ECCLESIASTICAL PROVINCE OF BENDEL HOLDS CLERGY WIVES RETREAT AT IBRU CENTRE

SUNDAY, MAY 29, 2011

ECCLESIASTICAL PROVINCE OF BENDEL HOLDS CLERGY WIVES RETREAT AT IBRU CENTRE

BY

REV. CANON GABRIEL KPAGBAN

Over 300 delegates of the ecclesiastical Province of Bendel (Church of Nigeria) were at the Ibru International Ecumenical Centre for their provincial clergy wives retreat on Thursday 19th to Saturday 21st of May, 2011.

The theme of the retreat was “Contending for the faith once for all’ delivered to the Saints” (Jude vs. 3). The retreat was presided over by the Bendel Provincial President, Mrs. Theresa Imaekhai (JP), wife of the Archbishop of the Ecclesiastical Province of Bendel, the Most Rev. Friday Imaekhai PhD.

Members of the planning committee of the retreat were Rt. Revd Edafe Emamezi (Chaplain), Dame Elizabeth Edewor (Chairman) Mrs. Patience Ide, Mrs. Christiana Erifeta, Mrs. Ufuoma Odutemu and Mrs. Joy Obiosa (Secretary).

The retreat began with an opening service presided over by the Bishop of Ughelli Diocese, Bishop Cyril Odutemu and assisted by other priests from Ughelli Diocese. In his sermon, he challenged the clergy wives to always strive to assist their husband’s ministry through intensive prayer and watchfulness.

The inspiring bible study which was based on the theme of the conference ‘Contending for the faith’ was led by the Bishop of Etsako Diocese, Rt. Rev. Jacob Bada. He concluded by doing a character study of people who contended for the faith such as Joanna and Susanna (Luke 8:3), Dorcas, and Miriam the prophetess. According to him, these once saved, they used their substance to minister unto the Lord, supporting the ministry of the Lord with their gifts, material substances, time and money.

Dame Elizabeth Edewor gave a lecture on parenting. She said that parenting is the skill or art of playing the role of a parent and the activity of bringing up and looking after ones children. She called on all retreatants to always pray together with the children and husband as the family that prays together stays together and is able to bring up their children in the Christian way.

An interesting aspect of the conference was the lecture delivered by Dr. (Mrs.) Umolo ‘Cancer in women’. She touched on Breast Cancer, Cervical Cancer, Ovarian Cancer, Endometrial Cancer, Vaginal Cancer, and Gestalional Trophoblastic tumor. He called on women above 30 years of age to always go for medical check-ups periodically.

Rev. Canon S.C.A Osaji – Nwafili spoke on the topic: Responsible stewardship in the ministry. He said the pastor’s wife will often set the tone and effectiveness of her husband’s ministry. She should therefore be an example of character, virtue, holiness, righteousness, integrity, faithfulness and love.

The Bishop of the Diocese of Warri, Bishop Christian Ide gave the concluding lecture on the theme. He said that to contend with other faith in a spiritual battle which requires spiritual weapons to win. He charged the conferees to present the gospel of Christ to others who are perishing away in the grips of Satan.

Another interesting aspect of the retreat was the display of colours as delegates from different dioceses often came out in different colours which radiated beauty and aroma of the glory and presence of the Lord. There were moments of prayers and worship charging up spiritual strengths and renewal which projected at a more visionary and dynamic ministry.

All the participants expressed joy and satisfaction at the way and manner in which this year’s retreat was organized. The conference came to a close on Saturday 21st of May.

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