SUNDAY, JUNE 19, 2011
KNIGHTS, DAMES AND LADIES OF DIOCESE OF NIGER DELTA WEST CELEBRATE PENTECOST AT IBRU ECUMENICAL CENTRE
REV. CANON GABRIEL KPAGBAN
It was such a unique and soul refreshing experience for the knights, dames and ladies of the Diocese of Niger Delta West on Sunday June 12, as they celebrated Pentecost at the serene environment of the Ibru International Ecumenical centre, Agbarha – Otor in Delta state. Pentecost Sunday is the day the body of Christ and the world over commemorates the great outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the about 120 disciples in the upper room 10 days after His ascension.
Preaching at the St. Peter’s Chapel of the Centre during a special thanksgiving service to mark the success of their retreat, the bishop of the diocese of Niger Delta West, Rt. Revd. Emmanuel O. Oko-Jaja said that all christians need the experience of the baptiism of the Holy Spirit in order to function effectively in their various offices. Quoting extensively from Acts 1: 8 and Acts 2:2-4, he said the knights of the diocese should earnestly seek for the experience of pentecost so that they can build the diocese in the way that will please God. He said that the early disciples spoke tongues that all the nations under the heaven could understood showed that God is the originator of every language. To further butress his point, he said there was no other way any child of God could work for him and even live a holy live without the Holy Spirit.
The knights and ladies of the diocese came to the centre for their annual retreat for the year which began on Friday 10 – Sunday 12 of June. The retreat which had its theme as ‘Building according to God’s Pattern’ had over 70 participants in attendance and was led by the bishop of the diocese, bishop E. O. Okojaja and his wife Dr. (Mrs.) Chinyere Oko-Jaja.
Earlier in a welcome address, the bishop told the conferees that the moment of the retreat would be refresing as they came together to share ideas and further be equipped for the urgent task before them – the propagation of the gospel. He reminded them of the need to live the life of obedience to the word of God so that their walk with God would be that which would leave a legacy such as those of the patriachs, judges, Prophets, Apostles and a host of others.
The retreat featured prayer sessions, lectures on different topics and seminars. The bible study which was prepared on the book of Nehemiah with the title, ‘Nehemiah and the rebuilding of the broken walls’, was a wake up call for all to arise and rebuild the walls of diocese as good ambassadors of the diocese.
In a similar development, the wife of the bishop presented a paper tittled: ‘Identifying marriage killers and antidote’. She identified ignorance of God’s purpose for their marriage, disobedience to God’s order/ principle, insensitvity to spouse’s needs. Over commitment, wrong company, immaturity on the part of spouse, inability of a man to provide for his home, unattractive physique, living above ones income, body odour/dirty environment, lack of trust as well as lack of the fear of God as some of the reasons why some marriages are failing to fulfil their wonderful dreams of romance and a feel of satisfaction: the initial sweet memories are then replaced with nightmares. She concluded by encouraging conferees to treasure each other as gifts from God, make love a daily choice, be quick to forgive and make out time for each other as couples.
Another keynote speaker at the retreat was the Rt. Rev. Sosthenes Eze. He presented papers on the topics; the role of the knight in church building and ‘the christian knight and his spirituality. Sir Joshua Kenegbolo led the prayer sessions. The retreatants prayed for the church and the nation as well.