Headline | Posted Sunday, May 6, 2018

THE COMMUNIQUÉ ISSUED AT THE END OF THE CLERGY RETREAT OF THE DIOCESE OF NNEWI, CHURCH OF NIGERIA (ANGLICAN COMMUNION) HELD AT IBRU INTERNATIONAL ECUMENICAL RETREAT CENTRE, AGBARHA-OTOR, DELTA STATE FROM MONDAY, 23RD TO FRIDAY, 27TH APRIL, 2018.


PREAMBLE

n view of the increasing demands of the time and the all-important need for men of God to access serene facilities where they can withdraw for spiritual rejuvenation and refreshment makes the Annual Clergy Retreat a very important exercise. The Ibru International Ecumenical Retreat Centre offers the desired atmosphere and conducive environment as it played host to the Clergy of Diocese of Nnewi. The theme of the retreat is "Building According to the Pattern - A Case Study of 2ndTimothy". The Archbishop of the Ecclesiastical Province of the Niger, who is also the Bishop, Diocese of Nnewi (Anglican Communion), Most Revd.Prof. Godwin I. N. Okpala (JP, OON), presided over the retreat, which was attended by 145 clergymen.

The Clergy are full of thanks to God for the elevation of our Bishop to the enviable position of the Archbishop of the Province of the Niger. In the same vein, the Clergy rejoice and congratulate His Grace, the Most Rev. Prof. Godwin I. N. Okpala (JP, OON) (our Archbishop and Bishop) for finding it worthy at this time in bringing the clergy of the Diocese to such a great retreat centre. It is therefore our prayer that God will continue to preserve him and the entire Diocese of Nnewi in Jesus name, Amen.

The Retreatant, Rt. Revd. Ephraim Okechukwu Ikeakor (JP), Bishop, Diocese of Amichi elucidated on the theme of the retreat to the impartation of participants. The retreat featured such activities like:

- Systematic Bible Study Sessions
- Elaborate Talk on various aspects of the Retreat theme
- Interactive Sessions
- Sporting activities, etc.

At the end of the retreat, the clergy had a communiqué and resolved as follows:

1. THE NEED TO BUILD ACCORDING TO THE PATTERN
The clergy were enjoined to discover, acknowledge and ultimately adhere tenaciously to thepurpose of their calling into the ministry. This informs the need and the exigency for one to build according to the pattern which is laid down by no other personality than Jesus Christ Himself.

2. CARDINAL POINTS FOR BUILDING ACCORDING TO THE PATTERN The retreat agreed that for the minister to effectively build according to the pattern, need exists for him to be certain of the following - purpose, preparation, principles, procedures and precision. These no doubt will culminate in equipping the minister to effectively respond to the onerous task of ensuring that the work of the ministry is executed in tandem with the Master's Pattern.

3. THE CHALLENGES OF BUILDING ACCORDING TO THE PATTERN
The retreat admonished Clergymen to brace up with emerging challenges of the 21st century. These include growing concerns of globalization and digitalization, cyber-sex and promiscuity, relativism and global quest for freedom in assisted reproductivemechanisms and apparatuses. Other challenges are elusive and pervasive youth, the challenge of paganism and Mormonism, gross false teachings and apostasy, fun-seekers in the church; the challenge of close circuit hearted members and so on, as well as enjoined the clergy to rise to the need to ensure that sound gospel messages are preach from the pulpit.

4. STEADFASTNESS IN MINISTRY
Amidst the teeming challenges, clergymen were encouraged to gain adequate preparation to confront the subsisting hard times, become steadfast in the handling of the doctrines of our Lord Jesus Christ and maintain sound biblical teaching anchored on a revitalized teaching ministry of the church.

5. ANTICLERICALISM
The Clergy were urged to earnestly contend with the rising wave of anticlericalism as presently observed. To this end, clergymen are called upon to resist such tendencies that demean the corporate image of the ordained ministry no matter the appearance and to vehemently uphold the propagation of the cherished traditions of the church and to foster peace and fellowship among brethren.

6. BEING ROOTED IN THE WORD OF GOD
The retreat urged Clergy to be rooted in the Holy Scriptures as this will enable them avoid derailment, so as to remain relevant and steadfast in their Christian faith. This no doubt, will also help checkmate false teachings and doctrinesthat lure people into apostasy.

7. ALONE WITH GOD
The retreat emphasized the need for the Clergy to create time to be alone with God. There is need for renewal of strength and commitment in the service of the Lord. Since the servant of God is made in God's presence, it is needful that the clergy should maintain a very close touch with the Maker so that they will be empowered to adhere to the pattern. This will ultimately make the Clergy productive in the Master's business.

8. EQUITY AND FAIRNESS
The Retreat enjoins the clergy to uphold the principles of natural justice, equity and good conscience as enshrined in the code of conduct as this will foster brotherly love among the Clergy.

9. HEALTH AND REST
The retreat encouraged all clergy to take matters of their health seriously. Considering the tedious nature of the ministry, regular health checks and adequate rest are considered vital in ensuring that the Clergy has robust health that enables him accomplish the task of building according to the pattern.

10. RETREAT CENTRE
The Clergy highly commended the Management and Staff of Ibru International Ecumenical Centre, Agbarha-Otor, Delta State, led by the Rector, Ven. Dr. Princewill Ireoba for their co-operation and diligence which in no small measure contributed to the successful hosting of the 2018 Clergy Retreat of the Diocese of Nnewi.

Ven. Dr. Iyke Joseph Okafor (JP)
Chairman, Clergy Retreat Planning Committee
Ven. Samuel Anowai (JP)
Chairman, Diocesan Clergy Association

The Most Rev. Prof. Godwin I. N. Okpala (JP, OON)
Archbishop of the Niger and Bishop of Nnewi


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