Essence of university fellowships and community worship

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A member of the UCU Staff Choir leading worship during the Easter festivities. (Photo by Doreen Kajeru)

Mathew 18-19 – 20 says: “Again,truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.

 

For where two or three gather in my name, there I am with them.”Uganda Christian University (UCU) has created platforms to fulfill this scripture and foster her virtue of Christianity through community worship and fellowship.

For community worship, the students and staff gather as a family to praise, worship and hear from God.

It is a one-hour service held twice every week on Tuesday and Thursday from 12 to1pm. The composition of the congregation ranges from the highest to the lowest rank and from all religious sects.

On a smaller scale, different departments, faculties, courses, tribes and offices also fellowship on different days.

The various fellowships at UCU include the Main Uganda Christian University Fellowship (MUCUF), the Development for External Relations (DER) fellowship, the ladies’ Wednesday Fellowship, the Business Faculty fellowship, among others.

During community worship, different choirs take turns to lead praise and worship, which always comes before the announcements and later on the preaching.The choirs are formed according to regions, tribes, nationalities, courses, fellowships, professions and departments.

These lead on the allocated days. Various languages for example, the Runyakitara (4Rs), Luganda, Acholi, Ateso and very many other dialects, are used during this session.

The sermons are delivered by different preachers in line with the semester’s theme. Most of the speakers are part of the UCU community while others are invited guests.

During the Health Awareness Week (HAW), health concerns and information is shared with the community. Announcements and urgent information are also passed on.

In the Code of Conduct, students are encouraged to attend community worship and join fellowships to maintain a discipline of Bible reading and prayer.

Normally, classes are halted to let students, lecturers and staff attend the community worship.

Unfortunately, some clear their desks of pending office work, course work and catch up on social time with friends during this time.

The values 

Rev. Canon Dr. Alfred Olwa, the Dean, Bishop Tucker School of Divinity and Theology, says that community worship gives an opportunity especially to those that have a Christian background to continue upholding their faith.

“It fosters continuity of their growth as Christians, and for those that have no or weak Christian background, there is chance to build a strong foundation,” he said. 

Having given his life to Christ at the age of 18, in 1982, Olwa has faced challenges but he said that reading the Bible, devotion and fellowship have enabled him to stay strong and on course.

With reference to the Monday staff devotion held in the Chapel, Olwa says that as a university, it would be an excellent discipline to begin the week together in the context of prayer.

“I have rebuked and reprimanded staff and students that do not attend worship,” he said adding that it is in community worship and fellowship that we bond, network, meet and make new friends.

Florence Nakiyingi, the Manager, Human Resource and Administration, says that Community Worship is mainly intended to promote the ethos of the university, considering the five core values.

“Synergy and team work are also realized, which are central to the operations of the university. In the process, our Christian faith is integrated into learning and service,” she said.

Mrs Sarah Mugirya said that community worship helps her build her spiritual life.

A pioneer member of the DER Wednesday f e l l o w s h i p , M u g i r y a said it is important to come together because then, difficulties are shared and prayers offered.

“When this fellowship was started by the then DVC/DER Dr John Senyonyi, we prayed as a small team of four and kept on expanding and connecting with others, after some years, we have increased in number.”

The DVC/DER, Mr David Mugawe, says that community worship gives us an opportunity to stop our normal business and spend time with God.

“It is a time when we remind ourselves that God is the centre of our lives, how far He has brought us and how much He loves us,” he said.

“It also reminds us that we are brothers and sisters eliminating positions and connecting the community. For example, I do not teach but I am mentoring two students that I met through that hour. With the role and function that I play, I need all the prayers, which I get especially from our fellowship,” Mugawe said. 

He encourages those that are not participating to join and tap into the value of community worship.

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