DIOCESE OF OTUKPO RETREATS AT IBRU CENTRE AS SAPELE HOLDS SYNOD

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, 2011

DIOCESE OF OTUKPO RETREATS AT IBRU CENTRE AS SAPELE HOLDS SYNOD

BY

REV. CANON GABRIEL KPAGBAN

THE Diocese of Otukpo, led by its Bishop, Rt. Rev. David Bello, held its 2011 Clergy/Church Workers’ retreat on August 31 to September 3 at the Ibru International Ecumenical Centre, Agbarha-Otor, Delta State. The theme, taken from Mark 6:31, was “Come Ye Yourself Apart”.  About 35 persons including Archdeacons, Canons, Priests, Deacons and Evangelists were in attendance.

Lectures were delivered by the Rector; the Archdeacon of Agbarha Archdeaconry, Ven. O. D. Edjere and Chaplain of the centre, Rev. Canon Gabriel Kpagban.

Some of the topics were ‘Ministerial Ethics and Integrity (Onuoha); ‘Developing Qualities of a Servant Leader’ and ‘Improving Communication Skills’ by Ven. O. D. Edjere.

The Chaplain spoke on ‘The Pastor and his Time’ and ‘Stress and the Pastor’s Ministry’.

Issues, such as the bombing of the United Nations (UN) building in Nigeria were condemned. Effects of unemployment on the society were also discussed.   The clergymen congratulated President Jonathan on his 100th day in office, advising him not to focus on tenure elongation but on national development. States were called upon to implement the new N18,000 minimum wage approved by the federal government.

Rev. Bello urged priests not to “remain on the mountain but go back to face challenges”, and emulate servants of God, like Bishop Ajayi Crowder.

Participants commended Rev. Bello for exemplary leadership, vision, determination and resourcefulness in the development of the diocese.

The retreat was sponsored by the Omamo Trust Fund, established by donor of the centre, Dr. Alexander Ibru, to facilitate spiritual development.

Participants also made donations to the centre.

Meanwhile, the Diocese of Sapele, Delta State, held its Third Session of the First Synod on August 6-10.   It was presided by Bishop of the diocese, His Lordship, Rt. Rev. Blessing Avbenayeri Erifeta, his wife, Christiana Temianor Erifeta and other diocesan officers.  The Synod received goodwill messages from the Archbishop, Metropolitan and Primate of All Nigeria, Most Rev. Nicholas Okoh, and 23 other Dioceses.

The guest preacher was the Bishop of the Diocese of Ikwerre, Rt. Rev. (Dr.) Blessing Enyindah. He preached on, “Positioned for a Purpose”.

Other speakers were the Bishop Theologian of the Church of Nigeria, Rt. Rev. Prof. Dapo Asaju, who presented a lecture on “The Church as an Instrument of Positive Change in a Dicey Political and Economic Situation”. Ven. P. O. Ufuomanefe (from the Diocese of Lokoja) led the Bible Study.

Dignitaries at the event included Most Rev. Dr. F. J. Imaekhai (Archbishop of Bendel Ecclesiastical Province); Rt. Rev. C. E. Ide (Bishop of the Diocese of Warri); Rt. Rev. V. O. Muoghereh (rtd) (former Bishop of the Diocese of Ughelli); Ven. B. O. Ovumedia (representing Idjerhe Archdeaconry – Chairman of the occasion); H.R.H. Ohworode of Olomu Kingdom, Ogoni I and special guests of honour, Engr and (Mrs) A. I. Usenu and Chief (Dr.) Jackson Okufolami among others.

The theme of the Synod was ‘Positioned for a Purpose’.

The Synod called on the Church to take an ambassadorial position in the nation and act as an instrument of positive change in political and economic situations.

The Synod ended with a thanksgiving service presided by the Bishop.

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