM) and recently the African Union just last month.
It is by Divine agenda that we today host All Bishops of Africa. Please bless this nation by your presence. Bloodshed has been our experience in the past including the recent bombings on July 11 this year.
* Mother Africa has been violated for several decades by various forces external and internal. You leaders of God's people in Africa must raise up anointed and prophetic voices from this small country almost in the heart of Africa and call for the release of Africa.
* POTENTIALS. Let the Lord remove our "reproach" this week as we find each other and appreciate one another afresh. Let the bonding which began in Lagos, Nigeria be consolidated in Entebbe, Uganda that hope may rise up once again.
* Time is now for "African Anglicanism" to rise up and begin to bring fresh life in "the ailing Global Anglicanism." The potentials represented today in this conference must be free to go to Europe and America with "fresh wine" from "new wine skins" to the Mother Church desperate for the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. I say "the church of Africa" must rise up. Shake off your fears, shame and superficial dependency. Take hold of this God-given opportunity and use it to His glory. Preach the gospel, evangelize and extend the Kingdom of Jesus Christ. That was his Commission and we can do nothing less. Paul says, For if I preach the gospel, that gives me no grounds for boasting. For necessity is laid upon me. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel. (I Cor. 9:16)
Our hands and hearts are open to share what we have with you as a church and a country. Ugandans have spent all they have to make you feel comfortable and peaceful. No one came from outside to help fund this conference, this is our Ugandan gift to you. Take a bit of time to rest and be renewed. Make friends who will enrich your ministry. Welcome. Archbishop of Canterbury, fellow Primates, brother Bishops, Clergy, and all the Observers.
The Most rev. Rev. Henry Luke Orombi
ARCHBISHOP OF CHURCH OF UGANDA
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