May 4, 2017 Written by 

PRESIDENTIAL ADDRESS DELIVERED BY DR. (MRS.) J. N CHUKWUNENYE AT THE 3RD DIOCESAN MOTHERS’ UNION CONFERENCE HELD AT ST THOMAS ANGLICAN CHURCH OMUMA ON FRIDAY 28TH APRIL, 2017.

  1. I’ve a message from the Lord, Hallelujah!
    The message unto you I’ll give;
    ’Tis recorded in His Word, Hallelujah!
    It is only that you look and live.

Refrain

Look and live, my brother, live,
Look to Jesus now and live;
’Tis recorded in His Word, Hallelujah!
It is only that you look and live.

  1. I’ve a message full of love, Hallelujah!
    A message, O my friend for you;
    ’Tis a message from above, Hallelujah!
    Jesus said it and I know ’tis true.

Refrain

  1. Life is offered unto you, Hallelujah!
    Eternal life your soul shall have,
    If you only look to Him, Hallelujah!
    Look to Jesus who alone can save.

Refrain

  1. I will tell you how I came, Hallelujah!
    To Jesus, when He made me whole;
    ’Twas believing on His name, Hallelujah!
    I trusted and He saved my soul.

Refrain

My dear people of God,

Tribute to the Almighty God!

I will bless the Lord at all times

His praises will I always proclaim

At the street of Escalon and the congregation of His people

Even in the tents of the infidels will I make known His name

The tabernacle of His praise would I erecttostand as a resounding cymbals and an everlasting monument.

What shall I render to God for all His numerous benefits.

I will speak of His goodness in the congregation of His people

He is the only true God that deserves worship.

He has revealed Himself to me in this past year in various dimensions.

He has stood beside me like the solid rock and encompassed me as the mountain surrounded Jerusalem.

He is my fortress,the indomitable warrior and the fourth person in the fiery furnace.       (Dan. 3:22-25)

It is only by the grace of God in who we have our being that I stand here today.

Words cannot adequately describe this great God.

To some, He is our refuge and very present help in time of trouble (Ex. 17:15)

To some He is Jehovah Rapha (Ex. 15:20) the God our healer.

To others, He is Jehovah Shalom (Judges 6:24) the Lord our peace.

To many others, He is equally Jehovah Rohi (Ps. 23:1, Ps. 80:1).

Just like the good shepherd, He leads us to green pastures, protects us from all evil even as He leads us through the valley of the shadow of death.

Let us stand in awe and raise our voicesof praise and thanksgiving to this great God.

Great is thy faithfulness oh God my father;

There is no shadow of turning with Thee;

Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not;

As thou hast been, Thou forever will be.

Refrain:         Great is thy faithfulness!

Great is thy faithfulness!

Morning by morning new mercies I see.

All I needed Thy hand hath provided;

Great is thy faithfulness, Lord unto me!

Summer and winter and springtime and harvest,

Sun, moon, and stars in their courses above

Join with all nature in manifold witness

To Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.

Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth

Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide;

Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,

Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!

Welcome

It is my singular honour and privilege to welcome you all to the third biennial Mothers’ Union Conference of this great Diocese. God has kept all of us and bore us on eagle’s wings through the past years into this year. Do not take this gesture for granted rather,see it as a special privilege presented to you by God Himself considering the events in our country today. We thank you very much for identifying with us in spite of all the challenges in the recent time. It is a special privilege to be seated here today. God has shown us mercy. We highly appreciate your esteemed presence.

I feel highly elated to welcome His Lordship, The Rt. Revd Geoffrey NwokediriohaChukwunenye (Ph.D) by divine permission, privilege and grace the Bishop of the Diocese of Oru. The man who has spent sleepless night and worked round the clock to keep the work of God going in this Diocese. We thank God for your life and ministry. I thank God for giving you to me and all of us as a gift. It is not an easy task to pioneer a Diocese but I thank God for turning all the challenges into stepping stonesand for greater work He will still do through your ministry. On behalf of the Women and Girls’ Ministry of this great Diocese, we continue to pledge our loyalty and support. It is my prayer that God will grant you more years of fruitful and acceptable service in Jesus name Amen.

I am enthused by the personalities whose presence has made the day’s gathering special and unique in every sense of the word.

I appreciate with reverence the presence of our mothers, the Provincial President Mrs. OnyinyechiMaduoma, other Diocesan Presidents from the various Dioceses and their delegates. “Behold how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity. It is like precious oil upon the head, running down on the edge of his garments …”(Ps. 133:1-2a). May the fellowship we share result to spiritual increase and upliftment in Jesus name Amen.

Resource Persons

I welcome my mother and mentor, a matriarch of our Church, a divine gift to church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), Mama OlurantiI. Ademowo to this conference. An attempt to talk about Mama Ademowo would be an inclusive task. However, permit me to do a little citation by going down the memory lane.

My first contact with Mama was in year 2000 when they first arrived in Lagos Diocesefrom Ilesaat the retirement of the late Primate the Most Revd Dr. AbiodunAdetiloye. As a young clergy wife, this first interaction with Mama, revealed her as a sincere woman of God who loves God genuinely and ready to stake her neck for Him.Her sincerity, prayer life and hard work attracted me to her. I would never forget the first assignment amongst us in Lagos when she rehabilitated a mad woman who happened to be a member in the Diocese of Lagos.She has constituted a nuisance with her condition. This woman was always present in the gatherings with her children. She was not only mentally deranged but equally a destitute. The first thing that challenged me most when I came in contact with Mama was her humility. I saw in her an honest and prayerful woman who loves God and a detribalized Nigeria. In the cosmopolitan Lagos, Mama sees everybody as one irrespective of your tribe, culture and social status. This disposition really brought genuine growth to the Diocese.

At the inception of Oru Diocese in 2008, the two sets of computers with which we took-off was donated by Mama Ademowoas ProvincialPresident of the Province of Lagosand Mrs. BasseyAkinde the Bishop’s wife of Lagos MainLand Diocese. Since then, Mama Ademowo has always made an annual donation to this Diocese with a hundred thousand naira for eight years now. She had so much prayed for the progress of God’s work in this Diocese in the last nine years. Today with a heart full of gratitude, we welcome Mama Ademowo to the Diocese of Oru. Mama Lagos, would expose God’s mind to us on the theme of the conference and also hold a heart to heart interactive session on the topic “woman as a key to peace in the home and society”.

Special Guest of Honour

With great delight, we welcome our special guest of honourSenator Hope Uzodinma an illustrious son of Omuma here in Oru East Local Government Area of Imo State. He has always identified with us each time we call on him. He is a compassionate personality who loves lifting burden off the people and assisting the down trodden. He has attracted many projects not only to His people in Omuma but many other places in Imo State

My special thanks goes to other specially invited guests, supportersand government functionaries to this occasion. You have honoured God to be here and God in return will surely position you for a place of honour in Jesus name Amen.

We recognize with delight all invited guests, supporters and government functionaries that are here. By this singular gesture you have shown commitment and also encouragedus.May the Lord God Almighty bless you.

Chairpersons for the Day

Honourable Prince and Princess LasbreyEzeamaOkoroaforanyanwuwas born into the royal family of H.R.H Eze Dr. G.O.B Okoroaforanyanwu (KSC) and Ugoeze Lady Ann Okoroaforanyanwu on 23rd April 1966. He holds BscPolitical Science from Lagos State University. He was the former Transition Chairman of Oru East L.G.A and currently the Chairman of Imo Transport Company and a proud member of St Thomas Anglican Church Omuma.He is happily married to Princess Eunice OluchiOkoroaforanyanwu,a graduate of Sociologyof Imo State University Owerri. Themarriage is blessed with four lovely children. We are very grateful to have you as the chairpersons for the day. It is our prayer that God will visit you in a special way because of your response to this call. Your vessels will never go dry or empty in Jesus name Amen.

The Assistant Chairman

Sir CaniceChibuzoOkolie a noble knight of St Christopher inthis Diocese was born to the family of Mr. Herbert and Mrs. Patience Okolie on 10th October 1974. He had his primary and secondary school in AkattaOru East Local Government Area of Imo State. He proceeded to Lagos State   University where he bagged a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theatre Arts (B.A Hons).Presently,he is the CEO of Divine God First Worldwide Logistics Nigeria Limited. A reputable clearing and forwarding company based in China and Nigeria. He is married to Lady Patience Okolie, a woman of humble disposition and a morale booster to her husband. Their marriage is blessed with five lovely children. We thank you for accepting to assist the chairperson for today.We welcome you to this occasion, the Almighty God will surely meet you at the point of your need.

I am very much delighted to welcome our royal fathers to this gathering especially His Royal Highness Eze G.O.B Okoroaforanyanwuigwe of EtitiOmuma, who is a member of this church. May your reign be peaceful and prosperous. You will live long to eat the fruit of your labour in Jesus name Amen.

Expositor

The Revd Canon IzuchukwuObiekwea native of Oba in Idemili South of Anambra State was born to the family of Venerable and Mrs. R.U.C Obiekwe a retired Archdeacon in the Diocese on the Niger. He attended Bishop Crowther Seminary Awka (1988-1993), St Paul’s University College Awka for his Dip. Th, and B.A (Hons) degree.He proceeded to other universities where he bagged his post graduate diploma in Education and masters in Education.He was made Deacon on 22nd December, 2001 and collated Canon on 5th February, 2012. He had served the Anglican Diocese on the Niger on various capacities. He has anchored many programmes including being a bible study leader at Divine Common Wealth Conference of the Anglican Communion (DIVCON). He authored many books together with his wife. He is happily married to Mrs. IfyObiekwe a graduate of International Relations from ObafemiAwolowo University Ife. They are blessed with three kids. He would expose the mind of God to us on the times we are in. We are elated to have you in this programme. You are welcomed.

Appreciation

We sincerely appreciate the presence of our fathers in God and other church workers. We acknowledge your support at different levels. God Almighty will surely reward you accordingly.

I am grateful to all clergywives for your unflinching support and loyalty to the work of the ministry, especially to those that have laboured tirelessly, served as sources of encouragement as volunteer workers of the women’s work. May the Lord reward you accordingly in Jesus name Amen.

We acknowledge the prayers and support of the Women and Girls’ Ministry Chaplain, the Revd Canon Lawrence and Mrs. OgechiIkegwuonu. He has been our conference bible study teacher and always give his support. All your effort to enhance the ministry of the women amongst us would stand as a memorial for you before God in Jesus name Amen.

I appreciate my nominees, the gallant knights and their ladies auxiliary;I will not fail to acknowledge the hard work, doggedness and commitment of the Administrator of Oru East Archdeaconry and his wife, theRevd Canon Chinedu and Mrs. Uchenna Fort-Edward. You have always demonstrated a sense of commitment and dedication to every duty assigned to you.This disposition of yours had made the planning of the conference hitch free. Your labour of love and commitment to the success of the women ministry will always be appreciated.

In the same vein, I am delighted to acknowledge the effort and hard work of the churches in Oru East Archdeaconry ably led by St Thomas Omuma. The contact and mobilization unit headed by Lady Nkiru Celine Okoro has done a wonderful job. The Local Organizing Committee led by                                                     Sir. Bar. Pius Egemole and Mr. Oliver Nwagbaosois also highly appreciated.

To the glory of God, I say a hearty welcome to all of you and wish you a fulfilled, blessed and rewarding time with us in God’s presence.

Congratulations

Our joy is immeasurable.In the midst of uncertainty and chaos, the Lord has been faithful. Many of us have received numerous gifts, benefits, favour and divine upliftment. We celebrate with you and all others whose children have been joined in holy matrimony. We congratulate especially the Bishops’ Chaplain the Revd Peter ChibuoguOkekewhose wife Mrs. IjeomaOkekewas delivered of a set of triplets (two boys and a girl) after nineteen (19) years of marriage. It is really an “embarrassing blessing” from God. I congratulate the Diocesan and our father for this breakthrough.It is most marvelous in our eyes. It is the great miracle of our time.it is my prayer that this children will grow in grace and favour of God.

I equally congratulate the following church workers for the arrival of new babies

  1. ChiemenaAsonye – Baby Girl
  2. Charity Abazue – Baby boy
  3. ChidinmaAloy – Baby Girl
  4. ChineloEzulike – Baby girl
  5. Marvelous Onuoha – Baby boy
  6. Chika Amaefule – Baby girl
  7. Faith Nwokeji– Baby boy
  8. IfeyinwaEgwuatu – Baby boy

Commiseration

We remember at this time the demise of the Revd Nathan Orji and the Revd Johnson Nwagbujuo who were clergymen in this Diocese. We commiserate with our Bishop theRtRevd G.N Chukwunenye, the families and the entire Diocese of Oru. My heart goes to Mrs. Adajiaku Orji whose stay with us though very brief but her level of dedication to the work of God is worthy of emulation by other workers wives and I also identify with Mrs. ChinyereNwagbujuo. May God console His church Amen.

We also commiserate with some of us who has experienced pains due to loss of their dear ones, demolitions of their properties, natural disaster and any other form of grief, we pray that the Holy Spirit the greatest comforter willcomfort such individuals in Jesus name Amen.

History of Oru East Archdeaconry (The Venue of the Conference)

St Thomas’ Anglican Church Omuma the headquarters of Oru East Archdeaconry came into existence in 1916. This was as a result of the visit of His Royal Highness Late Chief OkoroaforanyanwuIhegbulam to the paramount ruler of Nkwesi now in Oguta Local Government Area of Imo State. Chief AmugoOdu of Nkwesi who was the ruler gave him refuge during the British expedition of Omuma in 1910.

While at Nkwesi, Late Chief Okoroaforanyanwu came in contact with the Church Missionary Society (CMS). As soon as he returned to Omuma, he sent delegation to Archdeacon Dennis at Egbuand invited the missionaries to Omuma to establish a church. The missionaries eventually came in 1916 and were received by Chief Okoroaforanyanwu and his 16-man cabinet drawn from Omuma Community.

The first church teacher was Mr. Hezekiah Emii who was sent to Omuma after full negotiations. The church services and Sunday school classes began in the royal compound of Chief Okoroaforanyanwu.

Evangelism: The church embarked on aggressive evangelism and mission on every Eke market day and Sundays within Omuma and its environment. This evangelism helped the rapid growth of the church.

Erection of Church Building: The first church building was a thatched (mud) house. In 1958, Mr. S.I Njoku who was posted to the church as church teacher initiated the new church building.

In 1960, fundswere raisedby the building committee headed by H.R.H Sir G.O.B Okoroaforanyanwu with the catechist Mr. B.H Okorie to start off the building project. The foundation was laid on 14th of May 1983by the Rt. Rev Benjamin Nwankiti the Bishop of Owerri Diocese who later became the Archbishop of Province II. The new church building was dedicated by the Rt. Revd S.C.N Ebo, the Bishop of Okigwe/Orlu Diocese.

Growth: From inception, the goal and objective of St Thomas Anglican Church was to plant churches within the geographical zones of Omuma and its neighboring communities. Based on this objective, the following churches were planted:

  1. All Saint’s AbiaOmuma
  2. Emmanuel Church OzuhOmuma

In 2009, a piece of land was also acquired in Umuhu-Omuma for church planting and the church was named New Bethel Anglican Church Umuhu-Omuma,thus bringing the presence of Anglican Church to this area.

Status of the Church

On 20th October, 1996. The church attained the status of a Parish with All Saint’s Church Abia and Emmanuel Church Ozuhas churches that constituted the Parish.

It was inaugurated by His Lordship the Rt. Revd S.C.N Ebo the then Bishop of Orlu with the Revd M.J Ejizuwaka (Later venerable) as the first Parish Priest while Ven. E.C.C. Anyanwu of Blessed memory was the Archdeacon of Oru Archdeaconry with headquarters atMgbidi.

At the inauguration of the Diocese of Oru on 16th July 2008, the need for more Archdeaconries became imminent hence; St Thomas Church was elevated to the status of an Archdeaconry by the Pronouncement of the Bishop the Rt. Rev G.N Chukwunenye. This archdeaconry was inaugurated on Sunday 9th of August 2009 by the Bishop. Two other parishes that constituted the Archdeaconry areAkatta Parish and IhitteAkatta Parish.

Church Hall: The present church hall was conceived by the church but the project was implemented by the Home and Abroad Women of St Thomas Church under the leadership of Ezinne Comfort Okoroaforanyanwu and Mrs. AnthoniaOkoro. St Thomas Anglican Church Omumais blessed with scholars, professionals, successful business men and women, Royal fathers, accomplished civil servants and indigenous priests.

 

Women and Girls’ Ministry in Oru Diocese

The women and Girls’ Ministry in this Diocese has continued to make steady progress. Words are not enough to describe the grace, mercy and favour which the Almighty God has bestowed upon us as a group. I sincerely appreciate allnoble women in their various capacities who had stood solidly behind us in pursuant of the goals and objectives of the work of the women’s ministry. We equally urge those who are lagging behind to sit up while it is still day for the night cometh when no man can work.

The year under review has exposed us to unique challenges and extra ordinary blessings from God as would be bared to all of us in the course of this address.Spiritual upliftment and growth has been our target and many programmes have been conceived towards these goalsto meet the need of the environment in which we operatealong side with the statutory programmes of the Anglican Communion.

Retreats and Training:

We would not relent in our effort to embark on camping retreats, trainings and workshops despite the financial challenges. This is because it is the major process for capacity building across every strata of the church. The problem we face each time is accommodation and transport. We spent most of our income on accommodation and transport.I look forward to a time when these problems would only exist in the past.

Bible Class:It is still my desire to improve the bible study habit of the women. This is to enable them face the daily challenges of life, for the psalmist said “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path” (Psalm 119:105). “Any woman who does not walk in the light of the true gospel will stumble in the dark, her life and home will be over shadowed in darkness, though she might think she walks in the light”(Ps. 34:5). “No wonder we are advised to put on the whole armour of God in order to be able to withstand the fiery darts of the enemy” (Eph. 6:11).Real success in life is synonymous with the entrance of the gospel into a community and lives of the individuals

Bible Study Handbook: We have an annual bible study handbook tailored towards the needs of our immediate environment. Do not keep this handbook on the bookshelf but study together with the other women to show yourself an approved workman who needed not to be ashamed but rightly dividing the word. Put on the whole armour of God for that is your sure defense against the antics or gimmicks of the evil one (Satan).The level of God’s word inside of you is the level of your defense.

Mothers’ Union House Fellowship: This prayer programmeshould be devoid of any form of entertainment. It is geared towards resuscitating weak members and bringing them closer to God. It is equally an opportunity for cooperate intercession especially with the sick and indoor members. It is compulsory for every Mothers’ Union group in every church. The Mothers’ Union meeting which we hold today started like a prayer meeting in sitting room of Mary Sumner.In 1876 in old Alresford Parish near Winchester in Church of England. There, her husband was theRector andherprogramme includes: Mothers’ Union parenting programme, Community work and projects in 79 countries around the world, literacy programme of reading, writing and arithmetic. For me, this is what Mothers’ Union should talkabout, reaching out to others as a priority and not just our locale.A situation where we feel unconcerned about the small churches in our midst or the larger body like Diocese, Province and Church of Nigeria is not Mothers’ Union. We are even expected to touch lives outside the communion and the Christian faith.

Literacy Class: The Women and Girls’ Ministry had embarked on literacy programme. The aim is to reduce illiteracy amongst the women and girls. Towards achieving this goal, all workers’ wives have been mandated to float effective literacy classes in their churches. We had re-introduced “Azundu” as a major manual in this class and Dr Watts Catechism will soon come on board. It is aspect of the early missionary ventures that we had lost. Conscious steps must be taken and with a well laid out plans to integrate women and other converts into the church. In the early days ofChristianity, a new convert would be made to pass through some teaching sessions or classes.The aim is to properly integrate him into the mainstream of the church. At the end of this teaching sessionsuch person would be able to read and study the bible and as well as pray effectivelybefore these converts are confirmed. Conscious steps were steadily taken to ensure that these new communicants remain steadily in the study of the word through bible class. Along the line the virtue was lost by the church. Today we have pews filled with people that have no desire to study the word of God nor attendprayer meeting. We now have people who patronize false prophets, pastors and even native doctors. Unfortunately, these same people still want to come to church and dictate what happens in the church but would not submit themselves to teachings in order to properly understand the church they desire to lead.

When the church lost the teaching ministry, they also lost out in the circular world. Early morning devotions disappeared from the public schools. School and hospital evangelism were lost. Hymn books disappeared from our schools and finally the compulsory scheme for bible knowledge in schools and moral instruction were revoked and sacrificed at the altar of secularism. But it is not so for the people of the other faith.From the cradle the child is sent to Arabic school or at least a private teacher engaged to teach the “holy book”. Those of them that cannot read English language can effectively recite their “holy book” and are taught to live, propagate and die for what they believe in. Today, they are progressively gaining ground. In a wakeup call by our former Primate the Most Revd J.P Akinkolain 2009, he asserted that “if our confession or profession of faith is not matched with actions of faithfulness we will soon find ourselves back in the land of bondage where our Christianity will have no meaning for the sick and the spiritually bankrupt world”. The present Primate the Most Revd Nicholas .D. Okoh in one of his Primatial address asserted that: “Hard times are here, in terms of outright persecution and trails of different forms against the church. It could be from within the church or from outside especially from post modern philosophies or religious militancy. This poses a challenge to the teaching ministry of the church and a call for us never to neglect the assembling for bible study so that we can persevere in the times we are in with prevailing faith”.

But the question is “How would they understand and prevail when they are not taught and cannot read?. We must make ourselves available and prevail with the word of God if we are to be counted as good soldiers of Christ.

Wave of Prayer: Usually observed on 11th – 12th June every year. Everybody should endeavour to key in because we can only triumph through prayers.

Women’s World Day of Prayer: This is an ecumenical programme for all Christian women worldwide. The theme for this year was “Am I being unfair to you?” (Matt. 20: 1-16). We thank God that we were able to join other Christian women all over the world in this programme.

Annunciation of Blessed Virgin Mary: Mary isthe patron saint of Mothers’ Union. This is a celebration by the Anglican Communion worldwide. It reminds us of the day God elevated womanhood by the announcement of the birth of the baby Jesus to Virgin Mary. God incarnatedthrough an unusual vessel. As we celebrate let us not only remember but imbibe the character of Mary which was humility, godliness, purity and total submission to the will of the Almighty God,even when it could bring her shame and demotion in the eyes of men. We shall continually be grateful to the Bishop for always presiding over the Eucharistic Service.

Proclamation of the Risen Jesus Christ: This emanated from the subsequent visits of Mary Magdalene, Joana and Mary the mother of James with some other women to the tomb to anoint the body of Christ.On that faithful Eastermorning, they arrived the tomb and met the stone rolled away from the sepulcher.They wondered what must have become of the body of Jesus the Christ. When discovered the tombwas empty. They bowed down their faces in agony as they wept because they could not find the body of Jesus (John 20:12).

An unidentified personality stood at some distance and posed some questions.Supposing him to be the gardener Mary responded. “please show me where you had laid Him so I can take his body away”. But when she heard Him called out “Mary” immediately she recognized the voice of Jesus and responded Rabonni. Today as Christians like Marycan we recognize the saviour calling? Do we recognize His voice? Jesus personally commissioned these women when he told them to go and announce that He is no longer in the grave but has risen (John 20:17). Avail yourself of the unique opportunity provided by Jesus Himself especially on that Easter morning and tell the world that Jesus is indeed risen. Where are the Marys,Marthas, and Joanas of our time that will weep for the trampled and mutilated body of Christ.Where are women that would stand up in unity to defend the name of Christ and keep the banner of Christ unfurled in this persevered generation?. Where are women that would go all out for the sake of the gospel and labour till Christ is formed in the heart of their children and their entire household. These and many others are the lessons from the proclamation.

A Unique Mothering Sunday

I congratulate every woman here for very successful mothering Sunday celebration in all its ramification. The theme for this year was “Woman, God’s favour to the family” (Prov. 18:22)

The event for the year took a new dimension when a child of God who is of the Anglican Communion and from another Diocese deposited the sum of One Million naira (N1M) as mothering Sunday gift of fifty thousand naira (N 50, 000) each to twenty women in this Diocese. These women according to himmust be very active women in their churches who are exemplary indeed and in truth. They must also be very enterprising and possess the ability to invest the money into small scale businesses. The following women were beneficiary of this gift:

  1. Theresa Ahize- Cathedral Church of Emmanuel
  2. Ifeoma G. Dike – All Saint’s Umuehi
  3. PriscillaNwakaihe – Cathedral Church of Emmanuel
  4. Elizabeth Okonkwo – Cathedral Church of Emmanuel
  5. ChiomaEnwerem – Emmanuel Church Ubulu
  6. Pauline Umegboro – Emmanuel Church Amagu
  7. Anujuru Mary – New Covenant Amadehi
  8. Doris Nwosu – St Mary’s AwoOmamma
  9. EbereIheruo – H.T.C Obibi
  10. BenaldineOkolie – St Paul’s Amaji
  11. Joy Nzekwe – Church of Messiah Amaede
  12. HapinessNwogu – St Thomas OMuma
  13. LetriciaDuru – St James Akatta
  14. Patricia Ojini – Good Shepherd Akatta
  15. EuchariaOkafor – St Barth’s Nempi
  16. AnnasEzeh – All Saint’s Aji
  17. AugustinaOdika – St Barth’s Nempi
  18. Felicia Nwabueze – St Stephen’s Otulu
  19. MargretObilom – St MatthiasAmiri
  20. ChineloOgbonna--                     -

Through this gift of (N1M),this couple had reminded us of the sacrificial life of the early missionaries. They travelled all the way, risked their lives, left their comfort zones and ventured into the unknown. Some could not make it to Africa but died on the way. Those that eventually made it later died of mosquito bites and other related tropical diseases. We were not related to them neither would they benefit anything from us yet they staked their lives for us to be converted.They introduced the gospel of our Lord Jesus along with all its benefits such as western education, hospitals and many other benefits. Today the kind of Christianity we present is devoid of sacrifice rather it is full of ethnicity, sectionalism and selfishness. Once we are okay every other person does not matter. Today, this act by this noble child of God has reminded us that the Christian faith is about sacrifice. This was what Jesus demonstrated when He went to the cross. He was despised yet all He could say was “Father forgive them for they know not what they do”. And the bible confirms this more by declaring “while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8). This is being demonstrated on daily by the people of other faith. They are ready to go all the way no matter the cost. It is my prayer that the Lord will increase them on all sides and cause them to always stand out amongst their peers with good health and longevity.

 

Outreaches

Outreach is the heart beat of the Women and Girls’ Ministry of this Diocese. In the year under review, the following programmes wereorganized:

SundaySchool Christmas Getogether: A Christmas fun-fare was organized for all the children in the Diocese of Oru. It was indeed a children’s treat and an eventful day as the children came in their best and in their various church uniforms. They competed in their presentations and there were gifts galore ranging from bible stories in colours hard covers, party cups and plates. Special balloons, candies, food and drinks, biscuits, exercise books, pens and pencils. Santa Claus(father christmas) was also present to distribute some gifts. The children were very reluctant to leave when the party was over.

Christmas Getogether for the Indigents: Some indigent members from every church in this Diocese were assembled at St Mary’s Church AwoOmamma on the 20th December 2016 for Christmas extravaganza. It was also a period of fellowship in which they were admonished and interceded for. At the end of the day the participants went home each with half bag of rice, wrapper, blouses, head gear, milk, beverage, sweetener, tomatoes puree and cash gifts not less than five thousand naira per person. There was a team of medical personnels to offer medical assistance, examination treatment and referral as the case may be.

All thanks must go to Lady Stella Udogwu who is the initiator and sponsor of this programme.

Elders Day: The elderly helpline was extended to men and women of sixty-five years and above. The aim was to provide an atmosphere of relaxation and other therapeutic activities. They were provided with varieties of gifts and food. The attendance for the year was overwhelming. I sincerely appreciate the Cathedral Administrator and his wife the Revd canon Lawrence and Mrs. OgechiIkegwuonu for hosting the programme

Favoured Women Annual Retreat: This is a fellowship for all the widows in the Diocese. The annual retreat and gethogether was organized on the 28thJanuary 2017 with the theme “I know my redeemer liveth” (Job 19:25, Prov. 23:11). This particular edition was unique in every sense of the word. Evangelist (Mrs.) Uche Emmanuel was used by God to declare God’s mind to His people. It was an atmosphere of great revelation and insightful teaching. We thank God for using our speaker as a threshing instrument. Our sincere appreciation goes to one of us who prefer to remain anonymous but had always sponsored this program. The five hundred thousand naira revolving loan which was donated by this child of God was equally distributed to some women on that day. We solicit for donations towards the increment of this loan to one million naira because of the prevailing economic situation in the country.

Diocesan Home and Abroad Fellowship:

The Cathedral women hosted the year 2016 thanksgiving service in a grand style. They staged a medical team a day preceding the event. Many people that cared to come were medically examined and drugs dispensed by a team of medical experts. On the Thanksgiving Day, the Cathedral women trooped out for the thanksgiving in an unprecedented number and outnumbered the entire congregation put together. The Home and Abroad Women Fellowship and thanksgiving service took a new dimension and was projected to a new height by the Cathedral women. We expressour gratitude to the old and new executive committee especially Lady Bar. ChristabelOnyejekwe, Lady Dr. OjiugoEjehu, Mrs. Meg Obidike and Lady Florence Madueke. I will not fail to put on record the effort of the Revd Canon Lawrence and Mrs. OgechiIkegwuonu, Administrator and wife and many others who cannot be mentioned as a result of space and time constraint. I say Kudos!to them for leading by example and being pacesetters. I thank God for the opportunities of medical examination intermittently provided by groups of women in the past. This is an acknowledgement of the rural nature of our community and the need to provide the rural women the opportunities of medical examination which otherwise would not be available and affordable.

Vocational Training: To the glory of God after the graduation of five trainees, another group of youths have been recruited for skill acquisition in their various areas of interest. They are:

  1. Miss ChinomsoNdulue – Ubulu Parish
  2. Miss Peace Ugorji - St Augustine’s Church Umuokwe
  3. Miss OgochukwuAnyanwu – OmumaParish
  4. Miss NwamakaNkemakolam – St Barth’s Church Nempi
  5. Master ChukwukanmaOnyeka – St Stephen’s Otulu

We thank God especially for a woman who is not part of us but got interested in training this youths when she was invited as a judge for the Art and Craft exhibition usually held during the Girls’ Guild Camp. She was enthused and blessed God for what her eyes saw. At that instance she volunteered to render her services in this training at a highly subsidized rate. We joyfully accepted her offer because she owned a well-established and comprehensive vocational outfit within our proximity. What is the Lord laying in your heart to do for the progress of God’s work in this Diocese. Please do not resist the Holy Spirit but yield yourself as a vessel of honour for selfless services and the host of heaven will stand up on your behalf in times of life challenges.

Hostel Project: The two storey hostel project of the Women and Girls’ Ministry is in steady progress,although not without challenges.We are at the roofing stage and work is presently going on in the site. I sincerely appreciate the doggedness and hard work of our project supervisor the Revd Canon Chinedu Fort Edward. All your effort towards the project will never be in vain.

Every woman a Farmer: The farming project of the Women and Girls’ Ministry has comea long way. We experienced some challenges on the rice farm and lost all the crops. However, the cassava farm yielded about four hundred and fifty thousand naira (N 450, 000) after harvest. The stems were very good variety and the demand was very high but we opted to sell to consumers instead of those that needed it for commercial purposes. This farming season, prize will be awarded to the parish farm with the best yield at Uzunumu.

This planting season, beside cassava, we will plant melon, corn and okro seeds.

Every woman in this Diocese is encouraged to owe a farm no matter your primary occupation. Churches are equally encouraged to go into farming because a little farm of your own means more food for the nation.This is evidenced in the scarcity of fruits this year. Many church workers have planted varieties of economic trees. Those that have not planted any should endeavour to do so. I sincerely appreciate some clergy wives that volunteered and worked at the farm especially Mrs. Peace Agubosi, Mrs. Uchenna Fort-Edward, Mrs. Chika Nnadozie, Mrs. OluomaOkafor, Mrs. ChiemenaAsonye and other workers’ wives whom time and space will not allow me to mention. I will want to place on record the assistance, supervision and mobilization of labourers to clear and cultivate the land by the RevdUcheAbazue. The Lord has really used you in this project. You are highly appreciated.

Sacrificial Altar Thanksgiving: It is compulsory for every woman to subscribe to SAT unless you want to say that you are not one of us. I would like to appreciate the Ladies Auxiliary for recording an improvement this year compared to the previous years, although there is still much room for improvement. As the name implies, Sacrificial Altar Thanksgiving (SAT) is a voluntary giving project that would cost you something otherwise it is not sacrificial. I sincerely appreciate individuals and churches that have recorded appreciable increase against what was recorded in the previous years. Please ensure you always proceed to the altar with your card and money for each time you drop your offering the priest pronounceslevitical blessings at the altar. Then follow up with steps of faith and expect God’s blessings (Malachi 3:7 & 17). God would alwaysappreciate and reward sacrifices both in cash and in kind.

Mid Year thanksgiving: This was held at St Mark’s Church IchiAkatta on 25th of June, 2016. It was a day of God’s visitation as the women trooped out enmass with songs of praise and thanksgiving. It was really a glorious day as we thanked God for the past six months and covenanted with God for the remaining six months of the year.

Workers’Wives Training/ Retreat

Clergy wives retreat for 2017 took place from Thursday 30th March to Sunday 2nd April, 2017 with the theme “Be Ye Separate” (2 Cor. 16: ). The resource persons were at their best and it was both training and retreat. The clergy wives were meant to understand the need to stand out in the midst of others. They were enjoined to be a solution to the numerous problems in the society today, to stay above board through knowledge and information because knowledge is power. Anybody that is not informed is deformed. They were equally made to understand that every church is viable, because the viability of any church is in the mindset of the clergy and their wives.

Training and retraining of workers’ wives has been our prerogative. This is because if you are not equipped you cannot equip others. Each workshop and training presents an opportunity for church growth when properly handled therefore, I urge youall to support your workers at every capacity buildingprogramme when opportunity comes. These include not just the Diocesan retreats but other training programmes approved by the Bishop and Divine Common Wealth Conference (DIVCON).Pleasealso support them in your prayers. Pray for your church workers at all times for your prayers goes a long way rather than criticism. When you continuously criticize a priest you destroys your church gradually with your own hands.

Celebrating His Presence: This end of the year prayer programme took place on Saturday 3rd December, 2016. The programme which was earlier scheduled at Emmanuel Church Ibiasoegbe was held at the Cathedral Church of Emmanuel Mgbidi with the theme “God has come to establish you” (2 Chron. 29:20b). The attendance was over whelming despite the change of venue. The speaker Venerable IfeanyichukwuAniagbaoso was greatly used by God for admonition, healing, deliverance and breakthrough. Testimonies abound

Workers’ Children Christmas Get-together

It usually comes up on 25th December, 2016 at the Bishops’Court. It was time for fun as children were given special treat. The sole aim of this programme is to meaningfully engage the children, remove their mind from boredom and prevent them from roaming aimlessly in the village during festive seasons.

All other statutory programmes such as Alone with God, Rededication services, Mothers’ Union carols, Mid -Year thanksgiving, Mary Summers day were all successfully carried out.  

Ladies and Girls’ Guild

We have continued to make conscious effort to bring up ladies and girls to be morally, spiritually, socially and physically balancedas well as useful to themselves and the society. To this end, the camping programme of the girls isto provide this opportunity. The girls are equally prepared togracefully metamorphose into womanhood and ready to face all the challenges that are involved in this process. The theme for year 2016 camping programme was “The resourceful Christian lady in times like this” (Eph. 28:2, 2 Tim. 3:1-2). It was hosted by AwoOmamma Archdeaconry. The following events were keenly contested for. The results were as stated:

s/no

Events

Archdeaconry

Position

1

Match Past

AwoOmamma

Nempi

Oru East

1st

2nd

3rd

2

Bible Quiz

Awoomamma

Otulu

Cathedral

1st

2nd

3rd

3

Talk Show

Awoomamma

Cathedral

Otulu

1st

2nd

3rd

4

Arts & Craft

Nempi

Otulu

Cathedral

1st

2nd

3rd

5

Cookery

Cathedral

Oru East

Otulu

1st

2nd

3rd

6

i.

Track Events

100 meter (Junior)

Nempi

Otulu

AwoOmamma

1st

2nd

3rd

ii.

100 meter (Senior)

Otulu

Ubulu

AwoOmamma

1st

2nd

3rd

iii.

200 meters ( Junior)

Nempi

Otulu

Cathedral

1st

2nd

3rd

iv.

200 meters (Senior)

Ubulu

Cathedral

Otulu

1st

2nd

3rd

v.

800 meter (Senior)

Cathedral

Ubulu

Oru East

1st

2nd

3rd

Overall best – Otulu Archdeaconry

Girls’ Guild Workshop: This was a workshop on home tips and management. It was held at Emmanuel Church Amagu.

Diocesan Girls’ Guild Day: It was held for St Thomas (Ang.) Church Omuma on 2nd May, 2016 with the theme “This is Our Time” (Eccle. 3:1) it was equally a very fruitful programme.All these were geared towards assisting these girls’ to discover and develop their talents and also encourage them to be self-reliant and respect for elders.

Accounting and Book Keeping: With the series of workshops on book keeping and accounting every church should be able to keep proper records of any financial transaction in their church. We are in the computer age and in the era of internet banking and transaction. It is no longer acceptable to keep cash in the house except impress as approved. Every cash must get to the bank within 24 hours with teller submitted to the priest wife. We must key in to technological development and refuse to live in the past. We must lay good example for posterity sake and good memories for our children. I know that human nature would always resist change, but change is the only thing that is constant in life. As long as we live we must experience change and the best attitude is to key in to change for stagnation is retrogression. We must keep proper financial records. Every church no matter how small must open an account with the bank.

Issues that Affects Us

Trading on Sundays:Sunday is a day set aside and dedicated to worship and offer special service to GodAlmight. In the old dispensation it was Saturday (the Sabbath). Sunday became prominent and relevant than Saturday as a result of the finished work of Christ on the cross and the resurrection of Christ on Easter Sunday.

In the early days of the Christian faith, just like the traditionalists observe “nsoolu”a day dedicated to a deity which made it a taboo to work and farm on that day.The early Christians understood what it meant to keep sacred days because of the regard they have for God and the importanceattached to their faith. Today, we have made Sunday to look like a business day. No wonder we are not experiencing open heaven or God’s extra ordinary blessings. The scripture said “the child honours his father and a slave honours the master, if I am your father where is my honour (Malachi 1:6a). True success comes when we completelyhonour God not by words but by character and our lifestyle. Prosperity in life does not depend on the number of days you work in the week or level of hard work but rather on God’s grace and favour upon one’s life. No wonder the bible declared “for by strength no man shall prevail”(1 Sam. 2:9b) and “I will have mercy upon whom I will have mercy”(Exo. 20: 5b). It is my prayer that God’s mercy and grace will daily locate us.

Attitude to Worship:“Blessed is everyone that feareth the Lord, and walk in his ways. For thou shall eat the fruit of theylabour and it shall be well with thee. (Psa. 128:1-2-4) The church auditorium is where we gather to worship God, to be instructed and taught from the scripture. It is a place where we meet with God and commune with Him. The Almighty God would in turn minister to us according to his riches, grace and favour.“I passionately appeal to you by the mercies of our Lord Jesus Christ to always offer your body as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable before Himfor this is your reasonable service”(Rom. 12:1)

True worship comes from a willing heart washed by the blood of Jesus Christ and set apart for Him. Worship is assessment of worth or value placed on the object of worship. The way you comport yourself at church service reveals the worth or value you placed on whom you have come to worship. It is therefore expedient that we must prepare ourselves to appear before God each time we come to worship. No one would carelessly appear before any deity or it would spell doom. We need to change our attitude and orientation towards church services,so that it is not reduced to mere rituals. We must maintain decorum by resisting rowdiness and frivolous movements. For the lord God Almighty is in His holy temple let all the earth keep silence before Him (Habakkuk 2:14).

Presenting your Offering to the Lord:The bible says“where your treasure is, there will your heart be” (Matt. 6:21). Preparing your offering within the week is part of preparation for church service and worshipthat was why St Paul admonished us in the scripture saying“upon the first day of the week let each of you lay by him in store as God hath prospered him that there will be no gathering when I come” (1 Cor. 6:12). St paul probably did not want any distraction.He know that trying to gather at that point might shift the attention of the worshippers. Our commitment to God and willingness to serve Him could be seen through our offering (Ex. 35:21-28). Please do not offer to God anything which does not have a price or is not sacrificial. Your offering represents your assessment of God’s worth. It is an aberration to exchange money in the offering bag or approach the guild of stewards during service for exchange of smaller denominations. There is need for us to change our orientation especially when we are in God’s presence especially at Church services so that our worship will not be reduced to mere ceremony or rituals. The church is an altar that should be linked to the altar of the Almighty God in heaven with the power of God in operation and angels on assignments. Our disposition could either strengthen or weaken this altar.

Enrolment into Mothers’ Union and Women’s Guild: To the glory of God about two hundred and three women were enrolled into Mothers’ Union and Women’s Guild in the year under review. Every worker’s wife should see the preparatory classesas a medium of winning souls for Christ. I implore all workers’ wives to see this class as a means of exposing deep spiritual truth, systematic teaching and discipleship. All those that are not lettered or cannot read the Igbo bible should be engaged in the “Azundu” class for bible literacy programmes.There must be a conscious follow up for those whose marriages qualifies for Holy matrimony or church blessing. The table shows the statistics for enrolment in year 2016.

S/ No

Names of Parishes

Mothers’ Union

Women’s Guild

Total

1

Cathedral

2

12

14

2

Umuehi

-

8

8

3

Ozara

2

8

10

4

Ubulu

2

14

16

5

Amagu/Akuma

-

-

-

6

Amadehi

1

6

7

7

AwoOmamma

4

3

7

8

Obibi

1

4

5

9

Umuchima

2

2

4

10

Okworji/Umubochi

-

14

14

11

Umuokwe

3

14

17

12

Otulu

5

7

12

13

Amiri

-

4

4

14

Omuma

2

15

17

15

Akatta

8

25

33

16

IhitteAkatta

1

7

8

17

Nempi

-

15

15

18

Ibiasoegbe

-

-

-

19

Aji

-

7

7

 

34

169

203

 

Cathedral and Archdeaconries

I will not cease to thank God for the work and ministry of the women and girls in the Cathedral and various Archdeaconries of this Diocese. It has been a year full of challengesin spite of all these, many churches have done noble while some allowed their services to God to be determined by factors around them.I sincerely thank God for what the Archdeaconries were able to achieve in the year under review:

Cathedral: The annual home and abroad women’s thanksgiving service was excellently hosted by the Cathedral. The event took a new dimension when a pre-thanksgiving medical examination was organized by the new Exco of the Cathedral women for every woman in the Diocese. Their women bible class has increased in numerical strength

Anglican Church Eziani:One of the youngest churches (3 years old) in this Diocese that has recorded tremendous growth. The women made a donation of seventy five thousand naira (N 75, 000) towards their church project.

Emmanuel Church Ubulu: The home and abroad women’s fellowship took a new dimension to mobilize members when their President Mrs. Ebele Obi, the wife of an Archdeacon bought and distributed 100 pieces of Mary Sumner wrappers and hymn books (EkperenaAbu) to all the women that cannot afford to purchase one to enable them attend the August gathering.

St Mary’s Church AwoOmamma: The building of church worker’s apartment which the women have adopted as their project is nearing completion

Holy Trinity Church Obibi: Their kitchen project which started a year ago is at roofing stage.

St John’s Okworji/Umubochi: Donated two hundred and eighty thousand naira (N 280, 000) towards construction at the vicarage and workers house.

St Augustine’s Umuokwe: The women donated three hundred thousand naira (N 300,000) towards the church project

Church of the Messiah Amaede: Gave a donation of one hundred and forty thousand naira (N140, 000) towards their church roofing project.

Church of Advent Ofeahia: The women gave a donation of three hundred and sixty thousand naira (N 360, 000) towards roofing of their church after their home and abroad meeting.

St Stephen’s Church Otulu: Molded 100 bags of cement into blocks in readiness for the construction of a church hall. Their bible class has gained more ground.

St Thomas Omuma: Bible literacy class is on and bible study class has improved. The home and abroad women donated the sum of two hundred thousand naira (N 200, 000) towards the church’sbuilding project.

All Saint’s AbiaOmuma: The church hall building project is nearingcompletion

St Mark’s IchiAkata: The women renovated the curate’s house and raised the fence for the vicarage

Most of these churches mentioned above were able to fulfill their obligations to the Diocese and still contributed meaningfully to the development of their churches. As a church,visionalize and set goals for yourself within the year, prayerfully pursue your goals and see all obstacles and challenges as stepping stones with the “eye of faith” then you will be able to accomplish great things for God because our riches and sufficiency is in Christ. It is not according to the dictates of Nigerian economy but according to Christ’s riches in glory (Phil. 4:19).

Departmental Reports:

Many departments have remained above board

Spirituality Department: Prayer is the life wire of any organization. We sincerely appreciate the prayer and spirituality department led by Lady IfeomaOzoekwe. They had always stood in the gap for all our programmes including conferences. They also featured with great impact at Diocesan Prayer Conferences. We appeal to all workers wives to ensure that prayer and spirituality is functional in all churches.

Ladies and Girls’ Guild Department: I sincerely appreciate Lady Gladys Obodoekwe and the dynamic and innovative Chaplain the Revd Jonas Nnabuaku. Their effort in this department had beenso visible. The Ladies and Girls’ Guild inOru Diocese had raised Ladies and Girls’ that are spiritually and mentally matured, sound in character and learning that are ready to face the future. The programme packaged for this group speaks for itself.We appeal to the workers’ wives to please join forces with the department to take our girls to greater height.

Women’s’ Department:The head of the department Mrs. ChimezieNnaoma had made attempts to visit the churches during their women bible classes and Mothers’ Union house fellowship, to monitor their progress. Although much ground was not covered but I believe more impact would be made in the coming year.

Publication Department:Their effort is appreciated but this department should work as a team for efficiency instead of the leader working in isolation. They should set machineries in motion to break new grounds in the coming year especially reaching the grass root for news and photographs.

Events from the Diocese

We really appreciate God for His mighty hands upon the Diocese of Oru. We honour Him for what He had done and for what He is yet to do. God has shown His faithfulness as He sits at the helms of affairs in this Diocese. He makes all men liars and causes His word to stand. He is highly lifted up above every situations and circumstances. I congratulate the Diocesan, His Lordship the Rt. Rev G.N Chukwunenye(Ph.D) for what God has used him to achieve in this place. I salute your Godly disposition, humility and courage even in the face of life threatening situation.

Synod: We congratulate the bishop for a successful synod outing from Thursday 5th May to Sunday 8th May, 2016. The theme was “Worship not the Lord in vain” (Matt. 15:8-9). “These people draw near to me with their mouth and honour me with their lips but their hearts are far from me and in vain they worship me” teaching as doctrines the commandments of men”. It was an eye opener to the true meaning of the word “worship” and equally exposed us to some deep spiritual truths.

Training on Mission: The Kairos mission team was engaged for training on missions. It was open to all categories of workers, workers wives and lay members of the Diocese. They reminded us that mission should be the heart beat of every church. The church that does not engage in mission will soon be extinguished. The challenges that we face today in forms of societal vices are perpetuated by the group of people that the church has failed to reach through missions. If we see our churches as missionary outfits our behaviour and orientation will be different from what it used to be.Everybody is needed in mission. The goer (you and me) – the sender (financies) – the mission organizations and the local church all are suppose to unite to achieve the purpose of mission, otherwise, mission remains unaccomplished.

The impact the church makes in the society today depends on level of commitment to missions. It must be one church, one faith, and one goal and objective. It must be the ministry of reconciliation where we all see ourselves as one body, the way Christ see us for we have received the ministry of reconciliation and not of competition.

I presume this training to be a phase of mission 1-1-1 initiative of the Diocese in which one person wins another person in one year. This programme is God’s mandate to the world and we cannot allow it to die especially now that Nigeria is facing difficult times. We surely need to lead people to the only source of hope in this lost and confused generation.

Re-dedication of St Mary’s Church AwoOmamma: To the glory of God and for the edification of God’s people St Mary’s Anglican Church Awoomamma is wearing a new look. The former structure which was a dilapidated building with hives for bats that constantly releases droppings from the pinnacle of the church into the church building. God laid it upon the heart of Sir Nathan and Lady Stella Udogwuto single handedly expand, renovate and re-roof the church to a modern cynosure which I called “the new face of St Mary.Sir Nathan and Lady Stella Udogwuresponded to the need of a new and befitting church building and did this to commemorate their wedding anniversary and to thank to God for His numerous benefits to the family in diverse ways. I congratulate the Diocesan, the RtRevd G.N Chukwunenye for the re-dedication of this church building on 29th December, 2016 and pray that more of such gifts will come to this Diocese in Jesus name Amen.

Foundation Laying and Naming of New Churches: The foundation of the baby church at Ugbekewas laid on Sunday 19th September, 2016. The church was named Epiphany Anglican Church of the Ugbeke. Also the foundation stone of the Anglican Church,EziamaUbulu was laid on the Saturday April 22nd, 2017 and named Victory Anglican Church, EziamaUbulu. We thank God for this breakthrough and pray that the Lord will continue through the power of the Holy Spirit to nurture these young churches in Jesus name Amen.

Beginning the Month with Jesus: This is a programmeas the name implies that ushers in every new month. It is an opportunity to make some declaration into the new month.With the Episcopal grace and pronouncement, everyimagination that exalt itself against the word of God is brought to obedience and held captives with God’s word. It is the best way to walk victoriously through each month. Testimonies abound on what God is doing through this programme.

Ordination: To the glory of God, we celebrated the gift of the ordained ministry as a deacon was made and priests were ordained on Sunday 11th December, 20116 at the Cathedral Church of Emmanuel Mgbidi.

Deacon

  1. ObiwuruChidiebere Praise

Priests

  1. HyacinthIfesorochukwuEzulike
  2. ChiomaGoddey Isaac
  3. George Ahamaefula Ezekiel
  4. Lambert AnayochukwuKaesieme
  5. Ekene JohnAnyaoha

We congratulate them and their families and wish them God’s grace in the ministry.

Conference Dates and Venues

For proper planning and execution the conference dates are as stated below:

2018 – Cathedral group of churches

2019- Ubulu Archdeaconry

2020 – AwoOmamma Archdeaconry

In the same vein, the synod dates are as stated:

2018 – Nempi Archdeaconry

2019 – Otulu Archdeaconry

2020 – Omuma Archdeaconry

We must also note that venues are not limited to the Archdeaconry headquarters alone by the directives of the Diocesan.

Province of Owerri

We are grateful to God for His grace upon us in this Province under the leadership of the Most RevdDr Caleb and Mrs. OnyinyechiMaduoma. Irrespective of the challenges and uncertainties that we had to contend with, God has been faithful. Two meetings were held within the year under review.The first was on 28th – 29th September, 2016 at Cathedral Church Of StMary Magdalene Oguta Diocese on the Lake and the second was from 8th – 9th February 2017 at Cathedral Church of Emmanuel Mgbidi here in the Diocese of Oru.

We bless God Almighty for the grace He accorded to us to host the February meeting. It was a very successful hosting in every ramification. I sincerely congratulate the Bishop the RtRevd G.N Chukwunenye(Ph.D) for this wonderful hosting. I also appreciate the entire workers, Diocesan women executive and the entire Diocese for throwing their weight behind him in support of this programme. It is my prayer that the Lord will open unto you gates of opportunities which noman can close in Jesus name Amen.

Hostel Project at Umuagwo: The Provincial project at Umuagwo is making steady progress despite every odds. We trust God that it would be completed in due time

JointProvincialCouncil: The joint Provincial Council East of the Niger was held on Wednesday 15th – Thursday 16th February 2017 at the Diocese of Nike. It is a time of fellowship and fruitful deliberations on the progress of the church. We congratulate the Rt. Revd Prof andProf(Mrs). Evans Ibeaghafor successful hosting and Mrs. Patience Nwosu the Dean’s wife for successful deliberations.

Church of Nigeria Anglican Communion

The Church of Nigeria standing committee was held from Monday 19th – Thursday 22nd September, 2016 at Cathedral Church of St Faith Awka, Province of the Niger with the theme “Who is on the Lord’s Side” (Ex. 32:26, 1 Kgs. 18:21). The duration for the meeting was reduced by one day, to enable delegates travel back safely to their various destinations. This was as a result of the MASSOB demonstration which coincided with the period of the meeting. Despite this interruption, the meeting was very fruitful. The Primate in his address reminded us of the urgency of the Lord’s return and the need for us to live in anticipation of His coming. The gathering also provided opportunity for us to be educated on wealth creation and management which culminated into the lecture that we would have today. We were also sensitized on the indispensable role of women in nation building. To this end, the following points were emphasized:

  • Education as an indispensable tool for the development of any society
  • Girl-child education as very expedient and should be encouraged by all
  • Proper children upbringing, bible based pre-marital counseling an option to avoid pitfalls in marriages
  • Youth empowerment through knowledge and skills a step out of financial limitations or crisis

Basic tips on wealth creation which includes

  • Development of good saving habits
  • Openness to new ideas
  • Investment of savings
  • Operating within your budget

The second meeting hosted by Lagos Province was held at OlusegunObasanjo Presidential Library complex Abeokuta Ogun State from 20th – 24thFebruary, 2017 with the theme “I am that I am” (Exodus 3:14). The Primate, the Most Revd Nicholas Okoh reminded us in his address of God as an inexhaustible source of power. This was evidence in the many names accorded to God which was circumstantial. He encouraged us not to be troubled but rather to live in ernest expectation of His second coming. The Mothers’ Union Council afforded the participants of opportunity for lectures on:

  • How to grow the family income through agriculture
  • Awareness on Haemophilia a blood disorder originating from the chromosome which is manifested in form of excessive bleeding or inability of the blood to cloth. How such people could be assisted and the awareness created was equally discussed.

The Union bemoaned the state of insecurity of lives and properties, economic hardship, devaluation of naira, rate of crime and corruption and calls on the Federal Government of Nigeria to take proactive measure to alleviate the suffering of the masses and prevent state of Anarchy.

The Union decries the alarming rate of unemployment, delay of workers’salaries and retirees pensions in some states becauselabourers are worthy of their wages.

The Union vehemently opposed the new tariff on electricity since the power sector is near extinction

Church of Nigeria Endowment Fund: We thank God Almighty for what He has done through the endowment fund.Many Dioceses had received aids from two hundred and fifty thousand naira and above (N250, 000) from the endowment fund. It is an on-going project and we encourageevery woman tobe part of it by payinga minimum of two hundred naira each (N200). The Church of Nigeria has come of age and there is need to build a virile centre that will continuously and tenaciously key into God’s plan for great commission.

We are looking forward to when women’s work in Church of Nigeria would have physical projects like:

  • Officecomplexes, guest houses and other infrastructures.
  • Spiritual Outreaches:in the forms of prayer networking on the web fornational and global issues
  • Communities outreach to unreached zones
  • Charitable Ventures:like emergency relief to area of disaster. Assisting growing Dioceses, scholarship award to indigent students, financial empowerment to women in unreached zone.

Please support the Church of Nigeria Endowment and empower your source

Election of Bishops:

The following bishops were elected, consecrated and enthroned within the year. They were:

  1. Rev. Markus YohannaDabinta – Diocese of Dutse
  2. Rev. Prof. Israel Okoye – Diocese of Ihiala
  3. Rev. ColesoPelumi Johnson – Diocese of Lagos Mainland
  4. Rev. Temple Nworgu – IsialaNgwa Diocese

 

Archbishop:

The Most Revd Dr. Michael OlusinaFape of Remo Diocese was elected the Archbishop of the Ecclesiastical Province of Lagos to succeed the Most Rev Adebayo DadaAkinde

Translation

  • The Most Rev AbiodunOguyemi was translated from the Diocese of Damaturu to Diocese of Zaria

We congratulate all of them and wish them a fulfilled ministry in their new offices.

Retirement

  1. The Rt. Rev and Mrs. Yusuf Lumu – Diocese of Dutse
  2. The Rt. Rev and Engr (Mrs.) Ralph Okafor – Diocese o Ihiala
  3. The Rt. Rev and Mrs. Angusr Fred Nyanabo – Diocese of Northern-Izon
  4. The Rt. Rev and Mrs. Sampson Adekunle – Diocese of Ile-Oluji
  5. The Rt. Rev Prof and Mrs. Collinus Bello - Diocese of Zaria
  6. The Most Rev. and Mrs. Adebayo Dada Akinde – Bishop of Lagos Mainland and Archbishop of Ecclesiastical Province of Lagos.

We rejoice with them and wish them peaceful and healthy retirement.

State of the Nation

Words cannot describe the manifestation of God’s greatness this past year in our country Nigeria. But for God’s mercy we would have been consumed. So many factors have culminated to take a toll on the economy, peace and even unity of Nigeria. The dust and uncertainty of the removal of oil subsidy and economic recession seems to be endless. This had unleashed untold hardship on millions of people with already frayed nerves. This is in addition to the astronomical increase in the ratio of naira to dollar. However, I would like to encourage all citizens to exercise patience with prayers even as we plead with the government to take practical steps to ameliorate the suffering of the masses.

We also appeal to everybody to embrace agriculture no matter your profession or vocation.It is because the money used to purchase some of this food stuffs would go into saving which would couldbecame an investment.Government at all levels should not pay lip service to agriculture but take positive steps towards farming by giving incentive to farmers at all levels. Fund should be made available to attract young farmers. We must come to terms with the events around us and be ready to take drastic measures to caution their effect

Social Vices

The fourth and fifth objectives of Mothers’ Union are

  • To promote conditions in the society favourable for family life and protection of children
  • To help those whose family life has met with adversity

Inview of the stated objectives, conditions exist in the society today that have posed as threats to family life.Some of those conditions are:

Child Abuse: A new report by the United Nation’s International Children Education Fund (UNICEF) stated that majority of Nigeria children suffer one form of abuse or the other. Child sexual abuse is on the increase and according to report, 80% of these children were abused before age of eleven (11 years) and one out of every ten were abused before they turned five (5 years). A survey, which covers about 36 states in Nigeria, revealed that these children were either abused by their parents (incest) other relatives or male teachers and the abused child usually do not know where or whom to turn to. As mothers, we condemn every form of child abuse and sexual abuse in particular. We call on mothers to be prayerful, sensitive and develop a close and friendly relationship with their children so that they can confine in them. We equally call on theFederal Government to enforce the already existing laws on child sexual abuse in Nigeria and also popularized it through jingles to save our innocent children from emotional and psychological trauma for life.

Suicide Death Rate in Nigeria: The rising cases of sucide in Nigeria is worrisome, Vanguard Newspaper reported that physicians rank high in suicide cases. Last month, a young promising medical doctor, Dr. Allwell Orji committed suicide by jumping into Lagos lagoon on third Mainland Bridge, his body was later recovered.Three days later, a woman was said to have attempted suicide by jumping into the lagoon at MazaMaza area of Lagos but was rescued by fisherman. There was another case of 500 level undergraduate of Tai Solanrin University who refused to attend lectures with his friends but they later saw him dangling when they came home after lectures.Also, a very wealthy politician from Epe area of Lagos equally committed suicide by instructing his driver to park his jeep and he jumped into the river in Lekki. Some experts are of the opinion that mental health which hasbeen neglected over time could occasion such act as well aspsychiatric disorder and depression. Spiritual problems could also be a major cause of suicidecases. This should be of concern to all of us. All these cases took place in one month. A sure answer to depression is definitely not suicide. Be vigilant, offer and provide counsels as mothers to the youths starting from your home.

Divorce: Divorce rate is on the increase and God said in His holy word “I hate divorce” (Malachi 2:18). Every woman must guard or protect her marriage, respect her husband and value her union. It is a lot of hard work and sacrifice but it pays on the long run.

Single Parenting: A single parent is an uncoupled individual who shoulders most or all of the day – to – day responsibilities of raising a child or children. The mother is most often the care giver in single parent family structure. This is because most of the cases is as a result of death of the partner (husband).Today other factors have given rise to single parenthood which includes divorce and unplanned pregnancy of young women.

Statistics show that single parenting is on the increase. Any child raised outside the original biblical structure of God ordained marriage will be deficient in so many areas which includes psychological problems. As Christian mothers, we must ensure that biblical standard of Christian family pattern and protection of children is upheld.

Salary and Wages: It is no longer news that while many workers are placed on certain percentage of their actual salary, many others are not being paid at all. We appeal to the government to pay workers promptly for labourers are worthy of their wages.

Theme of the Conference

God’s message to the church in times like this (A case study of the book of Revelation Chapter 2 and 3)

Background of the Book of Revelation

This is the revelation of Jesus Christ to His servant Apostle John on what must soon take place. Apostle John was banished to the island of Patmos because of the word of God and testimony of Jesus Christ. The seven churches Jesus spoke about in Revelation chapters two and three existed in Turkey. Turkey is in the present day Europe and partly in Asia. Apostle Paul was a citizen of Turkey because Tarsus existed in Turkey. According to church history, Christianity existed in Turkey for about 1,023 years while it has only existed in Nigeria for 175 years from the time when theRevd Birch Freeman came to Badagry and held the first church service in 1842.

The largest Christian church was once found in Turkey and it was called “HagiaShophia” in Constantinople. In those days, it was a very formidable church and wedge great influence. The church gradually went worldly and insensitive to laws inerted at that time by the governemnt. Suddenly persecution set in and the largest Christian church in Turkey (HagiaShophia) was conquered and taken over by Muslims.It was converted to a mosque for over four hundred years before it later became a museum. The present day Turkey now has about 96% Muslims and 0.02% Christians. All the mistakes that led to the fall of Christianity by these seven churches abound with us here in Nigeria and it is a very dangerous signals as we will examine them.

The Sins of the Seven Churches

The Church in Ephesus: They have forsaken their first love(Rev. 2:4).What a great fall! Just like a dog, they went back to their vomit, they turn back to their evil ways, to those wicked and miserable principles they have earlier rejected and became enslaved by them all over again (Gal. 4:9). Because of the increase in wickedness the love of many went cold. Nobody condemns evil any longer (Mal. 3:7). In the beginning this church worked very hard, full of perseverance, good testimonies and would not tolerate evil. All of a sudden they forsook their first love (Rev. 2:4)

The Church in Smyrna: The spirit of the Lord said to the church in Smyrna “Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer for the devil will put some of you in prison to test your faith” (Rev. 2:10). This Church suffered persecution and was greatly afflicted but the brethren who were the Jews instead of comforting them slandered them (Rev. 2:9). The church was reminded of the afflictions they were yet to suffer but encouraged to persevere to the end and to be faithful to the point of death (Rev. 2:10). But closed their eyes on the evil practices instead of sounding warning as watch men.

The Church in Thyatira:Their work, charity, service and patience speak for them but this church condoned wickedness and everything that represents evil. They also taught strange doctrines and seduced the servants of the living God. (Rev. 2:10-11, 18-20).They also eat food sacrificed to idol.

The Church in Sardis: It has a name that she was alive but was completely dead (Rev. 3:1). This church is full of falsehood and camouflage.

The Church in Philadelphia:This seems to be a living church amongst these churches. It had strength, kept God’s word and remained faithful. Therefore God has set before this church an open door which no man can close (Rev. 3:8). The Lord warned the church about the hour of trial and affliction that would soon overtake the world (Rev. 2:22)

The Church in Laodicea: One of the Christian writers referred to this church as “the church that makes God sick”.This church is neither cold nor hot. It does not have any principle nor was she able to stand and speak up on controversial issues. Rather this church preferred to be on the border, a good camouflage. The Church thought she was rich and hence had no need for anything but inwardly, she was sick, wretched, miserable, blind and poor (Rev. 3:15). But there is hope for this church for Jesus said “Behold, I stand at the door and knock, if anyone hears Myvoice and opens the door, I will come in and dine with him and he with Me” (Rev. 3:20)

The Church in Pergamos: The bible referred to the location of this church as the place where Satan has its throne.Despite these challenges, this church was steadfast and never denied God even when they were martyred but at a point heresy crept in. God accused this one formidable church of upholding wrong teachings (doctrines of Balaam),eating the food sacrificed to idol, hence becamea stumbling block to the children (the young in faith). There was also fornication and adultery among them (Rev. 2:12) and other vices.

Are these acts present in our churches today? If it could pull down these great churches that have existed a thousand years back, how much more the ones in Nigeria.

Lessons from the Seven churches in Revelation 2 and 3 for our Church of Today

We mistake the number of people that troupe into the church for one activity or the other as the strength of the church. We could see the trend of events in these extinguished churches already manifesting in today’s church.

Disunity in Church of Today: Unity is the sign of a purpose driven church. It is an instrument with which the church launches out to propagate itself and subdue the enemy. It is a key to winning battles around us and to withstand the fiery darts of the enemy. This was why Jesus Himself prayed to God saying “that they may be one, as thou father art in me and I in thee that they also may be one in us that the world may believe that thou hast sent me” (John 17:21). A united church is the church that has one faith, one hope and one goal. Disunity among Christians is the weapon that Satan uses to fight the church today. The seven churches which we examined today had lost their unity of purpose and as well astheir original aim, goals and objectives. The essence or purpose of their existence washighjacked and these churchescould no longer make impact in their environment and the once large and self propagating church gradually wentinto extinction.

Today a highly organized satanic network is working tirelessly to make the church go into extinction here in Nigeria. God is calling on us to open our eyes and act promptly. Many have built Cathedrals and empires but the people to carry on with the empire are unprepared because they were not discipled and therefore they are outside the fold.

Resuscitating Missions/Outreaches in the Church Today

There is need to resuscitate the missionary department of the church beyond the scope we are presently operating so that we can reach out to the various strata of the society. Every Christian that occupies a vintage position in the society must be ready to show himself as a true ambassador of Christ in the office he occupies.By doing so, we will win more converts even without preaching.

God’s Message about Going Back to the Teaching Ministry

The trials, persecution and hardship that is visible amongst us today poses a challenge to the teaching ministry of the church. There is great need to deepen the faith of church members to enable them attain maturity, morality, integrity and strength of character. In the early days of the Church in Nigeria, when you join the church, you are prepared and made to go through a period of teaching, catechism, basics about the bible and rudiment of the church. There was an organized system of teaching from infancy to adulthood that prepares one to face persecution from the heathen background where they came from.

Today, our system of teaching has suffered setback, worshippers do not derive joy again to submit themselves to the teaching ministry of the church to the extent that even people coming for enrolment are biblical illiterates because they could neither say the guild prayers nor confidently discuss or teach their children the rudiments of the church. In the management level of the church, sometimes we have people who do not make any conscious effort to understand the methods and practices of the church they lead and the Anglican heritage. This disposition in the modern day church poses a threat to the cooperate existence of the church and could serve as a medium of infiltration of false doctrine and division. There are many doctrinal and practical heresies in Christianity today. Heresy means half-truth, unless you subject yourself to teachings and bible study you will not be able to differentiate between truth and heresy, many wolves are in sheep’s clothing who presents themselves as men of God but are exploiting your ignorance (1 Tim. 2:15-19)

God’s Message on the Urgency of Mission and Evangelism

In the true hope of the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, there are some steps that the church must take in order not to be taken unawares

Aggressive Evangelism: This is the great commission of our Lord Jesus Christ (Matt. 28:19-20).The greatest problem we havein the world today is as a result of the unreached. The terrorist reached out first to the youths and gave them arms and bombs. Here in the South, cultism and mysticism reached out to the youths and gave them ammunitions. If we had embarked on evangelism, mission and outreaches and represent Christ well enough wherever we find ourselves, the problem of terrorist groups like the Boko Haram may not have arisen. It would have been an insurgency in Christ. Instead, we indulged in cold wars, jealousy and unhealthy rivalry. We engage in condemning ourselves instead of building each other up.Our youths left the church because there were no form of encouragement around them and they feel isolated.

How relevant are you to your Generation

We must all attempt to answer these questions.Are we solutions to this generation or part of the problem in this generation? We are called to make impact. Moses stopped apostasy by dealing with the issue of the golden calf. Elijah stopped false doctrine and restored true worship of the Most High God by contending with the prophets of Baal until the Israelites chanted “the Lord He is God!” The Lord He is God!!!” (1 Kings 19:39).Comparing the Nigerian church of today to the church in Pergamos. God said to this church “I know where you live; you live where satan has his throne yet you remain true to my name and as my faithful witness (Rev. 2:12-13). If such a formidable church was later reduced into rubbles how about the Nigerian church whose structure and foundation is already weak. It is our duty to subject ourselves to the teaching ministry of the church so that in turn, we can teach and disciple our various family units and prepare them for the challenges ahead of us. It is obvious that our generation would usher in the second coming of Christ. With teachings, the church may be ready to weather through the storms

God Word’s in times of Economic Recession: We are in for hard times as a nation. Life is becoming unbearable and many seem to doubt the possibility of beholding light after the dark tunnel. God’s word to you today is“with God nothing is impossible” (Luke 1:37). He alone can do what no man can do. The Lord God Almighty spoke through Prophet Elisha and said

“Make these valleys full of ditches you shall not see wind nor shall

you see rain, yet that valley shall be filled with water, so that you and

your cattle and youranimals may drink. And this is a simple matter in

the sight of the Lord. He will also deliver the Moabites into your hands”

(2 Kings 3:16-18)

In the morning the whole valley was filled with water and yet there was no rain. The kings, soldiers and animals drank enough water as prophesied by Elijah but the Moabites from their own end saw the water as blood (2 Kings 3:22). They said to themselves this is the blood, the kings of a truth slained even as they ran into their own country (2 Kings 3:24)

God is saying “I will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:19). He did not say according to the economy of Nigeria or by the strength of Dollars but by His infinite riches available to us at Christ expense. This simply implies that we are operating on divine provision which depend on how far we had invested in things of eternal value through the mercy and grace of our Lord Jesus. You cannot live above your faith and investment. You are therefore called to invest and key into God’s abundant provision in Christ.

Conclusion:God’s message to us in times like this is to persevere; God message to us is to build up our faith to be able to withstand the gimmicks of Satan. To be immovable, teachable, faithful and available.God wants us to meet God daily in His word, build a sound faith and prosperous living. God cannot reveal Himself to you more than your heart’s desire. In expression of our desire to God, let us take the song

  1. I am pressing on the upward way,

New heights I’m gaining every day;

Still praying as I onward bound,

“Lord, plant my feet on higher ground”.

 

 

Refrain:

Lord, lift me up and let me stand

By faith, on heaven’s table land,

A higher plane than I have found;

Lord, plant my feet on higher ground.

  1. My heart has no desire to stay,

Where doubts arise and fears dismay;

Though some may dwell where these abound,

My prayer, my aim, is higher ground.

  1. I want to live above the world,

Though Satan’s dart at me are hurled;

For faith has caught the joyful sound,

The song of saint’s on higher ground.

  1. I want to scale the utmost height,

And catch a gleam of glory bright;

But still I’ll pray till heav’n I’ve found,

“Lord, plant my feet on higher ground”.

Thank you and may the Lord grant us deeper understanding.

Your sister, friend and His yoke fellow

Dr. (Mrs.) J.N Chukwunenye

Diocese of Oru

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Quote for today

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about seeking whom he may devour. 1 Peter v. 8

Events Calendar

December 2017
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31 1 2 3 4 5 6

Beginning the Month with Jesus!

The first day of every month at the Cathederal

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About Oru Diocese

Oru Diocese is located geographically in Imo West Senatorial
Zone of Imo State, Nigeria, comprising Oru East and Oru West
L.G.A's.

The diocese of Oru is a rural diocese undergoing rapid development.
There are presently six Archdeaconries in the diocese.

This site is an information powerhouse on the activities of the diocese.
As you go through our pages and commit your life to the service of our
Lord Jesus Christ, the almighty God will wet your grounds with His blessings.

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