SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 13, 2011
DIOCESE OF UYO HOLDS CLERGY & WIVES RETREAT
BY REV. CANON GABRIEL KPAGBAN
It was another week of deep spiritual reflections at the Ibru International Ecumenical Retreat Centre, Agbarha-Otor in Delta State as the Diocese of Uyo (Anglican Communion) held her clergy and wives retreat at the centre.
The retreat which has its theme as “Ministering Unity in Unity” started on Monday 31st of January and ended on Friday 4th of February, 2011. The retreat was led by the Bishop of the Diocese Rt. Rev. Isaac E. Orama and his wife Mrs. Grace I. Orama.
In his opening charge, the Bishop x-rayed the hidden attitudes that may not engender unity in the Diocese and also outlined the synergy that will be achieved when there is unity. He notes that the theme was in line with his 8 point agenda for the diocese. In another development, the Bishop extolled the quality of prophecies that came out during the retreat, saying that it was an indication that God was happy with the retreat and urged that no one should leave the ‘maintain’ and go back home the same. He urged all retreatants to continue to love one another, even among the entire congregation. He reminded the clergy and wives of his dream to see that the light of the revival burns throughout the 21 Local Government Areas of the state for massive development to enable the viability and vibrancy of the church for a special repositioning in the nearest future.
Also in a similar development, the wife of the bishop called on the clergy wives to be instrument of unity in the women ministry in the church of God. According to her, a lovely and friendly personage helps for unity among Christians; the pastor’s wife need to work on herself as a minister, her prayer life and her Word life, team together with the other woman and to “arise and build” the Diocese.
The main guest preacher at the retreat was Rev. Dr. Oladimeji of the Crowther University, Oyo. He called on the clergy and their wives to always do according to what they say because if they would say one thing and then go and do another, there would be a disconnect in their personality which may result in disunity in their personalities, families and even their ministry.
Other special features of this highly spirit reviving retreat were the group Bible studies whereby participants split themselves into groups and discussed key points of the Bible which touched on unity. The Bible study sessions which were ably led by Ven. Marshall Nwafor and Rev. Dr. Paul Ojo were highly inspirational and provided room for retreatants to fully discuss essential points touching on unity and also agreed on them.
According to the Diocesan Chaplain for media ministry, Rev. Canon John Uzoma, the aim of the retreat was to sharpen the skill of the clergy of the Diocese for effective productivity and to realign them to the Diocesan watchword of the year “it is possible”.
Preachers during the retreat were Ven. E.A.C. John, Rev. Joseph Frank, Rev. Lawrence Etim, and Rev. Katomba E. Friday. Rev. L. Etim spoke on the topic “why sit we here” till we die?” He reminded the retreatants that it was the quest for an improvement in ministerial capacity that brought them to the “mountain top”. He assured them that as long as they hunger for a greater touch of the Holy Spirit, God would grant unto them according to what they desired.
On the otherhand, Ven. John spoke on the topic, “Love should continue”. Quoting from Gal. 5:13, 14, he charged the clergy to have love among them and that love should be unconditional-agape. Rev. Katomba preached on total reconciliation among retreatant and within the entire diocese.
There was a session for fasting and prayer on the third day of the retreat to seek the face of God for the future of the Diocese in general and that of the clergy and their families in particular.
Other sessions were on seminars and workshop touching such areas as; the Wedding service, Team Ministry, Handover Notes/Report writing, Ministering prosperity and Goal Setting. Prayers were said corporately for the Diocese, church member, state, the nation and the world. The retreatants departed home on Friday with a charged frame of mind for spiritual things.