For those who had never been to let alone heard of the St. Francis Students' Centre Upper Hall, the First Makerere University Joint Staff Christian Fellowship held on Thursday 31st October 2019 was the perfect opportunity to discover this venue. Located on the left of the first landing as you descend from the St. Francis Chapel parking lot to the Main Students' Centre, this venue was hard to miss as the soothing songs from the St. Francis Choir drew and ushered brethren into the atmosphere of worship.
With hands lifted up and souls lost in worship and adoration of their God, staff from almost all Colleges, regardless of rank, staff association or denomination gathered as one to fellowship. The first gathering was organized by Joint Staff Christian Fellowship Steering Committee with the blessing of the Chaplain, St. Francis Chapel, Rev. Can. Onesimus Asiimwe.
Welcoming brethren, the Chairperson Steering Committee, Makerere University Joint Staff Christian Fellowship, Dr. Chris Tuhirirwe expressed gratitude to God for once again gathering the staff to fellowship as one, in addition to the more regular activities of their unit fellowships. He introduced other members of the Committee present namely; Mrs. Josephine Apolot Opolot (Vice Chairperson), Ms. Christine Ninsiima (Treasurer), Dr. Proscovia Katumba (General Secretary), Mr. Grace Musiime (Publicity Secretary), Mr. Samuel Kapasa and Dr. Barbara Nerima.
He thanked members for volunteering their time and energy to run affairs of the Committee and urged staff to continue praying for the filling of the vacant position of Vice General Secretary.
Ministering to the congregation, Rev. Can. Onesimus Asiimwe thanked staff for sparing time to attend the fellowship, noting that it is important for brethren to meet and break bread as one. He reassured the congregation that the Joint Staff Christian Fellowship was nondenominational and as such, all worshippers of God are welcome to attend.
Preaching from Luke 19:1-10; Jesus' encounter with Zacchaeus, the Chaplain drew parallels between this man and Makerere University Staff, the former being Chief Tax Collector in Jericho on behalf of the Roman Empire and the latter being Civil Servants acting on behalf of the Government of Uganda.
Rev. Can. Asiimwe shared that whereas Zacchaeus was a man of great stature and wealth in Jericho, he was so moved by what he had heard about the miracles of Jesus that he abandoned his work and scaled a tree, just to catch a glimpse of Him. It was as a result of this act that Jesus spotted him and asked to dine at his house.
The lesson here is that inconsiderate of our rank as staff of Makerere University, we should never miss our once in a lifetime opportunity to encounter Jesus. Had Zacchaeus missed this opportunity, he would never have found salvation. This was the last time that Jesus ever went to Jericho he explained.
The Chaplain went on to share that it was because Zacchaeus found salvation that he immediately gave half of his possessions to the poor, and committed to pay back four times the amount to anybody that he had cheated out of anything.
I want you to turn to your neighbor and ask them when was the last time that they ministered to someone about Jesus Christ challenged Rev. Can. Asiimwe.
He therefore urged staff to always be the salt and light in their spheres of influence and to always pray for their institution. At yesterday's midweek service, we prayed that the unrest on campus would cease in Jesus' Name and we thank God that Heard our prayers.
The Chaplain who confessed to have the gift of giving then invited the congregation to partake of a meal, for it is important for brethren to eat after they meet, especially if they are not fasting. He equally pledged to continue offering lunch to the monthly Joint Staff Christian Fellowship as his humble contribution to the brethren.
Source: MAKERERE University