BITS FROM IBRU INTERNATIONAL ECUMENICAL CENTRE, AGBARHA-OTOR
REV. CANON GABRIEL KPAGBAN
UGHELLI DIOCESE COUNCIL OF KNIGHTS/DAMES HOLDS RETREAT
Ughelli Diocese Council of Knights held its annual retreat at the centre from 20th to 22nd of January, 2011. The retreat was lead by their chaplain, Ven. J. O. Sorhue and was chaired by the president of the council of knights in the diocese, Sir, Moses Agbogidi (JP).
The retreat started with a Holy Communion service presided over by the chaplain of the centre, Rev. Canon Gabriel A. Kpagban. In his welcoming address during the service, he challenged the knignts and their ladies (wives) to live up to their calling into the knighthood ministry. He reminded them that by the virtue of their investiture as knights of the diocese they should think more of serving God and the diocese out of their financial resources. He encouraged them to always respond to the financial needs of their diocese.
In a related devopment, the bishop of the diocese, Rt. Rev. Cyril O. Odutemu spoke in relation to their theme of the retreat ‘raising agents for transformation’. He said transformation is good, but those who are apostles of change should not think it would be an easy task to effect. He said they could be misunderstood and miscontrued but if they stand firm, God would held them to effect the transformation they so desired. He had an intensive prayer session with them asking for God’s blessing and protection upon them and their families.
While presenting his presidential address which was titled ‘tell them’ in line with Daniel 3:10-30, the president of the council posited that one can know a true christian in times of problems because he would always stand firm and not draw back. He said even though many many may be faced with defferent challenges like health, marital, delay in childbirth, economic, financial, political, social and moral problems they should take courage and stand firm like Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego did in the hour of challenges.
Other keynote speakers at the retreat were Sir vincent U. Okpalauwaekwe who spoke on the topic ‘Divine Concentration’; Sir Sam Jehwe, who spoke on ‘Mountain climbing process and sustaining revival,’ Ven. J.O.Sorhue handled the prayer life of the retreat titled ‘good morning Holy Spirit’
Time was set aside for praise worship, coporate and private prayers. Prayers were said for the nation, diocese and individual needs for God’s intervention in their affairs. The retreatrants departed the centre on Saturday 22nd of January after the prayer of spiritual impartation.
WARRI DIOESE WOMEN ORGANISATION AT IBRU CENTRE
Warri Diocese Women Organisations held their leadership retreat on Friday 4th to Saturday 5th of February 2011. Over two hundred and sixty women from all walks of life attended the retreat. It was led by the wife of the bishop of the diocese Mrs. Patience O. Ide (Mother in Israel), who is the president of the women organisation in the diocese while Mrs. Ufuoma Onoriose moderated the programme of activities.
The retreat was a grassroot mobilisation of the leaders of all the different women prayer groups at the parish, archdeaconry and dioceasan levels. It also included all the wives of the clergy and the executive members of the Mothers Union and the Women Guild of the diocese . It has the aim to effectively reach out to all the parishes in the diocese in order to reposition them for a more dynamic and pragmatic leadership, no matter how few the congregation might be. The theme of this years retreat was ‘the eye of the leader’(Lk 6:39-42).
The chaplain for the women of the diocese Ven. Paul O. Whiskel, who coordinated the retreat challeged the women to have eyes that can see spiritual things and see things the way God see them. He said the parishes, and indeed the entire diocese will be better off if the leaders could have eyes that are clear to see into spiritual truth. He appealed to the retreatants to always strive for a dynamic leadership style full of vission for the the things of the Lord.
Those who gave lectures at the retreat were; Rev Joseph Imudje and Dame Ngozi Amanambu among others. There was a moment of interaction with the president of the organistion which afforded delegates the opportunity to air their minds on issues bothering them. Time was also set aside for prayers and intercessions for the different parishes for spiritual breakthrough during the year. The retreat ended on a happy note as the retreatants promised to use the centre again for their next year conference.
DIOCESE OF OKE-OSUN ADMINISTRATORS MEETING
Diocese Of Oke-Osun in the ecclessiastical province of Ibadan came to the Ibru centre for a 3-day senior clergy(Archdeacons and Canons) retreat from 3-5 of February 2011. The retreat was led by the bishop of the diocese, Rt. Rev (Dr) Abraham Akinlalu.
The retreat was sponsored from the OMAMO trust fund of the centre. The fund is an amount (N60,000. 00 per month) set apart by the donor of the Ibru Centre donor, Dr. Alex Ibru’s every month to assist those who wish to come to the centre for retreat, but may not be financially bouyant enough to pay for the cost. It is his own way to help in building the spiritual life of christians, according to the mandate which God has given to him. The bishop appreciated the initiator of the fund and prayed for more of God’s blessing for him and his family.
In a welcome address, he said it was neccessary for the clergy to meet under this forum to seek the face of God for the common good of the diocese and plan for the next course of action to undertake to move the diocese forward. He expressed confidence that in this new year, God will cause the diocese to progress as never before.
Resource persons at the retreat were the Rt. Rev. Jonathan Edewor-bishop of Oleh Diocese, Ven (Barr.) Ernest Onuoha-Rector of the Centre, Ven. Moses Dadi, Rev. Canon Gabriel Kpagban-Chaplain of the centre, and the hospitality manager of the centre, mr. Joseph Olaoluwa. Some topics covered in the retreat were: ‘the gift of self control in our ministry as an administration’, ‘Obedience as a necessary tool for church administration’ ‘church administration’ ‘parish administration’, and ‘accountability, committment and discipline-three essential commodities in church administration’. There was also a talk on diet ‘poison in my favourite food: how to maintain a balanced diet’. The group departed the centre on Saturday after making their own danation to the centre.
FRESH ANOINTING SCHOOL OF MINISTRY AT THE IBRU CENTRE
Fresh Anointing Missionary Ministries Warri Delta State has held a School of Ministry (SOM) at the Ibru Centre in conjunction with Community Church Southampton UK. The SOM which held from the 7th to 9th of February had Rev Ben Davies from the UK and Rev Francis Waive as Keynote Speakers. Fifty four pastors who had no formal bible school education and were in active ministry in the creeks of the Niger-Delta participated in the event.
The Rector of the Ibru Centre Ven (Barr) Ernest Onuoha in welcoming participants encouraged them to take advantage of their time there to have an experience with God, promising that the Management Team of the Centre which he introduced to participants were at their service.
School of Ministries is a compilation of over 30 modules of teaching divided into 4 stream; Leadership, Theology, Pastoral, Practical. All the modules listed under each heading are essential for those who wish to be involved in church leadership. Both practical and doctrinal application of biblical material was included in these courses. The SOM concentrated not just on information but impartation as it is believed that studying theology should lead us into a deeper relationship with God.
Prayer time during the SOM was well utilized as participants prayed individually, in small groups and as a whole. The serene atmosphere of the Ibru Centre was most effective for this especially as participants were encourage to spend time in quiet seeking the Lord for their lives and ministries.
The Rev Ben Davies commented that he never thought such a place could be available in Nigeria and commended the vision. He hopes to be back soon. Most participants felt that the choice of the venue was key to the success of the training.