2020 FATHERS’ SUNDAY MESSAGE


FATHERS Day Message

“Have no fear, for I am with you; do not be looking about in trouble, for I am your God; I will give you strength, yes. I will be your helper, yes, my true right hand will be your support” (Isaiah 41:10)

Dearly
beloved people of God, I am delighted to address you in times like this. It is
true that entire world is facing a very difficult time in history, and we know
obviously that it has not been easy for many of us. But we know that God will
surely show us mercy and deliver us from this great storm of Covid-19 Pandemic
for He says “weeping may endure for a night but joy comes in the morning”
(Psalm 30:5).

As
we all know, Fathers’ Sunday celebration is an age long tradition of the
church.  It is a celebration that is  not 
observed as a  mere
tradition,  but an opportunity to
appraisal the fathers  for their  role both in the families as well as the  Church. It equally  provides time for  fathers 
to evaluate themselves and seeking 
God’s  grace in  remaining 
faithful to  their  responsibilities.

On
behalf of  the  entire 
members of our  beloved Anglican
diocese of Nsukka,  we congratulate all
our fathers for this year’s fathers’ 
Sunday  and wish  them a glorious celebration.

Though  this year’s celebration is coming  in the midst of  the challenges of  Covid 19 Pandemic,  we still 
rejoice  in the Lord,  who is both the God of  the mountain as well as  the 
God of the valley.

This
year, God has laid in our heart, the theme, “RESPONSIBLE  FATHERHOOD” as drawn from 1 Tim. 5:8
“But if any provide not for this own and especially for those of his own house,
he has denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel”. This is the theme  that 
will engage us this year and much time 
will be devoted  to  discuss 
it in our conference that will  be
rescheduled as the challenge  of  Covid 19 will make it difficult  to 
hold  as earlier  scheduled. But suffice it to  say that, Paul’s description and emphasis of
Christian faith was not just a confession but a way of living.  Fathers have great responsibility in the
home. A neglect of this duty is so far a denial of the faith. That is to say,
if we profess faith in Christ while we refuse to care for those in need
especially our own family and relatives, is to show a “dead” faith; essentially
denying the faith and showing oneself to be less virtuous than an unbeliever.
Fathers’ authority and responsibility in the home should not just be for
self-indulgence or pleasure, but for the glory of God.

As
we celebrate  our  dear 
fathers,  we  appeal to them, to use this moment of
celebration to be a source   of  encouragement in this  difficult time to all people starting from
our homes. Fathers should intentionally strengthen  their relationship with  their 
wives and  children through
genuine love and care.  This  is 
also an opportunity to 
demonstrate  the  Christian love ur Christian love to our
neighbours and relatives. We encourage 
both individuals and groups to visit the aging fathers of faith who can
no longer attend church programmes regularly.

As
you are all aware, our churches 
have  not been  what we they used to be since March. We have
passed  through  challenging 
times. And almost  every  facet of the society  including 
the  Church  has been 
affected. This period has challenged our ecclesiology in the light of
the “new normal”. And by every indication there is need for  a 
paradigm shift in ministry.

We
are required to change our traditions our organizational ecology and ministry
praxis. We are seeing the need for the ministry of the church should be
decentralized. Where ministry should focus in the homes and lives of church
members and in the community. This requires 
that the  Church  programs should be organised for equipping
members through sound teachings while edification, relationship, mission and
multiplication are done in the homes and small groups.

As
I conclude, I enjoin you to continue to encourage one another in the Lord and
be steadfast, always abounding in the work of the Lord, because you know that
your labour in the Lord is not in vain. 
May we stand as we sing from SS & S 561/Abu 188 stanzas 1 & 2

Give
to the winds thy fears;

Hope,
and be undismayed:

God
hears thy sighs, and counts thy tears;

God
shall lift up thy head

Through
waves, and clouds, and storms,

He
gently clears thy way;

Wait
thou His time; so shall the night

Soon
end in joyous day.

CMF
Christ our Foundation

CMF
Christ our Example

CMF
Destined to Lead

Happy
Celebration!

Your
Brother, Friend and Bishop,

Rt.
Rev. A. E. Agbo (JP)

 (Bishop of Nsukka)