1st Session of 9th Synod "Bishop's Address"
AN ADDRESS PRESENTED TO THE FIRST SESSION OF THE NINETH SYNOD OF THE ANGLICAN DIOCESE OF NSUKKA AT ST. JAMES’ CHURCH, ORBA, ORBA ARCHDEACONRY IN UDENU LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF ENUGU STATE ON FRIDAY 26TH OCTOBER, 2018
HIS LORDSHIP, RT. REV. ALOYSIUS EZE AGBO, JP
Bishop of Nsukka
The Archbishop of the Ecclesiastical Province of Enugu, His Grace, Most Rev’d. Dr. Emmanuel Olisamedualim Chukwuma, OON
The Executive Governor of Enugu State, Rt. Hon. Lawrence Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi -Gburugburu
The wife of the Bishop and President of the Mothers’ Union, Women’s Guild, Young Wives, Girls Guild and Children Ministry, Mrs. Anthonia Ifeoma Agbo, JP.
Our Dearly Beloved Mummy, Mrs. R. U. Ilonuba (Nnediugwu)
The Honourable Chancellor of the Diocese, Sir Hon. Justice F. I. N. Ngwu
The Deputy Chancellor, Prof. Ifeoma Enemuo
The Registrar of the Diocese, Sir Barr E. O. Ugwulor
The Deputy Registrar I, Bar Mrs Amaka Ukwueze
The Deputy Registrar II, Bar. Chinedu Ogbonna
The Legal Secretary, Sir Bar. Nnaemeka Ogbonna
The Deputy Legal Secretary, Bar. Obinna Onyechi
The Senator of Enugu North Senatorial Zone, Senator Chukwuka Utazi,
The Member Representing Nsukka/Igbo-Eze South Federal Constituency, Rt. Hon. Dr. Patrick Asadu (KSP).
The Member Representing Udenu/Igbo-Eze North Federal Constituency, Hon. Dennis Agbo (KGS)
The Member Representing Nsukka West in the Enugu State House of Assembly, Dame Hon. Nkechi Omeje-Ogbu
The Executive Chairman of Udenu Local Government Area, Hon. Frank Ugwu
My Cherished Venerable Archdeacons and their amiable wives
My beloved Clergy
The Gallant Knights and Ladies of the Diocese
My Respected and Dutiful Nominees
Your Royal Highnesses
Our Special Guests
The Honoured Synod Delegates
Members of the fourth Estate of the Realm
Distinguished Brothers and Sisters in the Lord.
In the name of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit! Amen.
We are delighted to welcome you all to the first session of our nineth Synod, holding here at St. James’ Church Orba. This is the very first time Synod is being held in the entire Udenu Local Government Area and it is the last Synod before our Silver Jubilee as a Diocese; just 2 months away from our turning 25. This Synod is therefore very unique and historic. We congratulate the entire people of Orba for being the first community to host Synod in this Local Government Area.
Beloved people of God, despite the turbulence of our time, the deadly schemes of the enemy and the arrows of wickedness against the Church of God, we will always lift up our hands in praise to our faithful God. We join the Psalmist without fear of contradiction to say:
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;
Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof.
There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High.
God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her, and that right early.
The heathen raged, the kingdoms were moved: he uttered his voice, the earth melted.
The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge.
Come, behold the works of the Lord, what desolations he hath made in the earth.
He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth; he breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder; he burneth the chariot in the fire.
Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.
The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. (PS. 46:1-11)
We are sure you remember the Nsukka diocesan motto, “DEUS REFUGIUM” has its root from this Psalm.
And in the words of Prophet Habakuk we equally say;
Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls:
Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation.
The Lord God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds’ feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places. To the chief singer on my stringed instruments. (Habakkuk 3:17-19)
Lord, for your grace, mercies and love we will continually praise You:
Because thy loving kindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee. Thus will I bless thee while I live: I will lift up my hands in thy name. My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness; and my mouth shall praise thee with joyful lips. Psalm 63:3-5
We welcome you all to this epoch making Synod of our Diocese. You are so dear to us and this Synod is in session because of our collective presence. We are indebted to you all and pray God to bless you for coming in Jesus name; Amen.
We welcome in a special way, the Executive Governor of Enugu State, Rt. Hon. Lawrence Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi and his wife, a son of the soil and appreciate him for his great support towards God’s work. Our Governor, you are welcome.
We also welcome the Archbishop of the Ecclesiastical Province of Enugu, His Grace, Most Rev’d. Dr. Emmanuel Olisamedualim Chukwuma, OON and other Bishops for loving us so much and supporting us.
We appreciate the Chancellor of our Diocese, Sir Hon. Justice F.I.N. Ngwu, the Deputy Chancellor, Lady Prof. Ifeoma Enemuo, the Registrar, Sir Barr. E. O. Ugwulor and all other Legal officers here present. You are wonderful gifts to us.
Our dear Archdeacons, you are very wonderful with your wives, all the clergy and their wives, the Lay Pastors and their wives, our gallant Knights ably led by Dame Dr. Sally Adukwu, the Diocesan Officials, our nominees, Chairmen and members of different Boards and Committees, the Secretariat Staff, under the watchful eyes of the indefatigable Synod Secretary, Ven. Chinedu Geoffrey Onah, who has made our work load lighter with his effective representation and humble disposition displayed in all his responsibilities. May God reward you! We equally appreciate all my personal staff- my dutiful Administrative Assistant, Rev. Canon Kingsley S. E. Obeta and my highly committed Clerical Officer, Mrs Ogechukwu Nnamani. I appreciate my caring and visionary Son/Chaplain, Rev. Oliver Onyeke, my God-sent Son/Driver, Bro. Emmanuel Felix and my faithful and dutiful senior driver, Francis Nnaji. My special thanks to all Directors of Directorates and Chaplains of organizations. You are the secret of the holistic growth of the diocese. Your visions, commitments, sacrifice and team spirit have been wonderful.
I appreciate my brothers, Mr Philip Agbo, Mr. Linus Agbo and Hon. Jonathan Agbo, their wives, my mother-in-law Mrs Esther Nnamani and all my larger family members.
I specially thank my children: Gift and Aka-Jesus, Chinonye, Chidiebere, Ngozi, Oluchi, Odinaka, Njide, Patience, Joy, Promise, Comfort, Ebere, Ngozi, Oguguo, Chinedu, Tochukwu, Ugo, Opa, and all of the Bishopscourt family. May the Lord bless you all for your genuine love, prayers and the joyful atmosphere you have created at the home front. You are all welcome.
We immensely appreciate your selfless and sacrificial services and commitments that have been a great source of blessing to my ministry and unprecedented growth of our cherished Diocese. May God reward your love and sacrifice!
We wholeheartedly appreciate the Diocesan Synod Planning committee ably led by the “professor” of Synod, Sir Dr. Augustine Emenike Onwurah, for their commitment to this assignment. We equally appreciate the Archdeacon of Orba Archdeaconry and his wife, Ven. Dr. Collins Ikechukwu & Mrs. Amara Ugwu, other clergy and wives, lay pastors and wives in Orba Archdeaconry and the Local Organizing Committee, led by Prof John Eze for a wonderful hosting. You will surely enjoy your reward both here and hereafter in Jesus name; Amen.
With pure joy and unreserved thanks to God who gave her to me, I welcome my beautiful, very gentle, quiet, lovely, resourceful, virtuous and caring friend, sister, companion, confidant, mother and wife, Mrs. Anthonia Ifeoma Agbo, JP (the President of the Mothers’ Union, Women’s Guild, Young Wives, Girls Guild and Children Ministry). I love you so much and the whole Synod says welcome. May God bless your days in Jesus name! Amen.
THE HOST ARCHDEACONRY
We sincerely appreciate the entire people of Orba Archdeaconry for accepting the challenge of hosting this Synod. You are a young Archdeaconry and Synod has never been hosted by any Church not just in this Archdeaconry but the entire Udenu L. G. A. However your unity of purpose and determination to succeed have resulted in this huge success we are already experiencing. There is no doubt you really laboured and prepared for a successful Synod as we have started seeing the fruits of your labour since we arrived two days ago; both in the infrastructural face-lift of the entire premises and in the financial contributions and organization so far. We thank the pastoral staff in the Archdeaconry, for the leadership they provided- Ven. Dr Collins Ikenna and Mrs Amara Ugwu, Rev. Canon Paul and Mrs. Celestina Onwuamaeze, Rev Canon Samson and Mrs Chekwube Eneh, Rev Daniel and Mrs Chinasa Amoke, Rev. and Mrs Chinonye Okenyi and our beloved Lay Pastors and their wives, the chairman of the Local Organizing Committee, Prof Aaron Eze and all those that labored for the successful hosting of this Synod, we appreciate you. We pray that God will remember your labour of love and reward you.
The Archdeaconry was inaugurated as a Missionary Archdeaconry on 25th March, 2012 by us, Rt. Rev. A.E. Agbo (JP), Bishop of Nsukka Diocese. On that day, Ven. Daniel Omeje was installed as the first Archdeacon. Ven. Dr. Collins Ugwu succeeded Ven. Daniel Omeje in 2015.
The Archdeaconry is made up of three parishes namely St. James’ Parish, Orba, St. John’s Parish, Okpu Orba and St. Luke’s Parish, Imilike-Uno. The churches, dates of establishment and their current workers are as stated in the table below.
|S/No||Church||Date of Establishment||Present Worker|
|1||St. James Orba||1935||Ven. Dr. Collins IK. Ugwu
Rev. Canon Paul O. Eze
|2||St. Peter’s Owere-EzeOrba||1930||Pst. Christopher Agbo|
|3||St. Paul Ohom, Orba||8th April, 2008||Pst. Tochukwu S. Eze|
|4||Church of Transfiguration, Umuafia||15th July, 2012||Pst. Michael Idike|
|5||St. Luke’s Imilike-Uno||1930||Pst. Daniel Amoke|
|6||St. Bartholomew’s Imilike-Etiti||21st April, 2013||Pst. Benjamin Ossai|
|7||Good Shepherd, Umundu||29th August, 2004||Pst. Samuel Ezeorah|
|8||St. John’s Okpu-Orba||1935||Rev. Canon Samson IK Eze|
|9||Christ Church, Agu-Orba||1992||Pst. Samuel Ebbimgbo|
|10||All saints, AmallaOrba||2003||Rev. NdubuisiOkenyi|
|11||St. Mary’s , Ama-Orba||2008|
|12||St. John Annex, OhebeOrba||2006|
We have included the history of all the twelve churches in the Archdeaconry in this Address as this is the first time of holding Synod here, but will only read the much that time will permit.
HISTORY OF ST. JAMES’ CHURCH ORBA
In the year 1930, a King named Ugwueze Nweze Orba brought the Church Missionary Society (CMS) to Owerre-Eze Orba. This was the first time that the message of the gospel was preached in the land. The ministry of CMS in Owerre Eze Orba was well received and many indigenes became members of the Church. The growth of the Church was rapid as many converts were won steadily. In 1933, the Mission was introduced at Okpu Orba through the effort of Ugbogbo Ike, a holder of top ranking Title Asogwa Okpu in Orba, who went to Imilike to invite the CMS Teacher to come and open a Church.
In 1935, through the leadership of Evangelist Emmanuel Ogenyi of Mgbuji, Eha-Amufu, the Missions at Owerre-Eze Orba and Okpu were merged and were situated at the present site of St. James’ Church Orba. It was to ensure that the Church was at a central place. The family of Ugwuoru Nwa-Oga offered the Church the land where we are today. So, these merged churches of Owerre Eze Orba and Okpu became St. James’ Church in 1935. The following were some of the foundation members: – Ugbogbo Ike, Joseph Ugwuowo Nwegwu, Nathaniel Eze, Paul Eze, Isaac Onah, to mention but a few. In 1992, the need for a Church at Owerre Eze Orba was seen and through the leadership of Rev Gabriel Eze, (of the blessed memory), another Church was planted at Owerre-Eze Orba and named St. Peter’s Church Owerre-Eze Orba.
Since then the Church began to grow in all ramification. It grew from being a station to a full-fledged Parish that was inaugurated on May 9th 1993 when late Bishop Otubelu inaugurated the Parish with Rev Gabriel Eze as the first Superintendent. In 2012, St. James’ Church rose to become the Archdeaconry Headquarters following the inauguration of Orba Archdeaconry by Rt. Rev A. E Agbo JP.
St. James’ Church has produced just a priest and one lay Pastor. They are Rev Ifeanyichukwu Isiwu who was ordained on 3rd July 2016 by His lordship, the Rt. Rev. A. E. Agbo, JP and Pastor Cosmas Michael who joined the Ministry in the year 2018.
Pastors who had served in the Church are as follows:-
Mr Emmanuel Ogenyi from Eha-Amufu 1935-1936
Mr Solomon Ugwu 1936-1939
Mr. Daniel Oke from Okpuje 1939-1945
Late Mr Gabriel Ugwu from Amalla Orba 1945-1947
Mr Patrick Mba from Eha-Amufu 1948-1949
The Mission was closed 1950-1952
Late Mr Gabriel Ugwu from Amalla Orba 1952-1953
Mr Philip Iwuji from Owerre in Imo State 1954-1955
Mr. Josiah Onyeanu from Ndi Ikerionwu 1956-1957
Mr Ephraim Onyia from Udi 1958-1963
Mr. Geoffrey Ezeora from Aku 1964-1974
Mr. Nwaugwu from Alo-Uno 1974-1975
Mr. Benjamin Asogwa from Okpu Orba 1975-1977
Mr. Christian Onah from Ibagwa 1978-1980
Late Mr. Eleazar Eze from Lejja 1981-1984
Rev. E.C.N. Ejike from Udi the first resident priest 1985-1992
Rev Gabriel Eze from Iheakpu-Awka (late) 1992-1995
Rev Felix Nwani from Udi (late) 1995-1999
Rev P. O. Eze (Now Canon) from Obollo-Afor 1999-2001
Rev Samuel Ugwu (now Canon) from Olido 2001-2004
Rev Christian Ike Nnadi now Canon) from Imilike Agu 2004-2008
Rev Canon J. C. Urama (now Venerable) from Amufie 2008-2012
Ven Daniel Omeje from Alor-Uno 2012-2015
Rev. Alfred Ike from Alor Itchi
Rev. Benson Ezea from Aku
Ven Collins Ike Ugwu Ph. D from Mbu-Amon 2015-Date
Rev Canon P.O Onwu Eze from Obollo-Afor 2017-Date
The Archdeacon and wife are Ven. Dr. Collins Ike Ugwu and Mrs Amarachi Ugwu. Curate and wife are Rev Canon P.O Onwu Eze and Mrs Celestine Ijeoma Eze.
HISTORY OF ST. PETER’S CHURCH OWERRE-EZEORBA
As mentioned above the Anglican mission in Orba started in Owerre Eze Orba, but for the need then to centralize the mission in the town they were merged with the mission at Okpu which metamorphosed into St. James’ Church.
The growth of the Church was rapid until when some members felt that the sermons were hard sayings which they would not bear. These members were not happy with the sermons of the Church which condemned idolatrous cultural practices as ungodly. For this, many of them left the Church and went ahead to plan to bring into the town the Roman Catholic Missionaries (RCM). They went to the Warrant Chief Ugwuoke Ugwuanyi who welcomed their idea. He assisted them in bringing the RCM into Owerre-Eze Orba. This development affected the Church.
On 1st November, 1992, the Church re-organized herself again and began their Church services in a rented house with the name St. Peter’s Church, Owerre-Eze Orba. The few families who stood firm were: Benjamin Ezeugwu, Ezekiel Ezeorba, Fidelis Oloko, James N. Eze, Bernard Itodo, Jerome Asogwa, Hon. Frank Eze Nwoye and James Ezeugwu.
After some time, Late Igwe Sir John Nwangwu offered a parcel of land to the Church where they erected a thatched house for worship. In 2006, Mr Fidelis Oloko donated a parcel of land where they are today as their permanent site. The Church is gradually bouncing back to her formal glory. To God be the glory!
Pastors who had served in the Church are as follows:-
Pastor Jerome Asogwa 1992-2002
Pastor Christopher Ezema (Now Rev) 2002-2003
Pastor George Michael (Now Rev) 2003-2005
Pastor John Eze 2005-2009
Pastor Adolphus Ebune 2009-2012
Pastor Matthew Onodu 2012-2015
Pastor Christopher Agbo 2015-Date
To the glory of God, the Church is now marching forward. The Church building has been roofed with over one hundred and seventy members.
- PAUL’S CHURCH OHOM, ORBA
On 8th April 2008, a team led by Rev Goddy Diara from St. John’s Church, Okpu-Orba visited a member of St. James’ Church named Emeka Ugwueze. Their mission was to let him know the urgent need to plant a Church at Ohom. On 16th April, the meeting held again at the same venue with some other members of the Church. After the meeting, they resolved to meet with the Vicar of St. James’ Church, the Rev. Canon J. C Urama (now Venerable). Those on the delegation were Sir Geoffrey Nnadi (Late), Mr. Joseph Ogbu and Mr. Apollos Asogwa. Both Canon Urama and the Church Committee of St. James’ Church, Orba appreciated the intention and gave their blessings. These men from Ohom were asked to find a place for worship which they did. They found a Village hall belonging toAmaikwe village of Ohom Orba.
In August 2008, a team of Missionaries from the diocese led by one Jude Agbo arrived Ohom. They were hosted in the house of Mr Sylvernus Onah. On the 31st August 2008, the Church was planted. On 20th August 2012, Pastor Jonas C. Eze organized their first fund raising where over Eight hundred thousand Naira (N800, 000:00) was raised for a purchase of land. The land was later bought at Ama-Edem Ohom. Pastor Johnson C. Ezeugwu during his tenure as he took over from Pastor Jonas moulded over 1000 blocks for a new Church building.
Pastors who had served in the Church are as follows:-
Pastor George Agbo Januray 2009-October 2009
Pastor Ignatius Ugwoke October 2009-2012
Pastor Jonas Eze 2012-2014
Pastor Johnson Ezeuwgu from Opi 2014-2016
Pastor Tochukwu Samson Eze from Ibagwa 2016-date
Under the current Pastor, Tochukwu Eze, the Church has moved to another level with great revival and growth both physically and spiritually.
CHURCH OF TRANSFIGURATION, UMUAFIA
On the 15th of July 2012, Ven. D. N. Omeje informed the Church Committee about the coming of the Diocesan Missionaries in July 2012 to St. James’ Church, Orba. In that meeting there was unanimous agreement that a church should be planted at Ajuona Orba.
After the meeting, Chief John Omeje, Sir Emmanuel Mbah, Sir Vincent Umeh Ugwu and Sylvernus Ishiwu went to Oha Umuafia to negotiate for their village hall to serve as a takeoff venue of worship for the proposed Umuafia Church. On 31st July, the Missionaries arrived and were hosted at Chief John Omeje’s House in Umuafia. A 4-day crusade was held at the Umuafia village hall between 23rd and 26th August. Then on the 26th August 2012, the Umuafia Church was planted.
To the glory of God, the Umukweze family donated an expanse of land to the Church on the 20th October 2013. On 27th October 2013, the Church was christened St. Jude’s Church, Umuafia. In 2016, Chief Charles Mbah, the son of Sir Emmanuel Mbah bought four plots of land for the Church, where he is single handedly building a modern and expansive Church building now for the Church. However, the name St. Jude given to the Church did not go down well with the members. They began to agitate for a change of name which materialized in the year 2016 when his lordship, the Rt. Rev. A. E Agbo JP changed the name to Church of Transfiguration (CoT), Umuafia.
Their first Pastor is Pastor Ikechukwu Eze from Enugu-Ezike from 2013-2018. The second is Michael Idike from Abbi in Uzo-Uwani from April 2018. To the glory of God, the Church is doing well as souls are being added to them regularly.
HISTORY OF ST. LUKE’S CHURCH, IMILIKE UNO
The history of Anglican Church in Imilike Uno began in 1930. One Mr. Jonathan Okpala, a bicycle repairer, from Oko in Anambra state had settled in Imilike-Uno for business in 1925. Around the same time, one other Mr. Philip Moneme, a trader from Otolo in Nnewi, Anambra state also settled in Imilike-Uno for business. These two men were already Christians from the Anglican extraction from their home towns. Being mission minded, Mr. Jonathan and Mr. Philip took Mr. Abraham Eze from Imilike-Uno to Alor-Uno near Nsukka where the Anglican Church had already been established to seek for how the Anglican Church can be established in Imilike-Uno.
Upon this, the leaders of the mission were also eager to go to Imilike-Uno to establish a Church, provided a piece of land would be given to them for that purpose. Then, Abraham Eze (who hails from Umuajimaeze clan in Imilike-Ani) led them back to Imilike to seek for a possible place of Church establishment. At Imilike, the natives directed them to meet the Chief (traditional ruler) Eze Nwa Ayigbo Idoko (who was on acting capacity). Eze Nwa Ayigbo Idoko further directed them to go to the Onyishi (Eldest man). In the meeting with the Onyishi, the Umu Ajima Eze clan was told to donate a piece of land to the Anglican mission to build their Church, because they own almost all the pieces of land along the major road. All these happened in 1930.
In the same year, when the land had been given to them, they built a thatched house on the land where they gathered for their Sunday services and other activities. Haven established, they began to evangelize to win more souls for Christ and by God’s design, they made these early converts namely: Nnadi Ugwuokpe, Mba Okpe, Abraham Ugwuanyi, Ezike Ugwu, Ekowo Omeje, Makata Ukwueze among others.
In the year 1955, a Mission School in the Church premises (St. Luke’s Mission School) was established. When they opened the School, they made it free education just to encourage people to come to be trained but due to lack of awareness then, there were little or no response by the people. At this instance, the missionaries in conjunction with the early converts started going from house to house just to convince some parents to allow their children to come to school. When some of them began to respond, the missionaries adopted the strategy that where one goes to school is where one should go to Church. This strategy however worked out as majority of the youths began coming to Church and became pupils of the free education school. This was how the Church grew.
The following workers had served in the Church:
Mr. Stephen Nwaokolo (Ufuma) – 1930 – 1945. The first Catechist
Mr. Philip Azubuike (Igboukwu) – 1946 – 1954 – Catechist
Mr. Reuben Ezugwu (Eha Alumona) – 1955 – 1956 – School Teacher.
Mr. Hyacinth Ayogu – (1956) – School Teacher.
Mr. Jesse Emenife (Nando) – 1957 – school teacher
In 1957, when Mr. Jesse Ewenife from Nando (Anambra state) was School Teacher, they caught the vision of building a mud house. Though the completion of the building was delayed, those missionaries in conjunction with the early converts finished the building. It was this building that served the Church until 1990 when Rev E. C. N. Ejike (now a retired Canon) who was the Priest at St. James’ Church, Orba laid the foundation of the present Church building.
Mr. Ogangwu – 1958 – school teacher
Mr. Michael Okongwu – 1959 – 1967- school teacher
Mr. Philip Azubuike (2nd Missionary Journey) – 1971 – 1974 Catechist
Mr George Makata (now Rtd Rev) (Imilike-Uno) 1975-1979 Catechist
Mr Benson Mba (Imilike-Agu) 1980-1982 Catechist
Mr Isaac Eze (Imilike-Uno) 1983-1990 Catechist
Mr Iloabuchi Nnadi (Orba) 1991-1993 Catechist
Mr Njoku (Aku) 1994-1995 Catechist
Mr Elijah Onah (Obollo-Etiti) 1993-2000 Catechist
Mr Christopher Eze (Alor-Uno) 2002-2004 Catechist
In the year 2004, the Church had their first Priest in the person of Rev Emmanuel Ali from Uhunowerre. He served together with Christopher Ukwueze from Iheakpu-Awka as a Catechist. It was at this time that Church of the Good Shepherd, Umundu was planted and the Foundation of the Vicarage was laid.
In 2007, Rev Daniel Odezue (now Canon) was posted to the Church. It was during his time that the Vicarage was completed and dedicated by His lordship, the Rt. Rev A. E. Agbo JP during the inauguration of St. Luke’s Church Parish on the 23rd of August 2009.
Others that served as Parish Priest Include:-
Rev Stanley Eze now Canon from Amachenu Eha-Alumona 2010-2012
Rev Samuel Ugwu now Canon from Enugu-Ezike 2012-2015
Rev Canon Leonard Ukwueze from Iheakpu-Awka 2015-2017
Rev Daniel Amoke and Mrs Ethel Amoke from Edem-Ani 2017-Date
- BARTHOLOMEW’S CHURCH, IMILIKE-ETITI
To the Glory of God, St Barth’s Church Imilike-Etiti started on 21st April, 2013, after one week mission and 3-day crusade organized by the EFAC of St Luke’s Church, Imilike-Uno led by Sis. Bernadine Alphonsus. By God’s design, Mr. and Mrs. Nnadimba gave out their Sitting Room as a temporary place of worship for the new Church and also accommodated the newly posted Pastor Daniel.
Six months after, Pastor Anthony Nwaoga was posted to the Church as a local helper. He resumed duty on Oct 28, 2013 and served until Nov. 2, 2013 and left. After Pastor Anthony, the first diocesan worker, Pastor Kingsley Ike was sent on Jan. 29, 2015. All these workers lived in the house of Mr. and Mrs. Nnadi Mba until Jun 22, 2015, the first son of Nnadi Mba by name Chinweuba sent the church packing and threw away the property of the church. This particular event moved Mr. Boniface Nnadi and Mr. John Nnadi to give the church accommodation on the condition that if the church can buy the land that they will be willing to sell it to them or if they are not able to buy the land, that whenever they secure another place, let them vacate their own. The same people also took over the free accommodation of Pastor Kingsley.
Eventually, Pastor Kingsley was transferred on Aug 2, 2016 and the church remained without a pastor until Oct 9, 2016 when Pastor Benjamin Ossai was posted to the Church. The diocese in 2016 bought two plots of land for the Church at the cost of Six hundred thousand naira only. (N600, 000:00).
The current Lay Pastor is Benjamin Ossai married to Mrs Theresa Ossai.
CHURCH OF THE GOOD SHEPHERD, UMUNDU
The Diocesan missionaries, on the first day of August 2004 sent mission partners to Igugu/Umundu for mission outreach purposely for church planting. The land has a common boundary with Obollo-Afor, Iheaka-Nike, Ezimo and Imilike Uno. The one-month Outreach ended with a Church Service that birthed the Church of the Good Shepherd Umundu on the 29th August 2004
The Church really suffered persecution from detractors. However, it is worthy of note that while all those oppositions mounted, the then eldest man in the land of Umundu known as Agu Umundu was supportive of the church. He used his good office to release the dilapidated primary school building along Obollo-Afor Orba road to the church for their services.
The first Lay-Pastor who took over from the missionaries was Adolphus Nwachukwu (Now Rev). He pastored the Church for three weeks with Church Service without a member. However, as God would have it, through the effort of Adolophus and the then first priest in St. Luke’s Church, Imilike Uno, Rev. Emmanuel Ali, the Church gradually revived with the following pioneers:-Hillary Mama; Hycienth Agu (the first son of Agu Umundu), Joseph Aroh, Ikenna Ugwuanyi, Paschal Nwachukwu; Benardine onah, Victoria Mama, Ngozika Aroh, Ugochukwu Agbo, Ngozika Augustine, and Jacinta Ugwu.
When Adolphus Nwachukwu left for Trinity College, Umuahia, Pastor Ignatius Chuckwuma (now Rev) was posted to the Church and served from 2009-2013.
Other Church Workers that have served in the Church include:
Pst. Uche Okonkwo – 2013.
Udodi E.C. (Missionary) – 2013 – 2014.
Pst. Daniel Ugwu – 2014
Pst. Ugochukwu Ugwuanyi – 2014 – 2016
Pst. Emeka Ugwuanyi – 2016 – 2017
Pst. Samuel O. and Mrs Purity Ezeorah – 2017 – Date.
- JOHN’S CHURCH OKPU-ORBA
The first missionary journey to St. John’s Church started in the year 1935, the D.O. through the C.M.S. authorities posted a Teacher to Okpu-Orba in response to the request of Ugbogbo Ike from Ezike Ugwu quarter of Okpu-Orba. This was as a result of the refusal of the rival mission to accept children from his own quarter due to political rivalry between Makata Ezeugwu who had brought Roman Catholic Mission to his “Obu” earlier. So Church and School started in his “Obu” in Elu-Agu, Okpu Orba.
Festus Amuche from Inyi in Oji River became the first Teacher. This mission at Okpu leapt into vibrancy, so within a short time, Church/School house was erected at Eba Ahor. Late Emmanuel Ogenyi from Mgbuji, Eha-Amufu took over from him. The Church and School kept on growing. By 1940, the CMS management decided to merge the two schools into one at a more central place. Late Mr. Ugwuja Oru from Owere-Okpu donated a parcel of land where C.M.S mission now St. James Church, Orba is situated.
Later in the year 2002, the Church came back to Okpu again now St. John’s Church Okpu with the following persons in attendance during the first Church service on 14th April, 2002: Sir J.C. Eze, Prof. A.E. Eze, Late HRH Igwe John Nwangwu, Hon. Dennis Nwangwu, Sir B.U. Asogwa, Comrade David Ezeugwu, Elder Benjamin Asogwa, Jeremiah Ozioko, Emmanuel Eze Johnson S. Eze, Mrs. Roseline Onugwu, Mrs. Roseline Eze, Late Mrs. Janet Eze and Sis. Ukamaka Asogwa.
In July 2002, Ven. E.E. Odo the Archdeacon of Ovoko Archdeaconry named the Church St. John’s Church. By Dec. 2002, the Diocese posted Pastor Christopher Ezema (Now Rev) as the first pastor. During Ezema’s period, Igwe J.U. Nwangwu (late) handed over a parcel of land where he intended to build his Palace to the Church. The land is where St. John’s Church is standing today. In 2003, the foundation of the Church was laid.
In November 2006, HRH Igwe Sir J.U. Nwangwu was assassinated, and this demoralized the church greatly, as he was a great pillar of faith and son of encouragement to the Church. In July, 2007, Rev Godwin C.U. Diara replaced Pastor Christopher Ezema. During Rev Diara’s period, St Mary’s Church Ama-Orba was planted and the block work of the Church building was completed and subsequently roofed.
In 2009, Rev. Livinus Ugwuanyi replaced him. During his period, St. John’s Church Okpu-Orba parish was inaugurated. The Church also bought a parcel of land for St Mary’s Church, Ama Orba. In 2010, he was transferred. In 2011, Rev. Joseph N. Chuwkuma (now Rev Canon Dr) replaced him. During his period, Ezeguele family of Ezike Ugwu gave a parcel of land to the Church. A Nursery school was started in the Church building at that time. The parsonage of the Church was also built during the pastoral leadership of Canon Chukwuma. In 2013, he was transferred. In Feb, 3rd, 2013, Rev. Sampson Ike Ene (now Canon) replaced him. He restored peace in St. John’s Church Okpu Orba, which gave birth to some achievements. The Church bought a parcel of land at the back of the Church altar. The Church bought a parcel of land at Ohebe Orba and erected a building for Church service. The Church completed the remaining works in the Church building and it was dedicated on 4th October, 2015 by Rt. Rev. A.E. Agbo (JP) who also laid the foundation stone of St. John’s School at the land the family of Ezeguele of Ezike Ugwu gave to the Church. The One storey School building is at advanced stage of completion.
The following pastors served at St. John’s Okpu-Orba:
Pastor John O. Eze 2011
Pastor Osita Ayogu 2011
Pastor Innocent Nnamani (now Rev.) 2012-2013.
The current priest is Rev Canon Samson Ike Ene and Mrs Chekwube Ene
CHRIST CHURCH AGU-ORBA
Christ Church Agu-Orba was the second Anglican Church in Orba after St. James. As a result of the far distance from Agu-Orba to St. James Orba, the people of Agu-Orba community led by Mr. Peter Ogbodo put up a request for establishing a Church at Agu-Orba in 1992.
The request was considered and approved hence the Church started with about 10 worshipers, meanwhile Mr. Peter Ogbodo’s palour served as the place of worship.
With the necessary effort to grow the Church, the brethren from “Ulo” of Orba (Okpu, Owerre Okpu, Amalla etc), were instrumental in coordinating the activities of the Church. These people included Bro Israel Ugwunnadi (now Rev), Sir, J.C. Eze among others. In the year 1996, the strength of the Church rose to about 20 worshippers thereby making Mr. Peter Ogbodo’s palour (place of worship) too congested for their service. The Igbonemes hall became a place of worship.
In the year 1997, the first local helper by name Mr. Kenneth Eze was sent to the Church. He was followed by Late Chukwuka Omeje and Chijioke Ogiri who was later converted to diocesan worker.
In the year 2009, a permanent land was acquired and the process of erecting a Church building started. The construction of the building is at the roofing stage through Okpu-Orba parish support.
The following workers served in the Church, they include:
Mr. Kenneth Eze – 1997 – 1999
Late Chukwuka Omeje 1999 – 2000
Chijioke Ogiri 2000 – 2010
Onyeke Nnamani 2010 – 2013
Ifeanyi Ugwuja 2013 – 2016
Samuel Ebbimgbo – 2016 till date.
ALL SAINTS ANGLICAN CHURCH AMALLA ORBA
All Saints Anglican Church Amalla Orba started as an annex of St. James Church Orba in the year 2003 through the efforts of some of the indigens of Amalla Orba like Ichie Hon. Aaron Madu, Ichie Felix Odo and Mr. Boniface Odo. They sat together and saw the need of planting Anglican Church at Amalla. It all started as a dream; first, they approached Amalla Orba council of Elders (Oha Amalla) to use Egbu Primary School Amalla for Church service. With the help of late Ezekiel Ezugwu, Christopher Ojobor, Innocent Ugwuagbo, Jerome Ngwu, Mr. Romanus O. Ngwu and Mr. Sylvanus Ngwu, they were able to acquire the school. The decision of Amalla Council of Elders was that Amalla has two “sons” – one is Roman Catholic and the other Anglican. Since it has two primary schools, they were shared to the two missions. The first School at Amalla Primary School which was already used by the Roman Catholic Church was left to them and the second at Egbu was given to the Anglican Church Amalla. We should not forget the role played by these two members of the Council of Elders in the decision, late Ugwueze Nwoyeri and late Egwu Eze. On getting the authority from the Elders, this team appealed to St. James’s Church Orba for the establishment of a Church at Amalla. That was during the time Rev. Samuel Ugwu was at St. James’ Church Orba. The approval was given and the first Church Service at Amalla was on 6th March 2003.
The first Church local helper was Mr. Samuel Ugwu from Imilike Agu. He was residing at Orba then. He worshipped at St. James Church but volunteered to serve as a Church Helper to the young Church. He came to conduct service every Sunday. When Mr. Eze left, Bro Peter Ugochukwu Asogwa popularly called Onye Ozi Chineke now Rev. Peter Asogwa was posted to Amalla in February 2006 as a second Local Helper. On Nov 2006, the church was named All Saints Church Amala orba by Rev. Canon Chris Ike Nnadi. By this time, Sir Benson Asogwa paid regular visits to the Church. On each visit, he donated desks, money and gave moral support.
In January 2008, the third resident local helper, Bro Takuso Eze now a priest from Okpu took over from Peter Asogwa. The fourth Local Helper was Bro Everestus Ede from Ovoko but residing at Orba. He was a business man at Orba Market. He was a devoted young man. He worshipped at St. James before he was posted to Amalla to replace Takuso. Bro Ede resigned, and the Church remained without a Church worker till August 2009 when a Mission Worker at Anglican Church Ohom by name Jude was posted to the Church.
On 12th August 2009, Bro Emmanuel Chukwubuikem Igara from Ozalla was posted as the first Diocesan Lay Pastor to serve at Amalla. In 2010, the Church bought a piece of land. The foundation of the Church building was laid on 16th July 2012.
The first resident priest posted to Amalla was Rev. Obiora Okoro from Edem Ani. He served from August 2012 to December 2014. He moved the Church building up to window sitting. By December 2014, Rev. Okoro proceeded on transfer and the baton of leadership fell on Rev. Ndubisi Okenyi and his wife Mrs Chinonyerem Okenyi from Opi on January 9th 2015. Rev Ndubisi Okenyi continued with the Church building. Today we are now worshiping in the Church.
We cannot forget our Abroad Members that God has been using to support the church. These include the following:- Dr. Samuel Odo, Dr. Gabriel Odenigo, Dr. Victor Madu, Dr. Kenechukwu Enigwu, Engr. Kenneth Nwodo, Joshua Eze, Mr. Paulinus Ugwu, Mrs. Angela Odo, Engr. Shedrack Agbo, Bar. Azubuike Madu, Mr. Chinedu Madu, Chukwuka Odenigbo. These people are wonderful. They answer anytime they are called.
On 8th July 2018, All Saints Amalla had their second indigenous clergy, Rev. Israel Ugwunnadi. The first indigenous priest was late Rev. Johnson Ugwu (1964).
- MARY’S CHURCH AMA-ORBA
The Church started in the year 2008. The first church service was held after a 4-day crusade at Ama Orba village hall during the tenure of Rev Godwin C.U. Diara was the Priest in charge St. John’s Okpu-Orba. Through the efforts of the Reverend Diara and the Church Committee of St. John’s Church Okpu, they negotiated with late Mr. Hyacinth Attama who helped them to get a parcel of land for Church building and parsonage. From 2008 to 2017, St. Mary’s members worshipped in a rented house, their pastors as well lived in a rented house.
St. John’s Okpu-Orba and All Saints Church Amalla Orba helped St. Mary’s to build their parsonage and Church building. Pastor Chinedu Agbo during his period built and roofed the parsonage through the help of Okpu Orba parish. Last year 2017, St. Mary’s church moved to their new church permanent site built when Pastor Benjamin Ugwoke took over with the help of Okpu Orba Parish.
The following Pastors served at St. Mary’s Ama-Orba:
Pastor Chuwkudi Ogbobe 2008 to 2010
Pastor Paul Ugbogbo 2010 to 2012
Pastor Chinedu Agbo 2012 to 2016
Pastor Benjamin Ugwoke 2016 till April 2018.
- JOHN’S CHURCH ANNEX AT OHEBE ORBA
This Church was started in 2006 by St. John’s Anglican Church Okpu Orba. From 2006 to 2013, members of the Church at Ohebe were worshipping in a rented parlor until 2015 when there was crusade at Ohebe-Orba. Rev’d Canon Sampson Ene through the effort of Sir. J.C. Eze, Sir. B.U. Asogwa, Hon Dennis Nwangwu, Bro. J.S. Eze, Johnson Ugwuaba, Comrade Ephriam Asogwa, the Committee and members of St. John’s Church Okpu Orba, bought two plots of land for Ohebe Anglican Church. They also erected a building in the land for Ohebe church service. St. John’s Church was sending local helpers to the church except in 2009 when the Diocese sent Pastor Ignatius Ugwuoke. Those who served there include, Bro. Chinenye Ugwuanyi, Bro. Paul Ugbogbo, members of Church committee and others.
We thank God for His mighty power that is evident in this Archdeaconry. It is clear that there is a great move of the Spirit of God in all the churches and the entire land. We pray that the tempo will continue until the land is covered with the knowledge of God even as the waters cover the sea.
God does not leave any generation without a prophet. There are so many prophets in our time who are indeed vessels of honour unto our God. This year, it has pleased the Lord to use two of our brothers as our major resource persons but in different capacities as synod preacher and synod bible study leader.
SYNOD PREACHER: Evangelist Nnamdi Ezeh
Evangelist Nnamdi Ezeh is a seasoned administrator and a down to earth person who preaches the Word of GOD undiluted. He is from Umunnacha Village, Umuaga in Udi L.G.A. of Enugu State. He holds dual membership with St. John’s Anglican Church, Fegge Onitsha and Church of the Holy Spirit, Housing Estate, Fegge Onitsha both in Diocese on the Niger. Also, he is a member of St. John’s Anglican Church Umuaga in the Diocese of Udi.
He is a Commissioned Evangelist in the Diocese on the Niger. He was the Pioneer Diocesan Coordinator of Association of Evangelists in the Diocese on the Niger.
Nnamdi Ezeh is both national and international Speaker in Several Conferences, Crusades, Seminars and Church Revival Programmes. He is also a Television and Radio Evangelist with the Caption “THE HOME THEATRE TV & RADIO OUTREACH.”
Nnamdi and his Wife, ROSE are the PROPRIETOR of AGEF SCHOOLS located at Housing Estate, Fegge Onitsha. He is deeply committed to “HOME BUILDING” for the ‘Couples’ and ‘Singles’ in the Body of Christ. They oversee APPLE OF GOD’S EYES FOUNDATION (AGEF), a Christian Faith-Based N.G.O that organizes “COUPLES FORUM” for the Married and “SINGLES FORUM” for the Unmarried.
Nnamdi Ezeh has authored and published several Christian Literatures, such as:
- MISTAKES TO AVOID IN MARRIAGE (Volume 1 & 2).
- FRIENDLINESS IN MARRIAGE.
- COSTLY ASSUMPTIONS IN MARRIAGE.
- THE ESSENTIAL OF A GODLY MARRIAGE.
- FROM PROPOSAL TO MARRIAGE.
- THE BEASTS THAT DESTROY THE BEST.
- WHEN MEN FAIL GOD (Volume 1 & 2).
- WINNING THE INVISIBLE BATTLES.
- THE WEAPONS OF WARFARE.
- THE BATTLE FOR DESTINY.
- NOW THAT YOU ARE YOUNG.
- THE MOUNTAINS DWELLERS.
- GOD OF SUPPLY, SURPLUS AND SUPRISE among others.
Nnamdi Ezeh lives in Onitsha, Anambra State with his Heartthrob ROSE CHINEDU and their Marriage is blessed with two lovely children, REJOICE and GIFT.
Brother, we welcome you to Nsukka and appreciate you for accepting to be used of God to bless us. You will not miss your reward.
BIBLE STUDY LEADER: Venerable Professor Samuel Obiajulu Ike
Venerable Professor Samuel Obiajulu Ike was born on September 16, 1963. He gave his life to Christ in January 1977, in form 1 at College. He was Bible Study Secretary (SCM) and coordinator, Protestant Chapel worship at Fed. Govt. College (FGC), Enugu. He was School President, Nigerian Conference of Christian Medical and Dental students (NCCMDS), Bible Study Secretary and later President, Christian Union, at the University of Nigeria Enugu Campus (UNEC). He also served as Sub-zonal President, NIFES Enugu Subzone, Zonal President, NIFES Nsukka Zone and Vice Chairman, Chapel Council, Chapel of Redemption, University of Nigeria Enugu Campus.
Ven. Prof. Ike graduated from College of Medicine, UNEC (MBBS), in November 1987. He had his specialist training at the UNTH Enugu, qualifying as Consultant Physician and Cardiologist (FMCP), in June 2001. He also attended Trinity Theological College, Umuahia (Sandwich), from 2004-2006, and emerged as best graduating student (Dip Th. Distinction); and Haggai Institute for Advanced Leadership Studies in Hawaii (USA), in April 2013.
Currently, he is a Professor of Medicine, and former Head, of Department of Medicine of the University of Nigeria; Consultant Physician and Cardiologist, UNTH, Enugu and also consults in the Diocesan Mission Hospital and National Orthopaedic Hospital, Enugu. He has published over 75 articles with numerous general interest and religious publications.
He was made a lay-reader, as a medical student (Oct. 1985). He was made Deacon (Dec. 2004); ordained Priest (Dec. 2006); preferred Statutory Canon (Oct. 2008); and preferred Archdeacon (Sept. 2011): by the Most Rev. Dr. E.O. Chukwuma(OON), Archbishop of Enugu Province and Bishop of Enugu diocese.
He is Chaplain at the Chapel of His Resurrection, ESUT Teaching Hospital, Parklane, Enugu – from where they have planted 6 other rural churches, built churches and vicarages in 5 of them; and the Archdeacon, Hospital Chaplaincy Archdeaconry, Enugu diocese.
He has been a Conference speaker and bible expositor across denominations and various fellowship groups, all over the country, since 1987. He is married to Dr (Mrs) Ruby, and they are blessed with 3 young adults.
Beloved, thanks for making time out of your busy schedule to be with us. God bless you abundantly in Jesus name; Amen.
The blessings of God on our Diocese and our individual families are too numerous. We cannot, for want of time, name them one by one. We crave your indulgence to summarize them.
- Dedication of our Cathedral and the Deliverance of some of our Clergy and Laity:
It was like the building of the Cathedral took the devil unawares and suddenly he heard the announcement of the dedication date. He tried to stop it first by attempting to bring confusion in date; secondly by involvement of our clergymen and members from Onuiyi in an auto crash leaving a bishop’s wife nominee dead, two clergy and many lay members badly wounded with broken legs, hands and damaged eye; thirdly by the kidnap of one of our clergymen from the same Onuiyi, and finally by the almost impossible arrival of the chief celebrant, the Primate of All Nigeria because of bad atmospheric condition for safe flying and landing of aircrafts. But in the midst of all, the dedication became a historic one – the first in the history of the universal church to last from 10am to about 12am yet over 7,000 people were seated. It was glorious and overwhelmingly successful to the disgrace of the devil and to the praise, honour and glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. The cathedral was finally dedicated on 10th December, 2017.
Beloved of God, you were the secret – Your zeal, commitment and sacrifices added to the strength we drew from God’s voice. May heaven respond to your desires in Jesus name; Amen. However, we need to note that there are still more things to be done – the project has not fully been completed and its maintenance is demanding.
We give God hearty thanks for delivering Rev. Benjamin Abia, Rev. Chinedu Agbo, Mr. Samson Ugwuishiwu and many others from the auto-crash. Their survival was an unexplainable miracle. We praise God and wish them quick and perfect recovery in Jesus name; Amen.
We also appreciate God for saving Rev. Caleb Ugwuobute from kidnappers and their gun shots at him. May God’s name be praised!
- Birth of New Babies:
We rejoice for the great blessings of God to us in this Diocese especially on the fruits of the womb. Truly, the glory of God that has been released on us is far greater than what we have suffered. And this is a proof that we are unstoppable, for “there is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High.
About eighteen (18) clergy families, twenty-four (24) Lay Pastors’ families and many Lay families were blessed with new babies – some had triplets, some twins. One of those blessed with the fruit of the womb is the family of Mr. Ezekiel Chimaobi and Mrs. Evelyn Agu of St. Philip’s Church Ozalla who had a delay in child birth but after the prayers of the CMF delegates (Mr. Moses Ugwu and Mr. Josiah Ezugwu both from St. Michael and All Angels, Owerre Obukpa) that they hosted during our CMF conference last year, the Lord blessed them with a baby girl, Favour Kamsiriyochukwu on 4th March, 2018. Praise God!
As we rejoice and congratulate all that have received these blessings, we want to mention these few families, for want of time and space.
- Daniel & Mrs. Chinasa Amoke – baby boy
- Can. Williams & Mrs. Modesta Okolo – baby boy
- Osinachi & Mrs. Ogbonna – baby boy
- Can. Simon & Mrs. Eucharia Ezema – baby boy
- Nnamdi & Mrs. Joy Ijeudo – Baby boy
- Clifford & Mrs. Peace Ugwuanyi – baby boy
- Prof. Ikem & Mrs. Ogechi Okoye – baby girl
- Samuel & Mrs. Ugwu – baby girl
- Can. Chinedu & Mrs. Ogochukwu Odo – baby girl
- & Mrs. Chinyere Ugwu – Baby girl
- Emmanuel & Mrs. Chidimma Isiwu – baby girl
- & Mrs. Chidimma Ugwu – baby boy
- Chidimma Chimezirim – baby girl
- Izuchukwu & Mrs. Ewulu – twin baby girls
- Ndubisi & Mrs. Chinenye Okenyi – baby boy
- Sunday & Mrs. Benardine Akubue – baby boy
- Christian & Mrs. Ebele Orji – baby girl
- Can. Kenneth and Dr. Mrs Chinwe Onah – baby boy
- Samuel I. & Mrs. Blessing Okoro – baby girl
- Nnamdi & Mrs. Roseline Idoko – baby boy
- Chidinma and Mrs. Cynthia Nwafor – baby girl
- Isaiah C. & Mrs. Blessing Amah – baby boy
- Micheal O. & Mrs. Comfort Idike – baby boy
- Eugene & Mrs. Amaka Ezema – baby boy
- Linus & Mrs. Eunice Okonkwo – baby girl
- Patrick & Mrs. Nkeiruka Ogbonna – baby girls
- Paul and Mrs. Lovina Asogwa – Triplets
- Oliver and Mrs. Lilian Chioma Nwabonyi – Triplets
- Samuel & Mrs. Eucharia Abonyi – twins (a boy and a girl)
- Joseph C. & Mrs. Joy Ezea – Baby girl
- Godson & Mrs. Blessing Ireozo – baby boy
- Joseph chiefuo & Mrs. Roseline Ugwoke – baby boy
- Stephen & Mrs. Happiness Chukwuemeka – baby girl
- Godwin & Mrs. Roseline Okoro – baby girl
- Runcle O. & Mrs. Ogebe – baby girl
- Chinedu & Mrs. Uchechukwu Eze – baby girl
- Matthew & Mrs. Mercy E. Onoduoma – baby girl
- Grace Ugwu – baby boy
- Kelechi & Mrs. Charity Ossai – baby girl
- Anthony & Mrs. Marbel Aruma – baby boy
- Timothy C. & Mrs. Lovina N. Timothy – baby boy
- Okwudili & Mrs. Ochi Okpala – baby girl
- Mrs James and Mrs. Ginika Agbodo – baby girl
- Loveline Ezema– baby girl
- Chijioke & Dr. Mrs. Kay Onyechi – grand child
- Samuel & Dr. Mrs. Amaka Obeta – grand child
- Prof. Jacob & Prof. Mrs. Uche Onyechi – grand children
- Prof. Benjamin & Dr. Mrs. Obioma Mba – grand child
- Can Chris & Mrs. Ngozi Obileke – grand child
- Sir Engr. Dr. Ugochukwu & Lady Ijeoma Nwoji – grand child
- (Mrs.) Chinyere Ukwueze – grand child
- Canon Dr. Samuel & Mrs. Philo Chukwuemeka – grand child
Many of our clergy, Lay Pastors and lay members wedded within the period under review. Some had their children married while others were blessed to see their grand children being giving in marriage. To God is all glory.
- Ifeanyi and Mrs. Blessing Isiwu
- Pastor Ibuchukwu Chidiebere & Mrs Nkemdilim Ezinne Asogwa
- Pastor Chidimma Judah & Mrs Cynthia Ndidiamaka Nwafor
- Micheal & Mrs. Deborah Okoye
- Tochukwu & Mrs. Oluchi Nnamani
- Ekene & Mrs. Ogechukwu Nnamani
- Ebenezar Chukwunaza and Mrs Chinyere Christine Obeta
- Dilibe Chukwuka and Dr. Mrs Nwasoka Ugwu
- Somtochukwu Arinze and Mrs Ogochukwu Kaycee Okeke
- Jonathan & Mrs. Ngozi Uram’s daughter
- Prof. Benjamin & Dr. Mrs. Obioma Mba’s daughter
- Chukwudum Uchechukwu and Mrs Gloria Tochukwu Nwangene – daughter of Rev. Can Paul Onwuamaeze.
The following were made professors:
- Mrs. Sylvia Agu
- Mrs. Ibeano
- Sir Prof. Eric Nwagu
- Prof. Mrs Kay Onyechi
- Associate Prof. Mrs Obioma Mba
The following got their Ph.D:
- Mrs. Ngozi Omeje
- Canon Dr. Ekene Eze
- Canon Dr. Christopher Okwor
- Canon Dr. Joel Ugwoke
- Mrs. Elizabeth Nnamani
- Mrs. Chinwe Onah
- Mrs. Uche Uzodimma
- Mrs. Chinelo Nkwocha
- Michael K. Okoye
High court Judge:
- Justice Vera Ajogwu
- Mrs. Patience Amaka Osadebe – Dean, Postgraduate Studies, University of Nigeria, Nsukka
- Prof Mrs Ngozi Nnam – President, Federation of African Society (FANUS)
- Mrs. Uche Onyechi – Head of department, nutrition & dietetics, UNN
- Mrs. Ifeoma Madueme – HOD, Economics, UNN
- Prof. Mrs. Kay Onyechi – Director, Institute of Education, UNN
- Johnson Urama – Director, Academic Planning, UNN
- Bar. Onyinyechi Ugwulor – Deputy Director, Legal Unit UNN
- Lady Nkechi Idoko – Librarian Enugu State Polytechnic, Iwollo
Within the year under review, the Lord by His Grace decorated us with many awards. These included:
- Honourary Fellowship Award by Federal College of Education, Eha-Amufu.
- Award of Excellence in Mission and Evangelism by Diocese of Enugu North.
- Award of Excellence by National Association of Neke Research Forum.
- The Lifetime Achievement Award for Leadership in Education by the American Information and Communication Technology University (ICT-U) in Cameroon.
- We were also appointed a member of the Board of Trustees of American Information and Communication Technology University to be established in Nigerian in no distant time.
- Award by the Anglican Youth Fellowship of Enugu Diocese
It is our honour to dedicate these awards to the Anglican Diocese of Nsukka.
We appreciate God immensely for these and many others. To Him are all glory, honour, power and might now and forever; Amen.
WE WERE BUFFETED BUT …
The year under review was a trying year for our Diocese. We were confronted with storms of different magnitudes; it was an eclipse that brought about darkness at noon. As noted earlier, it all began with the involvement of some of our clergy and lay in an auto-crash in November last year. After that, one of our clergy was kidnapped. The dramatic but history breaking dedication of Cathedral followed, the involvement of Sir Prof. Nwagu’s relations in an auto-crash after a thanksgiving service at Church of Pentecost, Agu-Echara that claimed four (4) lives including Prof. Nwagu’s elder sister, his younger sister and his brother in-law – 3 of them were buried the same day. One of our Lay Pastors, Pastor Isaiah Ugwu died on 12th January, 2018. As if that was the beginning of the attack on ministers, on silent Saturday, March 31st, this year, we lost Rev. Chimezirim Echikammadu George to death. On Friday 6th April this year, we lost Rev. Canon ThankGod Okey Nwani to death. On Wednesday 11th April this year, we lost our pioneer Bishop, Rt. Rev. Dr. Jonah Chukwuemeka Ilonuba, JP to death. On Monday 23rd July, Rev. Luke Ifeanyichukwu Ugwu had a terrible accident that placed him in coma for seven days before he finally passed on, on Monday 30th July this year.
We cannot explain here what the experience was like. Mere words cannot unravel the gravity of the pain we were inflicted with. Nonetheless, we took solace in God not minding that their departure left us with a vast vacuum.
However, brethren, though
We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body….For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal. (2Cor. 4:8-10; 16-18)
Our solace has remained that;
Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.
It is well, with my soul
It is well, with my soul
It is well, it is well, with my soul.
During the time under review, many of our members also lost their loved ones. We commiserate with these families. The following are the few we were able to capture here.
The following fathers joined the Saints’ Triumphant
- Rev. Dr. J. C. Ilonuba – Retired bishop of Nsukka.
- Rev. Christian Ebisike – Bishop of Ngbo
- Rev. B. A. Vanger – Bishop of Zaki-Ibiam
- Rev. Felix Akinbuluma Bishop of Irele-Ese-Odo
- Rev. Yusuf Lumu, Retired Bishop of Dutse
- Mrs Elizabeth Nkwoka, wife of the Bishop Nkwoka
- Can Dr. Emmanuel E. Idike
- Can. ThankGod Okey Nwani
- Chimezirim Echikamadu
- Luke Ifeanyi Ugwu
- Nneoma Blessing Nkwoagu, mother of Bishop Monday Nkwoagu
- Ezinne, Nneife Alice Aneke, mother of Bishop Aneke
- Pastor Isaiah Ugwu
- Sir Bosa A. C. Onwura
- Sir Engr Peter D. Agbo
- Sir Jeremiah O. S. Amobi (Jide Okwukwe),…Father of Hon. Justice Pearl Enejere
- Lady Susan Uchenna Onuh
- His Excellency Chief Dr. Alex Ekweme
- Mrs Helen Okike Attah, mother of Rev. Gideon Attah
- Mrs Comfort Afiaku Ugwu, Step Mother to Rev. Can Timothy Ugwu
- Mr Joseph Chukwuma Idoko, Father in-law of Rev. Chukwukadibia Eze
- Alexander Okoh father of Rev. Can. Emeka Oko and Mrs Ifeyinwa Agbo
- Elder John Ugwu, father of Rev. Stephen Ugwu
- Mr Everestus Eze, father of Rev. Chukwukadibia Eze
- Chief Frederick Donatus Ekete,from Akpani Neke
- Nneokwukwe Catherine Ibezim, mother of Lady Dr Obayi
- Nneoma Eunice Umeh, mother of Sir Uriah Umeh
- Mrs Pepetua Chioma Uchegbu, Bishop’s wife’s nominee
- Pa Augustine Chukwuemeka Ugwu of All Saints’ Church Obollo Afor.
- Chief James Nwachukwu Agada, father in-law of Harrison Ogara
- Frederick Onyishi (Fedeco)
- Madam Zinobi U. Ikpeze, mother of Sir Prof. Nnaemeka Ikpeze.
- Elder Obed Nduka Amaechina, father of Sis Amaechina
While we console ourselves and all those who lost their dear ones, we must remain undaunted and undistracted. The church of God must match on and the gates of hell shall not prevail against her. We are matching on to another level; we are going to the top and nothing can stop us; looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith.
We use this opportunity to appreciate you all, individuals and churches, organizations and committees/Boards for your unquantifiable sacrifices, love and commitment in rallying round for the saving of those who survived the accidents even those who did not and in giving of befitting burials to our fallen heroes including the welfare of their families. We will not fail to mention the brotherly love demonstrated by the members of St. John’s Church Onuiyi, the commendable leadership provided by Ven. Steve Dimelu, in bearing the burden of those that sustained injury in the auto crash on our behalf. In the same way we sincerely appreciate the committee that organized that befitting burial for the Pioneer bishop ably led by Sir Arch. Innocent Agbo. Other members of the committee include:
- Sir Engr Dozie Eze;
- Hon Ogbonna Idike,
- Sir Bar Johnson Onah,
- Sir Bar Nnaemeka Ogbonna,
- Sir Engr Dr Ugo Nwoji,
- Bar Mrs Amaka Ukwueze,
- Dame Dr Sally Adukwu,
- Lady MaryRose Ngwu,
- Lady Prof Uche Nzewi,
- Lady Prof Chika Oguonu,
- Mrs Ngozi Urama,
- Mrs Ruth Ogbodo,
- Mrs Ifeoma Agbo,
- Ven Chinedu Onah,
- Ven G U Nnamani,
- Ven Ephraim Asogwa,
- Rev Canon Ifeanyi Onodu,
- Rev Canon Dan Odezue,
- Rev Emma Isiwu,
- Rev Dan Amoke,
- Rev Sam Onyeidu,
- Ven Prof Ikem Okoye – secretary,
- All members of Diocesan Welfare committee,
- Representative of All Saints Alum Inyi,
- Representative of Inyi Community,
- Representative of Eha-Amufu Diocese.
All we can say is that the Almighty God will continue to bless, prosper you and fit you for the kingdom. Do remain blessed and rapturable.
EVENTS IN THE DIOCESE
- Dedication of the Cathedral
We thank God immensely for His love upon Nsukka diocese for giving us a wonderful edifice. The Cathedral Church of St. Paul, Nsukka was dedicated on 10th December, 2017 by the Primate of All Nigeria, Most Rev. D. N. Okoh; we congratulate every member of Nsukka Diocese for this giant stride. To God we give all the glory and praise.
Collation of New Archdeacons and Canons
New Canons and Archdeacons were collated on Sunday 11th February, 2018 at the Cathedral by us. We congratulate them and remind them that to whom much is given, much is expected; may God grant them the grace for the new height in Jesus name; Amen. The newly collated are:
- Dr. Moses EbukaOmeke
- Prof. Ikem Okoye
- Prof. Jacob Onyechi
- Prof. Benjamin Mbah
Rev. Canon Sunday Dike,
Rev. Canon Sampson Eneh,
Rev. Canon Philip Ogbodo,
Rev. Canon Solomon Onyeke,
Rev. Canon Chinedu Odo,
Rev. Canon Kenneth Eze,
Rev. Canon Innocent Okoh,
Rev. Canon Timothy Ugwu,
Rev. Canon Stanley Eze,
Rev. Canon Dr. Christopher Okwor,
Rev. Canon Daniel Onah,
Rev. Canon Daniel Odezue,
Rev. Canon Joel Ogbu,
Rev. Canon Nehemiah Ogbuele,
Rev. Canon Ugo Ofoezie
Rev. Canon ThankGodNwani
- 2018 Sonship Manifestation Youth Conference (SOMAYCO)
This was held from Easter Monday 2nd to Saturday 7th April, 2018 at St. Paul’s Cathedral, Nsukka. We thank all the churches in the Diocese for your support to this vision in contributing in cash, kind and in rendering of services for the conference. The record of the Parish contributions is attached in the appendix of the address. May God reward you for your commitment!
The 4th edition will be holding Easter Monday, 22nd April to Saturday, 27th April 2019. We attended GAFCON with an information/Invitation Brochure on SOMAYCO and distributed about 600 copies there. GAFCON’s new General Secretary, Most Rev. Ben. Kwashi assured us that our SOMAYCO will now be incorporated into the new strategic networks of GAFCON. These are open doors God is granting us and we need to make good use of that opportunity. The Leadership of SOMAYCO should note that this program is gathering momentum and many from far and near are becoming interested. This means increase in attendance especially from outside the country. Early planning is the only way out. Please we solicit more of your support in all ramifications, as this is a divine mandate to rescue this generation.
|SOMAYCO 2019 PROGRAMME STRUCTURE|
|05:30 To 06:30||06:30
|07:30 To 09:00||09:00 T0 10:45||10:45am
|02:30 To 04:30||04:30 To 06:30||06:30 To 08:00||08:00 To 10:00|
|SUN 21ST||EASTER SUNDAY CELEBRATION … Ministry Teams Arrival; Final Briefing & Systems Pre-Testing|
|MON 22ND||Arrival; Checking In; Washing Up & Dinner||Orientation, Meet & Greet, Network & Share Experiences|
MORNING GLORY &
|BIBLE STUDY||WELCOME CEREMONY
|BRUNCH||WORKSHOPS & TRACKS||RECREATION, SPORTS & GAMES||WASHING UP & DINNER||
Political Governance & Transformational Leadership Panel Discussion
|WED 24TH||Praise & Worship||THEME EXPOSITION: Manifestation In the Beauty of Holiness||Praise & Worship||
Cultural Performance & Talent Nite
|Ministry of Healing & Deliverance|
|Thanksgiving & Workshop Nite; Commissioning & Closing Ceremony|
Checking Out & Departure
|WORKSHOPS & TRACKS|
- Trinity Ordination
The 2018 Trinity Ordination was held on Sunday 8th July 2018 at St. Paul’s Cathedral, Nsukka. Four Deacons were ordained Priests while nine Ordinands were made Deacons. They are as follows:
Rev. Gideon Attah
Rev. Godson U. Aruah
Rev. Gideon Ezeugwoke
Rev. Matthew Nkwachukwu
- Augustine Obinna Abugu
- Ebenezer Nwabueze Agbo
- Ignatius Chukwuma
- James Ikenna Olir
- Michael Ikechukwu Ugwuanyi
- Fabian Ekenedirichukwu Ugwuja
- Israel Ugwunnadi
- Kenprissy Odeze Ujah
We congratulate them and their wives. We pray that God will bless them and make their ministry fruitful.
- Inauguration of New Parishes and Archdeaconries
Three new Parishes and five Archdeaconries were inaugurated in the Diocese within the year under review, bringing our Parishes to a total of ninety-five and Archdeaconries now twenty-seven. The new ones are:
- Emmanuel Parish, Ukopi – 20th May, 2018
- Mary’s Parish, Agu Ekwegbe – 26th May, 2018
- Peter’s Parish, Aji – 27th May, 2018
- Obukpa Archdeaconry – 10th June, 2018
- Umuopu Archdeaconry – 7th June, 2018
- Iheakpu-Awka Archdeaconry – 15th June, 2018
- Okpuje Archdeaconry – 28th June, 2018
- Ekwegbe Archdeaconry – 29th June, 2018
- Church Dedication
St. John’s Church, Onuiyi Nsukka was dedicated on 14th July, 2018. We congratulate the Archdeacon, Ven. Steve and Dr. Mrs. Mabel Dimelu and the entire St. John’s Onuiyi for their effort to put up this edifice. We recognise in a special way the role of Dame Prof. Uche Azikiwe in the completion of the edifice. May God reward all of you beyond your imaginations!
- Nsukka Anglican Consultative Forum
After our January fasting and prayer, we caught a vision of convening a meeting of the sons/daughters and members of our Diocese in the academia, business, politics, and the technocrats, to share our vision, goals, plans, and programs for the diocese and seek their counsel, participation and support. This was tagged Nsukka Anglican Consultative Forum (NACOF)
The meeting was scheduled for Easter Monday 2nd April, 2018 at the Cathedral church of St. Paul, Nsukka. Dr. Michael Ajogwu (SAN) was the convener. It was well attended. The convener, Dr. Ajogwu presented an address and the Chancellor of the diocese who we equally call the chairman of the Laity council of the diocese also presented his own address. This was followed by the bishop’s address in which we communicated to the participants where we are now as a Diocese and where we are going.
The address according to them was an eye opener and was loaded. After some deliberations, looking at the weighty issues raised, they rescheduled the meeting for Saturday 9th June 2018.
At the second meeting, some resolutions were made that will help reposition the Diocese to attain the desired height. The forum appointed Dr. Michel E. Ajogwu as her Chairman and Prof. Johnson Urama as the Secretary. We appreciate Dr. Ajogwu especially for the role he played sacrificially to ensure the success of the meeting. We equally appreciate all those that honoured our invitation and made wonderful contributions for the progress of our diocese. May God bless all of you!
- Nsukka Indigenous Clergy in Diaspora
The Nsukka Anglican Consultative Forum (NACOF) was purely for the laity and at the meeting we saw the need to bring in our clergymen in diaspora so that we can tap also from their wealth of knowledge.
Therefore a meeting of all Nsukka Indigenous Anglican clergymen in diaspora was held on Tuesday 5th June, 2018. The attendance was overwhelming. We shared the same vision as with the laity, seeking their counsel and participation. They came up with wonderful resolutions that were in agreement with those of the Anglican Consultative Forum. We will be having such meeting periodically to keep them abreast with the happenings in our Diocese and gain from their ideas.
- Confirmations and Admissions
The Lord of the Church has continued to use this platform for the building of His Church. For this, we will for ever remain grateful. The Lord has always spoken to us in clear terms and the impartation of the Holy Spirit and fanning of spiritual gifts into flame have been evident in these services.
By God’s grace, 21 Parishes were visited for confirmation and admission within the year under review. By now it is clear to us that our initial plan of visiting all the parishes within three years is not feasible. Be however assured of our commitment to this divine responsibility.
Within the period under review, we confirmed a total of 1,293 people (470 Males and 823 females) and admitted 117 into Girls’ Guild, 203 into Women’s Guild, 55 into Mothers’ Union and 19 into Christian Men’s Fellowship.
The table below shows the data of the Parishes covered between November last year and September, 2018. We commend the efforts of the Clergymen, Lay Pastors and their wives, in utilizing this avenue for discipleship and mentorship that resulted in increased number of candidates. The improvement in preparation of the candidates which we noted last year has continued. May God reward your labour! Always bear in mind that preparation of candidates for confirmation and admissions should be seen as opportunity for making disciples for our Lord Jesus Christ.
As a way of encouragement, we will appreciate specially the outstanding Parishes, in the number of candidates, quality of preparation as shown in dressing and response to questions. Most of you have done well but the following are the best among equals.
St. Philip’s Parish Ozalla; 1st with a total of 106 confirmed, 19 admitted into Girls’ Guild, 31 into Women’s Guild, 9 into Mothers’ Union but none into Christian Men’s Fellowship
St. Bartholomew’s Parish Ohodo; 2nd with a total of 104 confirmed, 3 admitted into Girls Guild, 6 into women Guild, none into Mothers Union and 4 into Christian Men’s Fellowship.
St. Philip’s Parish Ndiagu; 3rd with a total of 91 confirmed, none admitted into Girls Guild, 15 into Women’s Guild, 3 into Mothers’ Union and none into Christian Men’s Fellowship.
Thanks so much and please keep it up.
We thank God for the gift of His Holy Spirit to His Church. We pray that the impartation will be nurtured and that the result will be a growing Church that is occupying for the Lord and actively waiting for His return. The underlisted parishes were visited for confirmation and admissions:
|1.||5/11/2017||Isiagu Ibagwa-Aka Parish||14||40||54||2||3||Nil||1|
|2.||12/11/2017||Emmanuel Church Ede-Oballa Parish||18||48||66||5||14||Nil||4|
|4.||22/11/2017||St. Bartholomew’s Parish, Obimo||16||22||38||Nil||5||1|
|6.||3/12/2017||St. John’s Parish, Itchi||37||53||90||4||17||Nil|
|7.||18/2/2018||St. Philip’s Parish, Echara||16||13||29||1||14||4||1|
|8.||24/2/2018||Emmanuel Church, Obollo-Etiti||7||21||28||–||2||3|
|9.||25/2/2018||St. Barnabas Parish, Eha-Ndiagu||18||39||57||2||11||1|
|11.||17/3/2018||Holy Trinity, Idoha Parish||10||23||33||Nil||Nil||2||6|
|12.||18/3/2018||St. Bartholomew’s Parish, Ohodo||34||70||104||3||6||Nil||4|
|13.||24/3/2018||St. Philip’s Ozalla Parish||65||95||106||19||31||9|
|14.||25/3/2018||Ozzi Edem Parish||13||32||45||2||9||2||3|
|15.||27/3/2018||St. Luke’s Imilike-Uno Parish||8||27||35||2||2||2|
|19.||19/5/2018||Ujoma Parish (Ozalla)||33||43||76||8||17||4|
|21.||23/9/2018||St. Peter’s Parish, Idi-Opi||6||28||34||13||30||3|
|22.||30/9/2018||Christ Church Umuogbo Ekposhi||15||24||39||3||11|
REPORTS ON ORGANIZATIONS, DIRECTORATES, BOARDS AND COMMITTEES
We have a number of organizations, directorates, boards and committees. This is a systematic way of doing division of labour for increased productivity and participation. They are veritable instruments in the realization of the mission, visions and goals of the Diocese.
The Directorates include:
Training and Manpower Development,
Mission and Evangelism,
Discipleship and Publications,
Prayer and Spirituality,
Theology and Ecumenism
Christian Marriage and Family Life,
Women and Children,
Planning, Research and Development,
Politics and Inter-Governmental Affairs,
Prison and Social Justice,
Media and Communication,
Public Relations, Protocol and Security,
Sports and Social Events.
All these directorates are headed by Clergymen and Laity who are gifted in those areas and have been useful to the growth and health of our Diocese. Under Mission and Evangelism Directorate, we have the mission partners who are mainly youths. Yearly, they embark on one month mission work not only in our Diocese but also in other Dioceses in Nigeria and beyond. Diocese of Cameroon has been a beneficiary of our mission expeditions. Many churches have been planted through this means, many also have been revived and many missionaries have been raised.
At the beginning of every year, Training and Manpower Development organizes trainings and workshops for Church committee members, treasurers, finance officers and clerks of the Diocese. By this, many have been nurtured to become useful instruments for the growth of churches both in the hinter lands and in the urban. The result has been an increased commitment and efficiency in discharge of duties. Worthy of note is the training they organize for the newly made deacons every year which help them to find their feet easily in the ministry and prepares them well to face ministerial challenges. Their major challenge is sponsorship for the Bethsaida Institute of Leadership and Missions established to raise leaders and carrier missionaries.
Directorate of Sports and Social Events has raised a formidable football team that can compete anywhere but lacks sponsorship. If this football team should be well sponsored, it will showcase talents and help them achieve fulfillment in life.
We have been enjoying the gains of the commitment of Public Relations, Protocol & Security Services Directorate in conflict management, peace keeping, good public relations, excellent protocol during events and increased security consciousness and concerns.
The Directorate of Pastorate has been wonderful – this directorate is responsible for the recruitment, deployment and discipline of the Lay-Pastors who are our foot soldiers, very useful in reaching out to hinter lands and in growing baby churches to maturity. We commend their Director, Ven. ANC Ogbochie, JP and the leadership of the Directorate for wonderful outputs.
The commitment of Music directorate has changed our worship life greatly by enhancing church music through standard choir. They have groomed many choristers that can compete in any part of the world. In August this year, training was organized for organists in the Diocese. It was free of charge. We thank the music Director, Rev. Izuchukwu Ewulu for his doggedness and also appreciate our son, Bro. PraiseGod Madueme who volunteered to run this training for one month without cost. God will reward you in Jesus name: Amen.
We have many organizations that have been structured to cover all the social strata of the church. They are:
Women ministry (MU, WG, YW and GG)
Christian Men’s Fellowship (CMF)
Council of Knights
Evangelical Fellowship in the Anglican Communion (EFAC)
Anglican Youth Fellowship (AYF)
Young Anglican Crusaders (YAC)
Anglican Communion Brigade (Boys’ and Girls’ Brigade)
Anglican Children Ministry (ACM)
The Lay Readers
These organizations are doing well but not without challenges. There is a resolve to reinvigorate the zeal and spirit of evangelism in our Diocese thus CMF resolved that “Ozioma uka eke” should be revived in our churches. To this effect, they organized a workshop on evangelism with Rt. Rev. Sam Chukwuka (Rtd) as the resource person on Friday 2nd to Saturday 3rd March, 2018. The fellowship is working had to complete her Benedictus Filling Station at Ofuluonu Junction, Nsukka. They are fully sponsoring one of our churches in Ojor.
The 2018 Diocesan Christian Men’s Fellowship Conference was held from 3rd to 5th August, 2018 with the theme “Raising Godly Family” at St. Stephen’s Church, Umulokpa, Umulokpa Archdeaconry. God used the Expositor, Ven. Samuel Okonkwo Obeta to unravel the mystery of fathers’ position as the head of the family in raising Godly family. The message was engaging, convicting and converting. We pray that God will sustain the rekindled zeal to raise godly generations and make it blossom in our families. It was a very successful conference. Ven. Theophilus and Mrs Helen Ugwuishiwu and all the clergy and wives, Lay-Pastors and wives, and the entire members of Umulokpa Archdeaconry, we appreciate you for your labours of love and pray that God will reward them.
The Women Ministry’s commitment to missions, evangelism, church growth and welfare of the widows and the less privileged is challenging and deserves commendation. Their contribution to the completion of the Cathedral is enormous. They have some establishments like the SAMAH Water Factory which is almost the best in Nsukka, the Bethany Plaza and SAMAH Bread Bakery that now produces one of the best breads in town called SAMAH Bread. They call for our patronage. The Women Ministry is fully sponsoring three of our rural churches at Igga, Onitcha-Enugu, and Ezimo-Agu, which they have nurtured to maturity.
The 2018 Diocesan Women Conference was held at All Saints’ Obollo-Afor from Wednesday 5th to Sunday 9th September, 2018 with the theme, “Raising Godly Family: the Role of Mothers” (Prov. 14:1a). It was engaging, transforming and refocusing. We congratulate the president of the Women’s Ministries, Mrs. Anthonia Ifeoma Agbo, JP and all the women for a successful conference and pray that the theme of the conference and its accruing messages will be put into work in our lives, families and society. Ven. Godwin Emeka Eze and his wife, Mrs. Blessing Eze, all the clergy and wives and the entire people of Uduledem Archdeaconry deserve a resounding appreciation. May God bless you all!
We are impressed and very appreciative of their strides. We commend Mama Nsukka and her team for honouring God through their services.
EFAC has remained a veritable instrument in strengthening already existing churches and in planting of new ones. They have planted many new churches since inception till now, and have been very helpful in discipleship programs of the churches. The fellowship is erecting a massive plaza at St. Cyprian’s Complex, Anglican city, Nsukka- the ground floor is ready for use – people are free to go and let.
The Diocesan Council of Knights has continued to lend her unreserved support to the wellbeing of our Diocese. They have been very supportive and useful to our ministry. However, we felt the need for fresh blood to be injected into the council. Nomination has been done and the novices are undergoing training to be prepared for investiture during our 25th Anniversary celebration in February 2019. We pray that the leadership may be strengthened to make their impact felt more than we now have in the diocese.
We thank God for the Revival and growth we are seeing in AYF, YAC, ACB and Lay Readers. However, more effort is required from the leadership of these organizations to bring them to enviable height. We also observe that most of the Lay Readers are now old and there is need to bring in new blood. Therefore, we commission the Directorate of Training and Manpower Development in collaboration with the leadership of the Lay Readers to raise and train young prospective Lay Readers. We will fix their licensing sometime next year.
In a nutshell, our Directorates, Organizations and Boards/Committees are doing well as we are blessed with highly committed members that are willing to serve anytime. With the rate of growth of these departments, the Diocese is in pressing need of a befitting Secretariat to accommodate offices for these Organizations and Directorates for proper record keeping and effective administration and coordination.
Let us sincerely appreciate you, the clergy and other pastoral staff of this diocese and your wives for your unalloyed, unflinching and steadfast support. Your sacrificial labour of love has been the catalyst for the tremendous growth and monumental achievements we have recorded so far. What could we have done without your effective grassroots representation and daily, persuasive and altruistic engagement with the rank and file even in the remotest and near impassable parts of our mission field? The lord of the harvest, the owner of the mission field shall surely bless you beyond your imaginations and expectations. We appreciate you!
In the spirit of this charge, we are persuaded to remind you that from whom much is given, much is expected, like the two servants in the parable of our Lord who got five and two talents respectively. The bane of the church today is the dire need of ministers who can set the pursuit of God over other equally good pursuits. It is true that the church operates both full time and non-stipendiary ministry and the diocese of Nsukka accepts these conditions of service but we should take heed to ourselves that none of these impinges negatively on the overall ministry of the church and our dear diocese.
Over the years, the norm has been that a man is called and he abandons his occupation or profession and joins the ordained ministry fully or that he answers the call but still remains in his original walk of life serving in the church as a part-timer. But since in recent time it has become possible for an ordained minister to get a “higher calling” to the class-room or civil service while still serving in the church, we will not doubt the genuineness of such calling but must weigh it against the backdrop of productivity, effectiveness and absolute loyalty to the greater of the two masters.
When we cite St.Paul as a biblical example of tent-making or non-stipendiary ministry, we should also remember that St.Paul out-laboured the other apostles in the ministry in spite of his tent-making status, as can be attested by the scope and frequency of his missionary journeys, the volume of his epistles to the churches and the depth of theological insight which he shed on the doctrines of the church. Of course, it is possible for one to be full-time in status and yet fully absent in the duty post, physically and spiritually. While availability is important, productivity and effectiveness are more important. The truth is that when the presence or absence of a minister does not make any difference in the congregation, that minister has no ministry at all in the church of God; whether he is full-time or non-stipendiary. We must, therefore, watch it.
The indictment in 2Chronicle 15:3 is both serious and shocking:
Now for a long season Israel hath been without the true God, and without a teaching priest, and without law.
What a disappointment! That they were without the true God suggests that they had other things which they called god. They replaced the true God with those Man-made things. Why? It is because “They were without a teaching priest”. Note, it was not that there were no different orders of Levitical priests who carried out the official temple ceremonies. No! The problem was that they were not the “teaching priest”, that is to say, they were not the type who could tell them about the living God and his dealings with their forefathers. Consequently, they were without law. Brethren, is this not the same painful reality of our time in the ministry of some clergymen and pastors? They are there and yet the congregations are dying and members going elsewhere in search of spiritual nourishment.
And so, whether you are full-time or non-stipendiary, care must be taken that we are in our duty posts doing the work of the master, to avoid the above indictment on us. Dennis Lane said, “You cannot live carelessly from Monday to Saturday and expect to preach powerfully on Sunday”. It is not just about Sunday morning preaching but about the overall ministry of the church committed to our charge and for which we have entered into different levels of oath, whether as full-time or non-stipendiary staff.
We therefore, charge you that as much as we operate both stipendiary and non-stipendiary ministry for the clergy, no body should switch over from stipendiary to non-stipendiary or otherwise, at will. Such change must come from the authorities of the church; otherwise, such action will be viewed as insubordination.
Again, there is no gainsaying the fact that the situation of the University of Nigeria Nsukka in our diocese is a blessing for the academic advancement of our clergy and it will be out of place for anybody to stand against this advantage. We encourage those who have the capacity to pursue higher education, after all the church, especially the C.M.S, is the original bastion of education in Nigeria. It is in the interest of the church that her clergy is highly educated and enlightened. Nevertheless, as the saying goes, whatever is worth doing is worth doing well. It is wrong, therefore, for a clergyman to go and get admission into the University and, half way into the programme, he will come to give the information to the Bishop, or even secretly run such academic programme, without the knowledge of the bishop. It is a breach of due process, an act of negligence and an indication of unholy pursuit. When due process is followed, ab initio, and the church authority is carried along, there must be mutual benefits to both the diocese and the person who gets such admission. We might have ignored such overzealous steps in the past but henceforth defaulters shall be treated accordingly.
We count on the continuous obedience of the clergy to the given regulations. The motive is pure and the purpose is godly. It is simply for orderliness.
REPORTS ON DIOCESAN ESTABLISHMENTS
- Faith Foundation Mission Hospital, Nsukka
Faith Foundation Mission Hospital, Nsukka is truly the manifestation of the Biblical illustration of our Lord Jesus Christ in Matt. 13:31 & Mark 4:31 which says “The Kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his field. It is the smallest of all the seeds, but when it has grown it is the greatest garden plant and becomes a tree, so that the wild bird comes and nests its branches’.
Faith Foundation Mission Hospital, Nsukka was one of the earliest visions that God gave us at the beginning of our episcopacy. The hospital which inherited the old Archdeacon’s house of St Paul’s Nsukka was commissioned on 3rd November, 2008 by the then Commissioner for Health, Enugu State, Dr. Chukwunweike which was witnessed by most of the Bishops of the then Province II of the Church of Nigeria, as it was on the day we presented our first Synod Charge.
The hospital has grown in leaps and bounds. It is the best in the whole Enugu North Senatorial Zone and has won many national and international awards. It has the best laboratory with sophisticated equipment. It is also worthy of note that this laboratory was equipped by the defunct PATHS2, Enugu State and it is a Central Laboratory for the entire Enugu North senatorial Zone.
The hospital is offering primary, secondary and tertiary health care delivery as we already have Consultant Ophthalmologist, The Orthopaedic Surgeon, The Physiotherapist, The General Surgeon, The Consultant Physician, and The Pediatrician. We have a plan of raising the standard by engaging more consultants in various fields such as; Neuro Surgery, Dentistry, Gynaecology/Obstetrics, Cardiology, Anaesthetics, etc. Our goal is to reduce our people’s “local medical tourism” out of Nsukka.
In a similar development, we have started implementing our earlier plan of opening branches of the hospital closer to the people for accessibility. An accommodation has been secured between Ohodo and Opi along 9th mile Markudi road and will be soon operational. Again, we are seriously searching for an accommodation within Enugu Ezike axis for another branch.
At the commissioning of the new hospital complex next year, the hospital will be fully digitalized, as we begin to operate the Hospital Management Information System (HMIS), as it is obtained in modern hospitals. Our diagnostic center will also be digitalized thereby making our laboratory compliant with sophisticated equipment such as; Auto hematology analyzer, Microplate reader, Automatic biochemistry analyzer, Echocardiogram machine (ECG), 2-Dimension echo cardiogram (2-D-ECHO), Anaesthetics machine, Computer tomography (CT-Scan) machine, etc.
Presently, we are about to finish the sixty bed capacity block which was started about three years ago. We intend to dedicate it during our 25th Anniversary in February, 2019.
Though, there have been challenges, God has continued to demonstrate His faithfulness. We have not reached perfection but have just begun the journey towards perfection.
We restructured the Board and the new one has long been inaugurated.
The new Board members now are:
- Sir Dr C.O.B Eze – Chairman;
- Sir Dr Arthur Chiedu Idoko – vice Chairman;
- Dr Edwin Omeje – Secretary;
- Hon Okey Ukwueze – Assist. Secretary;
- Sir Dr Nonso Oguonu;
- Ikechukwu V. Onyishi;
- Dr Isaiah Otugo Nwaidenyi;
- Dr George Ugwu;
- Prof Mrs Patience Osadebe;
- Prof Mrs Ngozi Nnam;
- Ven Prof Jacob. Onyechi;
- Dame Celina Adibua;
- Dr Emmanuel Idoko;
- Mrs Chidinma Omeke
- Can. Dr. Sam Chukwuemeka – Chief Medical Director
- Ven C C Eze – Hospital Administrator
We appreciate the former Board members for their sacrifices that brought unprecedented growth of the hospital. And specifically appreciate the Diocesan Medical Board Chairman, Sir Dr. C. O. B. Eze, a quiet but action man. Thanks so much for your passion that has been driving the vision. Ven. Christian Eze, your commitment and passion for the hospital is high. You are a divine gift to that hospital. May god reward you. We appreciate equally Rev. Canon Dr. Samuel Chukwemeka, the Chief Medical Director, and all the staff of the hospital. Your services have made a name for the hospital. May God reward you all accordingly in Jesus name: Amen.
- Chikadibia Mutual Health Association
The health insurance scheme started officially on 15th August, 2016 when the management team was sworn-in. Since then, both the Board of Trustees (BOT) and the management team have been on sensitization and awareness creation visits to churches, schools and public gatherings.
The above visits have yielded great benefits. These include the following:
- Agreement between the association and faith foundation mission hospital duly signed.
- Accreditation of the association has been approved by the national health insurance agency.
- We have written a constitution guiding the association.
- Enrollment of people is very encouraging. We have been able to enroll about 2,010 people including students.
- About N5,249,000.00 have been realized since its inception till date.
- The rate of treatment of our patients have been on increase.
List of patients treated
Month of August 2017 (1) person
Month of September 2017 (5) persons
Month of October 2017 (9) persons
Month of November 2017 (21) persons
Month of December 2017 (5) persons
Month of January 2018 (6) persons
Month of March 2018 (5) persons
Month of April 2018 (15) persons
Month of May 2018 (15) persons
Month of June 2018 (17) persons
Names of Priests and Pastors With their Families that have been Enrolled
His lordship Rt. Rev. A. E. Agbo (Bishop) (not with id card yet)
Ven Jonthan Urama
Ven Nnamdi Ijeudo
Rev Canon E. E. Ude
Rev Canon Sunday Dike
Rev Canon Chistopher Ezeja
Rev. Basil C. Okenyi
Late Rev. ThankGod Okey Nwani
Rev. Ignatius O. Ugwuoke
Rev. Uchenna Arua
Rev. Lawrence Eleje
Rev Williams Okoye
Rev Maxwell Odoabuchi
Rev. Ike Alfred Chukwudi
Rev. Daniel Amoke Dilichukwu
Pastor Daniel O. Abugwu
Pastor Matthew C. Onoduoma
Pastor Eugene Ezema
Rev. Johnson Eze Obeta
- Deus Refugium Printing Press
This was another vision we began with as we came into episcopacy. At the beginning, the establishment faced a lot of challenges which we took to be teething problems. Today, we see the hand of God in the business. With the current management, the Diocesan Printing Press, though do not have the major printing press machines presently, will not be long when it will be one of the prides of the Diocese. We have intention to help them purchase the necessary machines as God makes provisions.
Education is our flagship project. The Diocesan Education Board (DEB), is very much committed to this. Serious effort is being made towards giving face lift, quality academic life, high moral standard and balanced spirituality to the schools.
The headship of Anglican Grammar School, Nsukka, and St. Cyprian’s Girls’ Secondary School, Nsukka was changed recently after a long time of enduring slow pace of development and failure to run with our vision. This was done in good fate and in total commitment to our responsibility of giving godly leadership to the church and her institutions without looking at faces. Those appointed now to head the schools are on acting capacity and we are still on the process of getting credible and godly hands that will not just return the schools to their past glory but will raise a later house whose glory will be greater than the former.
We appreciate the churches that have caught the vision of the diocese as regards education and are establishing schools. May God bless your efforts! This must be pursued vigorously with the sole aim of using education as a tool for evangelism and discipleship. As you establish these schools, ensure that you follow the rules of the government, work with the established educational structure of the diocese (DEB), and make it an enduring vision that is not built on personal ambition.
You need to know that we have also reconstituted the Diocesan Education Board and have officially inaugurated them. They have been empowered to reposition DEB for effectiveness and return excellence and godliness to all our schools.
The new Board members are:
- Prof Elsie C Umeano – Chairman;
- Prof Johnson Urama- Vice Chairman;
- Ven Sam Obeta – Secretary;
- Ven Prof Ben Mba;
- Sir Prof Eric Nwagu;
- Prof Sam Enibe;
- Prof Okey Umeakuka;
- Prof Mrs Mabel Obidua;
- Prof Oparaku;
- Prof Mrs Ukwe;
- Mrs Abigail Nwambekwe;
- Lady Chinwe Onwupenata;
- Emenike Nnamani;
- Ven Goddy Eze
- Rev Takuso Eze
These are men and women of godly character, professionals and devoted members of the diocese that we believe have the capacity to drive our educational vision. It is our prayer that the King’s business will not suffer any loss in their hands.
We thank the outgone members for their sacrifices that have been so evident in our educational sector. Special thanks to the indefatigable chairman, Prof. Mrs Elsie Chizua Umeano, who is still the chairman because of her doggedness, passion for the vision and capacity to drive the vision. We equally appreciate our brother, Ven. Samuel Obeta for his commitment and forthrightness. He is still the Secretary of DEB. May God bless you all richly!
- Triumphant Ministry
The attendance has continued to rise and we record over 10,000,000 people in attendance every month. The need for counseling, follow up studies led to Tuesday meeting which now metamorphosed to another Triumphant prayer meeting. Truly God is touching our land and people with power through the Gospel of truth.
The programme is aired every Sunday evening, between 6.00pm and 7.00pm, in the Anglican Cable Network Nigeria (ACNN) and we learnt that it has been a blessing to many.
A careful observation of the happenings around our communities will place a burden of how to redeem these lands with the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ on the heart of every Christian that is in the spirit. This feeling has given us a burden for what we called “Targeted Community Evangelical Prayer/Crusade”
It is crystal clear that many of the communities within our Diocesan coverage are still in spiritual bondage. Some of the happenings around these communities lend support to this claim – quarrels, fighting, slavery, caste systems, witchcraft manifestation, idolatry, etc. As the hope of the society, our Diocese needs to engage in strategic community evangelical prayer/crusades. This will be capital intensive but is a daring necessity for the salvation of our people, repositioning of the communities for spiritual and economic viability and achieving of prominent Anglican presence.
We have already asked the Triumphant Ministry to be the vision bearer of this, and they are already working out the modalities. It will be our joy if the first outing will come up before the end of 2019.
We continue to appreciate the Triumphant Ministry Team ably led by Ven. Dr. Moses Ebuka Omeke; a man highly gifted but has refused to be associated with pride, rebellion or greed-the bane of many ministers today. Brother, may God take you far and raise more men like you in His Church.
- Agricultural Commission
The call to diversify the Nigerian economy is becoming louder every day and every finger seems to be pointing towards revitalization of Agriculture. A recast of the Church history will help us to appreciate the vital role played by the Church in laying the foundation for modern agriculture in Nigeria. The missionary organizations like the Church Missionary Society (CMS) held to agriculture for a strong financial base during missionary expeditions in Nigeria. They were involved in the production of agricultural commodities and exporting same.
It is against the above background that the 3rd session of the 8th synod of our Diocese held at St. Paul’s Uda approved the establishment of an Agricultural Commission to align with the Federal Government’s Agriculture Promotion Policy (APP).
Goals/Objectives of the Agricultural Commission:
The primary goals/objectives of the Commission will include:
(i) Revitalisation and Sustainability of agricultural businesses and its land among farmers in the Diocese.
(ii) Encourage the pursuit of agriculture as a strategy for employment generation and youth empowerment.
(iii) Promote agricultural based economic opportunities along the value chains involving production, processing, storage, marketing plus export trade.
We have set up the Commission and inaugurated it. Membership of the commission includes:
- Sir Sam Mgbaokolo – Chairman
- Noble Nweze
- Chinedu Eze
- Mrs. Mabel Dimelu
- Amos Ede
- Sir Emma Ogbonna
- Mrs. Stella Madueme
- Mrs. Ada Ezeibe
- Shedrack Asogwa
- Sir Engr. Dozie Eze
- Pharm. Dr. Emeka Ezea
- Chinedu Onah
- Dan. Ugwu
- Prof. Ben Mbah
- Dennis Agbo
- Ogbonna Idike
- Canon Edwin G. Agbo
- Canon Eric Udeh
- Canon Sunday Dike
- Christian Ajibo
- Emma Ezeaku
- Linus Okonkwo
- Linus Eze
- Odinaka Eze
- Sunday Okenyi
They are already working and have well structured plan to pursue the vision but have not done much as funds are not readily available. We appreciate their efforts so far and believe that God will open doors to enable them execute the plans.
OTHER IMPORTANT MATTERS
- Bishopscourt Complex
The Bishop’scourt was built under the episcopacy of the Pioneer Bishop, Late Rt. Rev. Dr. J. C. Ilonuba and dedicated on Monday 17th March, 2003. Since then no major renovation has been done on it. Actually we started something along that line but were forced to stop mid-way because of insufficient fund. The Diocesan Board later approved remodelling of the Bishop’scourt that will be done in phases. The first phase is to build a guest house within the compound, where the bishop and family will pack in so that work will start on the main building. We have started this and just stopped at roofing because our concentration was entirely on the Cathedral. Presently, the main building is almost an eye sore, some part of the roof is leaking, floor tiles peeling and outside painting not good enough to behold. We believe that about a hundred million naira (N100,000,000) only will do both the completion of the guest house and the remodelling of the court in which the chapel will be separated from the main building and the Bishop’s Chaplain’s house carved out also. We have the architectural design already. A committee that will handle the project has been constituted and we have started the fund drive from friends. Our target is to finish the remodelling of the Bishopscourt before our 25th Anniversary celebration, while other components of the complex will be pursued gradually.
The Committee on Bishopscourt Remodelling are:
- Evangelist Sunday Asogwa – Chairman.
- Uche s. Eze – Member
- Matthias Oti – Member
- Christian Eze – Member
- Benjamin Abia – Member
- Samuel Onyeidu – Member
- Lady MaryRose Ngwu – Member
- Mrs Ekpereka Ibezim– Member
- Oliver Onyeke – Secretary
- 25TH Anniversary of Our Diocese
Our Diocese will be 25 on January 11, 2019. It is very necessary to celebrate God’s goodness. Because of our January prayer and fasting, the event will now hold in February. The planning committee has been set up and inaugurated. They have since commenced planning and will here in this synod present a report on the details of the event and what is required of us. We therefore solicit your usual maximum cooperation for the success of the Anniversary.
The planning committee members are:
- Hon Ogbonna Idike – Chairman,
- Prof Mrs Ngozi Nnam – Vice Chairman,
- Sir Engr Dozie Eze – Secretary,
- Rev Sam Onyeidu – Assist. Sec.,
- Dr M E Ajogwu (SAN),
- Dame Celina Adibua,
- Dame Dr Sally Adukwu,
- Sir Dr Emenike Onwura,
- Lady Prof Chika Oguonu,
- Lady MaryRose Ngwu,
- Sir Bar Johnson Onah,
- Prof Johnson Urama,
- Hon Emeka Eya,
- Ven Chinedu Onah,
- Ven Christian Eze,
- Rev Canon Edwin Agbo,
- Rev Canon Sunday Dike,
- Rev Canon Dr Christopher Okwor,
- Prof J. Umeifekwem,
- Mr Robinson Odo,
- Mrs Ifeoma Agbo,
- Mrs Ngozi Urama,
- Sir R U Agbo,
- Rev Dan Amoke
- Prof. Chris Ikem Okoye.
- Diocesan Welfare Scheme
The experience we had this year as regards death of our young ministers and the attendant issues made it pertinent for us to go back to the drawing board to have a robust welfare policy that will reflect our faith and Christian responsibility. The Diocesan welfare committee has produced a document that one of the discussion groups will study and make recommendations for the Synod’s approval.
Paucity of fund has been one of our greatest challenges in this Diocese. It has reflected in the administrative responsibility of the Diocese.
This year, our budget stands at N387,850,000.00k but what we could give to churches as assessment is a total of N50,000,000.00k. The same amount was given to churches last year and what they could pay was N34,910,790.00k. So, about N340,000,000.00k out of the budget is to be sourced through Synod and individual donations. The question is: how much can we make from synod? It may be within the neighbourhood of N30,000,000.00k.
The condition above makes us resort to disturbing people, begging for assistance – a situation that has greeted us severally with humiliations and insults and if not done with caution, may tell on our integrity.
At present, we are heavily indebted to superannuation. The cathedral building has been dedicated but we owe some people, as some members who made pledges towards the completion of the cathedral are yet to redeem their pledges. All these make clear the level of financial stress confronting us as a Diocese.
This analysis is to help us see clearly that internally generated fund cannot sustain the Diocese. Until a strong financial base is built at the center it may be difficult to come out of this financial challenge.
As a result of the foregoing, a financial expert was engaged to educate us on the way out. Workshops have been organized for all Clergymen/wives, all Lay-Pastors/Wives, all Diocesan officials, and leadership of all organizations in the diocese, and another workshop at the CMF conference and women conference. The result of these workshops was a clear understanding that we need a strong financial base at the center.
Similarly, the major resolution of both the Nsukka Anglican Consultative Forum (NACOF) and the Nsukka Anglican Clergymen in diaspora was that we need to establish an endowment fund that should be invested and the proceed used in running the programs and projects of the Diocese.
Consequently, the Diocesan Board has approved the setting up of a committee tagged Nsukka Diocesan Development and Investment Committee (NDDIC). They are to lay a solid financial foundation for a holistic growth and development of the diocese by raising an endowment fund of 250 Million Naira in five years from 2019. They are to:
- Mobilize the members for effective participation,
- Keep accurate record of contributors
- Wisely invest the proceed
- Advice the Diocese on how to plunge the interest into the development programs of the Diocese.
The benefits of this project will be enormous and posterity will ever praise God for this sacrifice that will liberate generations.
Members of the committee are as follows:
- Johnson Urama – Chairman
- Dr. Moses Ebuka Omeke – Chaplain
- Justice Vera Ajogwu – Member
- Daniel Ugwu – Member
- Mrs Stella I. Madueme – “
- Aaron Eze – “
- Chinedu Eze – “
- Dr. Emenike Onwurah – “
- Robert Agbo – “
- Sir Dr. Clement Ugwuja – “
- Sir Bar. Johnson Onah – “
- Augustine Nkwocha – “
- Edwin Omeje – “
- Sunday Asogwa – “
- Moses Ifeanyieze – “
- Godwin E. Eze – “
- Nnamdi Ijeudo – “
- Canon Edwin Agbo – “
- Canon Sunday Dike – “
- Mrs Uchenna Adaobi Onah – Secretary
The committee has been inaugurated and will also address the synod on the modalities, thereafter on Sunday at the Thanksgiving Service the project will be formally Flagged off.
We must approach this with the right perspective if it will yield the desired result.
- It must be seen as our Christian responsibility. We owe Him that gave us His all, our all.
- To everyone of us grace has been given for us to employ in building the Church.
- Just as our forefathers donated lands that have enhanced Church development today and planted trees that we are reaping, we need to “plant” what the future generation will reap.
- We can only be remembered by what we have done. This is well captured by Horasius Bonar in his hymn, fading away like the stars of the morning.
- Fading away like the stars of the morning,
Losing their light in the glorious sun–
Thus would we pass from the earth and its toiling,
Only remembered by what we have done.
Only remembered, only remembered,
Only remembered by what we have done;
Thus would we pass from the earth and its toiling,
Only remembered by what we have done.
- Shall we be miss’d though by others succeeded,
Reaping the fields we in springtime have sown?
No, for the sowers may pass from their labors,
Only remembered by what they have done. [Refrain]
- Only the truth that in life we have spoken,
Only the seed that on earth we have sown;
These shall pass onward when we are forgotten,
Fruits of the harvest and what we have done [Refrain]
- Oh, when the Saviour shall make up His jewels,
When the bright crowns of rejoicing are won,
Then shall His weary and faithful disciples,
All be remembered by what they have done.
They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him. (Psalm 126:5 6)
BRIEF ON CHURCH OF NIGERIA
2018 Annual Bishops’ Retreat
The 2018 Annual Episcopal Retreat was held at Ibru center Agbarha-Otor delta state from Monday 8th January to Friday 12th January 2018. The theme was “the episcopate and the future of the church of Nigeria”. It was a refreshing moment in the presence of God and opportunity for spiritual reinvigoration and re-engineering of our episcopate to provide spiritual and purposeful leadership of the Church. We continue to appreciate the Primate for his dynamic leadership of the Church and for continuing to use this platform for leadership development of the Church.
Standing Committee Meetings
The first standing committee meeting for the year was held at Ilorin Kwara State. It was hosted by the diocese of Kwara at St. Barnabas Cathedral Church, Ilorin from Monday 5th February, to Friday 9th February 2018. The theme was “The Poverty of Riches” and the central Bible text was Rev. 3:14-22. Highlights of the meeting include Holy Communion service, Bible study, Meeting in Houses, Group discussion and Plenary. At the end, resolutions and communiqué were released and these are attached in the appendix of this address.
Similarly, the September edition of the standing committee meeting was held at Minna Niger State. It was hosted by the diocese of Minna at Cathedral Church St Peter Minna from Monday, 17th to Friday 21st September, 2018. The theme was “God, our Strength and Refuge” and the central Bible text was Psalm 46:1. Highlights of the meeting include Holy Communion service, Bible study, Meeting in Houses, Group discussion and Plenary. At the end, resolutions and communiqué were released and these are attached in the appendix of this address.
A New General Secretary
A New General Secretary of the Church of Nigeria has been appointed. He is Ven. Dr. Paul Dajur. We wish him a glorious service and successful tenure in Jesus name.
St. Mathias Day Collection:
This is an annual contribution to the church of Nigeria, meant for the support of poor dioceses and the Institutions of our Church. This day was observed on Sunday 25th February 2018.
Our Diocese realized and submitted the sum of N2, 806,000.00. The total fund realized from the entire Church of Nigeria was N198,965,112.00. This fund has been disbursed to some Missionary Dioceses and Institutions of the Church of Nigeria. We commend the commitment and sincerity of churches in this Diocese to this exercise. God who rewards faithfulness will bless you for being faithful in this way of being our brothers keepers.
Advent Sunday Collection
The Advent Sunday Collection is the money we collect annually on the Advent Sunday in support of the construction of the Church of Nigeria Secretariat. You will recall that the foundation of the Church of Nigeria secretariat was laid on Friday, 13th November, 2015 in Gudu area of Abuja. It will please you to know that the work is nearing completion and the Primate promised that it will be dedicated this year. Our Diocese realized and remitted N2, 510, 580.00 while the total money realized nationally was N165, 396, 808.00.
The three years agreed by the Standing committee to raise this fund for the National Secretariat elapsed last year. however the Standing Committee that sat at Kwara resolved to use this year’s collection for the development of a retreat center at Ajayi Crowther Diocese in memory and Honour of Bishop Ajayi Crowther. So on Advent Sunday this year, we appeal that you, in your usual way of obedience will raise this fund. Remember givers never lack.
Election, Consecration and Enthronement of Bishops
The following were consecrated at the Cathedral Church of St. James the Great, Oke-Bola Ibadan, the Oyo state capital on Sunday 30th July, 2017;
Rt. Rev’d Dr. Stephen Ayodeji Fagbemi – Owo Diocese
Rt. Rev. Emmanuel Adekola – Igbomina Diocese
Rt. Rev. Emmanuel Moris – Maiduguri Diocese
Rt. Rev. Dr. Emmanuel Onsachi – Okene Diocese
The following Bishops were consecrated at St. Matthew’s Cathedral, Benin City, Edo State on 8th April, 2018
Rt. Rev’d. Funkuro Godrules Victor Amgbare – Northern Izon
Rt. Rev’d Stephen Adeniran Oni – Ondo Diocese
Rt. Rev’d Dr. Cornelius Oluwadare Adagbada – Oke Ogun Diocese
Rt. Rev’d Dr. Paul Olarewaju Ojo-Ijumu Diocese
The following were consecrated Bishop at All Saint’s Cathedral Onitsha on Sunday on 3rd June, 2018;
Rt. Rev’d. Godwin Ayigor Awoke – Ngbo Diocese
Rt. Rev’d Wisdom Ihunwo – Niger Delta North Diocese
Rt. Rev’d Dr. Solomon Olusola Akanbi – Offa Diocese
Rt. Rev’d Prosper Afam Amah – Ogbaru Diocese
Translation of Bishops
The following bishops were translated into the following dioceses:
Rt. Rev. Abiodun O. Ogunyemi – Zaria Diocese
Rt. Rev. Akintunde Popoola – Ibadan South Diocese
Rt. Rev. Dr. Samuel Ezeofor – Aguata Diocese
Rt. Rev. Sunday Adewole – Kwara Diocese
Newly Elected Bishops
The following were elected bishops for the following Dioceses:
Ven. Dr. Chukwuma Opara – Owerri Diocese
Ven. Goefrey Ekpenisi – Ika Diocese
Ven. Jezreel Vande – Zaki-Ibiam Diocese
Rt. Rev Bar Isreal Amao was elected the Archbishop of Kwara Ecclesiastical Province.
We congratulate the Bishops and their wives and pray that God will bless their ministries in Jesus name.
The following bishops retired within the year under review
The Rt. Rev’d CSS Bello – Diocese of Zaria
The Rt. Rev’d. Miller Maza – Diocese of Lafia
The Rt. Rev’d. Samuel O. Oke – Diocese of Ekiti-West
The Rt. Rev’d. James A. Oladunjoye – Diocese of Owo
The Rt. Rev’d. Emmanuel Bayode Ajulo – Diocese of Okene
The Rt. Rev’d. Olu Michael Akinyemi – Diocese of Igbomina
The Rt. Rev. Anga Fred Nyanabo – Diocese of Northern Izon
The Most Rev. George Lasebikan – Diocese of Ondo
The Most Rev’d. Christian Efobi – Diocese Aguata
The Rt. Rev. Solomon Amusan – Diocese of Oke-Ogun
The Rt. Rev. Ezekiel Ikupolati – Diocese of Ijumu
The Rt. Rev. Cyril Okorocha – Diocese of Owerri
The Most Rev. Ignatius Kattey – Diocese of Niger Delta North
The Most Rev Ephraim Ademowo – Diocese of Lagos
The following Archbishops were presented on Friday 12th January, 2018 at the Cathedral Church of All Saints’, Ughelli Delta State;
The Most Rev’d. Dr. Alli Baba Lamido – Province of Kaduna
The Most Rev’d. Dr. Segun Okuba-Dejo – Province of Ibadan
The Most Rev’d. Caleb Maduoma – Province of Owerri
The Most Rev’d. Henry Ndukauba – Province of Jos
Other Archbishops presented include:
Most Rev’d. Prof. G. N. Okpala – Province on the Niger
Most Rev’d. Gabriel Akinbiyi – Province of Ondo
Most Rev. Funds Adeleye – Niger Delta.
Most Rev’d Dr. Ali Buba Lamido, Archbishop of the Province of Kaduna is the present Dean, Church of Nigeria. We congratulate him and his wife. May the Lord bless then in their episcopacy in Jesus name.
The Global Anglican future conference GAFCON III was held in Jerusalem from 17th to 22nd June 2018. It was a huge success.
GAFCON was formed among other things in the words of Archbishop Akinola;
Because we are convinced that GAFCON is a veritable tool within the Communion which God is using to bring together all who are concerned not only about the need to preserve the faith, but also to persevere and bequeath a legacy of wholesome, undiluted faith to future generations of Anglicans. It is God’s gift to the Anglican Communion and to the world.
To draw fresh inspiration to enable us ‘contend for the faith once delivered to the saints’ both for our sake and for the sake of future generation of Anglicans.
These were the same driving force that brought together Anglicans who beelieve in this course from 51 countries of the world for 2018 Edition of GAFCON. Most of the bishops in Nigeria and their wives, clergymen, and the laity were in attendance. Four of us were supposed to attend from Nsukka Diocese but we could only pay for the Bishop and wife. Nigerian choir drawn from Dioceses of Lagos, Abuja, On the Niger and Awka thrilled the conference with melodious and inspiring songs.
The theme was Proclaiming Christ Faithfully to the Nations. The Bible Expositions, talks, workshops and prayers were highly enriching. An outstanding key fruit of the conference was the launching of the nine strategic networks to expand our ability to proclaim Christ faithfully to the Nations in both word and deed.
Theological Education: To promote effective theological training throughout the Anglican Communion.
Church Planting: To expand church planting as a global strategy for evangelisation.
Global Mission Partnerships: To promote strategic cross- cultural mission partnership in a globalized world.
Youth and Children’s Ministry: To be a catalyst for missioneries to young people and children of all nations so that they become faithful disciples of Jesus Christ.
Mothers Union: To expand the potential of this global ministry to promote biblical patterns of marriage and family life.
Sustainable Development: To establish global partnerships which work with the local church to bring sustainable and transformative development.
Bishops Training Institute: To serve the formation of faithful and effective episcopal leadership throughout the Communion.
Lawyers Task Force: To address issues of religious freedom and matters of concern to Anglican lawyers and Chancellors and to further the aims of the Jerusalem Declaration.
Intercessors Fellowship: To inspire and develop globally connected regional and national intercessory prayer networks.
One of our discussion groups will help to guide us on how we can properly align ourselves as a diocese along these networks.
At the end of the GAFCON III there were new developments as regards vision and leadership. The new chairman of GAFCON is The Most Rev. Foley Beach, Primate of ACNA (Anglican Convocation in North America). The new General Secretary is The Most Rev. Benjamin Kwashi. The Rt. Rev. Henry Okeke is one of the Assistant Secretaries. The new leadership will take over in April, 2019. We congratulate them and pray for the grace and auction for the new office.
We thank God for the success of the programme and journey mercies the Lord granted unto all of us that went for GAFCON 2018. We appreciate you all for being instruments in God’s hands to make our attendance possible – may God bless you richly.
The Divine Commonwealth Conference (DIVCCON) which started in 2011 has continued to grow. The 7th edition was held from Monday 13th to Friday 17th November, 2017 at the National Christian Centre, Central Business District, Abuja. The theme was “We have the Man Jesus” (John 5:1-11). The conference recorded a huge success both in physical and spiritual content and quality of delivery of messages by the resource persons. Our Diocese was represented by many delegates. This year’s own is coming up from Monday 12th – Friday 16th November, 2018. The theme is “I will Restore” (Joel 2:25).
We specially appeal to the women ministry to see how at least all the Archdeacons wives and Archdeaconry Administrators’ wives can attend. We appeal also to the Council of Knights to sponsor at least ten of their members. The Diocese will sponsor one youth from all the Archdeaconries. We encourage all of us to attend and parishes should endeavor to sponsor some delegates. Please the coordinating team- Ven. Ijeudo, and Sir Nwoji, help us to organise a successful outing and to ensure that these directives will be complied with.
HIGHLIGHT FROM ENUGU PROVINCE
Enugu Provincial Council Meeting
The Enugu Provincial Council meeting was held at the Diocese of Ikwo on Wednesday 13th to Thursday 14th August, 2017. The Episcopal meeting was held on Wednesday 13th September, 2017 at Federal University Ndufu-Anike Ikwo (FUNAI) while the General Council meeting was held at the Cathedral Church of St. Peter, Ameka Ikwo on 14th September, 2018.
Another council was held at Archbishop Peter Akinola International School Afikpo in Afikpo Diocese on 7th March 2018. This edition of council meeting at Afikpo was one day council meeting. Another one day Council meeting was held at Ngbo Diocese on Thursday, 6th September, 2018, at the Cathedral Church of St. Peter Ezzangbo.
We congratulate our Archbishop and wife, Most Rev. Dr. E. O. Chukwuma and Dr. Mrs. Joyce Chukwuma for the success of the meetings and also thank Rt. Rev. Christian and Mrs. Afoma Ifemene and Rt. Rev. Paul and Mrs. Blessing Udogu, Rt. Rev. & Mrs. Godwin Awoke for successful hosting respectively.
Following the demise of the pioneer bishop of Ngbo, the Rt. Rev. Dr. Christian Ebisike, Ven. Godwin Awoke was elected to the see of Ngbo and has been consecrated and enthroned as the second bishop of Ngbo diocese. We pray that God will grant him the needed grace to lead the diocese.
Joint Council Meeting of the Provinces and Dioceses on East of the Niger
The above named council meeting was held from Thursday 22nd to Friday 23rd February 2018 at the Cathedral church of St. Mary, Uruagu Nnewi with the theme “Let All the Works of the Lord Bless Him”. Most Rev. Ignatius and Mrs. Beatrice Kattey presided over the mee ting. In his valedictory address, he gave thanksgiving to God for his little beginning and gave detail report of his little beginnings and his present place of honour. We congratulate the Most Rev. G. N. Okpala and Mrs. Euginia Okpala (Nnebuife) and entire Nnewi Diocese for the successful hosting. May God bless them!
In Enugu State, Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi has shown that with good leadership, good governance is still possible in the midst of difficult circumstances which could have provided a ready excuse for non-performance. It would be re-called that our Governor assumed office in the wake of biting recession brought about by the sudden fall in the international price of crude oil. Bearing in mind that the period presented a major defining moment of stewardship, the Governor quickly set his priorities right and with a technocratic team, sound fiscal prudence and leadership ingenuity, successfully navigated the state through the turbulent time without owing salaries or pensions as his counterparts are doing while also executing projects to the admiration of all and sundry. Regular payment of salaries and pensions which is the foremost stomach infrastructure did not provide the Governor with the excuse to abandon his core campaign promises to the people of the state in such areas as roads, electricity, potable water, health, education and other social services.
Today most parts of the state now wear new looks with asphalt roads, street lights, bridges, electricity and many more. Federal road in many parts of Enugu State have also been rehablilitated by the state government while the states “operation zero port holes” has ensured the total reconstruction and rehabilitation of all failed portions of roads within the metropolis including those of streets, layouts, estates, office premises, state secretariat, parks as well as everywhere else too numerous to mention. The Governor’s giants strides in the education and health sectors including the recruitment of over three thousand teachers and 344 medical personnel in the ESUT Teaching Hospital as well as the completion of the gigantic state of the art diagnostic centre are no less worthy of mention. On security of lives and property, Governor Ugwuanyi in his determination to sustain the enviable status of Enugu as the safest in the Federation under his watch in 2016 released a staggering sum of 100 million naira for the equiping of the neighbourhood watch groups in the state while also providing patrol vans on a regular basis to the state police command.
In the area of community and traders’ empowerment, the Governor’s recent release of #5 million each to the 420 autonomous communities for development purposes as well as his regular empowerment of traders across the state have remained first of their kinds in the annals of the state. We applaud this magnanimity of the Governor but with mixed feeling. The release of such amount to communities is not the best option. Some communities may not utilize their own very well and the amount seems too small for the developmental needs of the communities. Our advice on this is that the State government should articulate a better developmental programme for the grassroots. All communities may not benefit at once as the government may wish to take them in phases and according to priority. Level of underdevelopment of the communities should guide the priority list. Furthermore, we advise that the Governor should not be distracted by the increasing pressure on the government by some selfish individuals or groups, who claim to be representing the masses in requesting that everybody and every quarter be carried along. According to the Holy Bible, “…their stomach is their god”. The Governor should be focused on bringing development in the State.
Despite Governor Ugwuanyi’s number of achievements in many areas including youth and sports development and many more, which are impossible to chronicle sector by sector within the past three years, many analysts are of the opinion that his greatest strength lies in his disarming humility, piety and accessibility to all manner of persons irrespective of their stations in life and which are rare attributes among contemporary politicians. His excellent relationship with heads of religious institutions in the state and continuous coveting of their prayers from time to time for peace and good governance in the state is worth commending. Well done your Excellency!
The Anglican Church notes with gladness the high moral and academic standard now prevalent in the few schools returned partially to missions. This indicates that the completion of the exercise is the only sure way of restoring all the schools to their past glory. To this end, the religious institutions and the Anglican Communion in particular request the God fearing Governor to kindly and graciously complete the transfer of all Christian mission schools to their owners as begun by previous administrations in the state. We implore the Governor to complete this project of returning the schools back to mission and of empowering them to be in-charge before this present tenure runs off. Our Governor is a man of his words and we hope that he will not dent this appreciated personality of his.
Finally, we thank God for our State and our Governor, Rt. Hon. Lawrence Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Gburugburu). The infrastructural face-lift in the State, especially the neglected areas around the State is worth commending. Our advice is that you should keep it up and ensure that all the road networks that were flagged off around the Local Government Areas of the State will be completed before the end of his first term. We pray that the Almighty God will grant you second tenure, for you deserve it.
Enugu State is in the hands of God; let us pray for our State without ceasing.
NIGERIA ON FOCUS
May we at this juncture address issues that trouble our heart as they concern our nation’s economy, politics and security for which in the words of Martin Luther King Jr. require “fierce urgency of now” to reverse the dangerous trend.
Nigeria is generally acclaimed as a nation blessed with abundant human and natural resources of which with a dynamic leadership structure should ignite the dormant stupendous potentials. The 1999 return to democracy signalled new hope and revived vision of rebuilding the society from the debris of decades of military dictatorship that hitherto retarded social development.
The motto of Washington Post is “Democracy Dies in Darkness”. I subscribe to the principle that Democracy is the last bastion of hope for the common man, but sadly twenty years after the nation embarked on the ongoing sojourn of the Fourth Republic, the evolving negative development metrics that define the social trend is worrisome.
A nation with a population of more than 180 million and which about 70% is below 35 years of age now record more than 33% youth unemployment! Despite gross limitation in harnessing our resource potential, the country is still rich based on the quantum of financial derivation from oil and gas exports. Ironically, we keep reading accounts and observe strange corrupt practices and occurrences that demonstrate that the economy is virtually on life support with increasing survival crisis of the masses.
There is a virtual collapse of the social infrastructure which is the engine for economic growth, more so as it has become acknowledged as major achievement for state governments that are able to pay civil servants promptly. It is clearly likely that social pressures from these shortcomings may have further influenced the exacerbated state of moral decadence in the society, particularly among the restive youths.
The Nigeria political-economic situation as well as the increasing rate of tribal and religious Crisis existing in Nigeria needs an urgent intervention not just by the Nigerian politicians alone or even international communities but by God himself. Several religions, ethnic and political conflicts continue to tear Nigeria apart.
First and foremost, Nigeria’s democracy is on shamble and on the verge of collapse. Few months ago, Nigerians have witnessed the movement or abandonment by politicians of one political party for another. The reasons they give have ranged from impunity, inadequate reward, harassment and undemocratic imposition by their former political parties who now perceive them as enemies. Examples of such harassment were the closure of the National Assembly complex in Abuja on 7th August, 2018 and the barricade of the residential houses of the senate president and his deputy, all by Nigerian Security agencies.
It is a surprise to many Nigerians and the fear that our democracy is under threat has continued to increase.
Though it can be said that the massive defection exercise in Nigeria is not new as it has happened in the first Republic, second Republic as well as the third Republic, watching the Scenario as it continues to unfold, one can easily conclude that the continuous defections are merely for selfish interest, not common good. Hence, as long as such defection is for self, it has no usefulness to Nigeria on the Long run. Hence, the change does not alter anything meaningfully. It is a change without change.
More so, as the 2019 general election is drawing nearer, the heat is also at the increase pruning mass defection, sacking of officials who may be deemed as expected enemies or barriers etc. All these exist just to sustain the elite fight or struggle for the resources of the country. The Ekiti State governorship election held on July 14, 2018, and the most recent Osun State governorship election held on Saturday 23rd September and the rerun on Thursday, 27th September as already viewed by many Nigerians and even foreign observers is an indicator of what may transpire in 2019 if necessary measure is not taken. The despicable practice of vote buying where voters cunningly allowed party agents to know which parties they voted for was so rampant that the outcome of the entire process did not reflect the true or genuine democratic choice of Ekiti or Osun people. The level of electoral manipulation was so brazen, the desperation to win so palpable, that voters went behind voting venues, in some cases to buildings outside the voting areas, to collect bribe from party agents. The observers further disclosed that there were sporadic shooting, ballot box snatching, together with oppression, intimidation, teargasing and undue influence on voters while voting was going on.
The Nigerian economy previously rated largest in Africa and one of the fastest growing in the world, is now in overwhelming recession: joblessness, hopelessness, depression and despondency envelope the nation. From the Nations Bureau of statistics of 2017, the economy alighted recession with a 0.55% quarterly GDP growth rate but it is considered fragile given that the recovery came as a result of positive development in the oil sector. Though the recovery as well the reason behind it can be taken as good news but it has to be juxtaposed with the unprecedented level of domestic and foreign borrowing by this government in the past three years.
Despite the abundance of human and natural resources, Nigeria remains one of the poor countries in the world today. Corruption, Misappropriation of public funds, political instability and poor governance continue to weigh the economy down.
The political culture is polluted by extremes of intriguing cronyism, violence, recklessness and corruption, which cumulatively have degenerated to the rampant state of insecurity and lawlessness. It is also unfortunate and regrettable that the most dangerous threat to our social stability is the herdsmen conflicts with local farmers in different parts of the country. This situation has resulted in large scale murder and displacement of thousands of farmers who have been forced to abandon their farmlands, and with many living as refugees in camps.
The root cause of this gruesome social malaise is both political and religious, a situation that portends extreme threat to the nation’s stability and development.
But the biggest and the most important question is, what is the solution to Nigeria’s problem? While we may not claim to have all the answers, we strongly believe that Nigeria will be better if we heed the following admonitions.
We use this medium to plead that key players in Nigeria’s political spectrum should exhibit courage and compassion to humanity in the conduct of governance, and more importantly the forthcoming electioneering process in 2019 so as to save the citizens the horror of further conflagration in the socio-political system.
We need proactive actions at the various levels of governance. Nigerians are demanding for good governance: A sincere consideration of the idea of administrative restructuring as a solution to Nigeria’s problems, Security of lives and properties, Good road network, Good health care delivery, Good education, Improved judicial system, Modern airports, Modern railway, Modern seaports, Modern agriculture, Enough food for the hungry poor masses, Employment for our youths, Enabling environment for industrialization, Equitable distribution of our national cake, Eradication of pollution, Proper waste management, Efficient postal and telecommunication services, Reduction in telephone tariffs, Improved electricity, Provision of housing scheme, Creation of attractive tourism, Creation of forest reservation and planting of trees, and Proper management of our national borders. Nigerians are saying we no longer want violence. Killing by herdsmen must stop and the perpetrators be arrested and prosecuted. Let there be freedom of religion. No imposition of ethnic supremacy or religious beliefs on others. Nigerians should be allowed to continue to live together as brothers as it was in the days of old. We say NO to CORRUPTION. Whoever becomes our next President should strive to stay in the country to attend to urgent national issues instead of gallivanting around the globe wasting our scarce resources on traveling as it is the case now. Nigerians are saying CUT DOWN the salaries and allowances of ALL political office holders without exception beginning with the Executive. Legislative branch of government should be part time job and be paid as such. Nigerians want improved minimum wage of at least N60,000.00.
On the other hand, the Nigerian populace and electorate must be wise. Let us wake up from our slumber. Let’s say no to corrupt leaders. Corruption is at the root of many of Nigeria’s problem, but corrupt hands and minds cannot adequately fight the corruption bedevilling us. Let’s take our future by our hands. Even when they impose themselves on us, we can reject them. Accepting peanuts to vote for wrong people is suicidal. We cannot continue in this way. We advise the electorates to stop being merchants of votes. It is betrayal of the dignity of man to trade our voting rights. It shows the level of decay in our political system and the deadness of our alarmed conscience. This only creates room for thieves to take up positions of authority. We strongly condemn vote buying and therefore call on every eligible voter of the Diocese of Nsukka, Anglican Communion, to reject and rebuke and report anyone who attempts to buy your votes.
Our politicians must be reminded that politics is not about the next election but about the next generation. What do we have in store for them?
We will continue to pray for God’s intervention in this country.
THE SYNOD THEME
The Pursuit of God
Text: Psalm 63
“1. A Psalm of David, when he was in the wilderness of Judah. O God, You are my God; I shall seek You earnestly; my soul thirsts for You, my flesh yearns for You, in a dry and weary land where there is no water. 2. Thus I have seen You in the sanctuary, to see Your power and Your glory. 3. Because Your lovingkindness is better than life, my lips will praise You. 4. So I will bless You as long as I live; I will lift up my hands in Your name. 5. My soul is satisfied as with marrow and fatness, and my mouth offers praises with joyful lips. 6. When I remember You on my bed, I meditate on You in the night watches, 7. For You have been my help, and in the shadow of Your wings I sing for joy. 8. My soul clings to You; Your right hand upholds me. 9. But those who seek my life to destroy it, will go into the depths of the earth. 10. They will be delivered over to the power of the sword; they will be a prey for foxes. 11. But the king will rejoice in God; everyone who swears by Him will glory, for the mouths of those who speak lies will be stopped.”
The theme of this year’s Synod is born out of a burden to refocus the church on the need to see the primacy and centrality of pursuing God as our foremost Christian calling. It is a theme that reminds us of the being of our God as personality who desires fellowship and intimate relationship with those who worship him. A casual look at the theme might suggest a contradiction: How can we pursue God when Christian theology teaches that it is God who first sought us, found us and saved us? The biblical truth is that we still have to pursue God even though He is the source of our salvation.
- W. Tozer succinctly explained this in the following way:
Christian theology teaches the doctrine of prevenient grace, which briefly stated, means that before a man can seek God, God must first have sought the man. Before a sinful man can think a right thought of God, there must have been a work of enlightenment done within him; imperfect it may be, but a true work nonetheless, and the secret cause of all desiring, seeking and praying which may follow. We pursue God because, and only because, He has first put an urge within us that spurs us to the pursuit. “No man can come to me,” said our Lord, “except the Father which hath sent me draw him,” and it is by this very prevenient drawing that God takes from us every vestige of credit for the act of coming. The impulse to pursue God originates with God, but the outworking of that impulse is our following hard after Him; and all the time we are pursuing Him we are already in His hand: “Thy right hand upholdeth me.” In this divine “upholding” and human “following” there is no contradiction. All is of God, for as von Hegel teaches, God is always previous. In practice, however, (that is, where God’s previous working meets man’s present response) man must pursue God. On our part, there must be positive reciprocation if this secret drawing of God is to eventuate in identifiable experience of the Divine. In the warm language of personal feeling, this is stated in the Forty-second Psalm:
As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?
This is deep calling unto deep, and the longing heart will understand it. Tozer decried the failure on the side of the Christians in responding to the prevenient drawing of God. This he attributed to the misunderstanding of the doctrine of justification by faith, which today has brought the hypergrace teaching. He said;
The whole transaction of religious conversion has been made mechanical and spiritless. Faith may now be exercised without a jar to the moral life and without embarrassment to the Adamic ego. Christ may be “received” without creating any special love for Him in the soul of the receiver. The man is “saved,” but he is neither hungry nor thirsty after God. In fact he is specifically taught to be satisfied and encouraged to be content with little. The modern scientist has lost God amid the wonders of His world; we Christians are in real danger of losing God amid the wonders of His Word.
We agree with Tozer and the scenario he rightly painted has entangled the Church in the web of materialism and religious hypocrisy. Unfortunately many Christians now see God as means of achieving their desires but not the End of their lives. The unfortunate implications of this aberration are superficial worship and ‘polished’ idolatry. This is because once the Christian gets what he is looking for from God, he forgets the God who gave the provision and then worships the provision or if the Christian does not immediately get from God what he is looking for, he goes into idolatrous alternative means. Both are wrong.
We are now in the era of superficial worship. The sincere desire to know God personally and intimately as a primary Christian calling is now dwindling. At best, people now seek God just to get solutions to their temporal problems, not to deeply commune with their Creator.
A correct Biblical understanding of true worship reveals that the primary calling of God’s people is that God should indwell us, such that out of that divine indwelling of His people, everybody around us will inhale divinity from our lives and services. As critical as ministry is to the spiritual destiny of souls under our ministration, God designed that any effective ministry must emanate from a definite walk with God. It is not first of all about activity; it is primarily about who we have become from a cumulative walk with God.
We can and need to pursue God. We can seek him. It is our Christian responsibility to follow hard on Him until that intimate, deep, personal communion is achieved.
Tozer observed that since it is inherent in personality to be able to know other personalities, full knowledge of one personality by another cannot be achieved in one encounter, it is only after long and loving mental intercourse that the full possibilities of both can be explored. All social intercourse between human beings is a response of personality to personality, grading upward from the most casual brush between man and man to the fullest, most intimate communion of which the human soul is capable. Religion, so far as it is genuine, is in essence the response of created personalities to the Creating Personality, God. “This is life eternal, that they might know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” (Jn. 17:3)
In briefly analyzing this theme, we shall consider the context of our theme text, the meaning and means of pursuing God; the benefits of pursuing God; the dangers of not pursuing God and the implications of the theme to the Church.
The biblical passage chosen as the platform to expound this theme is a familiar one. The book of Psalms is the delight of many Christian groups and individuals. The Psalms is one of the poetic books of the Old Testament. It is a handsome collection and comprehensive summary of the history, religion, spirituality, philosophy, cosmology and even the emotions of the ancient Jews and the tenets of Judaism of which Christianity is the offshoot. Most of the Psalms bear the name of David, the guitar boy and second king of Israel as their author but David is certainly not the only Psalmist. Moses, the sons of Asaph, the sons of korah and other members of the Levitical order have certain Psalms attributed to them. Each Psalm is a reflection of the circumstance that gave birth to it: Either moment of joy or that of sorrow; sober moment of supplication or unhindered outburst of praise; lamentation of defeat or celebration of victory. Marshall Pickering (1989) corroborated this view when he wrote that,
The form of the Psalms is as varied as its content, as they mirror the human soul in all its vicissitude of faith and unbelief, joy and perplexity, rebellion and submission. In the Psalms, one can see bitter resentment at life’s unfairness, protest at God’s mysterious ways, his seeming delay in helping, his anger or his inactivity. Yet, all these are balanced by joyous outburst of praise, gladness, thanksgiving and testimony of God’s faithfulness (367)
Therefore, we have chosen Psalm 63, where, “Earnest longing for God passes into elaborate testimony” (Pickering, 1989:383).
It is one of the well-loved psalms. John Chrysostom (347-407) wrote “that it was decreed and ordained by the primitive [church] fathers, that no day should pass without the public singing of this Psalm.” In fact, the ancient church had the practice of beginning the singing of the Psalms at each Sunday service with Psalm 63, called “the morning hymn” (Commentary on the Old Testament, C. F. Keil & Franz Delitzsch, [Eerdmans], p. 212).
Bible scholars agree to the fact that Psalm 63, our theme text, was written by David while he was in the wilderness. The Wilderness of Judah was a place of growing and learning for David. It was in this wilderness that he tended the family sheep and killed a lion and a bear that wanted to attack the sheep (1 Sam.17:34-37).
The wilderness also afforded David solitude and quiet times to contemplate the Lord, His ways and His attributes. At night, while tending his flock, he saw the majestic star-lit sky and sang, “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork” – Ps.19:1.
While in the wilderness, David also learned some lessons in shepherding that were helpful to him when God called him to shepherd His people Israel (2 Sam.7:8).
The second time David spent in the Judean Desert was during his flight from Saul (1 Sam.19:18-27:6). The final time David was in the Judean Desert was when he fled from his son Absalom (2 Sam.15-19). The internal evidence of Psalm 63 suggests that the historical setting for this Psalm was during this flight. Our best hint at that comes from verse 11, which tells us about those whose mouths are speaking lies against him, [and] apparently indicates the time of the revolt of Absalom. His son, Absalom, instigated a revolt against him; as a result, David fled eastward from Jerusalem through the Judean Desert at a time most likely at the end of the summer (cf 2 Sam.16:1). David escaped to the Levitical city of Mahanaim, in the friendlier region of Gilead on the other side of the Jordan River.
Absalom, drove him out of Jerusalem, out of his palace, out of his capital, out of the place of worship of the people of God, away from the temple, away from the courts of Zion and out into the wilderness. It’s probably in that setting that this beautiful Psalm came from the heart of David (of course, ultimately by the inspiration of God’s Holy Spirit). It was as if all the legs had been knocked out from under him, all the supports, all the blessings were withdrawn and he was in the wilderness. Yet we see God bringing the best out of David in the worst of times.
As we examine this Psalm, we see David’s earnest desire to worship the Lord even though he had been circumstantially and temporally cut off from access to the sanctuary in Jerusalem.
In this Psalm David expresses three major things:
- His thirst for God,
- His satisfaction in God,
- His trust in God.
In fact, each of the three stanzas follows along those lines.
- In verses 1-4 (the first stanza,) we see David’s thirst for God. He expresses his desire for God in verses 5 through 8.
- In the second stanza we see David expressing his satisfaction in God. He does not only long for God, he is satisfied in God. He finds all his longings met in God.
- And then finally in verses 9 through 11, the third stanza of the Psalm, we see David affirmed his trust in God. God is the One in whom he trusts. And David has words for us today in whatever wilderness we may find ourselves. David again is being tested, and once again God is using the worst circumstances to bring about the best in David.
The background is very critical in appreciating the theme text. Like David, Christians are in the wilderness of this world with a longing to worship at the eternal Temple above. We are chased and tossed here and there by one ‘Absalom’ of difficulty or the other. You may be going through a rough moment in your personal or family life or even career. It is our prayer that God will speak to you through this Psalm.
As a diocese we have been buffeted to the point where we could ask like David: “Has thou abandoned us o Lord?” The grim reaper (death) seems to have turned our diocese into its choicest field of harvest this season. Between April and July we lost our three young, energetic clergymen and our pioneer Bishop to its sickle. The tears in our eyes over one death hardly dried when another would knock; yet another and another. It is however important to note that this spate of death began to blow while we were still basking in the euphoria of our cathedral dedication which was highly rated. One died on Holy Saturday, just as we rounded off the diocesan Lent meditation and prayers; another died at the consummation of our youth programme, SOMAYCO, where he was deeply involved in the activities, and our pioneer bishop died when preparation for his 80th birthday had almost reached high point. The last one came when the young man was already getting ready to move to his new mission field following the last workers’ disposition in the diocese and after our Trinity ordination. Thus, humanly speaking we were downcast and devastated; for how could God allow these blows on us even when we were in a mood of prayer and communion with him? Nevertheless that was our mortal flesh asking the question. When we recovered from the shock and applied the eyes of faith, we saw God in all these calling us to closer walk with him. After all, when on 24th November 2017 the enemy intended a massive destruction of both clergy and lay members of the diocese, it was God’s divine intervention that aborted his plot. So there is no better time than now, for us to seek God earnestly, to desire a deeper communion with Him.
It will be necessary to note that how we manage the wilderness experience in the light of our pilgrimage is central to our walk with God here on earth and our eventual destination in eternity. Thus, between our earthly pilgrimage and our eternal rest, there is a middle line duty: The Pursuit of God.
WHAT THEN IS THE PURSUIT OF GOD?
To pursue God in our context means to seek after Him, to commune with Him deeply so as to see Him with our inner eye; to commune with Him with an expectation to truly reflect Him; to know Him intimately and personally; to thirst for Him such that we can say, like the Psalmist,
“As the deer pants after the water brooks, so pants my soul after You, Oh God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before Him? – Ps.42:1, 2.
The Pursuit of God is the resultant effect of thirsting after Him or being hungry for Him.
Thirst or Hunger is that gnawing ache on the inside of you; that sense of need that is not content until it is filled. Hunger is an active state, for it results in you seeking out the object of desire that will satisfy your need.
Hunger for God is the longing to encounter Him, to be with Him, and to be filled with His Spirit.When we are hungry for God and His Presence, we will do whatever it takes to get close to Him. The place of intimacy is where we will catch, not only the revelation He wants to give us, but we will also catch His heart.When we hunger and thirst for God, we will seek Him, and when we seek Him, we will be filled and empowered.
Our appetites dictate the direction of our lives — whether it be the cravings of our stomachs, the passionate desire for possessions or power, or the longings of our spirits for God. For the Christian, however the hunger for anything besides God can be an arch-enemy. While our hunger for God — and him alone — is the only thing that will bring victory.
According to John Piper, “If we don’t feel strong desires for the manifestation of the glory of God, it is not because we have drunk deeply and are satisfied. It is because we have nibbled so long at the table of the world. Our soul is stuffed with small things, and there is no room for the great.” When we are full of what the world offers, it may be difficult to have any space or appetite for God.
Our Lord Jesus Christ, in response to Martha who was in this miserable spiritual state, made this clear when He said;
“… Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her. (Luke 10:41-42).
John Piper further said; “When God is the supreme hunger of your heart, he will be supreme in everything. When you are most satisfied in him, he will be most glorified in you.”
Helen Calder painted a glaring picture of the danger of ignoring to pursue God in discussing Songs of Solomon 5:3-8. She said;
“…the Beloved is knocking on the chamber door. The maiden resists getting up to answer. ‘I have taken off my robe—must I put it on again? I have washed my feet—must I soil them again?’ (SOS 5:3) She is in a state of repose, and for that moment, her comfort is more important than her relationship. The maiden rises to open the door to her Beloved, but he has already left. Her hesitancy has cost her his presence. Now, her heart is stirred. Comfort is no longer an issue as she loses sleep and risks her safety to search for the one she loves. Unable to reach him, she passes on a message, ‘Tell him I am faint with love.’ (SOS 5:8).
‘Here I am! I stand at the door and knock,’ Jesus calls to His church. ‘If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.’ (Rev 3:20). Jesus’ call to intimacy is a challenge to our comfort. To answer His knock, we must stir ourselves from our place of spiritual repose. His promise: ‘I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.’ Jesus’ invitation is to Christians who are hungry.
A close study of the Bible reveals that the primary duty and calling of every believer is to pursue God with all our heart and to serve Him with all our strength. That is our calling. And Truly, until we enter into the duty of pursuing God, we cannot know true satisfaction in this life. So, the pursuit of God is not merely an emotional, seasonal desire to know God, which desire may dissipate after a short time; pursuing God is life-long calling that justifies the purpose of our existence.
This is in tandem with the statement attributed to St. Augustine that, “Thou (God) has formed us for thyself, and our hearts are restless till they find rest in Thee” (Tozer, 1993:31).
HOW TO ‘PURSUE’ GOD
In the spirit of honesty, we do not promise to exhaust all the means of pursuing God in this Address. However, we will set out some basic Biblical guidelines on how to pursue God, which if clearly understood and applied, will be of great help to any believer who sincerely desires to know God intimately. These guidelines include:
- A definite encounter with God
- Seeing God as our End not just the means
- Having a conviction that is beyond incentives
- Addicted, daily communion with God
- Growing in the word of God
- Learning God through experiences
- The liturgy of daily living
Let us briefly explain each of the points.
A Definite Encounter with God
For the love of God constraineth us, because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead; and that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves but unto him which died and rose again – 2Cor.5:14, 15.
In the above Bible passage, the word “…henceforth…” is critical. That word talks about the time any life encounters Christ, from that henceforth, it is now Biblically wrong for that life to live for any other thing apart from God. In the matter of pursuing God, there is a henceforth point where we must be consumed by the passion for knowing God intimately; that henceforth point is the point of a definite encounter with the Lord. It is a point where nothing else makes meaning to you in this life except God – knowing Him, pursuing His plans and purpose for your life and seeing Him glorified in your life. This is not a small matter.
It is possible to profess to have been a Christian for many years without having entered into this spiritual threshold called henceforth point. By a sincere desire and a determinate faith in God, it is possible to step into that henceforth point. When you graciously enter into that threshold, your entire inner being naturally longs for God. That is the starting point of any meaningful pursuit of God. I pray that God will bring you to that spiritual experience.
Seeing God as our End not just the Means
After these things the word of the Lord came unto Abram in a vision, saying, fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward – Gen.15:1
Abram had just successfully fought a battle and rescued Lot as can be seen in the preceding chapter. He was internally worried about many things: his security, his need of a child, the issue of succession, etc. God told Abram: “…I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward”. God did not tell Abram “I am your Shielder and your Rewarder”. God said I am your Shield and your Reward. That metaphor reveals a deep spiritual principle which we see even in the New Testament.
God was offering Abraham Himself. When God becomes someone’s Shield, the meaning is more than God protecting the person; it means that God is the person’s protection. For Abram, God wanted him to understand that He was the protection Abram needed and He was the reward Abram needed. By that statement, God had become to Abram both the means and the end. Some Christians just want result from God but they do not want God Himself. They want God to heal them and deliver them but they do not want to know Him deeply. This is a spiritual aberration. But we see that quite clearly today, just as in the days of Jesus when some followed Him because of the miracle of multiplied bread, but not because they wanted to know Him intimately. Jesus told them that He is the Bread from heaven. Majority could not cope with the deep truths Christ taught. They stopped following Him – John 6:60-69.
All through the Bible, we see God projecting Himself as man’s Means and End but in this era of Solutionism, people just want result from God with no inner longing to know Him personally. No wonder we have superficial Christians everywhere. David in our theme text was in a difficult, trying situation. His God-ordained kingship was under threat by his own son! His first desire was to commune with God personally. His immediate need of security came later in the chapter – Ps.63:9-11.
If we truly want to pursue God, we must see Him as our Means and our End – our all in all. Until that reality becomes our principle, we cannot make any meaningful headway in the matter of the pursuit of God.
Having a Conviction that is beyond Incentives
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the king, Oh Nebuchadnezzar…our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, Oh king. But if not, be it known unto thee, Oh king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which you have set up – Daniel 3:17, 18.
The three Hebrew brothers knew that king Nebuchadnezzar had already set up a fire where they were to be executed for refusing to worship the king’s golden image. They knew God could save them from the fury of the king, but they said that even if God decided not to save them, they were ready to perish in the burning furnace instead of compromising their faith. This is drastic consecration! Their conviction on God was not based on their being delivered from the anger of the king. Their faith in God was beyond the incentive of divine deliverance from the burning furnace. Did God deliver them? Yes. He delivered them.
Ruth had a similar consecration. After she was hit hard by circumstances – she lost her husband without a child and there was no immediate hope of man remarrying her. Naomi suggested to her to go back to Moab to her people. Ruth refused. Naomi had no incentive to dangle before Ruth. The only reason Naomi left Moab was because she wanted to return to the God of Israel. Ruth said to Naomi “…Your people shall be my people, your God shall be my God…” Ruth 2:15. That seemed a foolish decision on the part of Ruth. Did God help her? Yes. God helped her.
That kind of conviction and consecration are rare these days. Yet we need them for a meaningful pursuit of God. In these days of materialism and solutionism, most believers’ faith is anchored on the incentives of miracle and breakthrough. If we have not queried ourselves on how to follow God even unto death by martyrdom, beyond any incentive, our conviction needs overhaul. It is a critical demand of God that they who would deeply know Him should be delivered from at least the superficiality of building our faith solely on incentives.
Addicted, Daily Communion with God
Oh God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsts for thee, my flesh longs for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is; to see thy power and thy glory, so as I have seen thee in the sanctuary.
The Psalmist woke early in the morning to pray, and his prayer was mainly a deep longing and restless thirst to know God. David just wanted to experience God. It is rare these days for a believer to embark on a 3-day dry fasting and prayer with a sole prayer point of seeking to know God personally. Yet, we need that kind of longing to actually pursue God meaningfully.
To some believers who observe morning devotion, it is just a ceremonial time of religious reading of the Devotional Book for the day and a follow up casual prayer. To the Psalmist, morning devotion was more than that. It was a longing, a thirsting; a hunger to commune with God. This is very critical to our pursuit of God. We need to take seriously our quiet time with God if we must know Him meaningfully.
Growing in the Word of God
“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly…” Col.3:16
The role of the word of God in the matter of pursuing God is enormous. So, for the sake of time and space, we will just highlight three layers of God’s word into which we ought to grow: the word of God as milk, as strong meat and as foundational stone.
“As new born babes, desire the sincere milk of the word that you may grow thereby”- 1 Pet.2:1. Milk is good for the growth and development of a child. When we are young in the faith, we need all the sincere milk of the word for our spiritual growth. So, in our walk with God, for an effective spiritual journey, we need the sincere milk of the word.
However milk alone, at a point, is no longer nutritious for an adult. As we grow spiritually, we need some solid food for strength and stability. That is why the Bible says in Heb.5:13, 14:
“…everyone that uses milk is unskillful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongs to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use (practice) have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
Thus another level of the word of God is the strong meat level. At this stage, the believer’s spiritual receptivity of the word has grown. The heart is now willing to receive any Biblical truth no matter the density of its demands. This is critical in our pursuit of God.
Quietly, in Christianity nowadays, there is the scarcity of this strong meat of the word. May be primarily because many preachers themselves do not have more than the milk of the word; so, the much they can do is to produce milk Christians – believers without depth of conviction and without strength of character. If we must pursue God progressively, we must grow from the milk level of the word to the strong meat level.
Again, Jesus says, “…whosoever hears these sayings of mine, and does them, I will liken him unto a wise man, who built his house upon a rock”– Matt.7:24. Commitment and obedience to the word of God provide spiritual bedrock upon which God can build the superstructure of His plans and purpose for us. At this stage of growth in the word of God, we are fortified against every wind of trial.
A meaningful pursuit of God demands a deliberate, cumulative and calibrated assimilation of the word of God. We must be ready to go through the whole huddle of growing in the word of God if our pursuit of God will be fruitful.
Learning God through Experiences
Because You have been my help, therefore in the shadow of Your wings will I rejoice. My soul follows hard after You: Your right hand upholds me – Ps.63:7, 8.
Another way of pursuing God is by carefully paying attention to what He teaches through our daily experiences. In those two verses, David recalls the odds of life he had experienced and how God had been his helper. This is very important in our walk with God. In every situation, no matter how devastating, we should be able to assemble our minds together so that we can pray with clarity of thought; so that we can at least understand what the Lord wants us to learn from that situation.
Sometime, God uses circumstances to teach us faith, humility, the futility of depending on man or any other lesson. David learnt God through circumstances. When he faced Goliath, the lesson of faith through killing the lion and the bear in the wilderness made him believe in the ability of God to defeat Goliath.
What is God teaching you through your present experiences? You must pay attention to that. It is one of the ways of pursuing God.
The Liturgy of Daily Living
Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God – 1 Cor.10:31
Another practical way of pursuing God is by daily living for His glory. What does that mean? It means that whatever we do must be done as worship to God: our business, civil service, family life, what we eat or drink, our dressing – all should be done as an offering unto the Lord. The glory of God becomes the liturgy of our daily living.
At this stage of our pursuit of God, there is no more difference between the ‘circular’ and the ‘sacred’. Everything is sacred. Teaching in the classroom is now worship, selling in the market is now worship, building a godly home is now worship – God is everything to us and He is in everything we do. That is the climax of pursuit of God. By so doing we have the foretaste of heaven, and inwardly, we are sincerely drawn to God for an eternal fellowship.
In addition to above guidelines, we should also take note of the following principles:
The Gain of Losing Everything
And it came to pass…that God…said unto Abraham…take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountain which I will tell thee of – Gen.22:1, 2.
The context of the above passage is engaging. Abraham had received Isaac, the promised son, from the Lord. Abraham had cast away Ishmael and the mother out of his house in obedience to God. Isaac was more than just son – he represented the programme of God for Israel and the world at large. And there was no other divine promise to Abraham and Sarah that He will give them another ‘Isaac’. Yet, God asked Abraham to sacrifice Isaac!
Isaac was basically the only thing Abraham had this time; so, offering Isaac to God was offering everything Abraham had. What a weighty demand! Abraham obeyed God, taking three days journey just to satisfy divine demand.
In the matter of seeking to know God deeper, the landmark sacrifice of Abraham provides a spiritual principle for every sincere seeker of God: we must not be so attached to anything that we cannot give it up to serve God better. From the point he ‘sacrificed’ Isaac, we see density of character and gravity of focus in Abraham. At that stage, material or earthly things had been weaned from Abraham’s heart. Nothing now stood between him and God. He had been weaned by God.
How did God wean him that much? Two ways, at least: by divine de–appetizing and through deeper revelation. Through twenty-five years of a definite walk with God, He weaned Abraham from material things. At the beginning of Abraham’s walk with God, he was consumed by the thought of a son; but as the years progressed, God gave him the son, the land, the gold and even silver. However for God to produce the density and beauty of character He wanted in Abraham, He had to wean Abraham by making him lose appetite for material things. God achieved this by showing Abraham deeper things about greater inheritance. So, when Abraham caught that, he was no longer mindful of the ‘city’ from where he came out. He was no longer driven by things; he was no longer consumed by the thought of an heir; he had seen a better city.
In our walk with God, there is a density and beauty of character we may not have except God weans our appetite through deeper revelations. There is something in God we would see that would make us obviously unmindful of the ‘city’ from where we were drawn. We are not talking of being so heavenly conscious that you become earthly irrelevant; we are talking of an inward reality that dawn on us. When this happens, you would realize that all the things the world clamour for, that you have all that, but that does not move you any more; what now matters to you is to do the will of God and to see the face of God. At this point, you have money but the appetite to cling to it is lost; you have children but they are not idols in your heart; your craving is now heavenly. God would freely open your eyes to see the glory of eternity. That was what happened to Abraham. Divine weaning comes with palpable dissatisfaction for things. Even ministry at this stage is no longer just a duty but worship because your inner man yearns for God. Honorariums and other incentives in ministry are no longer your driving forces; you just want to worship God through acceptable service. The crowd and their unreliable praise chant do not affect you anymore. God has worked on your appetite; He has weaned you.
In our pursuit of God, we need to desire this divine weaning. That is the meaning of ‘losing’ everything. Whatever we are or have no longer distracts us from pursuing God. It is not a mere doctrine. It is a spiritual experience you participate in. Without that experience of ‘losing’ everything, our pursuit of God cannot be effectual.
Quietness of the Soul
Be still and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth – Psalm 46:10
We live in a noisy generation. People hardly find time to meditate. Even worship these days is characterized by so much noise to the extent that we easily lose the serenity of divine presence in pursuit of excitement in our worship. It should not be so.
In the matter of knowing God deeply, we need the virtue of quietness of the soul. The internal noise of selfishness, hatred, envy, fear, etc. and the external noise of the cares of this life and all that war against our souls must be properly handled. We need to deliberately take time to be sober and reflect on God. Jesus had that habit of solitude and quietness of the soul: “And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed” – Mark 1:35.
As we deeply meditate on God in quietness of the soul, we provide a fertile spiritual ground for deeper revelation of God. This is very important in our pursuit of God.
Sadly, these days, even midnight prayers are now more of shouting and fear-driven incantations. When we were young in the faith, we have a follow up bible study topic centred on Quiet Time. As the name suggests, the study is intended to instill in the believer the virtue of quietness of the soul as a means of knowing God. We need to restore the virtue for us to grow in our knowledge of God.
The Delight of Worship
Give unto the Lord the glory due unto Him; worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness – Psalms 29:2
Next to the issue of quietness of the soul is the matter of worship. True worship focuses on who God is – giving Him honour due to Him. It is a spiritual experience not just an activity. Bearing in mind that God is the focus of true worship, we must train our spirit to be sensitive to that objective. In the midst of loud music and noisy ovations in our congregations, we need to deliberately align our spirit to truly worship God.
As part of our endeavours to pursue God, we need to learn to worship God. In our corporate and individual lives, we must seek to touch the Person of God with our spirit. To achieve that, holiness is critical to the issue of true worship. No wonder the Psalmist says “…worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness – Psalms 29:2”. It is not the supposed solemn tone that we use in singing a song that necessarily makes it worship. The primary, Biblical requirement for acceptable worship is the beauty of holiness.
What delight we have in God when we truly worship Him in the beauty of holiness. It helps us to know God intimately.
These are some of the biblical principles that will help us in our pursuit of God. May God create in us the thirst and hunger for Him; may He guide us unto taking practical steps towards His pursuit!
Implication of the Theme to our Diocese
As we can see, the theme has far reaching implications on us both individually and corporately as a Diocese. If what God is revealing through this theme will not end here at the floor of the synod, then we must take some deliberate actions.
- Divine encounter must be viewed as the singular goal of every church meeting – whether formal Church services, or other Church programs, or organizational meetings and conferences. So, leaders in such meetings must prepare themselves and be prepared to take the people to the mountain for a definite divine encounter just as Moses did. “And the Lord said unto Moses, Go unto the people, and sanctify them today and tomorrow, and let them wash their clothes, and be ready against the third day: for the third day the Lord will come down in the sight of all the people upon Mount Sinai.” (Exodus 19:10-11)
- Again, people’s attention must be drawn towards God only, not “men of God”. No matter the grace upon a minister, both the minister and the people should by all means avoid giving undue attention to themselves. We must speak like John concerning Jesus: Jesus must increase, and we must decrease – (John 3:30).
- God’s intention in the New Covenant dispensation is that nobody should represent the other in the matter of knowledge of God. It is an error to think that as long as we have ‘powerful men of God’, they are enough to get whatever thing we need from God. Irrespective of Moses’ close walk with God, God still asked him to bring up the seventy (70) leaders of Israel to the mountain for an encounter. At another time, God demanded from Moses that the entire congregation of Israel should appear before Him. When the curtain of the temple was torn apart at the death of our Lord Jesus Christ, it opened the gate for us all to meet with God. All of us must endeavour to know God personally.
- Furthermore, our January Praying and Fasting should not be seen as an incentive programme. It should be a deliberate attempt to meet with God at the mountain. We need to see it as opportunity to receive fresh revelation of God and build up a deep relationship with him. A time to say if you are not going with us, don’t send us out from here. And like Jacob, we need to say to God: we will not leave you, unless you bless us, where blessing here is beyond material things.
- Our Triumphant Night is a platform to pursue God. Organizers and workers must be driven by that singular purpose. It should be a time of meeting with God, not a time of admiring and or rating men of God and their different levels of grace. We should see and handle the programme with a definite aim of knowing God better.
- Moreover, in the cause of our preparation for this synod, we began to have a strong burden for a definite and practical action we need to take as a diocese that will be an enabling platform to actively and consistently pursue God. This burden led to a vision of floating a Diocesan Assembly that will bring members of the diocese together for an encounter with the Lord. It will be a meeting that will focus on deepening our relationship with God through in-depth bible teaching and study, corporate worship and family fellowship. It will be a 5-day Annual Diocesan Covocation to be known as WORD ALIVE CONVOCATION (WAC) beginning on a Tuesday through Saturday. It is intended to draw all members of the diocese at home and abroad, men and women, young and old, all Clergymen and their wives, Lay-Pastors and their wives, Diocesan Officials, Knights and Ladies, youths and children. It’s a 5-day of Study, Worship and Fellowship, and our deliberate attempt to enhance our Pursuit of God.
Details of this will be worked out later, and a committee that will midwife it will be set up soon. By the grace of God, we intend to start in 2019, towards the end of the year.
From the experience of the Psalmist in PS. 63, we have seen what it means practically to pursue God, to hold on to him tenaciously, to have a strong desire for deeper communion with Him, even when all the bases of support seemed to have collapsed completely. In considering the practical means of pursuing this God, to achieve positive result, we have also set forth the benefits of this pursuit. The danger of not pursuing God, therefore, is that our hearts will be restless because they have refused to find rest in their Maker. We shall continue to replace the Giver with the gifts and will never be satisfied until we can say with David, “Give me the Giver even though you have taken other gifts, because the gift of the Giver is the only ‘thing’ I want, the only ‘thing’ that satisfy me”. May this be our longing as we pursue God daily instead of Mammon and finally say with St. Paul:
“But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;” (Phil. 3:7-10)
May God help us to follow Him and to know Him very deeply – personally and corporately!
May God bless your listening ears and obedient hearts in Jesus name; Amen.
Your friend, brother and Bishop,
+ Aloysius Agbo.
Elwell, W.A. The Marshal Pickering Commentary on the NIV. London: Collins
Religious Publishing, 1989. Print.
Henry, Mathew. Whole Bible Commentary in One Volume. Michigan: Zondervan
Publishing House, Grand Rapids, 1961. Print.
Tozer, A,W. The Pursuit of God. Pennsylvania: Christian Publications, 1993. Print.
Diocese of Nsukka
Rt. Rev Aloysius Eze. Agbo (JP)
(Bishop of Nsukka)
PASTORAL LETTER FROM THE 3rd SESSION OF THE 8TH SYNOD
Dear people of God,
May God’s goodness and mercy be upon you all now and forever more. Amen.
The third Session of the 8th Synod of our dear Diocese met under the guidance of God Almighty at St. Paul’s Church Uda Igbo- Eze Local Government Area, Enugu State from Wednesday 25th October to Sunday 29th October 2017.
God’s faithfulness upon us as a Diocese is unfathomable. He has shown us mercy and favour beyond our imagination. Despite several agitations, threats of break-up of this Country and spate of insecurity, God has continued to show us mercy in all ramifications even as a nation.
Brethren, we are glad on your continued zeal, commitment and love to things of God and His Church. Despite the harsh economic situation Nigeria is passing through, this year has witnessed improvement in our spiritual lives across the Diocese. The concern for mission and Evangelism recently among our clergy and lay members of the diocese is commendable.
We feel excited seeing all of us contributing immensely towards the completion of our Cathedral and also thank God for providing us with resources from outside the Diocese towards the Cathedral project. It is indeed marvellous in our eyes! We therefore call on every member of the diocese to gather on the 10th December 2017 to witness and partake in the Dedication Ceremony of the Cathedral. That day has been declared a Day of Thanksgiving unto the Lord. Going by the revelation we received from God, the Cathedral shall become “Christian Centre”.
We have noticed the rate at which our Churches are establishing schools across the Diocese, this is encouraging and we thank God for that. We however, implore you all to ensure that those schools are of standard and quality. We equally urge our Churches to find a way of engaging in serious agricultural enterprise as that would go a long way in empowering our people.
Brethren, we commend all of you for our renewed commitment towards Church Music as many Churches participated in the last Music Competition organized in the diocese. It is our desire to have such competitions as often as biannually if we should secure sponsorship. Indeed the place of music in our worship to God cannot be overemphasised.
Brethren, considering the place of our children in the future of our Church and society, we urge all the Churches to provide a good worship hall for our children for their services. Where there is none for now, we appeal that our children should be allowed to worship early in the main Church building after which the adults will go in for their services.
The Synod further resolved that Children’s Bible Club should be set up within the neighbourhood. This no doubt will help the Children to develop much interest in the Bible and this would become attractive to other little children within the neighbourhood.
Brethren, registration into our Health Insurance Scheme within the diocese is still ongoing. But we urge those who have not yet registered to do so. The Scheme is aimed at providing health services to our members at the cost of Six thousand Naira only annually (N6000:00). We therefore remind and urge you all to key into this noble venture.
We have noticed that all the Churches across the diocese have got welfare packages for our members. This is commendable. However, we appeal that we should be strategic in the sense that it would encourage the weak and the poor in the Church.
Brethren, we commend you for your kind gesture in supporting the Sonship Manifestation Youth Conference (SOMAYCO) through your donation of food items. This year’s edition was highly impressive and rewarding. It recorded attendance of about 12,000 participants. In the subsequent editions, we shall allocate food items to parishes considering the availability of food items in our various localities. The quantity to be brought shall be depended on each parish’s willingness and capacity.
We are aware of all the revival programmes that go on in our Churches nowadays. We commend it and pray to God to sustain them. But we equally advice that revival should not be seen as a mere activity that ends up without any impact in the lives of the people but that which would lead to renewal of people’s character to the point of godliness. It is therefore our desire that all the programmes will run will be Bible based and discipleship oriented. With this we can raise a godly generation from our Churches in this crooked generation.
During the last year’s Synod, the presence of God in our lives, Churches and Diocese was assured through the theme “The Return of the Ark”. Truly, God reassured us of His presence. The presence of God has the potentials of transforming our lives, Churches and Diocese. However, there are reciprocal expectations from us to really make the presence of God abide continually. This is found in the nature of God as a Covenant Keeping God hence the theme of this year’s Synod.
Brethren, it is not as if God is failing in fulfilling His promises to us but we have continually been failing to keep our own side of the covenant which we entered with God through so many activities such as Baptism, Confirmation, Admissions into various groups of the Church, Marriage, Ordination, Collation and to mention but a few. From the onset, we find God being faithful on His own part of the Covenant.
It is therefore our wish and prayer that through this year’s Synod theme “Covenant Keeping God” (1Kings 8:23), we will learn to constantly respond to the Covenant we entered with God by being faithful as the faithfulness of God is assured.
People of God, it is evident that God is doing great things for us in this Diocese, and in Nigeria but greater and more marvellous things are yet to spring up when we turn to God through prayers and repentance thereby fulfilling our own part of the Covenant. Let us therefore pray that God will grant us to grace to believe and live an acceptable life of holiness to be able to see them come true.
And now unto him who is able to keep you from falling I commit you; may the Lord bless you and keep you. May He lift His light upon you and be gracious unto you. May the blessings of God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be among you and remain with you always. Amen.
Your Friend, Brother and Bishop.
His Lordship, The Right Reverend Aloysius Eze Agbo (JP)
(Bishop of Nsukka)
THE THIRD SESSION OF THE EIGHT SYNOD DIOCESE OF NSUKKA ANGLICAN COMMUNION AT ST. PAUL’S, CHURCH, UDA IN IGBO-EZE NORTH LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF ENUGU STATE FROM WEDNESDAY 25TH OCTOBER TO SUNDAY 29TH OCTOBER 2017
At the third session of the eight synod diocese of Nsukka Anglican communion at St. Paul’s Church Uda in Igbo-Eze North local Government Area of Enugu state from Wednesday 25th October 2017 to 29th October 2017 with the theme “The Covenant Keeping God” (1Kings 8:23), the Synod hereby assembled expresses thanks to the Almighty God for His goodness and mercy upon the diocese and for protecting the Diocese of Nsukka effectively throughout this year and granting us a successful 2017 Synod.
The Synod theme: “The Covenant Keeping God” (1Kings 8:23).
The Synod gives thanks to the Almighty God for revealing to us and the entire humanity through this Synod this important matter of both human and divine relevance being the theme of this Year’s Synod- “The Covenant Keeping God” (1Kings 8:23). The Synod therefore extols the Diocesan the Rt. Rev. A. E. Agbo JP for being led by God to reveal to us this theme which is termed epochal, timely but demanding too. The Synod also enjoins all the delegates and the entire members of the Diocese to digest the theme and all that goes with it to enable us come up to the point of true understanding of how truly God keeps Covenant and all that is required of us in response to this awesome nature of God as a Covenant keeping God.
- OUR RESOURCE PERSONS
The Synod appreciates the rarity and the splendour of our resource persons that featured in our Synod this year. The Synod Preacher Ven. Prof Pic Charles Onwochei from the Anglican Diocese of Jos and a Professor of Ethics and Philosophy in the University of Jos was of a great motivation, insight and inspiration to the Synod. His deep exposition of the Scriptures and theme left no one in doubt that the theme was not an error but a very timely one from the heart of God for this generation.
Bible Study Leader Ven Samuel Okonkwo Obetta who is one of us and among us is commended. The spiritual dimensions which he led us through in the course of the Bible Study were not just inspiring, but revealing and captivating that memories and impacts shall cause life transformation.
- GUEST BISHOPS
The Synod with delight welcomes all the Bishops that graced our Synod. They include: His grace the Most Rev Dr. Emmanuel O. Chukwuma OON, the Archbishop Ecclesiastical Province of Enugu and the Bishop of Enugu diocese. Rt. Rev Paul Udogu, Bishop of Afikpo, Rt. Rev Sosthenes Eze, Bishop of Enugu North Diocese, Rt. Rev Keneth Ifemene, Bishop of Ikwo Diocese, The Rt. Rev D. N Olinya, Bishop of Eha-Amufu Diocese. Rt. Rev. Monday Nkwoagu, Bishop of Abakaliki Diocese, Rt. Rev Osuegbu Bishop of Okigwe and Bishop Diocese and Rt. Rev Dr. J. C. Ilonuba and wife (pioneer Bishop of Nsukka) The Synod welcomes their presence which added colour the whole event.
The Synod appreciates all the Bishops who could not make it in person but sent high-powered delegation to the Synod. The Synod applauds the Bishops who neither came nor sent any representative but sent their Goodwill messages. The Synod appreciates them all.
- COURTESY CALL
The Synod in session commends the hospitality of Their Royal Highnesses, Igwe H. O Odoh (Oranyelugo) and Igwe Nathaniel Eze the Traditional Rulers of the two Communities in Uda during the Courtesy Call at the beginning of the Synod on the 25th October 2017. Not only that they entertained the Bishop and his entourage but they also organized all the members of their traditional Council. It was quite a good outing and the Synod commends the Traditional Rulers.
After due consultations and deliberations, the Synod in session rose with the following Communiqué.
- UNIVERSITY OF NIGERIA NSUKKA DEVELOPMENT
The Synod excitedly observed the current re-positioning and development of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka under the able leadership of the Professor Benjamin Chuma Ozumba the Vice-Chancellor. It is indeed a great fit that has been achieved. Today University of Nigeria has become world class university and centre for excellence.
- ENUGU STATE DEVELOPMENT
The Synod commends the governor of Enugu Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi on his able leadership and equitable development strides in Enugu State. The Synod urges him to continue developing Enugu North Senatorial District which has long been marginalized by past administrations and other marginalized parts of the state. The Synod further requested the governor to tackle the problem of flood in Nsukka urban particularly Alu-Udele, University and Obimo roads which has so far claimed one life.
The Synod equally advised the Governor to continue with the infrastructural development in the State which endeared him to the people as the people’s Governor instead of engaging in “Stomach Infrastructure”. The Synod further advised the governor and others to stay away from early campaign for 2019 general elections. The Synod commends the Governor for paying Local Government Staff their long arrears of salaries and had started the payment of Pensions.
- LOCAL GOVERNMENT CHAIRMANSHIP AND COUNCILLORS’
The Synod commends the willpower of the State government for scheduling Local Government elections in Enugu state coming up on the 4th November 2017. The Synod therefore urges our members to participate in this civic responsibility. However, the Synod condemns the recent primary election of some political parties in the State where candidates were selected by few heavy weights in the party. The Synod advocates internal democracy.
The Synod therefore urges our political parties and all other institutions in Nigeria including the Church where there is democratic culture to follow the democratic process of electing their officers instead of handpicking and imposing same on the people as failure to do so would throw up mediocre.
- PRESIDENT MUHAMMAD BUHARI’S HEALTH
The Synod joins other well-meaning Nigerians to thank God for the recovery of Mr. President that made him travel out of the Country for months. The Synod wishes the President sound health. The Synod further commends the Vice-President Professor Yemi Osibanjo for the wisdom demonstrated during the period he sat over the affairs of the nation in the absence of the President.
- FIGHT AGAINST CORRUPTION
The Synod commends the zeal of Mr. President in fighting corruption in Nigeria which has retarded the growth and all round development of the country. The Synod therefore urges the Presidency and all the Anti-Graft Agencies to ensure that the fight cuts across party lines, religion and ethnicity.
- CIVIL SERVICE
The Synod while reiterating that the strength of the Civil Service is the strength of the Government and its collapse constitutes danger to governance in Nigeria. The notes with dismay the dysfunction and rot in the Civil Service due to corruption, mediocrity, political patronage among others. The Synod therefore recommends an effective enforcement of the extant rules and regulations of the Civil Service sector, the reorientation, training and retraining of the civil servants, provision of modern working equipments for effective service delivery in all tier of government. The Synod further urges the government to urgently base their recruitment, appointment and promotion on competence, merit, qualification, seniority and experience.
- STATE OF EMERGENCY ON ALL ROADS
The Synod observes the deplorable state of the South-East roads. It has left nothing to be desired. The Synod therefore urges the federal government to declare state of emergency on the roads. This no doubt would provide enabling environment for their enterprise of the South- Easterners and all the people residing in it.
- RESTRUCTURING AND REGIONAL AGITATION
The Synod notices with concern the continued agitation for restructuring and regional agitation. The Synod supports the call for regional restructure of the country which would feature devolution of power, Resource control, State Police and Government Structure.
- OPERATION PYTHON DANCE
The Synod further frowns at the spate of agitations all over the country particularly the South-East that led to the Military Exercise called Operation Python Dance. While the Synod warns South- East youths and indeed youths all over the country to stay away from criminality, the Synod urges the Federal Government to find a lasting solution to the spate of agitations across the nation through dialogue. The Synod commiserates with families of all those who allegedly lost their lives during the Operation Python Dance.
The Synod is not yet done but adjourned for the first session of the 9th Synod. The Synod wishes to express its readiness to be proactive and innovative in its advisory role to the government and its officials at all level with open-mindedness.
Rt. Rev. Aloysius E. Agbo (JP) Ven. Chinedu G. Onah
Bishop of Nsukka Diocese Clerical Synod Secretary
Anglican communion & President of Synod
For and on behalf of the Synod
Date: 29th October, 2017
THE THIRD SESSION OF THE EIGHT SYNOD DIOCESE OF NSUKKA ANGLICAN COMMUNION AT ST. PAUL’S, CHURCH, UDA IN IGBO-EZE NORTH LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF ENUGU STATE FROM WEDNESDAY 25TH OCTOBER TO SUNDAY 29TH OCTOBER 2017
At the third session of the eight synod diocese of Nsukka Anglican communion at St. Paul’s Church Uda in Igbo-Eze North local Government Area of Enugu state from Wednesday 25th October 2017 to 29th October 2017 with the theme “The Covenant Keeping God” (1Kings 8:23). The Synod hereby assembled expresses thanks to the Almighty God for His goodness and mercy upon the diocese and for protecting the Diocese of Nsukka effectively throughout this year and granting us a successful 2017 Synod.
- THE SYNOD THEME
“The Covenant Keeping God” (1Kings 8:23).
The Synod gives thanks to the Almighty God for revealing to us and the entire humanity through this Synod this important matter of both human and divine relevance being the theme of this Year’s Synod- “The Covenant Keeping God” (1Kings 8:23). The Synod therefore commend the Diocesan the Rt. Rev. A. E. Agbo JP for being led by God to reveal to us this theme which is termed epochal, timely but demanding too. The Synod also enjoins all the delegates and the entire members of the Diocese to digest the theme and all that goes with it to enable us come up to the point of true understanding of how truly God keeps Covenant and all that is required of us in response to this awesome nature of God as a Covenant keeping God.
The Synod having adopted SOMAYCO as an annual programme given its contributions to the spiritual, moral and leadership development of our youths encourages every member of the diocese to support this all important exercise. The Synod further resolves that subsequent editions that parishes should be allocated food items they shall donate towards the feeding of the participants depending on the availability around each parish. The quantity is determined by the capacity of each parish.
- CONFIRMATION AND ADMISSIONS
The Synod applauds the Diocesan for his fervent commitment in being used of God to make for impartation of the Holy Spirit during the services of Confirmation and Admissions. The Synod also commends the Priests and pastors for their unflinching zeal in preparing the members for this all important service and wish to admonish them to further take the opportunity as a time of discipleship and mentorship.
- M.S ANNIVERSARY
The Synod resolved that there should be re-awakening of C. M. S Anniversary across the diocese. The Synod noticed that the celebration would throw back challenges to the younger generation. This should be held at the Community level.
The Synod appreciates the level of our welfare packages across the diocese but also advised the Churches to be more specific and target the people no matter how little while the persons are alive.
The Synod in consideration of the place of the Anglican children’s Ministry in the development of our children resolves that good worship structures shall be made available for the Children. Where there is none and the Church is not buoyant to build one, the children should hold their services early in the morning before the adult services.
- TIME OF CHURCH SERVICES
Actually, the traditional time of Church services for us the Anglicans is 9:00am. However, in places where there is the need to change the time should be a consensus where the congregation should be carried along. In such arrangements, such time of services should be steady except in matter of emergency.
- CATHEDRAL DEDICATION
The Synod with joy received the date of the dedication of the Cathedral slated for the 10th December 2017. The Synod further to make the ceremony memorable resolved that a Wrapper should be purchased by the members of the diocese and every Archdeaconry was asked to attend en mass on that day and shall be on their own canopy.
- NEED FOR QUALITY EDUCATION, MEDICARE AND AGRICULTURE:
The Synod notes with enthusiasm the position of the Primate on the above subject of quality education, Medicare and Agriculture as mission tools. The Synod therefore urges all the Churches to replicate this position of the Primate as this would go a long in ensuring a self, supporting, self propagating and self sustaining Church.
The Synod remembered the late Catechist Matthew Eze who died while in active service at St. John’s Church Umachi in Uda Parish. Due to the circumstances surrounding his death which was alleged to have been murdered by unknown assailants, the Synod resolved that the diocese would grant scholarship to one of the children of the late Pastor. This no doubt would go a long way in encouraging other pastors and supporting the widow of the late Pastor.
- BURIAL ARRANGEMENT
The diocesan policy on burial still stands for one month after death. However, the Synod resolves that in case of any challenge that would make the one month difficult, the family involved should seek permission from the Diocesan in writing within one week of death. The Synod further resolves that Burial Register should be in place across the diocese.
Concerning the cow that the bereaved family usually offer to the Church during funeral should be seen as meat for entertainment rather than traditional ritual attached it which suggests that the cow is killed to commemorate the dead.
The Synod is not yet done but adjourned for the First session of the 9th Synod. The Synod wishes to express its readiness in being proactive and innovative in articulating policies that would enhance our worship and service unto the Lord.
Rt. Rev. Aloysius E. Agbo (JP) Ven. Chinedu G. Onah
Bishop of Nsukka Diocese Clerical Synod Secretary
Anglican communion & President of Synod
For and on behalf of the Synod
Date: 29th October, 2017
COMMUNIQUE ISSUED AT THE END OF THE 2018 ANNUAL EPISCOPAL RETREAT, CHURCH OF NIGERIA, ANGLICAN COMMUNION, HELD AT IBRU ECUMENICAL CENTRE, AGBARHA-OTOR, DELTA STATE FROM MONDAY, JANUARY 8 – FRIDAY JANUARY 12, 2018.
The House of Bishops of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) met under the guidance and protection of the Holy Spirit and the leadership of the Most Rev. Nicholas D. Okoh, Archbishop Metropolitan and Primate of All Nigeria for their Annual Retreat at Ibru Ecumenical Centre, Agbarha-Otor, Delta State from January 8 -12, 2018. 145 serving Bishops and 6 retired Bishops were present. We were blessed with the opportunity to fellowship together in prayer, worship, and learning, addressing our minds to the responsibilities and the roles of Bishops in advancing the Kingdom of God, prophetic ministry to the nation, maintaining Church discipline and ensuring resolution of conflicts with the theme: “The Episcopate and the Future of the Church of Nigeria”.
Rising from the retreat, the House of Bishops issued the following communique:
- The Bishops commend the Federal Government on the prompt response and the evacuation of Nigeria immigrants from Libya who are being enslaved.
- Similarly the Bishops salute the sustained efforts of the Federal Government and the Armed Forces in curbing the activities of Boko-haram and other insurgent groups across the country.
- The retreat x-rays the current situation of the Church and observes that Biblical standard has been compromised and that the Christian heritage is fast being eroded. The Bishops, therefore, called on Church leaders to provide leadership based on the examples of the Apostles and to be alive to their responsibilities of daily walk with God, soul-winning, discipleship, mentoring and obediently serving God without minding the cost, highlighting Christian virtues such as humility, self-denial, sacrifice, service and servanthood and righteous suffering.
- It was also observed that homes, institutions, Churches and the society are crisis ridden. The Bishops call on secular and religious leaders at all levels to nip conflict in the bud before it escalates to crisis. Furthermore, government is hereby called upon to be proactive at the incipient stage of conflict and thus prevent it from developing into a crisis. This is safer than applying force as the life of every Nigerian matters.
- The House of Bishops sympathises with the families of victims of Fulani herdsmen attack all over the country, notably Kaduna, Plateau, Taraba, Adamawa, Kwara and Benue States. The Bishops observed that as a result of the continuous inaction of the Government, people are beginning to suspect that there is complicity of the Federal Government in these despicable acts. We therefore call on the Federal Government, as a matter of urgency to address these ugly trends and ensure that the culprits are brought to justice. However, the Bishops strongly believe that the permanent solution to the killings by herdsmen lies in the establishment of ranches in line with world best practices and not grazing colonies. Besides, the young herdsmen deserve a better opportunity for education and advancement in life. The Bishops believe that it is unkind to design a life of perpetual wandering for these class of youth.
- In addition, the Federal Government should use Federal establishments and Institutions, especially the Armed Forces and Nigerian Police for national interest and wellbeing of all Nigerians and not for personal, sectional or political interests.
- As the tempo of political activities begins to rise in view of 2019 General Elections, the Bishops call on all politicians to exercise restraint in their pronouncements and actions; call on all Nigerians to register and obtain their permanent voter’s cards in order to exercise their franchise; and also call upon INEC to avoid actions that might frustrate the enthusiastic voters.
- The political office holders are also reminded of their responsibility to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, in making appointments, to maintain federal character, equity, fairness, Justice, to enhance the unity of the Nation.
- The House of Bishops calls on the Federal Government to as a matter of urgency initiate a constructive dialogue on the restructuring of Nigeria.
- The current scarcity and high cost of Petroleum products have brought untold hardship on Nigerians. We therefore call on NNPC and all those concerned to resolve their issues in the overall interest of all Nigerians. Furthermore, the clamour for increase in the pump price of these products by the marketers must be jettisoned, as this will aggravate the enormous sufferings of the hapless Nigerian citizens.
- As Bishops of the Church of Nigeria, we commend and applaud the work of the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON) under the leadership of Archbishop, Metropolitan and Primate of All Nigeria, The Most Rev. Nicholas D. Okoh and especially for the plans to hold the third Global Anglican Future Conference in Jerusalem, Israel in June this year, 2018. We further commit ourselves to the continuation of the Global Anglican Future Conference. We uphold the Jerusalem declaration which affirms “the Holy Scripture of the Old Testament and New Testament to be the Word of God written and to contain all things necessary for salvation”and call upon Christians everywhere to declare and defend the faith once for all entrusted to the Saints.
- The Church of Nigeria which is Bible based, will continue to maintain fellowship with Churches, whose faith and practice are agreeable to and based on scriptural foundations, not necessarily on the basis of history. We reaffirm our theological position that same-sex marriage, homosexuality, lesbianism, bi-sexuality and trans-gender are unbiblical, unethical, un-natural, anti-reproductive, and against the progress of human society.
Finally, the House of Bishops on behalf of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) commiserate with the family of the former Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, His Excellency, Dr. Alex Ekwueme in particular and entire Nation in general on his demise. It is our prayer that God may grant them the fortitude to bear the great loss.
The Most Rev’d Nicholas D. Okoh, MA, Fss, Mss, LLD, DD
Archbishop, Metropolitan and Primate of All Nigeria
CHURCH OF NIGERIA
THE MOST REV’D. NICHOLAS D. OKOH, M.A, FSS, MSS, LLD
Archbishop, Metropolitan and Primate of All Nigeria
February 22, 2018
PASTORAL LETTER FROM THE STANDING COMMITTEE OF THE CHURCH OF NIGERIA (ANGLICAN COMMUNION) HELD FROM MONDAY 5TH TO FRIDAY 9TH FEBRUARY, 2018 AT THE CATHEDRAL CHURCH OF ST. BARNABAS, SABO-OKE, ILORIN, KWARA STATE
Brothers and Sisters in Christ
Greetings in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
The Standing committee of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) was held from Monday 5th to Friday 9th February 2018 at the Cathedral Church of St. Barnabas, Sabo-Oke, Ilorin, Kwara State on the theme “Poverty of Riches” (Rev. 3:17).
The two operational words in our theme – ‘poverty and riches’ are household words in our society, often interpreted and misinterpreted depending on one’s perception of life. The Bible however, gives attention, not to wealth and poverty as the accumulation or lack of riches as a commodity, but to the relationship between people which poverty and riches express. Poverty and riches are not only about money and material possessions. There is a sense in which individuals, societies and nations may be rich in money, goods, wealth and treasure but still be considered poor, if they are deficient in desirable elements that constitute true riches.
The Church in Laodicea was rich materially and financially, but was sadly poor in spiritual matters. They actually believed that they were in the best spiritual state possible, and so were relaxed and even boastful. Their arrogance is reflected in the stern words of rebuke the Lord gave them “You say I am rich, I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing, but you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked” (Rev. 3:17).
The rebuke came to them because they became idle, self-satisfied, hardened, indifferent and unable to take any stand for Christ instead of growing, the Church was destroying itself from within.
Largely, the condition of the Church in Laodicea describes the state of the Church and the world today. Things look outwardly nice and wonderful in the world. However, many have lost the sense of spiritual earnestness and have acquired a sense of moral rottenness. For instance, relativism has propelled the revisionists’ agenda against the foundational teachings of the Bible and the Church. Perversion in different forms – homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexuality, same sex marriage, etc, have now gained doctrinal acceptance in some quarters, while those who have rejected this are castigated and seen only from the angel of material poverty. This is nothing other than spiritual blindness. Believers who place their confidence in their wealth, rather than in God and the righteousness that comes by faith in Christ, have no eternal destiny different from unbelievers (Psalm 49:10-20).
Brothers and sisters in Christ, the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) has remained unwavering in her resolve in promoting Biblical orthodoxy. The Church is the lamp and conscience of the society. We must continue to take the lead in bringing the truth of God’s word to the lost world. But we must guard against the pitfalls of the Laodicea Church. To fulfill the mission of the Church, individuals and Dioceses must not just be financially rich, but spiritual as well.
We wish to sincerely appreciate those of our Churches, Parishes and Dioceses for being proactive and co-operative in the remittance of the St. Matthias’ and Advent Sunday collections. The proceeds have made tremendous contributions to the steady growth of our institutions, missionary Dioceses and National Church projects.
People of God, DIVCCON 2017 was very refreshing and enriching. More than 6,900 persons registered and participated in the event. The 2018 DIVCCON will hold from Monday 12th to Friday 16th November at the National Christian Centre, Abuja. We appeal to Bishops and Archbishops to mobilize their members to attend in unlimited numbers, knowing that this comes once in a year with great spiritual impact. Similarly, the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON) will hold from Sunday the 17th to Friday 22nd of June 2018, in Jerusalem. Pray for the success of these programmes.
The next meeting of the Eminent Anglicans will hold in late August, 2018. Actual date will be confirmed in due course. We urge the coordinating Committee headed by the Governor of Delta State, His Excellency, Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, to continue to work hard towards the actualization of the founding dream of the body. We continue to express our gratitude to the Central Organizing Committee headed by the Most Rev. Dr. Ephraim A. Ademowo, and also the Local Organizing Committee headed by Senator Brigadier Jonathan Tunde Ogbeha for their efforts.
Brethren, the 2019 General Elections is fast approaching. We urge all eligible citizens to register and obtain their permanent voters card and prepare to exercise their franchise right. In another development, we are not unaware of the pain and hardship being inflicted on our people by the activities of dreaded blood sucking killer herdsmen on innocent Nigerians. The carriage going on in places like Benue State and the unwillingness of the Federal Government to adequately address the issue calls or prayers and vigilance. While reminding us that good nutrition does not come from cattle alone, we charge you all to recapture the traditional method of growing animals for local consumption so as not to continue to promote this trade that gives us meat and death at the same time.
We wish to draw the attention of all to the ever increasing need for relief materials due to the persecution being faced by some of our brethren. We commend Dioceses that worked hard towards the Church of Nigeria Relief Fund launching in the past ;and as well note that some did little or nothing.
The need is still as pressing as ever if not more, and we all need to be involved in the meantime, we have raised some money which was used to purchase relief materials distributed to the IDPs of Benue State.
Also we condole with the Ekwueme family and indeed the nation over the demise of the late Chief Dr. Alex Ekwueme GCON, former first civilian Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and a soldier of Christ, who served the Church faithfully and sacrificially on so many different fronts. May the Lord grant the faithful departed eternal rest in Jesus name. Amen.
People of God, we heartily and sincerely thank the Archbishop of Kwara Province and the Bishop of Kwara Diocese, the Most Rev. Dr. Olusegun Adeyemi and his dear wife, Mrs. Grace Oluwafunmilayo Adeyemi, the Bishops of the Province of Kwara and their wives, the clergy and the good people of Kwara Province for their contributions towards the success of the Standing Committee. We also thank Bishops and Dioceses of the church of Nigeria for adjusting positively to the new hosting pattern of our national meetings. The attendance to the Standing Committee was very encouraging. May the Lord bless you all. Amen.
In conclusion, it is important to remind you that material blessings can become a curse if not rightly understood and applied. For people that come to Christ because of material prosperity, and who get disillusioned if it does not come quickly as they have prayed, it is easy to become spiritually blind and relapse into spiritual poverty. The Church in Laodicea, like many Christians today, was satisfied with riches and thought they needed nothing more, but were sternly rebuked by our Lord Jesus Christ for being spiritually blind. We must not allow worldly wealth to blind us or quench our hunger for the kingdom of God or seal our lips from testifying of Christ and His Cross.
Finally my brothers and sisters in Christ, take note that spiritual prosperity should precede material blessing. Any possession, gift or endowment that tends to make us independent of God is dangerous, and must be avoided. Our Lord Jesus Christ says:
“Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Luke 12:32-34)
May the grace of the Lord abide with you all. Amen.
Your beloved father in God,
The Most Rev’d Nicholas D. Okoh, MA, Fss, Mss, LLD, DD
Archbishop, Metropolitan and Primate of All Nigeria
CHURCH OF NIGERIA
THE MOST REV’D. NICHOLAS D. OKOH, M.A, FSS, MSS, LLD
Archbishop, Metropolitan and Primate of All Nigeria
PASTORAL LETTER FROM THE STANDING COMMITTEE MEETING OF THE CHURCH OF NIGERIA (ANGLICAN COMMUNION) HELD FROM MONDAY, 17TH TO FRIDAY, 21 ST SEPTEMBER, 2018, AT THE CATHEDRAL CHURCH OF ST. PETER, MINNA, NIGER STATE
Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Greetings to you in the matchless name of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
The Standing Committee meeting of the Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, was held from Monday 17th to Friday 21 st September, 2018, at the Cathedral Church of St. Peter, Minna, Niger State, on the theme, “God, our Refuge and Strength.” (Ps 46:1).
We are not unaware of the present sufferings of our people with many losing their faith; we are, however, reassured by the Psalmist that in the midst of fears and uncertainties, God is our refuge and strength. While some place their trust in ‘chariots and horses’, the infallible word of God continually guarantees us that those who put their trust in the Lord, will never be put to shame (Ps 20: 7; I Pet 2:6). We are perfectly secured in Him, here on earth and in eternity where we shall enjoy uninhibited security and peace forever. In our battles against the enemies of the Church, may we be reminded of the words of our Lord Jesus; “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).
We must endeavour to do all we can to avoid the distracting forces against the mission of the Church; holding firm to the Great Commission, which is preaching and teaching the word of God and making disciples of Jesus Christ. God is our refuge and strength!
We identify with our brothers and sisters who are affected by the negative impacts of climate changes around the world, especially in some parts of our country. While we continue to pray for protection of lives and property, we are advised to employ proactive measures that will minimize the level of sufferings we go through, especially during flood disaster. We call on the good people of our Church not to forget our tradition of relief contributions meant to cushion the effects of certain unforeseen circumstances that confront our people. Moreover, the Church should be involved in promoting environmental hygiene, especially maintenance of sewage ways. Meanwhile Sunday, 28 October 2018 has been chosen for special relief offering in the Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion. Please give generously.
As part of our commitment to the unity of the body of Christ, we implore you to continue to pray for Miss. Leah Sharibu, the other Chibok girls, and the remaining abductees of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) who are still in Boko Haram captivity. The God of Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego is alive!
The Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON) held in Jerusalem from 17th to 22nd June 2018, was a huge success. A total of 1,950 delegates comprising Bishops, Clergy and Laity from 50 countries, were in attendance. The theme was, ‘ ‘Proclaiming Christ faithfully to the Nations”. It was a great time of word proclamation, fellowship and prayers. We give glory to God that all our delegates from Nigeria returned safely. We express our appreciation for your prayers and logistics supports for GAFCON 2018. We call for your prayers for the new leadership of this global movement, particularly, the new General Secretary, Most Rev. Benjamin Kwashi, and the deputy General Secretary for West Africa, the Rt. Rev. Henry Okeke.
Brethren, the Church of Nigeria is all the more committed to the only life- transforming gospel of Salvation, with Jesus Christ as the central message. We reiterate our resolve to Biblical orthodoxy, the uniqueness of Christ and His salvific work on the cross. We are delighted that the Standing Committee adopted the resolution of GAFCON 2018, not to attend the Lambeth Conference of 2020, and any other meeting involving the revisionists group until the disuniting issues are resolved. This church shall uncompromisingly proclaim Christ faithfully to the nations, and make committed disciples of Jesus Christ.
As the 2019 elections draw near, we urge you all to participate in this important civic exercise; wisely get involved in political activities, and ensure possession of Permanent Voter Card (PVC). As responsible citizens, we must resist every temptation to sell our votes, so as not to make mockery of our conscience and our democracy. Above all, we must pray fervently for’ the elections, before, during and after the exercise. In view of this, Monday I st to Wednesday 3 rd October, 2018 have been declared by Church of Nigeria, fasting and prayer days for Nigeria. We urged all Anglican faithful to participate in this clarion call.
The Church of Nigeria Secretariat which foundation was laid on 13 th November 2015, is nearing completion. We are hoping that it will be dedicated before the end of year 2018. We thank all the Bishops, Clergy and Laity of our Church for our commitment to this three- year project, using the Advent collections, and pray for God’s blessings upon you all. The Advent collection of 2018 will be used to immortalize Bishop Ajayi Crowther through the development of a mission center in Ajayi Crowther Diocese, Oyo State.
The mission of the Convocation of Anglicans in North America (CANA) is encouraging, as the congregations keep growing in faith and in membership. We call for more prayers for CANA Bishops and Clergy that God’s work in their hands will never suffer any setback for lack of finances and dedicated human resources.
The 2018 Divine Common Wealth Conference (DIVCCON) which holds from Monday, 12th to Friday, 16th November 2018, at the National Christian Centre, Abuja, promises to be impactful. The theme is, “I will Restore” (Joel 2:25). Again, we shall expect our spiritual fathers and our members in unlimited numbers.
We congratulate all our members who received the favour of God in various ways. We rejoice with them and their families, as we condole with those who were bereaved within the year. May the God of all comfort, abide with them in the hope of resurrection in Christ Jesus.
It is with a grateful heart that we thank the Archbishop of Lokoja province, the Most Rev. Emmanuel Egbunu and his dear wife, Abiodun, the Bishop of Minna Diocese, the Rt. Rev. Daniel Yisa and his beloved wife, Alice, other Bishops of the province of Lokoja and their wives, the clergy and their wives, the hard working Local Organizing Committee (LOC) under the able Chairmanship of Barr. Dr. Abraham Yisa, MON, and the entire laity of the Province, for their selfless services in the hosting of the Standing Committee. May the Almighty God bless and reward them all.
In conclusion, be reminded that God is the only source of help and refuge in times of trouble. As we look unto Him for various interventions in our situations, we should remain faithful in our mission as a Church, even as we wait for the glorious coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
May the peace of God which passes all understanding keep you all now and always.
Yours always in Christ,
The Most Rev’d Nicholas D. Okoh, MA, Fss, Mss, LLD, DD
Archbishop, Metropolitan and Primate of All Nigeria &
Chairman, GAFCON Primate’s Council
CHURCH OF NIGERIA
THE MOST REV’D. NICHOLAS D. OKOH, M.A, FSS, MSS, LLD
Archbishop, Metropolitan and Primate of All Nigeria
COMMUNIQUÉ ISSUED AT THE END OF THE STANDING COMMITTEE MEETING OF THE CHURCH OF NIGERIA (ANGLICAN COMMUNION) HELD AT ST PETER’S ANGLICAN CATHEDRAL CHURCH, MINNA FROM MONDAY, 17TH TO FRIDAY, 21ST SEPTEMBER, 2018
The Standing Committee of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) held at St Peter’s Cathedral Church, Minna, Niger State, in the Diocese of Minna, Province of Lokoja, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit and presided over by The Most Revd Dr. Nicholas D. Okoh, Archbishop, Metropolitan and Primate of the Church of Nigeria. In attendance were his wife, Mrs. Nkasiobi Okoh, the President of the Mothers’ Union; the Dean of the Church of Nigeria, The Most Revd Dr Ali Buba Lamido, 163 Bishops, 122 clergymen, 79 members of the House of Laity and delegates of the Mothers’ Union. It received many guests who attended the opening ceremony, including an erstwhile Minister of the Federal Republic, Professor Jerry Gana, and the President of the Nigeria Bar Association represented by the Secretary General of the Association. The Standing Committee acknowledges with immense gratitude the assistance of the Government of Niger State in ensuring the success of the meeting.
The theme of the meeting is God, our Refuge and Strength, taken from Psalm 46:1: God is our refuge and strength, a velY’ present help in trouble. The Bible assures us that God is our strength and shield. He has done that for us before and will do it again, therefore, we can be certain. Thus the Standing Committee calls on all Christians and the entire populace not to fear in the midst of the present challenges and uncertainties of life, but to put their trust and confidence in the living, unchanging and all-powerful God, who is the shield and defender of His people.
The Church sympathises with families and communities that suffered from the damage caused by flooding in various parts of our country, resulting in loss of lives property and displacement of human beings and communities. It passionately calls on government to be proactive in providing relevant machineries that can control natural disasters in the future. It urges the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and other related bodies in the private sector, including church organisations, to treat the issues of climate change with utmost seriousness, undertake more public enlightenment in this regard, especially that citizens should avoid building along water courses, and make adequate provision to assuage and alleviate such occurrences in the future.
The Church reviews the state of education in Nigeria and notes with regrets the fall in standards, and the lack of employment for graduates from our tertiary institutions. It calls on government to review curriculum to include vocational training and skills acquisition that will guarantee self-employment on graduation.
The Standing Committee notes with concerns the continued deteriorating state of our health facilities, and decries government’s failure to give adequate attention to the health of the citizenry. A situation whereby Government Hospitals, including the National Hospital, have no adequate facilities is not only disappointing but also unacceptable. Nigerians demand proper medical care at home instead of travelling abroad which only a handful of the populace can afford. It calls for proper monitoring of budget of the hospitals and to ensure that allocated funds are channelled towards improving the state of the hospitals, thus enhancing affordable Medicare for the masses.
The insecurity and escalation of violence in different parts of the country continue to be a source of worry to all. The Church laments the death of the health worker in the captivity of the Boko Haram terrorists and strongly appeals to the Federal Government to ensure that Leah Sharibu, the other Chibok girls and the other abductees of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) are not killed but released unharmed.
The Standing Committee calls on Nigerians to exercise hope and confidence in God as they prepare for the forthcoming General Elections. It commends the Not too Young to Run bill that was passed by the National Assembly. But it views with grave concern the prohibitive cost of obtaining nomination forms for elective offices, which has an undermining effect on the bill, as this makes it further difficult for the youths to secure nomination to run for key offices. It condemns the exorbitant cost of nomination forms. This is only a contradiction of the ideals for which the Not Too Young to Run Act stands.
It calls on the political parties to present well-qualified and sound-minded candidates to run for political offices, as the country needs people who can appreciate its problems, proffer solutions and successfully pursue to logical conclusion any proposals towards alleviating the challenges of the country.
It therefore calls on INEC and security agents not to compromise their constitutional roles, and to give equal opportunities to political parties and contestants; to maintain the position of an unbiased umpire so that the outcome of the election can reflect the true wishes of the electorate. It calls for a peaceful electioneering devoid of violence where campaigns are issue-based reflecting genuine aspirations of the people within the context of their particular campaign Issues.
STATE OF THE ROADS
The Church laments that the deplorable state of Nigerian roads have persisted both at the State and Federal levels. It calls on government at all levels to address them as a matter of urgency to avoid continuous loss of lives and ensure comfort and peaceful travel for all road users.
WELFARE OF NIGERIAN WORKERS
The Church calls on government to resolve without delay issues surrounding the agitation of the Nigerian workers for a new minimum wage, noting that the level of poverty amongst Nigerian workers has reached unacceptable level. The suffering of the masses and the near-absence of morality in the distribution of wealth in the country is indicative that the government may be out of touch with its people.
It calls on the Government to give priority to the welfare of pensioners who have served the country faithfully. Neglecting them will discourage the workers now in active service from serving faithfully. Many pensioners have no other means of survival without the payment of their monthly entitlement. It is important, therefore, that they are properly and timely supported.
EXTERNAL BORROWING AND THE FUTURE OF NIGERIA
The external borrowing of the country has become a matter of grave concern to all. It calls for the government to consider the future of the yet unborn Nigerians by limiting its borrowings and use money already retrieved through its anti-corruption drive for the benefit of the masses.
GLOBAL ANGLICAN FUTURE CONFERENCE (GAFCON)
The Standing Committee rejoices in the success ofGafcon3 which held in June 2018 in Jerusalem. It supports the House of Bishops of the Church of Nigeria in reaffirming the Statement of GAFCON 2018 that the Archbishop of Canterbury should invite as full members to Lambeth 2020 the Bishops of the Province of the Anglican Church in North America and the Province of the Anglican Church in Brazil, and that he should not invite those Provinces that have endorsed by word or deed sexual practices that are in contradiction to the teaching of Scripture and Resolution 1.10 of the 1998 Lambeth Conference, unless they have repented of their actions and reversed their decisions. In the event that this does not occur the Bishops of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) unanimously resolved that they will decline any invitation to attend Lambeth 2020 and all other meetings of the Instruments of the Communion.
And now, Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth! The LORD of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our refuge (Ps. 46:10-11).
Venerable Dr. Paul Gershinen Dajur,
General Secretary, Church of Nigeria
The Most Rev’d Dr. Ali Buba Lamido, Dean, Church of Nigeria
The Most Rev’d Dr. Nicholas Okoh,
Archbishop, Metropolitan and Primate of All Nigeria & Chairman, GAFCON Primates’ Council
LETTER TO THE CHURCHES
GAFCON ASSEMBLY 2018
You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. (Acts 1:8)
Greetings from the land of the birth, ministry, death, resurrection and ascension of our glorious Lord Jesus Christ. The third Global Anglican Future Conference (Gafcon) was held in Jerusalem in June 2018, a decade after the inaugural Gafcon in 2008. Gafcon 2018, one of the largest global Anglican gatherings, brought together 1,950 representatives from 50 countries, including 316 bishops, 669 other clergy and 965 laity. A unanimity of spirit was reflected throughout the Conference as we met with God in the presence of friends from afar. We celebrated joyful worship, engaged in small group prayer and were inspired by presentations, networks and seminars.
We met together around the theme of “Proclaiming Christ Faithfully to the Nations”. Each day began with common prayer and Bible exposition from Luke 22-24, followed by plenary sessions on God’s Gospel, God’s Church and God’s World.
PROCLAIMING GOD’S GOSPEL
We renewed our commitment to proclaim the gospel of the triune God in our churches and in all the world. Our Chairman reminded us in his opening address: “God’s gospel is the life-transforming message of salvation from sin and all its consequences through the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is both a declaration and a summons: announcing what has been done for us in Christ and calling us to repentance, faith and submission to his Lordship.” It involves the restoration and reaffirmation of God’s original creative purposes. It is addressed to men, women and children and it is our only hope in the light of the final judgment and the reality of hell.
This is God’s gospel, the gospel concerning his Son (Romans 1:1–3). The centre of the gospel message is this one person, Jesus Christ, and all that he has done through his perfect life, atoning death, triumphant resurrection and glorious ascension. In our daily expositions, we followed Jesus’ path from the judgments by Pilate and the Jewish leaders, to his death for us on the cross, to his breaking the bonds of death on Easter morning and to his commission to the disciples to proclaim “repentance for the forgiveness of sins in his name to all nations” (Luke 24:47). The uniqueness of Jesus Christ lies at the heart of the gospel: “there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). The gospel confronts us in the midst of our confusion and sin but it does not leave us there. It includes a summons to repentance and a call to believe in the gospel (Mark 1:15), which results in a grace-filled life. The ascended Christ gave his Spirit to empower his disciples to take this gospel to the world.
Yet faithful proclamation of this gospel is under attack from without and within, as it has been from apostolic times (Acts 20:28-30).
External attacks include superstitious practices of sacrifices and libations that deny the sufficiency of Christ’s sacrifice. Some religions deny the unique person and work of Christ on the cross, and others are innately syncretistic. Secularism seeks to exclude God from all public discourse and to dismantle the Christian heritage of many nations. This has been most obvious in the redefinition of what it means to be human, especially in the areas of gender, sexuality and marriage. The devaluing of the human person through the advocacy of abortion and euthanasia is also an assault upon human life uniquely created in the image of God. Militant forms of religion and secularism are hostile to the preaching of Christ and persecute his people.
Internally, the “prosperity gospel” and theological revisionism both seek in different ways to recast God’s gospel to accommodate the surrounding culture, resulting in a seductive syncretism that denies the uniqueness of Christ, the seriousness of sin, the need for repentance and the final authority of the Bible.
Tragically, there has been a failure of leadership in our churches to address these threats to the gospel of God. We repent of our failure to take seriously the words of the apostle Paul: “Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood. I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. Even from your own number, men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them” (Acts 20:28-30).
We dedicate ourselves afresh to proclaiming Christ faithfully to the nations, working together to guard the gospel entrusted to us by our Lord and his apostles.
REFORMING GOD’S CHURCH
The gospel of God creates the church of God. Through the invitation of the gospel, God calls all people into fellowship with his Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. As the word of the gospel goes forth in the power of the Holy Spirit, they respond through the work of the Holy Spirit to repent, believe and be baptised, and are thereby joined to Christ’s body which is his church (Acts 2:37-44; 1 Corinthians 12:12-13). As members of Christ’s body, they are sanctified in him, called to live lives of holiness and to be salt and light in the world.
One Conference speaker reminded us: “In the councils of the church, we should not mimic the ways of the world but gather to pray, to praise (i.e., to be eucharistic), to consult, to decide, and if necessary to discipline. These gatherings should be properly conciliar in nature, decisive in moving the church forward in its mission and common life. There should be the will to exercise loving but firm discipline to bring sinners to repentance and restoration.” Likewise at the Communion level, there are times when the leadership must come together to exercise its responsibility to discipline an erring member province.
For some time, our Communion has been under threat from leaders who deny the Lordship of Christ and the authority of Scripture. In the late 20th century, human sexuality became the presenting issue.
The 1998 Lambeth Conference by a huge majority (526 to 70) approved Resolution I.10 on Human Sexuality, which affirmed the teaching of Jesus in Matthew 19 that there are only two expressions of faithful sexuality: lifelong marriage between a man and a woman or abstinence. The resolution rightly called for pastoral care for same sex attracted persons. At the same time, it described homosexual practice as “incompatible with Scripture” and rejected both the authorisation of same sex rites by the Church and the ordination of those in same sex unions.
Lambeth Resolution I.10 reflected the rising influence of the Global South in the Communion. The ground for the Resolution had been prepared by the 1997 Kuala Lumpur Statement of the Global South Anglican Network. Our collaboration with the Global South Network has been ongoing, and its leaders took an active part in this Conference.
The subsequent rejection of Lambeth I.10 in word and deed by the Episcopal Church USA and later by some other Anglican provinces led to a “tear [in] the fabric of the Communion at its deepest level”, followed by ten years of futile meetings in which the four Instruments of Communion failed to exercise the necessary discipline. The Primates’ Meeting repeatedly called upon these provinces to repent and return to the faith. Yet their efforts were undermined by other Instruments of Communion, culminating in the failure of the Office of the Archbishop of Canterbury to carry out the clear consensus of the Primates’ Meeting in Dar es Salaam in 2007.
In the Jerusalem Statement and Declaration, the 2008 Global Anglican Future Conference took up the challenge of restoring biblical authority (and the teaching on human sexuality in particular) by affirming the primacy of the Bible as God’s Word written and going back to the other sources of Anglican identity – the Creeds and Councils of the ancient church, the 39 Articles, the 1662 Book of Common Prayer and the Ordinal. The Conference also constituted a Primates Council and authorised it to recognise Anglican churches in areas where orthodox Anglicans had been deprived of their church property and deposed from holy orders.
During the past twenty years, the Instruments of Communion have not only failed to uphold godly discipline but their representatives have refused to recognise our concerns and have chosen instead to demean Gafcon as a one-issue pressure group and accuse it of promoting schism, where in fact the schismatics are those who have departed from the teaching of the Bible and the historic doctrine of the Church. Slogans such as “walking together” and “good disagreement” are dangerously deceptive in seeking to persuade people to accommodate false teaching in the Communion.
We grieve for the situation of our global Communion as it has been hindered from fulfilling its God-appointed task of reaching the world for Christ. We repent of our own failures to stand firm in the faith (1 Corinthians 16:13). But we do not lose hope for the future, and note that there is strong support for the reform of our Communion. Prior to Gafcon 2018, delegates overwhelmingly affirmed the following propositions:
- Lambeth Resolution I.10 reflects the unchangeable teaching of the Bible;
- the Gafcon movement should continue to be faithful to the Jerusalem Declaration;
- the Primates Council should continue to recognise confessing Anglican jurisdictions.
Over the past twenty years, we have seen the hand of God leading us toward a reordering of the Anglican Communion. Gafcon has claimed from the beginning: “We are not leaving the Anglican Communion; we are the majority of the Anglican Communion seeking to remain faithful to our Anglican heritage.” As Archbishop Nicholas Okoh stated in the inaugural Synodical Council: “We are merely doing what the Communion leadership should have done to uphold its own resolution in 1998.”
We give thanks for the godly courage of our Gafcon Primates in contending for the faith once for all delivered to the saints. We applaud their decision to authenticate and recognise the provinces of the Anglican Church in North America and the Anglican Church in Brazil, to recognise the Anglican Mission in England and to consecrate a Missionary Bishop for Europe. This has become necessary because of the departure from the faith by The Episcopal Church, the Anglican Church of Canada, the Episcopal Church of Brazil and the Scottish Episcopal Church. At Gafcon 2018, we heard many testimonies of faithful Anglicans who have been persecuted by those holding office in their respective provinces, merely because they would not surrender to, nor be compromised by, the false gospel that these leaders profess and promote. We also recognise the Gafcon Primates’ willingness to assist faithful Anglicans in New Zealand where the Anglican Church has recently agreed to allow bishops to authorise the blessing of same sex unions.
As the Gafcon movement matures, it has also seen the need for a more conciliar structure of governance. We endorse the formation of Gafcon Branches where necessary and of a Panel of Advisors, comprising bishops, clergy and lay representatives from each Gafcon Province and Branch, to provide counsel and advice to the Primates Council. Together with the Primates, the Panel of Advisors form a Synodical Council to bring recommendations to the Gafcon Assembly. The Synodical Council met for the first time at this Conference.
In light of the recommendations of the Synodical Council, we respectfully urge the Archbishop of Canterbury
- to invite as full members to Lambeth 2020 bishops of the Province of the Anglican Church in North America and the Province of the Anglican Church in Brazil and
- not to invite bishops of those Provinces which have endorsed by word or deed sexual practices which are in contradiction to the teaching of Scripture and Resolution I.10 of the 1998 Lambeth Conference, unless they have repented of their actions and reversed their decisions.
In the event that this does not occur, we urge Gafcon members to decline the invitation to attend Lambeth 2020 and all other meetings of the Instruments of Communion.
REACHING OUT TO GOD’S WORLD
Our conference theme has been “Proclaiming Christ Faithfully to the Nations.” We have received the gospel through the faithful witness of previous generations. Yet there are still billions of people who are without Christ and without hope. Jesus taught his disciples: “this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations” (Matthew 24:14).
We repent for the times and seasons when we have only preached to ourselves and not embraced the difficult task of reaching beyond our own cultural groups in obedience to God’s call to be a light to the nations (cf. Acts 13:47). In faith and obedience, we joyfully recommit ourselves to the faithful proclamation of the gospel.
In order to expand our ability to proclaim Christ faithfully to the nations in both word and deed, we launched nine strategic networks.
Theological Education: To promote effective theological training throughout the Anglican Communion
Church Planting: To expand church planting as a global strategy for evangelisation
Global Mission Partnerships: To promote strategic cross-cultural mission partnerships in a globalized world
Youth and Children’s Ministry: To be a catalyst for mission to young people and children of all nations so that they may become faithful disciples of Jesus Christ
Mothers’ Union: To expand the potential of this global ministry to promote biblical patterns of marriage and family life
Sustainable Development: To establish global partnerships which work with the local church to bring sustainable and transformative development
Bishops Training Institute: To serve the formation of faithful and effective episcopal leadership throughout the Communion
Lawyers Task Force: To address issues of religious freedom and matters of concern to Anglican lawyers and Chancellors and to further the aims of the Jerusalem Declaration
Intercessors Fellowship: To inspire and develop globally connected regional and national intercessory prayer networks
In the world into which we go to proclaim the gospel, we shall encounter much which will need us to walk in paths of righteousness and mercy (Hosea 2:19; Micah 6:8). We commit to encouraging each other to give strength to the persecuted, a voice to the voiceless, advocacy for the oppressed, protection of the vulnerable, especially women and children, generosity to the poor, and continuing the task of providing excellent education and health care. As appropriate, we encourage the formation of other networks to assist in addressing these issues.
OUR GLOBAL ANGLICAN FUTURE
To proclaim the gospel, we must first defend the gospel against threats from without and within. We testify to the extraordinary blessings on this Conference, which leads us to call upon God even more, that the Anglican Communion may become a mighty instrument in the hand of God for the salvation of the world. We invite all faithful Anglicans to join us in this great enterprise of proclaiming Christ faithfully to the nations.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. Ephesians 3:20-21
SOMAYCO PARISH CONTRIBUTIONS
|1.||St. Luke’s Parish, Amufie||2 bags of Okpa and 24 tubers of yam|
|2.||St. Thomas’ Parish Aku||4 bags of rice and 11 big Clappa Tin tomatoes|
|3.||All Saints’ Parish Obollo-Afor||3 bags of Rice not full bag|
|4.||St. Mark’s Parish, Umuopu||75 tubers of yam|
|5.||Emmanuel Parish, Umujioha||26 tubers of yam, Ogbono, Beans and 1 painter of rice|
|6.||Isiugwu Parish||21 buters of yam,|
|7.||St. Mark’s parish Abbi||42 tubers of yam and 3 bags & 4 painter of Garri|
|8.||Ndioke Parish||3 bags of Garri (100kg) and 11 tubers of yam|
|9.||St. Mary’s Church, Ihakpu-Awka Parish||18 tubers of yam and 3½ painters of Ogbono|
|10.||Transfiguration Parish||7 big & 7 small gallon Groundnut oil|
|11.||Adani Parish||10 tins of rice and 7 big tins of tomatoes|
|12.||St. Andrew’s Church, Uroshi||½ bag of Okpa|
|13.||St. Mark’s Parish, Obukpa||4½ painters of Ogbono & 5½ painters of egwusi|
|14.||Christ Church Amaogbo Ekposhi||1 cotton of Know magi|
|15.||St. Andrew’s Parish, Orba Road||12 big tins of tomatoes & 3½ big bags of rice (foreign)|
|16.||All Saint’s Parish Agu-Ibeje||2½ painters of Ogbono|
|17.||Christ Church, Okpo Parish||46 tubers of yam|
|18.||St. Stephen’s Parish, Enugu-Ezike||47 tubers of yam and 2 bags of Okpa|
|19.||St. John’s Parish, Okpu-Orba||1 bag of Crayfish, 1 carton of magi and 10 painters of melon or egwusi|
|20.||St. Peter’s parish Olido Enugu- Ezike||2½ painters of Ogbono|
|21.||S. John’s Parish, Onuiyi||5 bags of rice, 2 cartons of big clappa|
|22.||Christ Church Mgboko Aku Parish||3 bags of garri|
|23.||Umabor Parish||60 tubers of yam|
|24.||Agu Iheakpu-Awka Parish||Ogbono|
|25.||Christ Church, Eziani Parish||115 tubers of yam and 3 bags|
|26.||St. Peter’s Idi-Opi Parish||13 plates of mellon|
|27.||Emmanuel Church, Ochima Parish||3 bags of garri|
|28.||St. Bartholomew’s Parish, Amachalla||
1½ bags of Okpa & 22 tubers of yam
|29.||Ibagwa-Ani Parish||62 tubers of yam, N1500 & 3 tubers of yam & 3 plates of egwusi|
|30.||Ejuona Obukpa Parish||8 tubers of yam, 2½ bags of garri|
|31.||St. Barth’s Parish, Obimo||30 tubers of yam & 5 bags of Garri|
|32.||St. James’ Parish, Ugbaike||1 bag of Ogbono|
|33.||St. John’s Parish, Nrobo||9 Painters of Garri|
|34.||St. Barth’s Parish, Ohodo||29 tubers of yam & N1000|
|35.||St. Paul’s Parish, Nkpologu||24 tubers of yam & 2 bags of Garri|
|36.||St. Banabas Parish, Igogoro||2 cartons of Maggi Know|
|37.||St. Barth’s Parish, Obimo||30 tubers of yam|
|38.||St. James’ Ugbaike||1 bag of Ogbono|
|39.||St. Mark’s Parish, Umuopu||2 Bags Of Garri|
|40.||St. John’s Church, Nrobo||9 painters of Garri|
|41.||St. Barth’s parish Ohodo||29 tubers of yam and N1000|
|42.||St. Paul’s Parish, Nkpologu||24 tubers of yam & 2 bags of garri|
|43.||St. Banabas Parish, Igogoro||2 cartons of magi knorr|
|44.||St. Mary Parish, Obollo-Eke||2 ⅓ painter of Egwusi|
|45.||All Saints’ Parish, Ajuona Obimo||2 bags of garri|
|46.||St. Peter’s parish Ajuona Obimo||2 small bags|
|47.||Christ Church Chapel||1 tin of local rice & 1 big tin tomatoe|
|48.||St. Michael & All Angel Parish||1 big bag of garri & 33 tubers of yam|
|49.||St. Luke’s Parish Isiakpu Nsukka||1 bag of onion & 4 bags of beans|
|50.||St. Philip Ugwuachara Nsukka||1 carton of magi knorr, 1½ painter of crafish & ½ gallon of groundnut oil|
|51.||St. Philip’s Agu Ogbara Parish||2 painters of Egwusi and 9 pkt of magi star|
|52.||St. Paul’s Parish, Uda||38 tubers of yam|
|53.||St. Stephen’s Parish Ugbene Ajima||1 big 50kg bag of garri & 6 tubers of yam|
|54.||Eburumiri Parish||100kg bag of Garri and 10 tubers of yam|
|55.||Akpa-Edem Parish||1 bag of garri, 1 pkt of magi star, ½ painter of Ogbono|
|56.||Amechenu Parish||42 tubers of yam|
|57.||Uzoego Parish||57 tubers of yam & 3 sizable bags of garri|
|58.||St. Philip’s Opi-Agu Parish||1 small bag of garri|
|59.||St. Philip’s Parish, Ozalla||112 tubers of yam|
|60.||St. John’s Parish, Ohodo||70 tubers of yam|
|61.||St. John’s Parish, Akwari, Eha-Alumona||1 big bag of garri and small bag|
|62.||Unadu Archd.||15 long R/oil|
|63.||St. Matthew’s Parish, Ohemuje||38 tubers of yam & 3 bags of garri big bag|
|64.||Emmanuel Parish, Ezimo||18 tubers of yam & 3 bags of garri big bag|
|65.||Ikpuiga Parish||1 carton of knorr magi|
|66.||Ogurugu Parish||Dry fish|
|67.||All Saints’ Parish, Ihe Alor-Uno||2 painters of Egwusi & 33 tubers of yam|
|68.||Opi Parish||4 bags of rice & 14 big tins of tomatoes|
|69.||Christ church parish, Ujoma||57 tubers of yam|
|70.||St. Peter’s Ovoko||10 tubers of yam & 2 bags of okpa|
|71.||Imilike-Uno Parish||12 plates of Egwusi, 1 carton & 4 packets of maggi, 4 plates of crayfish & 1 tuber of yam|
|72.||Emmanuel Parish Alor-Uno||5 bags of rice & 13 big tin of tomatoes|
|73.||St. John’s Parish, Edem-Ani||5 bags of garri, 13 tubers of yam|
|74.||St. Mark’s Parish, Ohodo||23 tubers of yam|
|75.||St. Paul’s Cathedral, Nsukka||6 bags of rice and 13 big tin tomatoes|
|76.||Ukopi Parish||1 bag of garri and 8 tubers of yam|
|77.||St. Mary’s Parish, Agu-Ekwegbe||1 big bag of garri and small one|
|78.||St. Banabas Parish, Eha-Ndiagu||25 tubers of yam & 1 bag of garri|
|79.||Uduledem Archdeaconry||1 painter of Egwusi & ½ painter of Ogbono & quarter painter|
|80.||Ibagwa-Aka parish||16 big tin tomatoes, packet of magi, 11 bags of rice|
|81.||St. Barth’s Parish, Isiagu Ibagwa||1 painter of ogbono and 5 tubers of yam|
|82.||Umuida parish||70 tubers of yam|
|83.||St. Stephen’s Parish, Neke||Bags of garri|
|84.||Church Of Pentecost, Army Barracks Nsukka||4 bags of rice & 2 big tins of tomatoes|
|85.||St. Stephen’s Parish Umulokpa||8 bags of Garri|
|86.||All Saints Parish Adaba||One bag of Garri and 12 Stainless plates|
|87.||Christ Church Parish, Igbelle||½ bag of crayfish & 4 painters of ogbono|
|88.||Ede-Oballa Parish||1 100kg bag of garri|
|89.||Orba Parish||1 carton of Maggi, 10 plates of egwusi & ⅔ bag of crayfish|