Saturday, 26 August 2017

GOD'S FAITHFULNESS.



What is a retreat or a recollection? “Retreat or recollection is a vacation with the Lord.” The facilitator said. It is during this time we relax with the Lord, we are able to sit back and reflect. Just like being in front of a mirror, not to close to obstruct the full portray of oneself, the vivid look deserve to be worked upon. Believing that each and every person is a rational being, one is capable of progressively grow and mature.


Humbleness is one of the aspects he highlighted and stressed on. Following example of our saviour, we are called upon to be humble. In the book of Phil 2:6, The Christ gave us a perfect example to follow.

Being silent is another important aspect during the time of vacation with the Lord. Jesus, though received severe torture, he kept the silence. On the Cross, he was silent and opened up to say good words and of encouragement, that is, He forgave the whole crowd, then to the repentant thief the same. And lastly He said “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit,” Lk 23:46.
Fr. Francis Kangwa with the students after the Mass.
Lastly, we should not forget who our Creator is. He is a merciful and a loving Father, just like the prodigal son’s father. Even though we relatively not faithful to Him, He still loves us unconditionally. In Rom 8:31-39, we are all brought together and made inseparable by the love of Christ and He is always there for us and nothing can stand against us.
Song: God is love
And He who
Abides in love,
Abides in God
And God in him

Thursday, 24 August 2017

WHY ECUMENISM AND INTER-RELIGIOUS DIALOGUE?



For a long time religions have been perceived to be consultants on matters pertaining peace in our States. However, with this era the cup seems to have turned upside down pouring honey which was source of sweetness. This aspect is losing its meaning from day to day with religions remaining to be more of political arena chasing after their opponents. It goes beyond my expectations to think of conflict among those who are expected to be elements and preacher of peace. The big question for reflection remains, what will happen when the predator becomes the prey of the prey? This is a call for both religious leaders and the followers to read the signs of time and make a step towards transformation.




This leads me to question our motivations of following Christ as Christians in the first place. St. Paul in his first letter to Corinthians is categorical about the slogans that “I am for Paul, I am for Apollos, I am for Cephas, or I am for Christ” (1Corinthians 1:10-13). I have a feeling that this is what is happening today and cause of our divisions as Christian. Some of the shepherds do take an advantage of their ignorant and naïve flock to impose their view about other denomination. The aim may be to keep the flock in that denomination, but in the long run the consequences may be unbearable. There is a danger once the flock starts to perceive other denominations to be practicing idolatry or demonic. With our generation, I see a serious threat to our salvation and search for Christ I a sense that, a number of us Christians are losing our goal of search for Christ and instead invest much of our time running after our fellow human beings and especially those of other denomination and whom we consider to be our enemies, which is a shame. I do think that there is a state of emergency and which call us all to awake from our slumber and reexamine our directions and conscious. As St. Paul challenges us, we ought to question whether it was our priest or pastor and who instils in us the spirit of divisions, who died for our salvation? Answering this question may help us to make good choices in life.

On the other hand, there is a need of inter-religious dialogue in our current generation. Looking on the rate at which the world is changing with advancement in technology, it really affects all of us regardless of our religion. For example, the global warming is not selective of religion and hence, it implies that whether Christian, Muslim, Jew or of any other religion do suffer in the same way. Therefore, we need to embrace the dialogue for social action. It remains a big pity for our brothers and sisters who knowingly or unknowingly decide to give a blind eye to the fact that we share humanity. In some situations, it is not hard to find a Muslim and a Christian who are neighbors but do not dare to meet and discuss issues which concern them as neighbors on bases that they do not belong to the same religion. The fact that one prays on Friday, another one on Saturday and the other on Sunday does not deny the fact that we share humanity. It is always encouraging to find a Muslim and a Christian collaborating in different activities.

The central aim of engaging in inter-religious dialogue or ecumenism should not be to convert people to our religion or denomination (proselytism), but ought to respect each other’s choice of religion. This can in fact widen the gap between the parties and create more tension than understanding. Entering in inter-religious dialogue with a wide-minded can be of help in coming out of our naïve perception and stereotypes about the other religions. It really beats my understanding as to why we should be having misunderstanding when I venture on each religion’s golden rule because they all target at promoting harmonious human relationship. I do think that most are the times when we are driven by our stereotypes without first listening or reading about the other religions’ golden rules and so think ours is the only one which is human. If we enter in a dialogue with the other religions and dispose ourselves to knowledge we will be able to speak one voice. In the dialogue we should aim at unity but not uniformity of all human beings. I have a feeling that all religions can co-exist provided they are in the spirit of love for one another and in it our creator will be glorified and His will done.
URBANUS O.K MUTUKU

Saturday, 19 August 2017

LEADERSHIP AND LEADERSHIP SKILLS


“Good leadership is fundamentally about one’s qualities and attitudes. In other words, it is not so much about your position as a manager, administrator or subordinate within the institution.
Good leadership is having a clear vision. A leader is always going somewhere, never satisfied with simply maintaining the status Quo. Their task is to engage the future of their department or institution creatively. It is commonly said that people fall into two main categories: those who mould the future and those who are moulded by it. As a leader you have to belong to the first category. Leaders also have to have a vision for those they lead, inspiring and challenging them, in order to get the best out of them.
Good leadership involves possessing the willingness to delegate. As a leader, you are a team leader. You need to change your focus from doing a job well, to equipping others to do it-perhaps even better than yourself!
All leaders handle power, and none are exempt from the temptation to use it to satisfy their personal needs or lust. But, good leadership will always involve the use of power to serve rather than to dominate.
Good leadership will also include possessing the vital qualities of trustworthiness and accountability.
Vincent preaching the workshop
An effective leader is more than a skilled manager. Management is essentially the stewardship of the institution’s resources. It is concerned with making a group of people or an institution work effectively and efficiently. Leadership is more than management; an effective team leader must be able to lead and to manage. There are certain skills that play a key role in developing the potential of both a leader and their team.
Important skills include, communicating a vision to people in an effective way and motivating them to work together. A leader also needs to know how to go about choosing a team which will be appropriate for a particular project or area of work. As a leader, building commitment within your team will certainly mean that each of its members will enjoy their work. Because, they were a part of that decision.


Setting goals and objectives is essential for the progress of an institution or department. But, you have also to know how to work towards them systematically and consistently. Our big goals as an institution of department will never be achieved without understanding and applying the practice of delegation!
 
Making decisions is part of the job of any team leader, and unfortunately, it is a skill which can be learned. It brings great benefit to the good health and life of any team.
Good leadership involves putting people before targets, so that nobody ends up feeling “used”. It involves helping your team members achieve their full potential by practical training in order to succeed in their work. This therefore, requires you as a leader to work with the team towards achieving a set and or to always avail yourself to your team members for consultation.
Teamwork will never be without occasional instances of disagreement. Therefore, understanding and resolving conflict will help you minimise any destructive effects conflicts can bring within a department or institution. And, in the end, the process of reconciliation can be embarked on for the benefit of the institution’s growth and development.”
SOURCE: Brief workshop notes by Vincent, B. Sebukyu.