CHURCH OF NIGERIA’S RESPONSE TO CHURCH OF ENGLAND’S DECISION ON SAME-SEX BLESSINGNovember 24, 2023
- Korede Akintunde
- September 22, 2023
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CHURCH OF NIGERIA [ANGLICAN COMMUNION]
THE OPENING ADDRESS TO THE 14TH GENERAL SYNOD
ON WEDNESDAY 13TH SEPTEMBER 2023 AT 10.00 AM,
BY, HIS GRACE, THE MOST REV. HENRY CHUKWUDUM NDUKUBA, MA, BD, MA (Ed), DD. PRIMATE OF ALL NIGERIA
Your Grace, The Dean, Church of Nigeria; Your Grace the Archbishops; Your Excellency, my lord Bishops, the lord Chancellor, Church of Nigeria, the Registrar, Church of Nigeria, your lordship the Chairman of the Laity, the lord Chancellors, the Registrars of our Dioceses, other Legal Officers of our Church, the House of Clergy and House of Laity, Brothers and Sisters in Christ.
We give thanks to God, the Owner and Builder of His Church, for His loving kindness that has sustained us as His People in spite of the myriads of challenges facing the Church and the world. God has been our Divine helper and in the face of all uncertainties, He is saying to us “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God, I will strengthen you; Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand. Behold, all those who were incensed against you shall be ashamed and disgraced…” God has brought us to this 14th General Synod, that guided by His Holy Spirit, we shall take decisions that will be pleasing to Him and guide the Missions and Ministry of the Church. God has a great future for us as individuals, families, and as a Church and Nation, and surely, He will accomplish His purpose for us.
At the 13th General Synod, we focused on the Priority of God for His Church in this Decade of the Reign of God, and in this 14th General Synod, we shall focus on building up and strengthening this Faith in Christ Jesus through the Missions and Ministries of the Church. The Word of God will remain the bedrock of all we do. We appreciate the hospitality of the Bishop, Clergy, and Laity of the Diocese of Nnewi, and the warm welcome we have enjoyed in the Province of the Niger. We welcome everyone to this 14th General Synod of the Church of Nigeria, in the Name of the Triune God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.
THE STATE OF THE NATION AND POLITICAL LANDSCAPE:
The New Administration: We congratulate the new administration of His Excellency, Alhaji Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Vice President, Alhaji Kashim Shettima. We thank God for preserving this country as one despite the policies of the last eight  years which were lopsided, favoring the Fulani and Muslims. This anomaly nearly tore the fabric of Nigeria’s unity because we had never been so segregated as we have it today, as a result of this glaring lop-sidedness. From the way issues were handled by the past Administration of General Muhammad Buhari, it was evident that no matter the Party that came to power, there would be no magic to stem the tide of the untold hardship that would come. The stage was set for the removal of the Fuel Subsidy through the non-budgetary provision. Since May 29th, 2023, the citizens of this nation have faced indescribable and unbearable hardship resulting from the removal of petroleum subsidy and corresponding hike in petrol price, without corresponding measures to cushion the effects on citizens. This state of affairs leaves much to be desired.
In this regard, the new administration of President Tinubu must be proactive in providing the much-desired good governance and welfare for Nigerians. Issues of Security, Economy, Health, Education, a clear roadmap for Industrialisation, Technological advancement and Rule of Law must be clearly set out. Nigerians are longing for the Birth of a New Nigeria. We commend the New Cabinet of President Ahmed Tinubu and commend the assemblage of the Team, but we decry the continued marginalization of the South-Eastern geopolitical zone in the political appointments. This notwithstanding, we commend the efforts of the administration to be more intentional in giving opportunities to every section and interest in the country. The Federal Character, competence, and the capacity to deliver and only the best for our Nation. The tendency to keep recycling old politicians who have looted and vandalized our economy and perfected violence and corruption as tools for leadership must stop. While we commend some of the appointments to the Federal Executive Council, we insist that those whose character and conduct leave much to be desired, must be dropped. There is a need to give more opportunities to Women and Young people in order to kick-start the emergence of a new Team of Leaders for Nigeria.
The Church yearns for a Rebirth of our Nation through the deepening of the roots of our Democracy and intentionally growing a Transformational Political ideology by ensuring a more credible electoral process, a growing economy, and a great future through people-oriented leadership with Integrity, Accountably, Excellence and Character, for the good of our citizens. Nigeria demands a Political Leadership that will respect the rights, welfare, and equality of all Tribes and component groups and build a united people and a thriving Nation where no person is oppressed.
The Economy: Our Economy has suffered many setbacks and the common man on the street is economically battered. The prices of goods and services continue to increase indiscriminately and workers cannot afford the cost of transportation to work. With a GDP of over Four Hundred,Seventy-Seven billion dollars ($477,386.12 billion), Nigeria’s financial economy is unarguably the largest in Africa. Unfortunately, it is obvious that all is not well with the Nigerian economy. Nigeria is blessed with vast arable land, rich oil and mineral resources, and a huge population of about 220Million out of which 60% are agile youths, but despite these, the economic indices of the country are less than encouraging.
Although our GDP grew by 2.51% year-on-year in the second quarter of 2023, this growth is low when compared with the 3.54% growth recorded in the corresponding period in 2022. This decline is no doubt, attributable to the challenging economic conditions.
The double-digit inflation rate continued its upward trajectory to 24.08% in July 2023, from 22.41% in May 2023, while interest rates also rose to 18.75% from 18.05 % in May 2023. Unemployment rates fell from 33% in 2021 to 5.3% in the Fourth Quarter of 2022 and 4.1% in the First Quarter of 2023, following adjustments to its measurement criteria in line with global best practices. This figure is however not indicative that 95.9% of Nigerians are gainfully employed. We therefore caution that this may be misleading when used for policy formulation and decision-making.
Floating the naira in June 2023, as good as the intention was, has further devalued our naira from N462 to N740.49 – (in the Official Market ) and 762 to 950 ( in the Parallel Market) and exacerbated the volatility in that market. The knock-on effect is enormous, impacting every facet of our economy – manufacturing sector, patients requiring forex for payment of medical bills, students’ school fees and even the yam seller in the market, just to mention a few. We demand that Monetary and fiscal authorities must be in synergy to stem the volatility in the market. We therefore commend Government’s effort in this direction through NNPC Ltd arrangements for $3 billion and the arrangement for $3 billion through Afrexim bank. In this regard, we demand that there should be more transparency by Monetary Authorities in the management of our Foreign Reserves to build investors’ confidence in our economy. Failure to stabilise this market coupled with issues of transparency will obviously continue to serve as a disincentive to our much-needed foreign investors.
In our country where 40% of the population lives below the poverty line and 133 million are multidimensionally poor, the removal of fuel subsidy announced on May 29, 2023 has seen the pump price of fuel skyrocket from the range of 185-197 naira to 448-537 naira per litre. This has brought unimaginable suffering to the already impoverished citizens and thrown many more Nigerians into poverty. Although we acknowledge government’s efforts to alleviate the suffering of Nigerians through the provision of palliatives, we must say that the measures are grossly inadequate and not sustainable. We therefore task the government to be bold and courageous in rethinking the decision. Government should deal decisively with corruption around subsidy administration, and get the refineries to function efficiently and optimally so that they can serve our local consumption thereby reducing importation and the subsequent drain on our reserves.
With the country’s debt at $85 billion, it is gratifying to note Government’s current stance that borrowing will no longer be business as usual. Mr. President’s charge to Ministers to find creative ways of generating funds to run their operations in the economy because of our current economic realities, is indeed timely and commendable. Borrowing is good but we can’t continue to borrow at the expense of future generations.
Finally, the cost of insecurity to our economy cannot be overemphasised. We charge Government not to pay lip service to the issues of insecurity as this has the capacity to scare farmers away from their farms, disrupt business operations in the country and serve as a disincentive to our much-needed foreign investors.
Insecurity:Insecurity has been a challenge. Our people have lost their homes, livelihood, lives and property. We are constantly under attack in our nation and in some parts of our Dioceses, churches have been destroyed, our members are kidnapped, and persons are killed violently by sudden attacks by unidentified gunmen. The recent attacks in Plateau and Kaduna States is very disturbing. The trivialising of the sanctity of the lives of Nigerians in their own land is fast becoming a norm. The lives of Nigerians irrespective of religion, tribe, class or other considerations, matter to God and this nation. We have more than 250 ethnic groups that had existed peacefully for many centuries. The factors causing insecurity must be addressed. This will involve identifying and checking the activities of terrorists, the porous National borders and free flow of ammunition and firearms, youth unemployment, drugs and criminality.
The incidences of Military Coup D’état in West and Central African countries are a cause for concern. Nigeria should not be involved in any Military Armed intervention in Niger. Niger is an extension of North Western Nigeria because historically, a good part of Niger is under the Sokoto Caliphate. Any Military intervention in Niger will stir the feelings and emotions of Muslims and this will aggravate the already bad security situation in Nigeria. There must be a Diplomatic solution and negotiated settlement to the political impasse in Niger. Our government must not allow the United States of America as well as the European Union to use Nigeria to do their dirty job in Niger. Instead of pursuing the war against the Military Junta in Niger, Nigeria should negotiate to be a member of ‘BRICS’ – the emerging New Economic Bloc. This may be a good alternative to the dominance of America, UK and Europe. But more so, it will open new Economic frontiers for Nigeria and ensure our non-aligned posture as a country.
“JAPA”- The Mass Exodus of Our Young Professional Population and The Future of Nigeria: The current mass exodus of our professionals and young people is worrisome. The political, economic and security situations in the country shows that our young people have little to hope for in Nigeria. This perception must be changed such that those who desire to go out of Nigeria will do so by choice and not because of frustration. This problem of brain drain and depopulation of the most productive workforce, needs to be addressed.
Nigeria Needs a NEW CONSTITUTION as the Foundation for a Stronger Future: We commend the National Assembly on their effort to review the present Constitution. One is convinced that what we need is a totally New Constitution made by a Sovereign Representation of the Ethnic Nationalities of this Country. Nigeria, as a diverse and dynamic nation, has seen significant progress over the years, but it also faces numerous challenges. The current constitution has limitations that hinder the nation’s growth and stability. To address the pressing issues and lay a solid foundation for a stronger future, Nigeria must embark on the arduous but essential task of crafting a new constitution that reflects the aspirations and values of all people and culture. This new Constitution must reflect the Nation’s Identity and Diversity, and be a unifying force that recognises and protects our diversity. It must strengthen Federalism and Decentralisation – the current constitution’s unitary tendencies limit the autonomy of state governments. We need a new constitution that would reinforce true federalism, granting states more powers to address local challenges and drive development initiatives.
This new constitution should prioritise social justice, ensuring equitable distribution of resources and opportunities by focusing on poverty alleviation, education, healthcare, and job creation. Our constitution must enshrine the protection of Fundamental Human Rights and guarantee the Rule of Law with an independent judiciary that upholds the principles of justice, fairness, and accountability. It should inculcate measures to strengthen anti-corruption mechanisms and improve governance standards, transparent and accountable governance, coupled with stringent checks and balances. Nigeria’s youth and women constitute a significant portion of the population and hold untapped potentials for national progress. We need a new constitution that will prioritise policies that empower the youth, promote gender equality, and the breaking down of barriers that impede women’s participation in politics, business, and other spheres of public life. In this digital era, technological advancements can play a pivotal role in Nigeria’s development. Hence, our new constitution should integrate provisions that support the growth of a knowledge-based economy, fostering innovation and entrepreneurship through embracing technology and creating an enabling environment.
THE VENUE OF OUR GENERAL SYNOD:
BRIEF HISTORY OF ST. MARK’S ANGLICAN CHURCH, NNEWICHI, NNEWI
Christianity as a seed was carried from Onitsha to Obosi, and through Oraifite to Nnewi in 1893. This first attempt failed due to the internal war that lasted till 1902; however, the second attempt spearheaded by Miss Wilson and Miss Bodd, with some Oraifite converts, succeeded. The first place of worship was on Ume-oduagu’s land where one Mr. Asoh resided. The first set of converts from Nnewichi were Joseph Mojike, Paul Ibeadua, James Onyemelukwe, Gabriel Onyeaguilim, Julius Odunukwe and Samuel Onwudiwe among others. In 1904, Mr. Joseph Mojike graciously donated part of his land to serve as a place of worship for the new Christian converts in Nnewichi.
In 1906, a thatched dwarf mud-walled building and seats for worshippers were dedicated on that land, and Mr. Christian Joseph, from Nnewichi, was officially posted to the Church as the first Church Worker. That Church had several modifications until the current St. Mark’s Church was built. The Church continued to grow in leaps and bounds but not without persecutions which are expected as recorded in the Bible.
GROWTH AND EXPANSION
As the Church membership continued to increase, the need for expansion became obvious. St. Mark’s Church therefore gave birth to St. Joseph’s Church, Obiofia, Nnewichi and St. Paul’s Church, Abubor, Nnewichi, in 1958. With the planting of these two Churches, St. Mark’s Church was Inaugurated a District on 15th January, 1967.
These 3 churched have long become Parishes and have given birth to other Parishes, including:
- Ascension Church, Odida, Nnewichi – planted in 2005
- Church of Transfiguration Mbanakwu, Nnewichi, – planted in 2007
Under St. Mark’s Parish, we have the following Churches;
- Victory Church, Mbaneze, Nnewichi – planted in 2000
- Pillar of Glory Anglican Church, Nnewi – planted in November, 2022
- Dominion Life Anglican Church, Nnewichi – planted in February, 2023
- St. Mark’s Church has produced eleven clergymen; notable among them are: The Late Rt. Rev. Lucius Uzodike, and The Rev. Canon Abel Okwu. Obi who is the father of the present Bishop of the Diocese of Nnewi, Rt Rev Ndubuisi Obi and The Ven. Dr. Kamtoo Obi of the Diocese of Aguata.
- St. Mark’s Church Nnewichi has hosted Diocesan Synods three times. The first one was hosted in 1995 (which was actually the last synod before the creation of the Diocese of Nnewi in February, 1996). The second one was hosted in 2009 and the third one was co-hosted with other Nnewi Urban Archdeaconries in 2019.
- St. Mark’s Church became an Archdeaconry headquarters on March 19, 2006, with The Ven. J. Ok. Obi as the Pioneer Archdeacon.
- St. Mark’s Church has hosted Diocesan Women’s Conference three times; in 2006, 2015 and recently in 2021.
Presently, St. Mark’s Church is a centre of several Divine encounters which include the popular Singles Mingle Youth Outreach and the Daily Morning Prayers where hundreds of the faithful from different denominations gather to worship the only true God. We appreciate the efforts of The Ven. and Arc. Mrs. Arinze Anene and the Team of Ministers in this Church. We have enjoyed the generous hospitality of the Bishop, Clergy and the good people of Nnewi Diocese. May God bless and reward you all as you continue to grow in grace and knowledge of the LORD.
“ARISE AND BUILD: GOD’S MANDATE FOR GOD’S PEOPLE IN A BROKEN WORLD” (NEHEMIAH 2:17-18)
Introduction: In the Hebrew Manuscripts, the books of Ezra and Nehemiah are put together as one book. Both Ezra and Nehemiah were contemporaries. While Nehemiah served as Governor, Ezra served as Priest and Scribe, and both worked in the period of the return and rebuilding of the Jews from Exile. The Book of Nehemiah was an autobiography. Nehemiah lived out the meaning of his name which was “The Comfort of Yahweh.” He was a public servant and a confidant of King Artaxerxes, as a “Cup Bearer” or an ADC to the King. He was a Layman who loved, feared and served God and whose personal faith in Yahweh guided his public service and personal conduct. He was a man who loved people and was concerned for the plight of the Jews, especially those who remained in Jerusalem after the Captivity. He was a true Patriot.
There was a Delegation led by Hanani, of similarly concerned Jews, who had visited Nehemiah in the Citadel/Palace in Shushan and who brought the news of the deplorable situation of Jerusalem and the cities of Judah to him. Their report was summed up thus, “The survivors who are left from the Captivity in the province are there in great distress and reproach. The wall of Jerusalem is also broken down, and its gates are burned with fire.” Two things weighed heavily on Nehemiah – the welfare of the Jews and the devastation and dilapidation as well as the insecurity of Jerusalem, the pride of every Jew. This condition stirred up in Nehemiah a response of emotional distress and spiritual response of Fasting and Prayer, Confession of sins and demand for God’s intervention. Above all, he himself was very ready to be of service to God and the people at a very great risk and sacrifice.
When the opportunity came, Nehemiah availed himself to the King. When he took up the challenge to return and rebuild Jerusalem and Judah, his first task was to challenge and mobilise his fellow Jews to “Arise and Rebuild” the devastations and broken walls of Jerusalem. There were great oppositions and sabotage from within and outside but through faith in the Living God, the cooperation and teamwork of the ordinary people, the great work of rebuilding the Wall of Jerusalem was completed in Fifty-Two  days. This achievement was evidently the Help of the Almighty God. The greater task was in restoring and transforming the people. “By contrast, the task of Reviving and Restoring the people of God within the rebuilt wall demanded years of Nehemiah’s godly life and leadership.
The Book of Nehemiah stands out as a rich Resource in godly leadership and service to God and humanity in a challenging time, and what can be more challenging than the times we live in Nigeria today? The Word of the LORD and the Mandate of God to the Church and all God’s people is “ARISE AND BUILD!” As it was in the days of Nehemiah, there is the need for the Believers in Christ and indeed all citizens in Nigeria to be mobilised to build back what the enemy seeks to destroy. This is God’s Mandate.
A mandate is an official or authoritative command, an order or injunction, a commission from God. Presently, there are so many things holding the people down spiritually, politically and economically. Instead of losing hope and being weary, discouraged and give up, God demands that we should do what the Hymn writer in Stand up stand up for Jesus said ….
The call of God is for us to rise up from where we are beaten down to a higher pedestal – to awake from our slumber, complacency and despondency through God’s own enablement, and build and rebuild what is about to die. God wants us to serve His purpose for our lives, families, the church, humanity and the nation. We must acknowledge that the Real Builder is God who Himself builds all things. Again “Unless the LORD builds the house, they labour in vain who build it; unless the LORD guards the city, the watchman stays awake in vain. It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows; for he gives His beloved sleep.” This drives home our need of total dependence on God and for His guidance in this precarious time in the life of the Church and nation.
The Broken Walls of Jerusalem, Our Broken World: The devastations of Jerusalem were occasioned by sin, disobedience and the unfaithfulness of the people to the Living God and His Word and Commandants. The physical destruction was symptomatic of the deeper spiritual, religious, moral and socio-economic and political corruption of the people.
All the true Prophets and servants of God before the fall of Jerusalem and Judah, during the Exile and at the verge of Return of the Exile, declared clearly that the devastation was a consequence for Israel’s sin and wickedness. Yet, within the severe visitation of judgement, we see God’s mercy shining through. There was a ray of hope and God’s promise of restoration within the darkness of sin and agony. God spoke to Israel of the blessings of obedience and the severe consequence of disobedience in Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy. God warned Israel saying, “I will lay your cities waste and bring your sanctuaries to desolation; I will not smell the fragrance of your sweet aromas. I will bring the land to desolation, and your enemies who dwell in it shall be astonished. I will scatter you among the nations and draw out a sword after you; your land shall be desolate and your cities waste.”
Again God spoke and said “When you beget children and grandchildren and have grown old in the land, and act corruptly and make a carved image in form of anything, and do evil in the sight of the LORD your God to provoke Him to anger… you will soon utterly perish from the land which you cross over the Jordan to possess… and the LORD will scatter you among the peoples, and you will be left few in number among the nations where the LORD will drive you.”
These warnings were accomplished when God brought Nebuchadnezzar, the King of Babylon to destroy Judah and Jerusalem and to carry away the people into Exile in Babylon, according to the Word of God by the Prophets, especially, Jeremiah. Both Daniel and Nehemiah acknowledged the righteous judgement of God upon Israel and both fasted, prayed and sought for God’s mercy, saying “We have acted very corruptly against You, and have not kept the commandments, the statutes, nor the ordinances which You commanded Your servant, Moses.” The state of the people in Judah and Jerusalem was that of brokenness, despondency, complacency, discouragement, abject poverty, violence, violation by their religious and political leaders and deprivation.
The inhabitants of Judah and Jerusalem were getting used to the ruins and violations. Indeed, abnormality was accepted as norm. The Jews in Judah and Jerusalem were acquainted with reproach and humiliating deprivation. They were acquainted with dehumanising conditions. One would wonder how they lived normal lives in the midst of ruins and dirt. The glory of the Temple was destroyed and worship and sacrifices were stopped. The enemies had burnt the gates and broken down the walls – the Watch Towers – destroying their peace and taking away their Security. Fear and despondency were prevalent.
It was after Nehemiah had done much of a personal and thorough examination of the situation of a Broken People – not just physical broken walls – that he spoke. It was to such brokenness that the word of God came, to awaken the people out of stupor and the slumber of death. “Then I said to them, “You see the distress that we are in; how Jerusalem lies waste, and its gates are burned with fire. Come and let us build the Wall of Jerusalem, that we may no longer be a reproach.” There is a serious problem and danger when the cherished moral and spiritual values are eroded and destroyed, when the Will of the people is broken and afflicted. This results in Fatalism, lack of initiatives and the destruction of creativity of the people.
Jesus saw beyond the crowd to the real condition of the people both in villages and cities. Their condition was that of ignorance of the Truth, bondage of sin and of the Enemies, sickness and diseases, discouragement and devastation, but more so, of selfish ambitions of leadership where the Priests served the enemies of the people for exchange of favours and the political leadership was not interested in the welfare of the Jews but were angry that someone had come to rebuild the ruins of Jerusalem.
Jesus was moved with Compassion and mercy for the people. There is need for Teaching, Preaching, Healing and work of Compassion and demand for Prayer and Gospel engagement in Mission. God’s panacea for the malady of the Human Society is in Christ Jesus and the Word of God. God addresses the issues Foundations of our lives and society through Jesus Christ and through the power of His Word.
Nehemiah confronted what he saw, with the Testimony of what God was doing as he said, “And I told them of the hand of my God which had been good upon me, and also the King’s words that he had spoken to me.” In times of our brokenness, God can use the Testimony and favour He shows to lift and bring us out of despondency and dismay. Prophet Jeremiah, in the face of the crushing experience of the fall Jerusalem and the destruction of the Temple of Jerusalem, said, “Remember my affliction and roaming, the wormwood and the gall. My soul still remembers and sinks within me. This I recall to my mind; therefore, I have hope. Through the LORD’s mercies, we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. The LORD is my portion, says my soul, therefore I hope in Him.” As we are confronted by the brokenness of personal lives, the family, the Church, our communities and nation, God is speaking to us to stir up hope and wake us to contend and confront our challenges in His own great might.
The Awakening: Awakening is an act of waking from sleep, or an act or moment of becoming suddenly aware of something. Awakening can be from ordinary sleep and rest, or socio-psychological arousing or understanding of one’s situation. Nehemiah said to the people, “You see the distress that we are in?” [v17a]. They were living in denial of their present condition and reality. There was a spiritual slumber and conditions leading to death. It was an emotional condition that had to be dealt with, a social oppression and malaise that crippled the society. There was also the physical ineptitude that accounted for the continuing dilapidation and destruction of the people.
Spiritual awakening or Revival is key to the turnaround God would bring because it is the realisation or inspiration we receive from personal encounter with the Living God, His Word and Power. When we realise and acknowledge the Sovereignty of God over our lives and our denial and failure to be true to ourselves and the truth of God, there is the sudden stir to arise out of slumber and stupor to a New life and Hope. We need to seek God’s own solutions.
It is amazing that God will depend on feeble and weak individuals, and on broken people, to carry out and carry through the great work of rebuilding lives, structures, economies and communities. It is a common saying that “There is Ability in Disability.” There is an enormous strength, capacity and resources in the people, yes, in you and me! Unlocking this potential and creativity is what is being awaited.
The creativity of the human spirit in every individual, young and old, must be unlocked. “Or do you think that the Scripture says in vain, “The Spirit who dwells in us yearns jealously.” God gives grace to us to bring about a release of His potentials in us as we submit to God and deal with the allures of the world and the devil. As Anglicans, our Baptismal Covenant states: “We receive this person into the congregation of Christ’s Flock, and do sign him/her with the sign of the Cross, in token that he/she shall not be ashamed to confess the Faith of Christ crucified, but fight under His banner against sin, the world and the devil and to continue Christ’s faith soldier and servant unto his life’s end.”
As we are confronted by the issues of life, Apostle Paul says, “For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; because creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and labours with birth pangs together until now. Not only that, but we also who have the first-fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body…”
It is therefore evident for the Jews who returned from Exile and those who escaped the Captivity, and to some extent, to us in Nigeria that whatever we are passing through is a Birth-pang; it is a groaning of both the natural and humans in a great expectation of the great bringing forth of a New birth of both individuals and the nation. The greatest expectation is the manifestations of the sons of God. Nigeria awaits a fresh move of God and Revival by the Holy Spirit, in the lives and conditions of people and our nation.
The Task of Rebuilding the Walls of Jerusalem: Jerusalem was the City of the Jebusites which David conquered and made the Capital of the United Israel. It was a choice place for Israel because of many factors. First, was the Spiritual significance of Mount Moriah which is located in Jerusalem. And God said to Abraham “Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go the land of Moriah, and offer him as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.” Here God tested the faith of Abraham and exchanged the life of Isaac for the Ram which God provided, and Abraham called the place “The LORD WILL PROVIDE; as it is said to this day, “In the Mount of the LORD, it shall be provided.”
This was a foreshadow of the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who died for humanity on the Cross of Calvary in the same City of Jerusalem. It was on the same Mountain that King Solomon built the Temple of Jerusalem. In terms of security, Jerusalem has a natural protection of being surrounded by hills and mountains as the Scriptures said, “Those who trust in the LORD are like Mount Zion, which cannot be moved, but abide forever. As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the LORD surrounds His people from this time forth and forever.”
The sacredness attached to Jerusalem as the chosen City of God prefigures the Heavenly Jerusalem and the Eternal abode of the Saints of God just as the Psalmist said “I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go into the House of the LORD”, our feet have been standing within your gates, O Jerusalem! Jerusalem is built as a city that is compact together, where the tribes go up, the tribes of the LORD, to the Testimony of Israel, to give thanks to the Name of the LORD.”
Politically, the City of Jerusalem had served as capital of the Jebusites and when David conquered it, he further fortified its walls. As such, Jerusalem was significant religiously, spiritually, politically and socially to humanity. Till today, it remains very significant to the Abrahamic Faiths, Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The Jews had so much confidence in the inviolability of Jerusalem because it was a City chosen by God, wherein God dwells and the Temple which was the place God chose to put His Name, was in Jerusalem. Prophet Jeremiah called Israel to repent of their sins and wickedness and warned them against the false confidence in the status of Jerusalem when he said,
“Thus says the LORD of Hosts, the God of Israel: Amend your ways and your doings, and I will cause you to dwell in this place. Do not trust in these lying words, saying “the temple of the LORD, the temple of the LORD, the temple of the LORD are these.’ For if you thoroughly amend your ways and your doings, if you thoroughly execute judgement between a man and his neighbour, if you do not oppress the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, and do not shed innocent blood in this place, or walk after other gods to your hurt, then I will cause you to dwell in this place, in the land that I gave your fathers forever and ever.”
This arrogance while living in sin and confidence in the false prophets and promises, rather than repentance and amending one’s ways, is the source of destruction that comes to humanity. Indeed, the city of Jerusalem was destroyed by Babylon and the Temple was demolished because the glory of the LORD had left them.
Prophet Ezekiel saw the failure of both the Leadership of the people and the indulgence of the people in wickedness. It was the failure of Prophetic, Priestly and Political Leadership as he denounced them saying, “You are a land that is not cleansed or rained on in the day of indignation.’ The conspiracy of her Prophets in her midst is like a roaring lion tearing the prey; they have devoured people; they have taken treasure and precious things; they have made many widows in her midst. Her Priests have violated My Law and profaned My holy things; they have not distinguished between the holy and unholy, nor have they made known the difference between the unclean and the clean; and they have hidden their eyes from My Sabbaths, so that I am profaned among them. Her Princes [Political and Royal Leaders] in her midst are wolves tearing the prey, to shed blood, to destroy people, and to get dishonest gain. Her Prophets allied themselves with them seeing false visions, and divining lies for them, saying thus says the LORD GOD,’ when the LORD had not spoken” … the People of the land had used oppressions, committed robbery, and mistreated the poor and needy and they wrongfully oppressed the stranger. So, I sought for a man among them who would make [Build] a wall, and stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land [this nation, the people and the Church], that I should not destroy it; but I found no one. Therefore, I have poured out My indignation on them; I have consumed them with the fire of My wrath; and I have recompensed their deeds on their own heads,” says the LORD GOD.”
God exposed the depth of the decay and problem of Israel as He is also doing today concerning our Nation, Nigeria. He has sought for a man to build a wall so that the land would be saved but there was none to stand to avert the wrath and destruction eating up the land. At this time when God searched for a man to stand on behalf of the people, will He search out whom He would send as Isaiah said “Also I heard the voice of the LORD, saying: “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us? Then I said, “Here am I! Send me. And He said, “Go, and tell this people: keep hearing, but do not understand; and keep on seeing, but do not perceive”. We do hope that God will find a man whom He will commission with a burden for the people and their current situation, and who will go on the Mission with determination to do the purpose of God.
God found Nehemiah and put a burden and readiness to pay the price for the Task of Rebuilding the Walls of Jerusalem. The Man for all Humanity is Jesus Christ. Unlike others such as Nehemiah, ‘But now, once at the end of the ages, He appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself, so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. He is the Propitiation for our sins, having paid the price for our sins. Right now, He has passed through the Heavens and He is in the real Heavenly Sanctuary, interceding for us, He has entered into Heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us. To those who eagerly wait for Him, He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation. Jesus is the builder of the Wall and restorer of the Glory and Protection that God gives to His people.
Rebuilding Lives and Family: The rebuilding of the physical walls of Jerusalem took only 52 days but the more difficult task was the rebuilding of the lives of the people and the family. Physical, social, and moral destructions are caused by the lives that have been destroyed spiritually. Sin breeds wickedness and violence and leads to destruction of values and social fabrics of the family and society. The sins of Israel are the same with the conditions that we find ourselves today, as individuals, families and as communities/nation.
The process of rebuilding lives comes through repentance and faith in God and His Word. This is the only way we can receive the righteousness of God that comes by faith and not our own goodness, merit or works of the Law. As the Scriptures clearly say, “For Moses writes about the righteousness which is of the law, “the man who does those things shall live by them.” But the righteousness of faith speaks in this way, “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven? “[that is, to bring Christ down from above] or “Who will descend into the abyss?” [that is, to bring Christ up from the dead]. But what does it say? “The Word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart.”[that is the Word of faith which we preach]. That if you confess with your mouth the LORD Jesus and believe in your heart God has raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart, one believes unto righteousness and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame…whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.”
God requires from us not just a mental ascent to Creeds but a corresponding transformation and change that comes from a true change of heart and our own perception or mindset. As Paul clearly pointed out, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” Again, John the Baptist alluded to this transformation and change that befits repentance when he countered the Jewish claims of their being descendants of Abraham, which implied that they had natural favour with God. God is able to raise new people for Himself even from those who were not children of Abraham by flesh. The fruit of repentance is very essential because even now, the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Therefore, every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
As individuals and families, we are buffeted by many sins and disruptive behaviours and attitudes that grieve the heart of God and hinder true fellowship with Him, as well as relationship with our family members and neighbours. Family life and Christian Marriage have never been under severe attacks as they are in our generation today. The change in the societal values have also affected the people. The present malady in the understanding of human sexuality which the Revisionists have promoted and used to subvert the Authority of the Scripture, denying the Lordship Jesus Christ and promoting lifestyles and attitudes that are contrary to the Word of God, remains an error and a rebellion against God.
The materialism of our modern life, with its attendant greed and consumerism, have added to the complex socio-economic and corruption challenges in the society. It must be noted that when the values guarding the individual and family life are eroded, violence and wickedness – both spiritual and social – are inevitable. The distress and reproach we face today, are inevitable. The remedy is in the rebuilding of lives back to God and restoration of Godly values by intentional return to the Word of God. The labours of those who returned from Exile and the families who participated in rebuilding the Wall as well as Nehemiah’s effort to purge the Mixed Marriages, were geared towards restoring the lives of the people and marriages. This was foundational for rebuilding the society.
Rebuilding the People: [Rebuilding the Church]. Nehemiah was a people-oriented leader and as such, he invested much in the people, mobilising and stirring cooperation in them. He shared his vision and enormity of the challenges with the people and made them to own the tasks. He identified the religious leadership, the Nobles, the enemies of the work, and the oppressed people. The resources for the work, the workforce and security of the work as well as the people, were all mobilised from among the people. Nehemiah was effective in the mobilising and carrying the people along for the rebuilding of the Walls and cities of Judah, the rebuilding of their spiritual life and worship, the restructuring of the of the society and dealing with oppressive systems, restoring the sanctity of the Sabbath and reordering the Jewish Society in line with the Law and Commandments of God to Israel through Moses. These were fundamental if the lives of the people would be rebuilt.
The Rebuilding of the spiritual life of the people was key as it dealt with the root cause of the destruction of Judah and Jerusalem and the Exile. The combined efforts of Nehemiah, the Governor and Ezra, the Priest and Scribe, were very potent. The Word of God, as in, the individual and corporate reading and expounding of the Word of God, Worship and Solemn Assemblies for National repentance, expression of their sorrow in Fasting and Prayer of confession, were all core activities in redirecting the despondent people to the eternal purpose of God.
It is evident that whenever God’s people discover and return to the Word of God, there has always been a great turn-around. Nehemiah 9 shows the intensity of 6 hours of devoting to the Reading and Expounding or Interpreting of the Word of God to all the people. With this came the Worship that was based on the Law of God which was vibrant, enriching the lives of the people.
In rebuilding the spiritual life of Israel, there was the Renewal of Covenant between the whole people and God as they vowed to walk within the Law of God as given by Moses. This was a unique mark for Israel as God’s people.
The welfare and the duties of the Levities and Priests were restored. The people were mobilised to carry out their religious responsibilities in bringing their tithes and offerings to the temple. The Ordinances of the First-Fruit, Harvests and the Firstborn and Farming Laws were brought into force. Nehemiah restored and reorganised the functions and duties of the Priests and Levites in the temple; this strengthened the people spiritually and socio-economically.
Rebuilding the Spiritual fabric of the Church and Society on the Word of God, Worship and Prayer that are rooted in the fear and obedience to the Living God is vital to addressing the challenges of our generation. God will always honour His Name and His Word. Our study of the Word of God must be expressed in true Worship and Commitment to God and in service to Him and our neighbours and community. We must be engaged in Mission that will touch and transform the lives of the people and give them a purpose to live for.
Rebuilding the Community and Society: It was evident that Nehemiah returned to a Jewish Community that suffered insecurity, violence, and reproach from their conquerors and captors, and ruled by enemies who dehumanised them. The very people who hated the Jews ruled over them and looted them. Tobiah and Sanballat infiltrated the Jewish local and religious leadership such that when Nehemiah returned to Shusha, Eliashib the Priest, gave Tobiah accommodation within the Storehouse of the Temple and they looted the gifts and treasury of the Temple in such a way that affected the welfare of the Priests and Levites and the service of the Temple.
Today, Nigeria suffers the pains inflicted on the people by selfish and greedy leadership who control the Political, Religious and Socio-economic lives of the nation and her Resources. The impact of godfatherism and corruption are the bane of the Political Leadership in Nigeria. The root of our suffering is not poverty but greed and corruption.
Nehemiah mobilised the people to see their devastation and the reproach it brought to them and the need to rise and put an end to such. They realised that the system could be better and work for them. They needed to identify the real enemies of the community, in the Political Colonizers and their collaborators and their Agents who infiltrated their Religious Establishment. The Nobles did not involve themselves in the rebuilding of the Walls of Jerusalem; they were the very oppressors of the people. However, we must note that Nehemiah engaged the Nobles in both negotiation and spiritual commitment to God which became the basis for Reparation and relief for the poor in the Jewish community. We must note that Internal Colonisation and oppression deplete the strength of a people, hinder Justice and Equity, and impact them socio-economically. There is need for the Religious and Political Leadership to consciously and intentionally work for a just and equitable society. But more so, work to tap into the potentials and resources of the people.
Rebuilding Godly Leadership: The Book of Nehemiah presents us with great lessons in courageous leadership in challenging times. It lays down for us the principles of Godly leadership that focus on the people and their needs; that demands selfless and sacrificial service to the people; that is rooted in strong personal faith and walk with God. When there is insecurity and threat to such an extent that the people give up hope of any future to strive for, then what we need is the type of leadership exemplified by Nehemiah.
Such leadership is characterised by [i] Personal Faith and close walk with God. [ii] Personal commitment to prayer and the power of God. [iii] Trust in the Word of God and commitment to following its teaching as guide for both personal and professional work. [iv] Compassion for the people and strong attachment to all that makes for their welfare. [v] Belief in the great ability and potential in the people to contribute to the task of building both the Church and Nation. [vi] The most effective way to lead is by example and practical living. This demands sacrifice and selflessness which are at the heart of every effective leadership whether Religious/Spiritual or Political/ Community. [vii] The sacrifice for service in the book of Nehemiah has an expectation for the Eternal reward from God. Nehemiah prayed for God’s remembrance saying, “Remember me, my God, for good, according to all I have done for this people.” Again, he prayed “Remember me, O my God, concerning this, and do not wipe out my good deeds that I have done for the house of my God, for its services!” When he had contended for the faith to purge the Priesthood of compromise and betrayal of the sacred trust, Nehemiah said “And one of the sons of Joiada, the son of Eliashib the high Priest, was a son-law of Sanballat the Horonite; therefore, I drove him from me. Remember them, O my God, because they have defiled the priesthood and the Covenant of Priesthood and the Levites. Thus, I cleansed them of everything pagan. I also assigned duties to the Priests and Levites, each to his service…. Remember me, O my God, for good.” [viii] A great lesson we can learn in leadership in Nehemiah is how to handle oppositions, threats, attacks and betrayal from within and outside the people. Nehemiah was able to identify, separate and deal with different oppositions without disrupting the system or losing focus of his main task. In Nehemiah we learn how to overcome hinderances to Spiritual work and opposition in leadership thus, “Ridicule is overcome by confidence in God; wrath and contempt is overcome by prayer and hard work; conspiracy is overcome by watchfulness and prayer; discouragement from friends is overcome by steadfast courage; selfish greed is overcome by rebuke and self-sacrificing example. This will lead to work completed and enemies confounded by persistent endeavour.” There is need to celebrate the little and great accomplishments of the people of God in Worship that glorify God.
The implications of our Theme therefore are:
- Personal Walk with God, fervency in Prayer, consistence in following God’s Instructions and Word;
- The sure foundation for spiritual transformation of the people of God is Return to the study of, and Proclamation and diligent keeping of the Word of God;
- True Worship of God is built on the Word of God and sanctification and renewal of Covenant with God;
- Spiritual transformation through the Word of God and diligence in obedience has always has a deep social, political, economic impact;
- Nehemiah was a pragmatic leader who took seriously the threats of oppositions and responded to their plots. He did not spiritualise their plots and enormity of the impact on his core task of rebuilding the Wall. He made adequate arrangements, led by example and sacrificed his own comfort. Focus, consistency, sacrifice, and making right choices, are essential, especially in challenging times.
- The people must be ready to do the right thing with God, for the welfare of the less-privileged in society. Corruption and injustice must be challenged. Building a just and equitable society must be the way forward.
- Building the lives of the people and their welfare is the very sustainable way to rebuild the structures of the society, the Church and the family.
CHURCH OF NIGERIA MATTERS:
PAST GENERAL SYNOD AND STANDING COMMITTEE PROGRAMMES AND DATES
|1.||General Synod||The National Secretariat, Church of Nigeria, St. Matthias House, Gudu – Abuja||21 – 25 Sept., 2020||The Priority of God Matthew 6:33|
|2.||Standing Committee Meeting||All Saints Cathedral, Onitsha, Diocese on the Niger||8 – 12 Feb., 2021||Costly Commitment: The Imperative in Following Jesus Christ Luke 9:23-27|
|3.||Standing Committee Meeting||Archbishop Adebola and Oluranti Ademowo Resource Centre, Faith Plaza, Bariga, Diocese of Lagos||20 – 24 Sept., 2021||Abiding in Christ: God’s Panacea in an Unstable World John 15:1-8|
|4.||Standing Committee Meeting||All Saint’s Cathedral, Rumuokwurusi and St. Andrew’s Anglican Church, Rumuobiokani Deanery, Obio, Diocese of Evo||21 – 25 Feb., 2022||The Christian’s Dual Citizenship and Responsibilities Matthew 22:20-22|
|5.||Standing Committee Meeting||The National Secretariat, Church of Nigeria, St. Matthias House, Gudu – Abuja||12 – 16 Sept., 2022||Your Kingdom Come, Your Will be Done Matthew 6:10|
|6.||Standing Committee Meeting||St. Bartholomew’s Cathedral, Kubwa, Diocese of Kubwa||13 – 17 Feb., 2023||Watch and Pray: Godly Disposition when Kingdoms Rage – Matthew 26:40– 41|
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY AND ACTIONABLE POINTS ON GROUP WORK REPORTS OF 2020 GENERAL SYNOD AND THE STANDING COMMITTEES OF THE CHURCH OF NIGERIA FROM SEPTEMBER 2020 TO FEBRUARY 2023.
The Most Rev. Blessing Enyinda headed a Team that went through all the Group Work Reports from 2020 General Synod till the last Standing Committee in February, 2023, to give the following highlights and work out the Actionable Points which we need to focus on. The implementation has commenced but we will keep monitoring their implementation.
- The recordings of the General Synod/Standing Committee Reports were robust and captured action points. There was however, no uniformity in the presentation or documentation. Action points had to be fished out from the volumes, and it is possible for important action points to be missed or overlooked.
- Many of the action points were generic and open-ended, thus, requiring further problem or task definition before any meaningful actions or execution of the action can be possible. We avoided ambiguity in listing the action points.
- We note and commend our Church for areas where we see advancement or on-going work on identified action points
- We observed the existence of gaps in role definitions as many actions and tasks did not have who was to execute them. We suggest that in making action points realisable, the Church of Nigeria has the opportunity to strengthen, further define and assign duties and roles to segments of the Church, including but not limited to Ecclesiastical and Episcopal roles and responsibilities.
- There is the urgent need to be deliberate in the mobilisation and strengthening of Lay participation at all levels to enable the Church optimise her potentials.
- The Action Points are presented in ways that are specific and easily cross-referenced to the Reports of the General Synod and Standing Committee Meeting.
The Actionable Points: The areas covered in the Action Points include:
3. Social concern
5. Children and Youth Work
6. Theological Education.
7. Ministry and Worship.
8. Lay Ministry Development
9. Marriage and Family
10. Political Mobilization
11. Infrastructural Development
12. Justice, Equity, Security and Peace
13. Ecumenical Relations
15. Business and Investment
16. National Issues (Governance)
17. World Missions Consultation
18. National Church Polity and Governance.
The team suggested that at the conclusion of every General Synod and Standing Committee Meeting, Action Points be extracted, and collated from the Minutes and Reports within two weeks. The Action Points can be circulated along with the Pastoral letter to all who are to take the actions. It is also suggested that a review of the Action Points from a previous General Synod and Standing Committee Meeting be listed as matters arising on the Agenda at the beginning of the plenary sessions of the subsequent Standing Committee.
Actionable Matters and Points from General Synod and Standing Committee Meeting Groups’ Reports, September 2020 – February 2023
|SUBJECT MATTER||DONE/ONGOING||ACTIONABLE MATTERS/POINTS|
|MISSIONS/ EVANGELISM||Establishment of Mission Board The Discipleship model training ||Missions and Discipleship Board should be put in place at all levels of the Church.Introduction of Intentional Discipleship as a course into the curriculum of our seminaries.Intentional teaching on Anglican ChurchmanshipCNMS to Encourage and Train Professionals (Laity) in Evangelism and Missions|
|WELFARE||Welfare Matters are Constitutional.Relief Committee is in place.||Ten percent (10%) of the proceeds of Advent Special Collection and St. Matthias Special Collection should be set aside for use by the Relief Committee.Ten percent (10%) of the profit of the Church of Nigeria’s publications should be set aside annually for use by the Relief Committee.There should be in place, Eminent Anglicans in the Church of Nigeria to be known as “Church of Nigeria Relief Ambassadors.“Five percent (5%) of the total assessment paid by Dioceses to the Church of Nigeria be ploughed into the Relief Fund.National Policy on Staff Welfare e.g. Medical Insurance, Housing Scheme, Retirement and Death Benefits and Central Salaries and Allowances Payment|
|SOCIAL CONCERN||The umbrella NGO of the CON ACADI has been established and the faith-based Organisations at the Diocesan levels is on-going||Establishment of a Micro-Finance Bank for CONEstablishment of Rehabilitation Centre|
|EDUCATION||Establishment of Educational Institutions||Establishment of an Education Department for Education Policy and Coordination|
|CHILDREN AND YOUTH WORK||Mobilisation and Harmonization of AYF, Corpers, Joshua Generation, Campus/Students Fellowships and other Youth OrganisationsAppointment of a Bishop to supervise the Corpers’ Fellowship||A Committee should be set up to resolve the lingering clash between the ACB and the Boys’ Brigade (BB).Anglican Communion Brigade to present Reports at Synods Coordination and Funding of Operation Samuel vision|
|THEOLOGICAL EDUCATION||Curricula Review||Addition of Courses on Education, Management, ICT, Discipleship, Healing and Deliverance|
|MINISTRY AND WORSHIP||Unity in Liturgy||Harmonisation of the existing Translation Works on the BCP into vernacular, especially in the three major languagesUse of the CON Liturgy rather than the 1662 OrderStandardisation of Clerical Vestments|
|LAY MINISTRY DEVELOPMENT||Establishment of Lay School of Ministry (e.g. Lay Readers, Mothers’ Union & Women’s Guild, Youths, Christian Men’s Fellowship, Etc.)|
|MARRIAGE AND FAMILY||National Marriage Guidelines|
|POLITICAL MOBILIZATION||Political Mobilisation and Education|
|INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT||Construction and Development of a National Conference and Research Centre||Speed up work and increase Auditorium Capacity (50,000 minimum)|
|JUSTICE, EQUITY, SECURITY AND PEACE||Set up of a Security Think-Tank to interface with the Government on Security MattersRegistration of a Security OutfitSet up a Legal Help Desk to advance the cause of vulnerable members of the society|
|ECUMENICAL RELATIONS||Set up the Ecumenical DepartmentTraining of Ecumenical Directors||Church should remain committed to Ecumenical endeavoursCascade Ecumenical Directors Training to the Dioceses|
|COMMUNICATION||Add ACNNTV to DSTV and GOTV PlatformsLive streaming of Church Meetings and Programmes||Production of National Newspaper/MagazineSet up an Advisory Committee to draw up a blueprint on effective use of the Social Media by the Church|
|BUSINESS AND INVESTMENT||Repositioning of the CSS Companies Ltd.||Sustain the Business Team ProjectionsImplementation of the ACADI Entrepreneurial Programmes|
|NATIONAL ISSUES (Governance)||Sustain Advocacy on a new Constitution for Nigeria|
|WORLD MISSIONS CONSULTATION||Revisit Vision 1-1-3 for the Growth of Church MembershipStrengthen the Foreign Mission Effort of the Church (World Missions Congress)|
|NATIONAL CHURCH POLITY AND GOVERNANCE||Set up a National Committee on the Monitoring and Consolidation of Dioceses|
THE FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES OF THE CHURCH OF NIGERIA [ANGLICAN COMMUNION]
- Church of Nigeria Constitution, 2020: One of the Major Policy Resolutions of the 13th General Synod was the passing and Approval of the Church of Nigeria Constitution in September, 2020. It was also resolved that every Diocese was to review its Diocesan Constitution to be in line with the New Constitution of the Church of Nigeria. We commend those Dioceses that have done so and encourage all that have not done so, to comply. We thank the Registrar, Church of Nigeria, and the Committee of Reference for your tireless efforts and great sacrifice to the Church of God in this area of the Life and Ministry of the Church. The two most significant sections among others, in the 2020 Constitution, are the Provision for Alternative Dispute Resolution mechanism in resolving all matters and disputes in Church of Nigeria, and the issue of Welfare of the members is now a Constitutional issue and it is required that there should be Budgetary provision for it.
The Three  Years Moratorium on the Review of the Constitution and Canons of the Church of Nigeria [Anglican Communion], 2020: The Standing Committee of the General Synod at its meeting held at All Saints Cathedral Church, Onitsha, 18-21 February, 2021, resolved that a 3 years moratorium be placed on any form of Amendments of the Constitution and Canons of the Church of Nigeria [Anglican Communion] 2020 to stabilise its implementation across the Church in Nigeria. The Three years moratorium expires this September and we will be urging the General Synod to consider lifting the moratorium or otherwise take such appropriate action as it deems fit.
- The Vision Statement of CON and the Review of the Vision Booklet
The 14th General Synod of the Church of Nigeria [ANGLICAN COMMUNION]
Elections: In this 14th General Synod, we shall hold Elections for and Appointments into various Offices, as well as Reconstitute some of the Boards:
- The Registrar of the Church of Nigeria;
- The Treasurer of the Church of Nigeria;
- 2 Auditors;
- Clerical and Lay Secretaries;
- The Officials of the Houses: Bishops, Clergy and Laity.
- The Chancellor of the Church of Nigeria: Hon. Henry Odein Ajimogobia SAN
- The General Secretary, The Ven. Dr. Paul Geshnen Dajur, whose tenure of office has elapsed is hereby reappointed into the same office for the life of the next Synod, that is, the next 3 years.
Directorates in the Office of the Primate:
- Directorate for Youth;
- Directorate for Missions and Evangelism;
- Directorate for Justice, Equity, Peace and Reconciliation;
- Directorate for Theological Matters;
- Directorate for Women and Children;
- Directorate for Civic and Political Affairs/Publications;
- Directorate for Protocol;
- Directorate for Media and Communication;
- Directorate for Spirituality.
The present Directors will function on acting capacity pending a review by the next Standing Committee Meeting in February, 2024.
Statutory Boards and Committees of the Church of Nigeria:
- Board of Trustees;
- Board of the Trinity Foundation;
- Board for the Missions of the Church of Nigeria:  CNMS & National Missions.  Foreign Missions;
- Board for ACNN Television [To be reconstituted];
- The Board of the Governors, Crowther Graduate Theological Seminary, Abeokuta;
- The Implementation Committee for the Anglican University of Technology, Kweita, Abuja;
- Church of Nigeria Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee;
- Church of Nigeria Committee of Reference.
The Evangelical Tradition and our Liturgical Heritage:
The Church of Nigeria was founded through the Missionary Enterprise of the Church Missionary Society [CMS] which started Missions in 1842. The CMS was formed by the Evangelical Anglicans in England and as such, the Church in Nigeria was bequeathed and founded on the Evangelical Traditions of the Anglican Church. The Evangelical Traditions are true to the ideals of the Reformations and the Historic Formularies of the Church, the Creeds, the Book of Common Prayer, the Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion, and holds strongly to the Authority of the Scriptures and lifestyle and Missions that accords to the Holy Scriptures. The Liturgy and Worship of the Church is said to be the “Dramatisation of the Scriptures.” Like the Apostolic and Ancient Church, the Church of Nigeria is called to Proclaim faithfully the Lordship of Jesus Christ and to celebrate the Sacraments of the grace of God. The centrality of the Scripture in the Teachings, Worship and Missions and Ministry of the Church should not be compromised. The Proclamation of the Gospel of the Kingdom and Lordship of Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the world, is the ultimate task of the Church, as we reach out to the world and generation, bound in sin, with the Love and saving Power of God in the Gospel, in wholistic Mission.
Therefore, the Ministry of the Church is rooted in the Bible, Christ-centred and Family-focused. All who are called to serve God in the Church serve within the three Orders of Ministry as Deacons, Priests and Bishops. In the ordering of the Worship of the Church, these Ministers are to use the Book of Common Prayer as approved by the Synod of the Church of Nigeria. The importation of Romish Mass Liturgical practices such as burning of Incense or other practices are not permitted. The practices and indoctrination of the use or sale of special candles, holy water, or special apparel or handkerchief or consulting of mediums or reverence for special relics/objects, are not allowed. We stand on this, that we are saved by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ by the grace of God. As the Scriptures states, “This is the stone [JESUS] which was rejected by you the builders, which has become the chief cornerstone.’ Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” Article 18 confirms this.
The Holy Scriptures and the Catechisms of the Church, the Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion and indeed the Book of Common Prayer, have given us sufficient guidelines on who we are and what we should do. The burning of incense or other Roman Catholic acts during the Communion changes the Anglican understanding of the Eucharist. The Priest does not offer any sacrifice to God at the Communion because Jesus Christ offered Himself once and for all times on the Cross, He died and Rose and lives forever. He dies no more! Again, the Elements [the Body and Blood] are to be received by faith with thankful heart for the redemption Christ Jesus gave us. At the consecration of the Elements, they do not transform into the Real Body and Blood of Jesus at the sound of the jingle of bell. “Transubstantiation overthrows the nature of a Sacrament and has given occasion to many superstitions.” The New BCP provides for the use of Chasubles, Cassock Alb and other vestments as an accommodation but a wholesome copying of the Romish Sacramental practice. The Vestments are for Dignity and Honour in the leading of worship of God’s people.
The Moratorium on the Creation of New Dioceses: The Moratorium on the creation of Dioceses was renewed during the 13th General Synod, in Abuja. This was necessitated by the fact that many of the Missionary Dioceses are still struggling to sustain their Missions and operations. Many are suffering lack of regular salary as well as inability to carry out their Diocesan Projects and improve on the welfare of their workers. While these problems are still with us, there is need for us to review the situation with a view to seeing the possibility of creating some new Dioceses in the deserving areas, for the purpose of Mission and growth of the Church of God. This will be under the following clear guidelines and conditions:
- No new Diocese shall be created out of rancour, quarrel, disputes or ambition of some individual or agenda;
- The fundamental due process and Constitutional requirements shall be followed through a resolution passing through the relinquishing Diocese;
- The viability of the new and relinquishing Dioceses in Funding, sustainability and Mission must be guaranteed;
- Provision a fully-furnished and equipped Bishops court;
- Having a well-built Church that will serve as Cathedral or Pro-Cathedral as the Headquarters of the Diocese and a Functional Diocesan Secretariat;
- Procurement of an appropriate vehicle for the Bishop to be parked in the Residence of the Archbishop of the Province from which the Diocese will be created;
- A deposit of the sum of Fifty Million Naira into a designated Church. A surety of Twenty Million Naira for Three to Five years paid in to a designated Account of the Church of Nigeria for Missionary Dioceses and such other conditions as the General Synod may wish to put after due inspection by such committees as may be constituted for that purpose;
- The General Synod may approve a periodic lifting of the Moratorium from one General Synod to another so as to monitor and give guidance on the creation of sustainable Dioceses in the Church of Nigeria [Anglican Communion].
Missions, Evangelism and Discipleship: By the leading of God, the period 2020-2030, was declared as “The Decade of God’s Reign” [Isaiah 52:7-10]. The Gospel which we proclaim is the Gospel of the Kingdom of God. The Ministry which we exercise is that of the Kingdom and our prayer is focused on the Kingdom, the Authority and Power of the Sovereign God, our Creator, Redeemer and Sanctifier. His will and purpose shall be done in His world and in His Church. The Ministry of the Church is about God and the very lives of the people, and not about our positions, our group interests and possessions. The Focus will continue to be on Missions, Re-Evangelisation and Discipleship, as well as Spiritual and numerical growth of the Church. The Church of Nigeria will focus on individual discipleship for us to able to raise more volunteers for service. The goal will be that people will be discipled enough first that they may grow in faith love, hope and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ and be so prepared to be deployed in future church-planting efforts both in Nigeria and the Diaspora.
The Church of Nigeria Missionary Society (CNMS): The CNMS has been reorganised and set forth to be the major Missionary Body of the Church of Nigeria under a New Mission Board headed by the Primate and assisted by The Most Rev. Tunde Adeleye. The CNMS Management Team, which is doing well, is led by The Ven. Dr. Adepoju. They are based in the Bishop Samuel Ajayi Crowther Mission Centre and Institute, Osoogun, and have trained and retrained many Missionaries for the Missions of the Church. The First Batch of trained Missionaries will graduate in the Osoogun Centre in October and they will be commissioned into the Mission Fields. They have conducted a Consultation with all Diocesan Evangelism and Mission Directors must sustain and are building up as platform to harness, learn and reengage our indigenous Mission field. We have ensured that the salary and welfare, as well as the retirement and pensions of our Mission Partners and workers, are taken care of. This has given us more results and push in Missions Fields. CNMS is poised to do greater work and engage wider Mission fields in Africa and beyond. We are very grateful to those individuals and families who partner with us in building the Mission Centre in Osoogun, and meeting the needs of some needy Dioceses and support for Mission Partners.
The Church of Nigeria has established a special Training Programme to train workers for the Francophone Mission Fields in West Africa. The Crowther Graduate School for French Theological Training Programme is doing well with 8 students. We have already received expression of interest from some Anglican Provinces in Central Africa. The Primate of the Church of The Province of West Africa has already visited us. Nigeria will partner with our African Provinces to Develop Strategic Partnerships in order to enrich the Mission and Ministry of the Church.
OCTOBER will be the MISSION MONTH FOR THE CHURCH OF NIGERIA. The CNMS has planned the Mission Programme covering the month of October which will culminate in the Graduation and Commissioning of the First Batch of the Osoogun Mission Institute students. We request Dioceses and Provinces to participate fully. Dioceses that need Mission Partners should also indicate interest, for posting.
Nomadic and Diaspora Mission: The Nomadic Mission is being reviewed and enlarged so as to include the Diaspora outreach to all those people who have moved from one part of the country to another, in search of better life, or who have been displaced by insecurity or other reasons. These are new Mission fields that God is opening up for the Church. We thank the Bishop and Diocese of Ikar for hosting a National Consultation on Nomadic and Diaspora Missions in June, 2023. This was held in partnership with CAPRO and other Mission agencies that are into similar Missions. It was a very rich Consultation and their recommendations will be implemented in reinvigorating and transforming this Mission. There is need for collaboration between Dioceses and Provinces. There is also the need for commitment and financial support for this Mission.
Joshua Generation Youth Mission: In order to address the issue of the exodus of our young people to other Churches and Ministries, particular attention has been paid to Youth Mission through the Joshua Generation International Youth Conference. This has yielded great fruits of soul winning, Mission awareness and engagement, training and empowerment, as well as skill and professional training for the Youth and Sports.
The third edition held in the Moshood Abiola National Stadium from 10th – 15th April, 2023. It was a huge success. We had over 22,000 young people physically present. Thousands of these young people gave their lives to Christ and similarly thousands responded to Mission call. Out of the 70 Youths we trained in Christian Drama, Cinematography and script writing, many have won national competitions and enlistment in film production. We are partnering with Mount Zion Drama Institute for the training of the increasing number of our young people who have expressed interest and calling into Christian drama ministries. We have now established and are in the process of registering a National Football Club with the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF), with players drawn from our Youth. We need sponsors and help, and there is serious need for mature Christians to mentor some of our young professionals.We also solicit your financial support and partnershipin training and mentoring these young people. Our vision is that these young people will be released into the world-wide Missions of the Church of God. Please help us to actualise this Vision as you invest in our Youth Mission.
Church of Nigeria North American Mission (CONNAM) is the continuation of CANA (Our initial mission Organ). The Church of Nigeria mission in North America was a rescue mission to provide a safe haven for Nigerian Anglicans leaving the ECUSA/TEC Church. The Church of Nigeria is not interested in an expansionist move in America; we only maintain a “Pedagogical Presence in America.” We stand there to encourage and enable all Faithful Anglicans who share our convictions on the Authority of the Scripture, faithfulness to the Lordship of Jesus Christ and the Anglican Heritage as we have received it, to share fellowship. Bishop Nathan Kanu is the Supervisory Bishop of CONNAM. He is to provide Pastoral and Episcopal oversight for those congregations that are yet to comply with geographical restructuring until they transit to their Dioceses. Those churches having immigration and Property matters will have to resolve these between the Supervisory Bishop and their former Dioceses. ACNA has since 2020 been on a war path with us because of the creation of autonomous Diocese or Jurisdiction outside the Province of the Church of Nigeria. It is therefore necessary that we revert and maintain the Mission status of our operations in North America and Canada. The Bishops and Priests will be accountable for Mission, Evangelism and Church-Planting in their Zones as will be assigned. Mission, Spiritual and Numerical Growth of our CONNAM churches will be the primary task of every Diocese and Mission Region in CONNAM.
Bishop Felix Orji has been released to ACNA. We have also continued to engage the leadership of ACNA on some of issues of interest. The old local church problem in Christ Church, Irvington New Jersey, has become a civil case in Court. We can only pray that God will intervene in these issues and give us peace. We have suffered disturbing negative Media assault on our person and the Church of Nigeria but we see it as part of the cost we may have to pay for the Lord. At the heart of this problem is the issue of Jurisdiction and having autonomous Dioceses in Jurisdictions outside Nigeria. We have signed some Protocols which the present leadership of ACNA do not want to work with and are insisting that we should not work in their own Jurisdiction. We are still working to resolve these issues.
Let us make it clear that the Church of Nigeria will not abandon our members and churches or hand them over to any organisation. CONNAM remains the Mission of the Church of Nigeria. There are so much ripe Mission opportunities in North America and some of our people have gone into other Nigerian churches, yet there is still more that can be done among different nationalities and groups. We need to work in partnership with other Mission-minded Churches.
UK/Europe Missions: The Foreign Mission is growing and plans are in place to grow the Mission fields. We receive reports from Europe and UK; Japan; the Gulf and Asian Countries, South America, East and Central Africa, and the West African Region. For over forty years we have maintained Chaplaincy in England. The Church of Nigeria will maintain Chaplaincy in UK and the Countries in Europe. Bishop Ben Enwochola is the Coordinator for the Missions in UK and Europe. He travelled round to inaugurate some churches in some European Countries. Chaplains will soon be appointed for those countries. We are working on developing our Global Mission Strategic Evangelization Programme and CON Foreign Missions Policy. The greatest need is Funding and the right people to deployed for the Missions. There is need to encourage the Gulf Missions because of the danger and sacrifice required in the Zone.
CHURCH OF NIGERIA POLICY FOR FOREIGN MISSIONS: There is a fundamental principle in Church Ministry in the Anglican Church, and that has to do with Jurisdiction. The issue of Jurisdiction affects areas of Ministerial operations from the local Parish to Diocese and national Provincial Church levels. It is an Anglican Convention to have Chaplaincy, Missions and Convocations in Jurisdictions other than your own but there will be need for partnership and collaboration with sister Provinces where such Missions and Convocations exist. We shall explore this possibility in America, UK and Europe in administering our growing Foreign Missions. To this end, this General Synod will take a decision on the modus operandi of our Foreign Missions which will be in line with the Constitution and Canons of the Church of Nigeria Anglican Communion and the accepted Anglican Convention and practice. The Mission Mandate of the Lord Jesus Christ in the Great Commission will be vigorously pursued. We shall work in partnership with all faithful Christians who share our convictions and belief in Mission and Ministry.
Our Global strategy shall be focused on the remaining half of the world that is yet to receive Jesus as Lord and Savior. We recommend:
- New missionaries shall not only target Nigerians abroad but must see the indigenous peoples among whom they reside as their primary focus. Then they would’ve crossed to another culture with the gospel message.
- Foreign Missionary candidates shall emerge from Nigerians at home, Nigerians in diaspora and the Anglican communion worldwide.
- Partnership for church planting shall be forged with willing candidates within the communion. By this we refer to the body of Christ who would like to support financially, the church planting projects in many nations.
Prayer does not exclude planning and before entering a new mission field, appropriate considerations should be given to issues relating to the specific nature of such location bearing in mind the necessity to start well and finish strong.
World Missions Consultation 2025: We commend the role that the Church of Nigeria [Anglican Communion] is playing in stirring the worldwide Church unto Missions through a World Missions Consultation by 2025. We are indeed prayerful that this vision comes to fruition. We are going to work with National and Regional Mission Agencies and Partners to organize this Strategic World Missions Consultation.
Bishops Intentional Discipleship Cohort: The Focus of the Mission of the Church is on Discipleship. The purpose of Intentional Discipleship is to nurture the Believer in obedience-oriented Discipleship. The Bishops Intentional Discipleship Cohort has trained 72 Bishops and Wives throughout last year. A new group has been taken on this year. In the Episcopal Retreat of this year 2023, we used this model for the maiden Retreat of Bishops and Wives. It was very enriching and we trust God that it will continue to be a blessing to us. We are encouraging Bishops to embrace the Intentional Discipleship as a necessary tool for Mission and Evangelism in all our Dioceses. The various Provincial Coordinators are expected to organize a Provincial Discipleship Cohort for selected Senior clergy.
180th Anniversary of Mission and the Anglican Church in Nigeria: This was marked with the Consecration of two new Bishops and the Celebration of the 180th Anniversary of the Anglican Church in Nigeria, on the 17thand 18th December 2022 in Badagry.
The first phase or introductory publication on the “180 Years of the Anglican Church in Nigeria, [1842 -2022] to commemorate the event was presented at Badagry. The Chairmanship for this Anniversary is the Rt. Rev. Dr. Duke Akamisoko. This Committee has done a great work and published an initial work and are working on the a more comprehensive Compendium. They still need more historical materials from our Dioceses for a more robust documentation of all that God has doing among us in this 180years. Dioceses and Provinces are requested to make contribution.
The Diocese on the Niger has written us to raise some issues on the History and operations of the early Niger Missions. A competent Committee will be set up to look into this matter and report to us appropriately.
THE 45TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE CHURCH OF NIGERIA [ANGLICAN COMMUNION] as an autonomous Province will be in February 2024. The Planning Committee for this celebration will work out what we shall do.
CHURCH OF NIGERIA HOLY PILGRIMAGE COMMITTEE: The Archbishop Odutemu’s Committee on the CON HOLY PILGRIMAGE have concluded plans for the commencement of operations. They will present their Report during the Plenary.
CHRUCH OF NIGERIA AWARD COMMITTEE: This Eminent Committee have worked and we shall be presenting the award to the deserving persons in due time.
WOMEN MINISTRY: the Women Ministry of the Church of Nigeria has remained the envy of the other Churches. They have distinguished themselves and contributed to the Ecumenical work of the Church. The women are the pillar of the Ministry of the Church at all levels. We comment Mama Nigeria, the Provincial and Diocesan Presidents for their labour of love for the Church of God. The Women Council is holding simultaneously with the General Synod and they will be taking far reaching Decisions that will result in growth of the Ministry of the Church and the Kingdom of God. You shall see your Children’s children and peace shall be in your homes and the Church of God.
CHRISTIAN MEN’S FELLOWSHIP: The effort exerted into the National and Diocesan Christian Men’s Fellowship is yielding fruits. We encourage all men and Fathers to be committed to the Christian Men’s Fellowship. The celebration of the Fathers’ Sunday in June and other activities galvanized the Men in the Church. We need to build up this fellowship through Prayer, the Study of the Bible and Care and mutual support of men and families. The National Convention and Election for the National leadership will hold in 2024. Provincial and regional leaders should held and work with the Diocesan Fellowships. Special areas of Mission and Ministry of the Parish work should be assigned to the Men’s Fellowship.
EFAC AND AYF: The work of the EFAC is growing through the labour of the Leaders. We congratulate the National Chairman, Bishop Samuel Ezeofor and the new Executives. The Ministry of EFAC will continue to grow and prosper. We appreciate Bishop Prosper Amah and the National and regional Executives of the AYF. The AYF is the oldest organ of the Church ministering to the youth. We congratulate you for the successful National Conventions and pray that the teachings and blessings will remain a source of building you up in faith and service in God’s Kingdom.
CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE MINISTRY: The ACM and Sunday School Ministries have continued to serve this Church in caring for the children. We comment the coordinating Bishop Rt. Rev. Godfrey Ekpenisi, Bishop of Ikar Diocese and all our Children Pastors and teachers. The goal is to catch these children young and nurture them in the faith and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. We thank the Writing Teams of ACM and the Church of Nigeria who produce materials for the teaching of our children.
MISSION TO THE BOY-CHILD: There has been the outcry for the Church to seek, train and teach our Male Child who will grow up to be the man and father of homes and leaders in Church and society. To this end we are establishing the “OPERATION SAMUEL MISSION”. We direct that Dioceses and Provinces provide special Church group and fellowships to nurture and train our young boys. We know that some Dioceses are already doing this and do encourage all our Dioceses to provide for the spiritual and social nurture of our boy-child in all our Churches.
ANGLICAN STUDENTS IN TERTIARY INSTITUTIONS MINISTRY: Following the work of Mission among the Youth and young people, there is the need to have one united Mission Organ that is ministering to our young people in the Tertiary Institutions and the NYSC. We thank Bishop Nedison Foreman and his Team for their labour and work in this important area of Mission. We have the EFAC in Higher Institutions and the Anglican Students Fellowship. There may be some others, but our hope is that these Groups shall become one and work together to build one Fellowship that will engage in Mission in all Higher Institutions in Nigeria as the strategic Anglican Mission to these Youth. This is necessary because we lose the young people most in the Tertiary Institutions. These organizations are already discussing and working for this merger. By 2024 we trust God that the Church of Nigeria will have one single Mission reaching out to the Students in the Higher Institutions in Nigeria which carry the recognition and Mandate of the Anglican Communion. This will be a veritable tool for Mission with the Youth in Nigeria and for the Kingdom of God.
FUNDING THE MISSION AND MINISTRY OF THE CHURCH OF NIGERIA [ANGLICAN COMMUNION].
THE N5 BILLION NAIRA MISSION TRUST FUND: There is an enormous need for Fund to sustain and accomplish work in Mission, Education, Communications and Ministry of the Church of Nigeria. To this end we have appealed for a Five Billion Naira Fund to carry out the establishment of the Anglican University of Technology, Kwaita, Abuja; the Missions of the Church within and outside Nigeria, the strengthening of our Church establishments and Institutions and the sustenance of our ministry globally. We have received some support and pledges but greater involvement and support are needed. The Church of Nigeria Economic team are working to see that every money given is properly managed. We appeal passionately to our members, Dioceses, and Government to assist the Church of Nigeria in realizing these goals set.
We appreciate the pledges and donation made by some eminent people to support this effort of the Church of Nigeria [Anglican Communion]. We acknowledge other several donations. May God Almighty, the Sovereign LORD of all the Earth remember you all and bless you, may He have regard for your sacrifice and bless you, your Family, Diocese and State. The Designated Account is CHURCH OF NIGERIA [ANG COMM] UNIVERSITY PROJECT; GTBANK: ACCOUNT NUMBER: 0611577…..
HEALTH, WELFARE AND COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT:
Church of Nigeria Relief Committee: We sincerely appreciate the work of the relief Committee under the leadership of Dr. Peter Nmadu. They have been the first point of call and response to our members involved in disaster and attacks. The relief team wants all of us to be involved in assisting others who are in need through Prayer, Phone calls, food stuff and money. Our Constitution 2020 provides that every Diocese and Parish have a budget for the welfare in their annual Budget. We request that every Diocese should make intentional effort to implement this in all our Diocese. This is in line with the Vision of the Church. We have directed that every Diocese and Parishes should have Food Bank in order to keep Food stuff which will be given to needy members whenever need arises. We appeal for your continued support for the Victims of attacks and the needy among us.
CHURCH OF NIGERIA PROJECTS:
CHURCH OF NIGERIA CONFERENCE CENTRE, PIYAKASA, ABUJA: The Anglican Conference Centre and Institute Of Church And Society, Pyakasa Abuja: The plans for the building of the Anglican Conference Centre and Institute of Church and Society, Pyakasa, Abuja has reached advanced stage. The Team of Architects and Engineers have submitted their final drawing. The Proceeds of the launching of the Presidential Address at National CON and the Advent Collections for the next Three Years will be dedicated to the development of the Conference Centre. We appeal to Provinces and Individuals to redeem their pledges so as to enable us raise the Fund for the development of the Centre. The New Archbishop of Kaduna the Most. Rev. Timothy Yahaya, has provided proactive leadership to the team. We target that the Main Bowl of the Centre will be put to use by 2026.
Renovation Of the Ibru Ecumenical Centre, Agbarah Otor, Delta State: The Archbishop Cyril Odutemu led renovation team for Renovation of Ibru Centre, Agbarah-Otorhas done well. We are indeed very grateful for the support of His Excellency, Ifeanyi Okowa in the Renovation work.
HEALTH, WELFARE, RELIEF AND COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT:
Anglican Compassion and Development Initiative (ACADI): The Anglican Compassion and Development Initiative was established and registered with Corporate Affairs Commission as a Non-Governmental Organization. Our Faith Based Organization that will us to engage with the communities where we serve in addressing issues of the social, economic and Health challenges affect our communities. We launched ACADI’s flagship project- Nigerian Anglicans War Against Drug Abuse and Addiction (NAWADA2) because of the prevalence and urgency of the problems of drug abuse and addiction. They have conducted training across our Provinces, we want this training cascaded down to the parishes and grassroot. The trained participants will train the trainers in Dioceses within each Province. We encourage all our Diocese to establish Faith Based Organization that will enable effective engagement with the Communities and Government Agencies. We have proposal to establish Three Rehabilitation Centres in the three CON zones. ACADI is in the process of commencing a new donor funded project in the area of Gender Based Violence. We are accessing a Project with Ford Foundation for Health project in some select communities in some of our Provinces.
CHURCH OF NIGERIA MEDICAL AND HEALTH PROFESSIONAL CONFERENCE: The Mission of the Church has Healing of the sick and wholistic care of the people as one of the major components. This is also the Ministry of Jesus Christ who was anointed by the Holy Spirit and He went about villages and Cities Preaching, Teaching and Healing all that are diseased and delivering them that are possessed by demons. As such the physical, spiritual and psychological or Mental health issues were things that Jesus did and the same He commanded Believers to do in the Great Commission. The Church of Nigeria has contributed to Health care delivery in the country, through Training of Health care Professionals, the establishment of Hospitals, Clinics and Child and Maternal Clinics, the building of Schools of health Technology, Colleges of Nursing and Midwifery. This Church is blessed with men and women who have distinguished themselves in Health-care delivery. We hereby send forth a Macedonian Call to all our sons and daughters, Anglican Professional to come forth and help the Church in reordering and initiating a Gospel Mission driven Health Care system that will provide good healthcare that is affordable by the ordinary citizens, set a standard for the Government to follow as we did in the early Mission years in Education and Health care delivery.
- We need to transform our existing Church owned Mission Hospital and Clinics.
- We need to reinvigorate and reposition our Health training Institutions and establish more.
- We need to have Christian Mission Tertiary Health facilities of repute in the different parts of Church of Nigeria within the next five years.
- We need to establish a Church of Nigeria HMO that will cater for ordinary members especially the rural and deprived communities. The health and welfare of the people is important to God and this Church. The Church can rise up to the Health challenges of Nigeria and point the way forward.
- Set the standard and quality control for Mission, compassionate and ethical but efficient health-care delivery in Nigeria.
- Search out sustainable Pharmaceutical production and supplies for effective and efficient health-care delivery for Nigeria.
- Galvanize the Christian Health Professionals within and in diaspora to help the Church in Health Care issues in the Ministry of the Church and Society.
To this end we call for the Church of Nigeria Medical Summit from Thursday 14th to Saturday 16th March 2024, at St. Matthias House, National Secretariat, Gudu, Abuja.
The Steering Task-Force Team are as follows:
- Dr. Peter Nmadu – Chairman;
- Prof Sir Okay Ikpeze
- Prof. Adesegun Fatusi.
- Ven. Prof. Ike.
- Ven Prof Foluso John Owotade
- Dr. T. T. Wakama.
- Dr. Henry Onwuewu
- Col. Dr. Imogu.
- Dr. Bamidele Koliewu.
10. Dr. David Tuaya.
11. Rt. Rev. Dr. Unuigbe
CHURCH OF NIGERIA MEDIA AND COMMUNICATION:
The Crowther Communications Ltd is a CAC registered Communication outfit for the Church of Nigeria. We are working to centralize all our Media and Communications Stations under this company. The Crowther Radio, the Advent Cable Network Nigeria [ACNN], and the Joshua Generation Net Radio will all be under the Crowther Communications.
The ACNN will mark her Tenth  year Anniversary on Monday 2nd October, 2023. This will be held at St. Matthias House, CON National Secretariat, Gudu, FCT Abuja. We thank all our Diocese for your patronage to ACNN and request for your support as individuals and groups. We thank the Chairman, Chief Olamiti and members of the Board of ACNN. God will reward your sacrifice and labour of love which you expended for His Church. In this 14th General Synod, there will be some reorganization of the Media and Communications.
We are constituting the Primatial Media Advisory Team as follows:
- Prince John Momoh
- Chief Gbenga Adebayo.
- Sir Folusho Olamiti.
THE RECONSTITUTED BOARD OF ACNN:
- Rt. Rev. Chidi Oparaojiaku – Chairman
- Chief Gbenga Adebayo – Vice- Chairman.
- Ven. Shadari – Member
- Barr. Yusuf Pam – Member
- Dr. Peter S. Nmadu – Member
- Lady Cordelia Nwulu-Ukwuoma – Member.
GLOBAL ANGLICAN MATTERS:
GAFCON IV Kigali, Rwanda: The battle against the Revisionist and Heresy in the World-wide Church is ragging. Contending for the Faith once for all delivered to the saint. Upholding the Authority of the Word, the Lordship of Jesus and the Gospel proclamation.
The fourth edition of the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON) was held in Kigali, Rwanda with the Theme, TO WHOM SHALL WE GO? (John 6:68). The Conference was an opportunity to reaffirm our biblical stand on issues of human sexuality and all other forms of revisionist agenda and erroneous inclusive gospel. We encourage you to get and study the GAFCON IV KIGALI COMMITMENT released on April 21, 2023. It addresses the issues of the Authority of God’s Word, Current Crisis in the Anglican Communion, The Failure of the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Other Instruments of Communion, Call for Repentance, Support for Faithful Anglicans and Appropriate Pastoral Care and Resettling the Communion. Seven Priorities to guide the GAFCON movement were also articulated. The Decade of 2023 – 2033 has been tagged the decade of discipleship, evangelism and mission.
GAFCON has helped the world-wide Church of God in remaining true to God and His Word. Therefore, an ENDOWMENT WAS LAUNCHED DURING THE KIGALI CONFERENCE. THIS IS TO RAISE FUND AND INVEST IN ORDER TO SUSTAIN THE OPERATIONS OF GAFCON. The Church of Nigeria shall continue to play its strategic leadership role in GAFCON. Especially in ENDOWMENT for GAFCON Movement. One of the Guarantors of GAFCON, Mr. Yinka Fisher will speak to us.
The Global South Fellowship of Anglican Churches (GSFA): This consists of the Anglican Provinces in the Southern Hemisphere and Third World, They are generally characterized by conservative Theological stand on matters of sexual orientation. We are a prominent member of this fellowship. We are working with the other primates of the Global south to reposition the GSFA for effective mission engagement and collaboration.
DIVCCON: DIVCCON has continued to experience increasing participation of Anglicans and many other Christians from other denominations. The visit and Ministration of the Bishop of Guildford was very enriching. He further strengthened the old bond between the Church of Nigeria and the Diocese of Guildford England. The New President of the Christian Association of Nigeria [CAN], the Most Rev. Dr. Daniel Oko was with us and brought greetings on behalf of CAN Nigeria. We had other Government officials and Politicians who visited during the Conference. The 2023 DIVCCON has been slated for Monday 6 to Friday 10, November 2023. We request our Bishops to mobilize our members in all our Dioceses to attend this year’s DIVCCON.
EDUCATION AND HUMAN DEVELOPMENT:
UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY KWEITA, ABUJA:
We have made remarkable progress on site and in the process of registration of the University with the NUC. We thank the Prof. Jerry Gana’s led Committee for their sacrificial labour. This University will be a centre of excellence in Technology. We hope that work on the major Facilities will soon commence. We want to partner with Individuals, Families, Dioceses and Provinces to develop the University Site. Please be part of this Task. We hope that another Tertiary Institution shall be sited in the Niger Delta Province.
CHURCH OF NIGERIA EDUCATION POLICY: We have appointed a Task force to help us with a National Educational policy for the Church of Nigeria. We appreciate Prof Jegede and his team members. We have a clear vision for Education and trust God to help us achieve our goals.
THEOLOGICAL EDUCATION AND MINISTERIAL FORMATION:
Theological Education Consultation And Future Of Anglicanism In Nigeria: We have stated the need for this Church to engage in serious Theological Conversation in order to strengthen the Proclamation, Ministry and Mission of the Church in this 21st Century. We thank Rt. Rev. Prof. Dapo Asaju the Bishop Theologian and Rt. Rev. Dr. Stephen Fagbemi, the Bishop of Owo and all our fathers and resource persons for the well plan and executed Consultation on Theological Education and Future of Anglicanism in the 21 Century Nigeria. The Consultation held on Tuesday 18-21, July 2023 2023 at Ibru Ecumenical Centre, Agbarah-Otor. They have submitted a Comprehensive Report of the Consultation. Another Team has been commissioned to study it and give the Church a workable plan for implementation. When this is done all the Church of Nigeria Theological Institutions will have to implement it.
Theological Commission for the Church of Nigeria. This Commission will guide the Implementation of the Report of the Theological Consultation. They will regulate the establishment and operations of the Theological Institutions and or Pastoral Training Institutions of the Church. A situation in which Individuals or Dioceses go all out to establish their own so called Theological Colleges or Bible School and set their own standards and award their own Diplomas and even some are now advertising for B Th programmes cannot be accepted in the Church of Nigeria. Due to the fact that the minimum requirement for those to be elected as Bishops now is B.Th; we are now experiencing a situation in which some of our Clergy collude with some Theological Institutions to do a two months programme and graduate with B.Th. Such desperate moves are not acceptable and will not help the growth of the Church of God. We shall deregister such Theological Colleges that are found in operating such cheap degree programme.
Crowther Graduate Theological Seminary, Abeokuta: The Ven. Prof. Taiye Aluko, the Rector and his Team are doing well in repositioning the Graduate Theological Seminary for post graduate programmes. This institution will host the strategic theological training such as Francophone Theological Education to raise Leadership for Mission. 2. Digital Education in Partnership with Australia. We have renovated some of the old School Structure and Infrastructure in the Institution and upgrade their Academic program. The number of Anglican Students gaining admission into that Institution is dwindling, while the other Denominations are increasing annually. We request that Dioceses should consider sending their Priests to the Graduate Seminary as priority. Local Leaders International of Australia visited us from Sunday 25th June to July 1st, 2023. They were at CGTS and St Francis of Assisi Theological College. A five days Digital Education Seminar was organize for all our CON Seminaries. We appreciate the Most Rev. Ali Buba Lamido for facilitating and representing us in the collaboration.
Senior Clergy Training Course: The Annual Senior Clergy Training Course has continued to be a time equipping and further development of our senior clergy. We are grateful to Archbishop Blessing Enyinda and the Team of Faculty for this Training. We are able to take some of the Chaplains in the Nigerian Arm Forces and Police Force in the last training session.
ALL CLERGY CONFERENCE: The All Clergy Conference Committee under the leadership of the Most Rev. Blessing C. Enyinda are planning for the National Conference of All Clergy of this Church which will hold next year 2024. We encourage every Diocese and Province to mobilize all our Clergy to attend this Conference. It will be hosted by the Diocese of Lagos. Instructions relating to the organization will be given by the Committee.
Clergy Post-Graduate Scholarship has been sustained and funded from St Matthias collection managed by ABP Lamido and his Team.
Bishops Training Course: The Church of Nigeria New Bishops Training team has started well with the training of the newly elected Bishops this July. They have expanded and enriched the curriculum. We are grateful to the Most Rev Dr. Friday and Mama Imaikhai and the Most Rev. Dr. Emmanuel and Mama Egbunu and all the other resource persons. We shall commence an Advance Bishops training Course in order to continue to build up the capacity of the Leadership of the Church. We will be exploring the possibility of training our Bishops in the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies and other necessary trainings.
BUILDING PEACE AND RECONCILIATION:
Alternative Dispute Resolution Taskforce Efforts: The ADRC under the able leadership of the Hon. Justice Abraham Georgewill, has performed very creditably in resolving some of the problems confronting some Dioceses, Bishops and Clergy, bringing Reconciliation and restoring peace in the Body of Christ. We give thanks to God for the efforts of the Task Force on Interface and Reconciliation have yielded much fruits. Though we are not yet out of the woods in some places. Some of the seeming intractable disputes and challenges have been amicably resolved. The issues in the Diocese of Igbomina are receiving attention. The Cathedral Church of St. Michael, Esie is now under the Primatial Chaplaincy. We posted new team of Clergy to the Cathedral namely Ven. M. O Oladipo as the Cathedral Administrator and Rev. Canon E. K. Asomooba as the Assisting Priest. We are still working on the problems in Sapele Diocese. The ADR Taskforce of the Church of Nigeria is attending to the Sapele issue. Without peace there cannot be effective growth and progress.
Resettling Those Returning from The Orthodox Church: The LORD has helped us thus far in the issues of the Returnees from the Orthodox church. Those posted who have no issues have settled down to Ministry in the Church of Nigeria. There are some with some outstanding issues being raise. We have constituted a Special Investigative Committee under the chairmanship of Most Rev. Israel Amao to look into their matter and report back to House of Bishops. This committee has interacted with the Priests concerned and the issues have been raised in the House of Bishops. We have directed that the Bishops having issues on some of those Returnee Priests should present the matters to Archbishop Amao’s committee. It is not enough for us to complain please give us evidence of the issues being raised so that we shall take informed decisions on these problems. We request Bishops, Clergy and Laity to give the Committee the needed cooperation.
CHURCH OF NIGERIA INVESTMENTS: We established an Investment Task force led by Bishop Chidi Oparaojiaku to help us look at our various investment opportunities. They have designed a CHURCH OF NIGERIA APP. This is yet to be fully operational.
The CSS Bookshop Ltd: This establishment came into being through the CMS. It was a cynosure Church establishment in Nigeria. Its problem became hydra headed for some times now, today by the grace of God the narrative is Changing. The Task force on the Repositioning the CSS ably led by Mazi Sam Ohuabuhunwa this Implementation Committee of the Repositioning of the CSS Ltd has worked with the Board of CSS Companies to see that their recommendations are implemented in order to bring a turnaround in the Company. The Board and the shareholders in their AGM last year adopted the proposal for the Restructuring of the Companies of CSS. The plan for the recapitalization of the Companies of CSS and the creation of CSS HOLDINGS LTD was presented to the last Standing Committee at Kubwa. This plan of rebuilding and repositioning of the CSS to become a thriving and profitable Investment needs the support of all of us. In this General Synod, the Mazi Ohuabunwa’s Committee will address us in the Recapitalization of the CSS Bookshop Ltd. We request that our Dioceses and strong and viable churches will need to invest in this Company, especially now that the Shares are being published and on sale.
CHURCH OF NIGERIA PUBLICATIONS: The Liturgy and Spirituality Committee work and publications are doing well. This Committee under the leadership of Bishop of Osun Diocese is doing a great work and we appreciate them. The Daily Fountain Devotional, the Youth Dynamite, the Sunday School Manuals, the Bible Study Outline have been a great source of Spiritual Nourishment for our members. Some other Christian Denominations use this rich resource. We encourage our Dioceses to book and pay and use them in all our families and churches. In our Anglican characteristics, some local Parishes and Dioceses have gone into producing their own publications. The Spirituality of the Church should not be commercialized or be seen as a way of promoting your own ideology. Special teaching that addresses special areas of need and concern in any locality is permissible but unhealthy competition should not be encourage. Building together makes us stronger. It is even cheaper and richer in terms of central team Writing and production. It is more sustainable and provides more authentic teaching when we work together.
Prayer Mobilization:We thank Rt. Rev. Dr. Sosthenes Eze for his able leadership of the Prayer Ministry of the Church of Nigeria. The Prayer Team has continued in Prayers for all the activities and Missions of the Church. The Church of Nigeria Prayer School was organized from Monday 30th of January to Saturday 4th of February, 2023. It was very successful.
Global Affairs: This Church is well endowed and resourced. We have constituted Team of Career Ambassadors and International relation personnel to help us interface with the diplomatic Communities, Embassies and other Global Concerns. The team facilitated the participation of some the Diplomats attendance at our last Easter Cantata in the Diocese of Abuja.
CHURCH OF NIGERIA AND CHURCH OF THE PROVINCE OF THE WEST AFRICA JOINT TASK FORCE
The Province of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) was created in February 24th 1979 from the Church of The Province of The West Africa. In May 18th 2023 the Archbishop of the Church of The Province of The West Africa, the Most Rev. Dr. Cyril Kobina Ben-Smith visited us and we had a wonderful time of fellowship. Both Provinces share so many things in common particularly as a Church within the same region in our continent but also some liturgical difference. Our affinity with the francophone countries in West Africa presents us with mission opportunities. We inaugurated the Joint Task force between both Province on Monday 31st July, 2023 (yesterday), co-chaired by the Most Rev. Dr. Joseph Akinfenwa Bishop of Ibadan Diocese (Representing CON) and Rt. Rev Thomas B.E Dibo Bishop of Anglican Diocese of Cameroon (Representing CPWA). We are working to collaborate in the area of common Strategy for Mission and Evangelism, Discipleship, Youth Programmes, Women and Theological Education. We believe the Lord we use the Church of Nigeria, to stir a fresh mission passion and exploit in West Africa and beyond.
CCN AND CAN: The Church Nigeria has been a very strong Ecumenical partner in the world-wide Body of Christ and a founding member of Christian Council of Nigeria which in turn helped to establish the Christian Association of Nigeria [CAN]. To the glory of God, the Most Rev. Dr. David Onuoha, the Archbishop of Owerri Ecclesiastical Province, was elected the new President for CCN during the General Assembly of the Association hosted by the Dioceses of Nike, Enugu State. He needs our prayers and support so that God will give grace to this organization to achieve God’s purpose in our generation. We shall work to strengthen our Ecumenical relations and contribute to the overall well-being of the Church of God.
The World Council of Churches [WCC]: The WCC Churches in Nigeria will be hosting the Executive Council of the WCC in Abuja, from 8th to 16th November 2023.The CCN will host the AACC from 17th to 24th November, 2024. The Anglican Communion will be playing vital roles in the hosting of this Meeting. We request for your prayers and support for successful meetings.
During the WCC Assembly in Karlrusel, Germany in 2022, the Most Rev. Dr. Henry Ndukuba was elected as a member of the Central Committee of the WCC. And during the Central Committee Meeting in Geneva Switzerland, the Most Rev. Dr. Michael O. Fape was appointed a member of the Faith and Order Committee of the WCC. It is important that this Church should play her role in Ecumenism both locally, regionally, Nationally and Internationally. We have so much to contribute to the Universal Church, especially now that the Revisionists are trying so hard to undermine the Truth of the Word of God and overthrow the faith of many Christians. The Church of Nigeria has a God given task to Contend for this Faith, once and for all delivered to the Saints and to Faithfully Proclaim the Gospel of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. This Light must dispel the darkness of this age.
CHURCH OF NIGERIA INITIATIVE IN ECUMENISM.
In order to build up our fellowship and partnership with the Denominations who we are in Communion with, the Church of Nigeria has created Forum of Fellowship and partnership in Mission and to deepen our Ministry and witness together. To this end we have established the following Commissions.
Anglican Roman Catholic Commission: Most Rev. Dr. Michael Fape as co-Chairman, Bishop Duke Akamisoko as Co-Secretary.
Anglican- African Church Commission:
Anglican and Methodist Church Commission:
The Most Rev. Dr. Alexander Ibezim as Co-Chairman
We share Joint Chairmen and Secretary in all the Commissions and hold our statutory meetings.
ST. MATTHIAS AND ADVENT COLLECTIONS: These two statutory Collections of the National Church have continued to provide support for our Missionary Dioceses, Institutions, Organizations and Infrastructural Development. Thank you for being part of this contribution. Some Dioceses are yet to remit the 2023 St. Matthias Collection. There is need for us to restructure the use of St. Matthias Collection and may consider a new way to raise Funds in order to help our needy Dioceses to start investments that will enable them to be self-reliant and sustain their work and Missions. This will be a revolving Loan to empower the Dioceses.
APPRECIATION: We give thanks and praise to the Almighty God for His guidance and leading in the work and activities of the Church in the Session of the 13th Synod. We are greatly indebted to all those who served God and His Church so sacrificially at various levels, the Archbishops and Bishops, the Presidents of the Women Ministry, the Officials of the Church and all God’s people. We must thank the General Secretary: Ven Dr. Paul Geshnen Dajur; Legal Officers, the Treasurers and Directors of the Directorates. We must thank particularly the immediate past Dean of the Church of Nigeria, the Most Rev. Dr. and Mama Ali Buba Lamido for their meritorious service to this Church, for standing with us and piloting the activities of this Church. We thank the Chancelor, Hon Henry Odein Ajimogobia for his wise counsel and guidance at all times. The Registrar: Barr. Dr. Abraham Yisa: this servant of God has laboured selflessly for this Church under Most Rev. Peter J. Akinola, the Most. Rev. Dr. Nicholas D. Okoh and also with us. He has seen it all and bears so much of this Institution. We thank the Treasurer: Mrs Yemi Dada who whose humility and doggedness in faithful service with her team has been a great treasure to God’s Kingdom. We thank all our Directors and Chairmen of Committees and Taskforces and their Team. God shall surely remember you all and bless you richly and increase the fruit of your righteousness.
NEW BISHOPS, ARCHBISHOPS, DEAN OF THE CHURCH OF NIGERIA: In line with the constitutional provisions of the Church of Nigeria, we held our Episcopal synod at the Basilica of Grace Anglican Church, Abuja on Tuesday 6th June 2023 where the Most Rev. Dr. Blessing Enyinda was elected the new Dean of the Church of Nigeria, and the Most Rev. Dr. Michael Fape and Most Rev. Dr. Timothy Yahaya were elected and presented as the Archbishop for the Province of Lagos and Kaduna respectively. Four new Bishop-elects, Ven. Collins Babalola, Ven. Festus Nwafili, Ven. Ifedola Okupevi, and Ven. Ebenezer Saika were elected to the See of Ajayi Crowther, Ndokwa, Lagos and Akoko Edo Dioceses respectively. The Bishops have done their training, Consecration Retreat. The Service of Presentation of the new Dean and the two new Archbishops and consecration will take place at Archbishop Vining Memorial Cathedral, Ikeja on Sunday 27th August, 2023. Please keep us and these our fathers in God in your prayers.
Retired Archbishops and Bishops:
- The Rt.Rev. Prince and Mrs Victoria Antai Diocese of Uyo
- The Rt.Rev James and Mrs Felicia Oruwori Diocese of Ogbia
- Most Rev. Christopher and Mrs Margret Omotunde Ekiti Diocese / Province of Ondo
- Rt. Rev. David and Edith Bello Oturpo Diocese
- Most Rev. Segun & Mrs Juliet Okunbadejo Ibandan North/ Ibadan Province
- Rt. Rev. Samuel and Mrs Morenike Sowale Ilesha Diocese
- Rt. Rev. Christiana Akinlalu Oke Osun Diocese
- Rt. Rev. & Mrs. Adeline Emamezi Western Izon Diocese
- Most Rev. Tunde and Mrs. Dorothy Adeleye – Calabar Diocese/Niger Delta Province 2021
- Rt. Rev. Emeka & Mrs Theresa Mogekwu Asaba Diocese
- Rt. Rev. Kelechi & Evelyn Eze Ukwa Diocese
- Rt Rev. Idowu and Mrs Bolanle Olugbemi Ilaje Diocese
- Rt. Rev & Mrs Morjirayo Amusa Oke -Ogun Diocese
- Rt. Rev. Ralph and Mrs Victoria Ebiriren Niger Delta Diocese
New Bishops and Wives
- Rt. Rev. Victor & Mrs. Yemi Okporu—Western Izon Diocese
- Rt. Rev.(Prof) Nneoyi & Dr(Mrs) Ada Egbe Calabar Diocese
- Rt. Rev. Ishaya & Mrs Felicia Baba Zaria Diocese
- Rt. Rev. Randi & Mrs. Leto Wonole Bari Diocese
- Rt. Rev. Kingsley and Mrs. Comfort Obuh Asaba Diocese
- Rt. Rev. Benjamin & Mrs. OluKemi Enwuchola – Oturpo Diocese
- Rt. Rev. Prince & Mrs. Vienna Ayim Isikuato/Umuneochi Diocese
- Rt. Rev. Isaac & Mrs. Adebisi Adeniji Ilaje Diocese
- Rt. Rev, Adewale Andrew & Mrs. Olajumoke Adebiyi -Oke- Ogun Diocese
- Rt. Rev. Nixon & Dr. Mrs. Blessing Enekeme – Niger Delta West Diocese
- Rt. Revd. Collins & Prof (Mrs.) Chinedum Babalola Ajayi Crowther Diocese
- Rt Rev. Festus & Mrs. Evelyn Nwafili — Ndokwa Diocese
- Rt Rev. Ifedola & Mrs. Modupe Okupevi –Lagos Diocese
- Rt Rev. Ebenezer & Mrs. Favour Saika Akoko-Edo Diocese
- Mrs. Janet Jwan Zhumbes – Bukuru Diocese
- Mrs. Sim Zakar Nyam – Kano Diocese
Since September 2020, the following fathers and mothers in God had gone to be with the Lord:
- Rt. Rev. Augustine Omole Sokoto Diocese 2021
- Rt Rev. Jolly Oyekpen Akoko-Edo Diocese August 2022
- Most Rev. Humphrey Olumakaiye Lagos Diocese /Lagos Province October 2022
- Rt. Rev. David Obiosa Ndokwa Diocese –Oct. 2022
- Rt. Rev. Jonathan Bamayi Katsina Diocese March 2023
- Mrs. Grace Olushola Diocesan President Ijesha North East June 2023
- Mrs Gladys Imasuen Diocesan President, Benin Diocese Sept 2023
- Most Rev. Caleb Maduoma Retied Bishop of Diocese of Ideato / Province of Owerri
- Most Rev. Maxwell Anikwenwa Retired Bishop of Awka / Province of the Niger
- Rt. Rev Tanimu Aduda Retired Bishop of Gwagwalada
- Rt. Rev. Prof. Augustine Iwuagwu -Retired Bishop of Aba Diocese
- Rt. Rev. Abraham Awosan Retired Bishop of Oke Osun.
- Rt. Rev. Peter Adebiyi Retired Bishop of Lagos West
- Rt. Rev Gabriel Pepple Retired Bishop of Niger Delta
- Mrs. Beatrice Onyemelukwe Diocese on the Niger
- Mrs Grace Iwuagwu Diocese of Aba
- Mrs Adetiloye – wife of late Primate Adetiloye
- Mrs Olajide – wife of retired Bishop of Ibadan Diocese
- Mrs Phebe Anyawu – wife of the late Bishop of Mbaise
- Mrs Zipporah Abere -wife of the retired Bishop of Okirika
THE HOSTING OF THE STANDING COMMITTEE MEETINGS OF THE CHURCH OF NIGERIA, 2024 TO 2025:
- February 5th to 9th 2024 to be hosted by Diocese of Ika.
- September 16th to 20th 2024 to be hosted by Diocese of Remo.
- February 2025 to be hosted by the Diocese of Niger Delta.
- September 2025 to be hosted by the Diocese of Amichi.
CONCLUSION: Nehemiah saw beyond the physical devastation of the Walls and burnt gates to the spiritual, emotional, and social destruction of the foundations of the Society. Such brings reproach and distress. When core values are eroded and the moral conscience is destroyed, the people will lack the will to stand. As the Scripture say, “If the foundations are destroyed what will the righteous do?”
Part of the root of our Spiritual and Societal problems and brokenness is the issue of the erosion of Spiritual Truth of the Word of God and the Moral Values that were the foundations of Life and Society. This has affected the way in which we see and perceive, not only the worth of people, but more so, the functions of the Society. The Scriptures testified: “Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their Synagogues, Preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom, and Healing every sickness and every disease among the people. But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd…” One believes that the condition of the Jews in Jerusalem and Judah were same as the people in the days of Jesus.
Nehemiah saw beyond the physical devastation of the Walls and burnt gates to the spiritual, emotional and social destruction of the foundations of the Society. Such brings reproach and distress. When core values are eroded and the moral conscience is destroyed, the people will lack the will to stand. As the Scripture say, “If the foundations are destroyed what will the righteous do?” Part of the root of our Spiritual and Societal problems and brokenness is the issue of the erosion of the Truth of the Word of God and the Moral Values that were the foundations of Life and the Society. This has affected the way in which we see and perceive, not only the worth of people, but more so, the functions of the Church and Society. One believes that the condition of the Jews in Jerusalem and Judah were same as the people in the days of Jesus, and so with our present-day Nigeria. The Mandate of God to His people, the Church is “ARISE AND BUILD”. We need to rebuild the broken foundations, and the walls and secure the gates of our lives, the family, the Mission and Ministry of the Church, and indeed, be the spiritual, moral, and prophetic voice for God in this Nation and world.
We thank you all for your sacrificial labour in the Lord. May the Lord bless and prosper the work of your hands in the Name of our LORD AND SAVIOUR JESUS CHRIST.
MARANATHAN!!! PEACE BE WITH YOU ALL.
The Most Rev. Henry C. Ndukuba. DD.
Isaiah 41:10-11, NKJV
 Neh. 1:3
 NKJV Nehemiah, page 675.
 Hebrews 2:4
 Psalm 127:1-2
 Leviticus 26:31-33
 Deut. 4:25-27
 Neh. 1:5-7
 Neh. 2:17
 Neh 2:8.
 Lamentation 3:19-24.
 E-Dictionary. Google.
 James 4:5
 BCP, Service of Holy Baptism
 Romans 8:20-23
 Genesis 22:2
 Genesis 22:13-14
 Psalm 125: 1-2
 Psalm 122:1-9
 Jeremiah 7:3-7
 Isaiah 6:8-9
 Romans 10:5-13
 2 Corinthians 5:17
 Matthew 3: 8-10
 Nehemiah 5:19; 13:14, 22, 28-31
 NIV Chain Reference Bible; page 1654
 Acts 4:11-12
 Romans 6:9-10; Hebrews 9:25-26,28
 Article 28
 Proverbs 11:3.
 Matthew 9:35-36.
 Proverbs 11:3.