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MORERATOR OF 21st GA  

RT. REV. JULIUS MWAMBA
MODERATOR OF THE 21s 1 G.A

                                                                                                                                                                                ________________

MODERATOR OF THE 21s 1 G.A's ACCEPTANCE SPEECH.

Theme of the 2181 G.A Nehemiah 2:18 - "Let us arise up and Build."

1. SALUTATION
My Fathers in the Lord, brothers and sisters, our distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, kindly accept my heartfelt greetings in the Lord's name. It gives me special joy to join you in this August house. Praise and honor be given to the Lord. May I also take this opportunity to thank you most sincerely for electing me to be your Moderator for the 21st General Assembly which starts its work today. It is important to notice that it has been the Church tradition to hold General Assembly meetings every three years where the Church witnesses the change in leadership and the ushering in of new leaders who brings in new ideologies and concepts of how to drive the vision and mission of PCEA to the next levels. For me, I take note that by God's grace I assume this office today and in this season. This is an interesting period when the 21st century is still young although it also happens to be a period marked by rapid societal changes which have not only affected the political leadership and the family unit but also the church of Jesus Christ; P.C.E.A. included.

2.    EXPOSITION OF THE THEME:
After invoking God's power, wisdom and direction, and after also prayerfully seeking and analyzing the current position, situation and experiences our church is going through, and after carefully looking at the Vision and Mission of the PCEA according to the Strategic Plan, the Holy Spirit of the almighty God and who is the founder of the church led me to the Writings of Prophet Nehemiah when Israel and especially the City of Jerusalem Laid in ruins and the walls of Jerusalem had been broken down and destroyed. Nehemiah's Mission was to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem and restore the City. I believe this was a great mission which required a lot of things to be done for accomplishment of his mission.
For us to understand better the theme of the 21st General Assembly there are several pertinent questions we must ask ourselves;

  1. Who is to arise and build? - us -

God has chosen us to realize his purpose in the world through his Church, the body of Jesus Christ which is comprised of believers. This is always the reason for its existence and of course then the "reason for its season". In this case God Appoints Nehemiah by instilling in him the sense of responsibility on the plight of Jerusalem. He seeks for king's permission, convinces the king of the need and initiates the journey by himself. We must take responsibility of the current situations in this great church and more importantly take action to rebuild where the walls are broken.

        2. When to build?

Nehemiah had a time frame for the job and therefore we too must give ourselves a specific time frame i.e. within the life of the 21st General Assembly. Understanding the season and the timing is a remarkable quality of a good leader. I am sure most of us would concur with me that many of our church and also personal projects fail because we are poor managers of time. It's my prayer that this General Assembly and the others that will follow would be conscious and sensitive of opportunities when they arise and seize them for the church benefit.
What to build?
Nehemiah's task was to rebuild the physical wall of Jerusalem. The church is facing many challenges in the same way Jerusalem was and therefore I am convinced that there are areas in our church which requires care, healing, reconciliation and reconstruction. It's my duty as the Moderator of 21st G.A. to guide and provide leadership to his church so that possible solutions to these issues may be found.
d) How to builal - We can learn the following from Nehemiah's approach to his project;

  1. Nehemiah prayed
  2. He studied, researched and analyzed the situation
  3. Upon arrival he did the inspection of the wall
  4. He identified the specific builders for each wall
  5. Created a defense mechanism to mitigate threats to attacks and derision of enemies
  6. Addressed the Social and Economic problems of the people
  7. Built the wall, secured Jerusalem and re-settled the exiles.

My Appeal to, this Assembly is to rise up to the task and rebuild the walls of PCEA and also for this nation which have been broken and to strengthen them that are weak and falling. We shall not be re-inventing the wheel because we have already in place a strategic plan to implement to achieve all these.

3. CHURCH OWNED INSTITUTIONS AND OTHERS

i) PUEA

PCEA is one of the early institutions which brought education to the East African Region and in pursuit of this good spirit of enriching the mind with knowledge; PCEA started this university - the Presbyterian University of East Africa. The university started well but along the way we lost focus of our mission and vision causing loss of business. As a result the institutions' performance has been below average especially on finance mainly. The quality of education of PUEA is still very high,
independent quality assurance group rated it among the top ten universities producing quality candidates to the job market, failure of PUEA brothers and sisters is artificial; it is man- made. We must embrace each other and work together as a team and in the spirit of reconciliation to recover our university and make a university of choice to the whole world. There is nothing that will stop the traditional resilient spirit of the Presbyterians to achieve their intended goals. This 21st General Assembly must give hope, positivity and develop marketing strategies which must reflect the vision and mission of PUEA. It is the only university in the Sub-Saharan Africa which teaches on the home church groups (Cells, districts), our university is on the hill and it cannot be hidden. Brethren when you fall down in a fight you are not defeated, you get defeated when you quit, this is our university and we must own and support it by all means.

ii)    Primary, Secondary and Tertiary institutions:
Over the years the government policies on education have continued to change causing a lot of restructuring within the ministry of Education and other related bodies, this has affected our institutions greatly. It's within my knowledge that most of these institutions are performing below average and also there have been many conflicts within the church and the Boards of Management, which has resulted to many court cases ranging from land to personnel disputes. I appeal to this General Assembly to address this matter.
iii) Hospitals
The church must continue addressing the needs of her members holistically. We have three major hospitals and many other dispensaries and clinics that the church must support. In reference to the government strategy to improve its health facilities right from the national, referrals
and county hospitals, we equally must develop strategies to also uplift our hospitals and equip them.
The major questions remains how well do we manage these institutions to maximize returns? Most of these institutions have been underperforming and require external audit and assessment to help PCEA understand the underlying factors causing these problems and get possible proposals on what can be done to maximum returns. We welcome the government and our partners to be part of this dream of making our three hospitals referral hospitals as well as starting two more within the Coast and the Rift valley regions.

4. SEMINARY
Having been aware that there is already a resolution of the church to establish a seminary, a research paper was done and even curriculums developed for the same. It's my prayer that this general assembly will re-emphasis on the implementation of the same as a matter of urgency. May I bring to the attention of this honorable court that this seminary is meant for ministerial formation and theological research Centre, it will also address the following concerns among others;

  1. Pastors & Elders pastoral care (burnouts) as well as connect with other bodies which have programme to address such needs of our servants.
  2. All Licensing for student ministers.
  3. Revision and harmonization of liturgies for ordinances
  4. A department for production of clerical garments/vestments
  5. Where one can go for sabbatical leave, retreat and prayers or even for specialized training.
  6. Host the theological panel/ desk for the P.C.E.A.

5. LEADERSHIP
Everything rises and falls with the leadership. We must embrace the result based leadership concepts that are professional and contemporary
by;

  1. Equipping and Capacity building of its leaders
  2. Encourage professional consultancy on management
  3. Clearly outline the qualities and qualifications of those to represent the church in our various Committees and Courts i.e. Visionary leaders and those that have the church at heart. E.g. the business committee which makes critical decisions on behalf of the church. There should be criteria on how these persons are appointed.

•   Fight the spirit of individualism and selfishness.
•   Creation of performance targets and clear appraisal systems for staff.

There are 5 major areas of concerns that the church should address to retain and enhance member satisfaction,

  1. Financial accountability and transparency
  2. Member participation
  3. Effective communication especially on church decisions
  4. Time management
  5. Pastoral and ministerial service delivery.

The approval rate is 10% at the moment and therefore the church should target 90% on improvement

6. JITEGEMEA CREDIT SCHEME;
The PCEA initiated this program for alleviating poverty among the low income earners especially the business people. From the previous reports it's evident that JCS has grown enough to become a deposit taking micro-finance and therefore it's the high time this church works out modalities to assist them work towards becoming a bank and this should be given preference by the church. Since to translate to a bank would require JCS become a company guaranteed by shares we encourage all our stakeholders to support this move of establishing "Jitegemea Bank" because micro finance is the way to go to redeem the church from hers current financial quagmire and also uplift its members.

7. INVESTMENTS AND PROJECTS
Our investments and projects have continued to perform poorly, are highly in debts and we risk losing them. This investments were initiated by people with very good intentions of creating wealth, complement cess allocations, create jobs and to support the mission agenda of the church. However it seems as if we lost track of our good practices and it's like almost all of them are running at a loss.

  1. The PCEA should realize the current dynamics of investments and management.
  2. Establish a structured way to manage projects; because all of them belong to the Church e.g. Wogect, Shalom, Community centers, Clinics, dispensaries, church schools and Academies e.t.c.
  3. Create an organ where all our business and investments could be run and controlled from. Or even better identify a professional firm which can advise the church on investment matters
  4. Create a definite process stating clearly who recruits workers, staff and professionals in PCEA
  5. Let there be a clear process of acquisition of properties and also clear procurement procedures.
  6. In view of this we must get both internal and external evaluators who will be independent and reputable who will present a clear position of our church.
  7. Insurance companies - we lose a lot of money on insurance policies from motor vehicles, building and the recently established medical scheme. The Presbyterian foundation should expedite on the establishment of the same without further delay.
  8. Board for social responsibility: - there is no organization operating today without exercising their co-oporate responsibility to the society they are serving. In our context the gospel must go hand in hand with acts of mercy. The BSR remains the voice to the voiceless and it should be rebranded if not an overhaul restructuring to re-position it and ensure that it works and its services are relevant within the modern practices of such related programmes.
  9. Presbyterian Foundation

Presbyterian Foundation being the business arm of the church has a lot to be done to achieve its objectives. I conquer with the past GACs and GAs to restructure the foundation and professionally manage it.

8.    REVIEW OF THE PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE
In any organization, after a certain period, it must rebrand itself to face the contemporary challenges and equally meet the demands of the people it serves otherwise it becomes irrelevant and inefficient. The current Practice and Procedure was last revised in 1998 and if the church will not haste to re rewrite it within the life of the 21st G. A., it will be 20years old. The church must think of the following;

  1. Align the church with the devolved government.
  2. The title of the moderator has become monotonous, therefore the church should come up with new titles for other leaders so that we reserve this title for the moderators of the G.A, Synods, and counties. Then have the house of Moderators either at regional or national.
  3. Have a church representative to the county offices
  4. Effects of devolution on PCEA

•    Recruitment of ministers and personnel - qualification and process of recruitment

9.    MISSION & MINISTRY:
This being the core business of the church and thus the existence of the church. We must redefine our mission and how to do mission in this 21st century. We must accept to invest heavily since mission is not cheap. We need a more focused mission desk and we must strengthen it by all means. May I bring this General Assembly's attention to the PCEA strategic plan first pillar and the following is what it indicates the church MUST do;
Ministry and Mission Work Pillar.

  1. Enhancing Mission and Ministry work by 15 %.
  2. Enhancing local and International mission (Diaspora mission work). Partnering with who like minded with us
  3. Improving member satisfaction by 90 %.
  4. Operationalizing a mission desk at HO
  5. Merger of Nendeni Board and, BSR
  6. Enhancing environmental stewardship
  7. Enhancing ecumenism
  8. Enhancing inter religious relations

To achieve all these we must give mission priority and especially redo mission within our church. PCEA due to rural-urban migration is becoming an urban church but more astonishing it's an urban church behaving in rural manner. It's a high time we think of doing mission in a more strategic and objective manner so as to help grow to the desired levels. PCEA must engage in ethnographical study of all the congregations so that we can redefine our mission to the people?
I propose our church to incorporate the following in her mission strategy;

  1. Rural ministry; reaching out to our young people who are in the rural areas because they are not in the church and are not in our church. Address also the retirees, old and sickly and huge burdens of cess payments at these levels.
  2. Youth ministry: this aspect of ministry is very crucial in our current times. We have rural youth who are in school and others who are less educated and the urban youth who are educated while others are not, some working and IT compliant. We must minister to the youth for posterity of our church.
  3. Ministry to those in marginalized areas e.g. Maasai community as one writer Eric says "every church should endeavor to be a church of the community but not a church within a community"
  4. Farming ministry; must embrace farming Gods way.
  5. University Ministry - create teams for theses ministry to reach out to our students.
  6. Chaplaincy ministry - Reaching out communities through institutions. The church must train specific ministers for these institutions, (schools, Prisons, Banks, Army, Kenya Police, universities, Hospitality, Media, Judiciary, County etc.) This depends will totally on our relationships with these organs.
  7. Tent Making Ministry - to be revived
  8. Ministry in the Diaspora (outreaching)-Engage the ministers there for coordination. We must know who is shepherding our people and also make them answerable to our church.
  9. Children Ministry - restructures these to make it more effective and relevant.
  10. Retired ministers & elders Ministry. he church should raise a strategy to handle the said group and create welfare to cater for their needs.
  11. PUEA and the Seminary should develop specific, special programmes to address all these ministries which are nationally and internationally recognized.

10. CONCLUSION

Once again brothers and sisters I wish to thank you all our presbyteries for humbling me to the office of the Moderator of the General Assembly.

Special thanks go to those present; His Excellency the president

  1. The Senators
  2. The MPs
  3. The MCAs
  4. The St. Andrew's family
  5. And finally my family. More so my mother who saw me grow to a church minister through discipline and teaching me the fear of the lord.
    •    Principals of Secondary schools who donated and fueled the buses

 

LET US RISE AND BUILD