Report from the Presbyterian Church of Uganda - December, 2010

December 16, 2010
                  
A.      PCU ESTABLISHMENT AND MISSION STATEMENT
 
      The Presbyterian Church in Uganda was established in 1979 after the fall of the dictatorial regime of Idi Amin. Presently, our denomination comprises of 30 local congregations with a total membership of 3074 both communicant and non communicant members from five presbyteries i.e. [Central, Kampala, Kapchorwa, Semuliki, and Gulu Presbyteries]. We subscribe to the Westminster Confession of Faith as well as other historical confessions like Heidelberg Catechism, Belgic Confession, and the Canons of Dort.
 
We have one denominational colleges and seminary (Westminster Theological College and Seminary) where men and women from the broader body of Christ both in Uganda and the rest of Africa are being prepared for the work of ministry. Our mission is to glorify Jesus Christ both in word and deed so that the nations around us may come to the true saving knowledge and faith, which alone are to be found in our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ (1Cor10:31-33).  
 
B.     STATEMENT OF FAITH
 
We believe in one God, Creator of all things, eternally existing in three persons, the Father the Son and the Holy Spirit.
 
We believe that Jesus Christ is the divinely begotten Son of God and fully man. 
 
We believe that the Old and New Testaments as originally received, were inspired and authorized by God; that they unite to present a single message of His redemptive purpose; and supreme authority in all matters of life and faith.
 
We believe that man was created in the image of God, but through Sin, he came under the condemnation of God and must be born again of the Spirit in order to be saved from wrath and be reinstated in favor with his creator.
 
We believe Christ died for the sins of his people and rose again according to the scriptures, and that those who repent and trust in the merits of his atoning work are justified, sanctified, and assured of the resurrection of the body at the time of Christ’s return.
 
We believe in the blessed hope of the personal return of Christ to receive his bride the church, to complete the conquest of wickedness in this world, and to reign in glory with him.
 
We believe in the bodily resurrection of the just and the eternal punishment of the lost, and the eternal blessedness of the elect.
 
We believe that the purpose of the spiritual gifts given to men and women in Christ is not self-fulfillment but service to others, to the end that God receives all glory and honor.
 
We believe in the present ministry of the Holy Spirit by whose indwelling the Christian is enabled to live a godly life. 
 
C.      EVANGELISM/ DISCIPLESHIP AND THEOLOGICAL EDUCATION
We have adopted the following strategies in our local church for evangelism and discipleship as we endeavor to fulfill the great commission.
 
1.       Evangelism:
Mainly carried out by our local Church but sometimes we work in conjunction with visiting Short Term Mission Teams. We engage in:
a.        Gospel rallies.
b.       Door-to-door outreaches.
c.        Community outreaches.
d.       School outreaches.
e.        Prison and hospital outreaches.
f.        Mobile health clinic services.
g.       Sports outreaches.
 
2.       Discipleship:
             Nurture of the Church is pursued by engaging in:
a.        Mobile School of Theology
b.       Bible Study Classes.
c.        Adults and infant’s Sunday school Classes.
d.       Youth in the Church conferences, camps and retreats.
e.        Women in the Church conferences and retreats.
f.        Men in the Church conferences and retreats.
g.       Children in the Church conferences and retreats.
h.       Married couple conferences and retreats.
 
3.       Theological Education
Westminster Theological College/ Seminary is our training center. We offer a range of programs stretching from Masters, Bachelors to certificate level studies. This means we have room for preparation in the work of ministry for all God’s people who express readiness to participate in the building up of Christ’s kingdom both in Uganda and beyond. Our faculty is both local and international.
 
D.    MERCY MINISTRY AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
 
1.       Mercy Ministry:
       Through the Diaconal ministry the compassion of Christ is being shown towards the saints and strangers on behalf of the church. Uganda is among the many African nations that have been adversely affected by wars and the AIDS/HIV epidemic. Many children lost their parents and are living in such miserable conditions with little hope for survival. Our church is responding to this huge challenge in the following ways:
 
a)       Creating awareness among the general public about the danger of promiscuous sexual relations, and encouraging them to pursue the holiness of body and spirit by acknowledging Christ in their lives as Lord and Savior.
 
b)      Providing the orphans with education, as this seems to us the best way the church can help give them hope for the future.
 
c)       Trying to look for partners with us in this great challenge of helping the fatherless and less privileged amongst God’s people (Exo22:22-24, Deut10:17-18; Ps82: 3; Isa1:17; Zech7:10; Mal3: 5).
 
2.       Community Development
 
a)       Micro-Project Development Program:
       Our denomination is also involved in a poverty alleviation program among our church members. Through a Micro-Project Development scheme, believers are extended with small soft loans, which are interest free, to begin business enterprises for the support of their families as well as the work of ministry (1Thes4:11- 12; 2Thes2:7- 12).
 
b)      Schools and Hospitals:
       The traditional religions (Roman Catholics, Anglican Church, and Islam) have had a huge influence upon a large cross section of the people of Uganda by engaging in social activities such schools and hospitals. For the last over one hundred thirty years they have employed these strategies and have made great strides in influencing the general public. For example, every place a Catholic Church has been planted, an elementary school, or a secondary school, or a high school or a hospital has been established there as well. This is an area where as Reformed people we still heavily lag behind.
 
      We are seriously looking at this great challenge and are trying to adopt a similar approach in our effort to spread the reformed faith in Uganda.
 
We strongly believe that we can be a great force in promoting the faith that was once and for all entrusted to the saints (Jude3) if we partner as God’s people worldwide in building up His kingdom. It is our prayer therefore that we continue with the process of knowing each other and cultivate a strong working relationship that would enable us to effectively work towards promoting His kingdom far and wide. Grace and peace be with you all.
 
Rev Fred Kabenge
Coordinator at the PCU General Assembly