SUNDAY, APRIL 10, 2011
DIOCESE OF NIGER DELTA NORTH HOLDS CLERGY AND WIVES RETREAT AT IBRU CENTRE
REV. CANON GABRIEL KPAGBAN
The 124 charlets of the new church of Nigeria building wing of the Ibru International Centre was filled to capacity on 21 – 25 of March when over 260 clergy and their wives converged at the centre for their 2011 clergy and wives retreat.
The retreat was led by the bishop of the diocese and his wife, Most Revd Ignatius C.O. and Mrs. Beatrice G. Kattey, JP who also doubles as the archbishop of the Ecclessiastical Province of Niger Delta. The conference which lasted for five days has its theme of the retreat was ‘fulfiling your ministry and was taken from Colosians 4:17 and featured morning and evening sessions daily.
In a welcome address, the archbishop Kattey riminded conferees to make the best use of this year’s conference to encounter the Lord more than ever before. He said since God has called each one of them divert ministry: some apostles, some prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers each one should endeovour to stand firm in the faith so the fulfil his or her ministry. He recalled the Dioceasan overall goal which is to consolidate church development and evangelization with a view to bringing all members, clergy and laity, to a personal faith in Christ; to assisting members fully understand the gospel of Jesus Christ ans to accept and live out the whole scripture preparing for God’s kingdom and to evangelizing the unchurched in and outside the diocese through mission and evangilism.
The retreat featured daily celebration of the Holy Eucharist, Talks, seminars, Health talks, Family relationships, Ministry, workshops, prayers sessions, sports and variety nights.
Keynote speakers were Rt. Rev C.C. Oparaojiaku, Mrs. Beatrice G. Kattey, Revd Canon Chinedu Ojekwu, Rev Mrs. Osibanjo, Rev Dr. Osibanjo, Dr. (Mrs.) Laide Okafor, Ven. John Adubasim, among others. Some topics covered included Stress management, Biblical Approach to Handling family conflicts, Contending for the Faith and Missions/church Growth.
Those who preached during the daily Holy Communion Service were Mrs. Precious Ugo – Okpala, Rev Samuel Nwika, Mrs. Ngozi Okay – Onochie and Rev Chigemezu Madueke. Maduekede told retreatants that with God nothing shall be impossible as he exegised Lk 1:34-38. He x-rayed the seaming impossibilty of a virgin birth to the ordinary, but with God it became a reality as Jesus Christ was born of the virgin Mary. He encouraged retreatants to have faith that God could do all the impossibilities in their lives.
In a related development, Mrs. Onochie who drew text from Jer 17:7 with the topic ‘trust in the Lord’ said that minister who trust in the Lord and cared to do God’s biding shall flourish like a tree that is planted by the river side. She called on senior clergymen to always give the welfare of their junior collegue due attention so that there could speedy spiritual and financial growth in the churched. The retreat ended with a Holy Communion Service on 25th of March with participants expressing satisfaction with the services at the centre.