United Methodists Plan Projects for Uganda
by Linda Bloom
A support group for the United Methodist Church in Uganda is planning projects for 2001 now that the reorganized church is officially registered and recognized by the Ugandan government.
Administrative and financial improprieties had led the denomination to terminate the clergy membership of one church leader, Solomon Muwanga, and re-register with the government. The new registration of the United Methodist Church of Uganda occurred in May, according to Clyde Anderson, a United Methodist Board of Global Ministries executive.
The Ugandan church is now in the hands of three able district superintendents, led by the Rev. Daniel Wandabula, Anderson said. Relations with the Ugandan government are good, he said, and new property has been registered to the Board of Global Ministries to avoid the loss of property that occurred before.
The mission agency is addressing needs in Uganda through its comprehensive plan for East Africa and part of the $500,000 allotted to East Africa through the board's Millennium Fund. "Those are the funds being used currently," Anderson explained in an Oct. 23 interview.
The agency also works with U.S. partners on mission projects in the country. One such group is United with Uganda, whose members have supported ministry there during the past decade. At a September meeting of United with Uganda, several plans were discussed, among them:
· Building a United Methodist orphanage for 250 students with assistance from Ashburn (Va.) United Methodist Church. Land has been acquired, and teams could begin work as early as next February.
· Deploying volunteer teams, coordinated through the Minnesota chapter of United with Uganda, to assist in construction of a secondary school building at New Hope Orphanage in Luwero, Uganda. The New Hope Orphanage is an independent project supported by various denominations.
· Sending a teaching team of four to six people, along with the New Hope volunteers, to hold three to four days of classes in each of Uganda's United Methodist districts.
The group heard from the Rev. Fred Bamalutira, a Ugandan pastor studying at United Methodist-related Perkins Theological Seminary in Dallas, about the extreme financial hardships faced by pastors in his country. In response, they pledged to recruit churches to support one pastor each, at a monthly cost of $50, and to work with the Board of Global Ministries to establish a way of distributing the funds.
United with Uganda also is targeting the first phase of construction for a district mission center in the Busia District next fall. The multipurpose building would include an office, communication center, library, training facility and worship space.
The organization's next consultation will be March 23-24 in Pittsburgh. More information on United with Uganda is available by calling the Rev. Mark Rader at (507) 937-3177 or sending an e-mail to email@example.com.
Date posted: Oct 24, 2000