23 deacons and priests ordained in the Diocese of Northern Uganda by Bishop Johnson Gakumba during a colourful ceremony at St. Philips Cathedral Gulu.
In a wonderful service that was both joyful and solemn, the preacher was the Bishop of Kitgum Diocese, Rt. Rev. Wilson Kitara. In his sermon, Bishop Kitara appealed to the newly ordained to accept their call into ordained ministry. He urged them to remain faithful to their call: “Let the spirit direct your lives and you will not satisfy the desires of the human nature”. He said those clergy who still get into immorality and indecent actions, worship of idols and witchcraft, jealousy, anger and greed for power – they are not born of the spirit.
The bishop cautioned the congregation against false teachers who appeal to people by using sweet sounding words. They say, “When you came to our church, you will get a car, a beautiful woman/a handsome man, money, jobs and promotions.” He said Jesus called the disciples by saying follow me (luba) and they followed him.
Preaching from Matthew 10, the bishop said what Jesus would say to the 23 ordinands: ‘Go and preach.’ “As you go, proclaim this message: the kingdom of heaven is near! Heal the sick, bring the dead to life, heal those who suffer from dreaded disease and drive out demons. You have received without pay, so give without being paid. Do not carry any gold, silver or copper money in your pockets, do not carry a beggar’s bag for the journey or an extra shirt or shoes, or a stick, workers should be given what they need.”
Bishop Kitara appealed to the congregation to take care of the clergy by meeting their basic daily needs such as food, shelter and life’s other necessities in order for them to receive blessings from the clergy. “Ka ce myero amini gum, ento aneno ni in aye ma i weko kec neka, adeno can ci amini gum nining.” This means ‘if you are the very one giving me a hard time and not taking good care of me, how can I whole heartedly give you the blessing which is required of me according to the Book of Numbers 6: 22-27?’ The bishop said one reason some Christians are not receiving blessings is because they do not take care of the priests posted to their parishes.
So wisely the Bishop of Kitgum had challenged both ordinands and laity to share together in the ministry entrusted to every member of the body of Christ. In contrast to the deceptive appeals of the false preachers, the newly ordained were urged to be directed by the Holy Spirit. They were encouraged to take to heart the liberating words of Jesus and to go as Kingdom workers in his mission. Like those first disciples, they would go on learning as they followed Jesus, clear in the knowledge that the way of Jesus is the way of joyful and costly self-giving not greedy and foolish self-accumulation. At the end of it all the deacons were given bicycles for ministry, one Parish however managed to buy a motorcycle for their priest. How I would love to see the reverends on motorcycles and vehicle instead of bicycles. If you are challenged, please support at least the two female Deacons to have a motorcycle each to start with.