Fort Portal Christians step up to give on UCU Sunday
Originally posted at: https://www.ugandapartners.org/2019/10/fort-portal-christians-step-up-to-give-on-ucu-sunday/
By Doreen Kajeru
Ghanaian diplomat and Nobel Peace Recipient Kofi Annan once said; “Knowledge is power. Information is liberating. Education is the premise of progress in every society, in every family.”
The Church of Uganda, through its child, Uganda Christian University (UCU), has embarked on a mission to provide a complete education for a complete person – an all-round education that will compliment someone’s life in society. Since its inception in 1997, UCU has sent out cultured and trained reverends, engineers, academics and journalists, among others.
Being a church-founded and private university, the institution does not receive support funds from the government; instead, the government demands taxes from the institution. With branches in Kampala, Arua, Mbale, Kabale and other constituent colleges, much support is needed to foster the university’s mission of equipping students for productive, holistic lives of Christian faith and service.
It was in this light that three years ago the House of Bishops of the Church of Uganda introduced UCU Sunday which is marked by all Anglican churches every last Sunday of September. The funds collected on this day across go to the university to support its operations.
In western Uganda, St. John’s Cathedral located at the peak of Fort Portal town, opens its doors to worshippers at 6:30 a.m. The church seats about 300 people every service. On September 29, 2019, it was the annual UCU Sunday. Many were happy that they had the opportunity to support an institution birthed by their Church. They gave of their money and even fruits like watermelon.
Florence Nyakato was among those who said she is pleased to give to God. For the UCU Sunday, Nyakato, a mother, said she was more than privileged to be part of those supporting UCU. She said the university is great capital to the advancement of the nation.
Reverend Isaac Kaguma, a theology graduate of Balya Constituent College, UCU, said UCU Sunday was a good idea because the church owns the institution and should therefore uphold it proudly. He beseeched the rest of the churches to join in supporting the excellent education that UCU gives.
UCU’s representative to the church, Rev. Dr. Medard Rugyendo, the principal of Bishop Barham University College, Kabale (UCU), thanked the church for the continued effort invested in sustaining the university.
“We are a private university and we need your backing. As a contribution, you have marketed, given and prayed for us. Thank you for this effort and continue doing so because this university is for our church and province,” Rugyendo said.
As he took the church through the journey of his salvation in 1976, to the attainment of his doctorate, Rugyendo encouraged the congregation to always consider education so that they are better able to serve God.
The Bishop of the diocese of Ruwenzori, Rt. Rev. Reuben Kisembo, said the UCU Sunday has been owned in the diocese. He said in support of the day, circulars were sent out to all the Anglican churches for their contribution to the work that UCU is doing in the country.
“The church is happy to support UCU’s mission. I know the people gave and we await the collection. We shall always support this cause for the advancement of the nation,” he said.
The Sunday service also was dedicated to children. Little Kitinisa, who cautioned the church to live their lives with Jesus as the center, delivered much of the sermon message. “Let us love and seek Jesus. It is only then that we shall live peacefully,” Kitinisa said, amidst ululations from the congregation.
For Americans and others outside of Uganda wishing to contribute on behalf of UCU Sunday, go to https://www.ugandapartners.org/donate/ and indicate “UCU Sunday” in the special instructions/comment box that is part of the on-line form, or send a check in the mail (Uganda Partners, P.O. Box 114, Sewickley, Pa. 15143) payable to UCU Partners with instructions for the UCU Sunday designation.