Thousands of believers on Sunday flocked to St. Philip’s Cathedral in Gulu to witness the consecration and enthronement of the Rt. Rev. Godfrey Loum as the eighth Bishop of the Diocese of Northern Uganda.
Last month, two church members filed a petition before court challenging the consecration after accusing Rev. Loum of violating canon laws and consequently wanted his appointment cancelled.
However, the duo reached an agreement with the leaders of the Anglican prompting them to withdraw the petition, giving a greenlight to the consecration.
On Sunday, the colourful ceremony was presided over by Archbishop of the Church of Uganda, Dr.Stephen Kaziimba Mugalu and in attendance were several political and cultural leaders led by the Speaker of Parliament, Jacob Oulanyah.
Preaching during the enthronement, the retired Archbishop of the Church of Uganda, Henry Luke Orombi reminded the new Bishop that storms will always be there but how to steer through them is what matters.
“In life there will always be storms but remember Jesus is in the boat with you. Jesus speaks to the wind and calms storms because He is creator God, Almighty God. He brings peace because he is the Prince of Peace. “Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever,”Orombi said.
He charged the new Bishop to be a messenger of God, a shepherd to all people and bless them, a peacemaker but above all run well with the baton he has received as the eight Bishop of Northern Uganda.
The Speaker of Parliament, Jacob Oulanyah who also represented President Museveni as the chief guest appealed to the Acholi to unite but also reclaim their culture of mutual support among the people.
Quoting from the book of Genesis, he reminded them that they are their “brother’s keeper,” quoting from the book of Genesis.
The president donated a brand-new vehicle to the newly consecrated Bishop to facilitate his pastoral work and this will be delivered early next month.
The newly consecrated Bishop, Rt. Rev. Godfrey Loum recognized that the war had been over for at least ten years, but was still inside families through long-term trauma and invisible wounds that have led to increased alcoholism and addiction to try to medicate the pain.
“Increased crime, Gender-based violence, and land grabbing are further signs of the long-term impact of trauma to the people of Northern Uganda,” he said.
Quoting 2 Tim 4:1-2, the new Bishop committed himself to “Preach the word; to be prepared in season and out of season. To correct, rebuke, and encourage – with great patience and careful instruction.”
The new Bishop also pledged to help teach life skills for youth to meet their own needs, resolve underlying issues of land grabbing, mentor youth and children but also partner government in its different programs including the parish development model among others.