SUNDAY, MAY 11, 2014.

Ven. Ernest Onuoha




THE Diocese of Nike is just seven years old and last weekend, it held its second session of the 3rd synod from May 1 to 4, 2014 at Saint Andrew’s Anglican Church, Trans-Ekulu in Enugu State. The event was well attended from within and outside the state.

The synod preacher was former Archbishop of Ibadan Province and the Bishop of Ibadan, Most Rev. Joseph Akinfenwa. The theme was: ‘acid test of our Christian faith with emphasis on joy’, I Pet. 1v8-9. The word ‘acid’ is an indicator/proof in a chemical laboratory, but in the Biblical sense, it is used to show one’s unshakeable belief or faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Interestingly, highlights of the synod hinged on the presidential address or charge giving by the Bishop to his flock, partly as an account of stewardship for a period under review and at the same time his message to his flock and the wider society. The Lord Bishop of the Diocese, Rt. Rev. Prof. Ibeagha used the occasion to give an account of his stewardship of many giant strides recorded within the period under review including construction of a new maternity home, refurbishing of some churches, progress work at the new cathedral and cash donations given to widows of pastors among others.

He welcomed his brother Bishops, who found time to be with him in his synod. They include: Rt. Rev. Jwan Zhumbes, Rt. Rev. Prof. Anthony Nkwoka, Rt. Rev. Chijioke Aneke, Rt. Rev. Kenneth Ifemena, Rt. Rev. Emmanuel Ugwu, Rt. Rev. Daniel Olayin, Rt. Rev. Emmanuel Chukwuma (Archbishop Elect), Rt. Rev. Sosthenes Eze, Rt. Rev. Christian Ebisike and Rt. Rev. Monday Nkwogu.

The Bishop drew the attention of God’s people to the theme of the synod: ‘acid test of our Christian faith’ and said, Peter wrote: ‘…in order to encourage his readers by reassuring them that they stand in the grace of God. Though tested and tried by the hostile environment in which they lived, they must remain confident that they were the royal priesthood of God (2:5, 9). Since they were the holy priesthood of God, they must maintain the virtues of Christian conduct in an environment that was hostile to their beliefs (I Peter 4:12-16). In general, the epistle is an exhortation to maintain Christian integrity in a time when the world of the Jews was changing’.

For the Christian not to lose his joy in modern times, the Bishop recommended that he should have: joy in believing, joy in hearing the word, joy in obeying the word and joy in abiding in Christ. Such joy is inexpressible, as the believer not minding the hostile environment, should believe God at all times. Abraham believed God and it was counted to him as righteousness.

Ven. Ernest Onuoha
Rector, Ibru International Ecumenical Centre,
Delta State.

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