25 December 2012

Uganda: Turn to God, Ntagali Urges Citizens

The Church of Uganda Archbishop, Stanley Ntagali has appealed to Ugandans to repent and focus efforts to fight corruption on seeking God in their social, economic and political lives.

In his maiden sermon since he was enthroned the 7th Bishop of Kampala Diocese, Ntagali told a congregation at All Saints Church that that corruption was rooted in greed and selfishness in society, and castigated Christians for being complacent and insincere.

He urged Ugandans not to point fingers at corrupt politicians only, but to examine the entire social fabric since corruption was old as mankind.

"Let me assure you that corruption is just a symptom. God is no longer at the centre of our lives, even when we fill churches and other places of worship. Going to church is now just for convenience," he said.

Ntagali said the future of Uganda and Kampala was bright, but urged Ugandans to shun their ethnic difference and change their mindset.

"I am proud to be Ugandan and I have lived and worked in all parts of the country. Ugandans should put their differences aside and know that we are united by Jesus Christ who was born on Christmas Day," he stated.

He thanked Christians for supporting him on his rise to the church's top office, describing the experience as 'a special moment in my life and ministry.'

Ntagali was enthroned Bishop of Kampala Diocese on Sunday, days after he was installed the 8th Archbishop on December 16, replacing Henry Luke Orombi in both positions.

Ntagali observed that many had shunned God and desecrated Christmas Day, instead of reflecting on the birth of Jesus Christ.

"Today, Jesus has no place in people's families, the lives of youth or their businesses. Other things have taken over," he stated.

"To many people, Christmas is a day for merry-making or home-coming. To other people, it is a time to make friends while to others, it is a day for eating well. You do not need to stop at eating well and socializing," Ntagali said.

Ntagali wondered why Uganda was going through difficult times, yet over 80% of the population was Christian.

"There is bad news everywhere, and local FM stations always broadcast it. What has gone wrong with us, yet our motto is For God and My Country?" He asked.

He, however, noted that the year 2012 was a special year for Uganda, citing the marking of 50 years of independence and the repentance led by President Yoweri Museveni.

He also cited the Church of Uganda's commemoration of 100 years of existence, and 40 years for the Kampala Diocese.

Ntagali decried the high level of materialism among Christians and urged believers to be patient to receive God's blessing.

Referring to Bible teachings, Ntagali said Jesus was born in a manger but emerged the savior of the world, despite such an uneventful experience.

Alluding to his personal experience, Ntagali said he rose through the ranks of the church, from catechist, to Archbishop, having leaped over challenges of a polygamous family and a humble beginning.

Ntagali advised youth and other Christians going through difficult family and personal challenges, to give their lives to God.

"Whenever there are mountains in your life, cry out to the Lord. But don't wait for what the Archbishop will do for you, but rather, what God will do for you through him," he said.

He appealed to Christians to use Christmas to foster reconciliation with family, neighbours and politicians, especially those with opposing views.

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