March 4, 2024

SDA Churches reopen for Sabbath minus lunch tradition

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The Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) Church resumed Sabbath Services on Saturday under strict observance of the Covid-19 Standard Operating Procedures-SOPs.

On Wednesday, President Museveni opened worship places but only limiting the number to 200 people and adhering to the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to avoid further spread of coronavirus.

The directives from the Uganda Union Mission, the head office of the SDA Church in Uganda, encouraged all members to resume congregational worship, but with strict adherence to the SOPs and the presidential directives to avoid the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic

“We welcome the President’s action and thank God for the decision. But we encourage our members and leaders to resume congregational worship with adherence to SOPs,” said Director of Communications and Public Affairs and Religious Liberty at the Uganda Union Mission, Immanuel Ogwal.

He urged the leaders of various churches to ensure a maximum of 200 people at the worship, irrespective of the size of the place, within the recommended spacing of two meters.

This is contrary to the arguments by some other religious leaders and the public, that the number of congregants should be determined by the space available, as other worship centres are vast enough.

Ogwal emphasized the need for all members at the church to wear facemasks, use sanitisers and washing hands with soap at all times.

At the Adventist Centre (Kampala Central SDA Church), one church member, Brian Lewis Ajwoga, said they cannot complain because this is better than in the first lockdown after which the number was limited at 75. He said SOPs cannot be avoided.

Ajwoga said apart from the spiritual part of it, the church helps check evils in society. He cites what children, especially girls are going through, with many having been impregnated due to the closure of schools.

Ajwoga says the reopening of the places of worship will help deal with the aftermath of these problems, adding that it is a relief that once again people can go to church.

The preacher of the day, Pastor Emmanuel Ssali Kisakye took a swipe at those he says have taken advantage of the Covid 19 pandemic to become rich at the expense of the poor.  He says the persistence of the pandemic and other resultant problems facing communities have created a feeling among some to doubt God’s presence.

Kisakye hoped that Covid 19 will not become like malaria which kills millions in Africa as multinational companies make profits selling antimalarial medicines.

While the church has long-held a tradition of serving lunch to members previously to promote communal unity, this has been suspended at some churches, including Kampala Central, to allow them to conduct two services.

This will help the church accommodate more people every Sabbath, according to Pastor Kisakye.

Source: The Independent


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