Communique Issued At The End of The Bishops And Wives Retreat At Bariga LagosJanuary 18, 2023
- CON ICT
- February 20, 2022
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Dearly beloved in Christ,
In the name of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. Amen.
We bring greetings to you from the meeting of the Standing Committee of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) hosted by the Diocese of Lagos, at Archbishop Adebola and Oluranti Ademowo Resource Centre, Faith Plaza (CMS Grammar School), Bariga, Lagos State, from Monday, 20th to Friday, 24th September 2021. The theme of the meeting was “Abiding in Christ: God’s Panacea in an Unstable World” John 15: 1 – 8.
We were well received by the Diocese of Lagos (Anglican Communion) and the Province of Lagos. It was an opportunity for us to recognise some eminent Anglicans for outstanding performance with an award for courageous leadership in challenging situations in various states across the country. Meanwhile, the unstable state of our country is a matter of utmost concern to all and sundry. Banditry and kidnapping and insecurity now characterise the life of our society in the present-day Nigeria, and it is painful that our dear country has found itself in this situation. Many are now fearful, exhibiting hopelessness and lack of confidence in the future of our country. Yet, at this meeting, we are strongly encouraged not to give up on our faith in Christ and the power of the Lord to deliver us and our country. The Standing Committee condemns in strong terms the murder of Rev Emeka Merenu from Orlu Diocese, Owerri Province by unknown gunmen right inside the church parsonage. The Standing committee commiserates with his family, the Diocese, the entire church and others who have suffered the same faith.
Our joy is that abiding in Christ gives us hope to go through all this situation. It is important therefore that we hold on to Christ and abide in Him, who is the solution to our problems. If we remain in Him, he is able to keep us and make us fruitful. Therefore, we encourage all our members to remain faithful and committed to Christ, knowing what he has called us to be, and remain firmly committed to the purpose of our calling as God’s children. This demands that we focus on Christ and allow no distraction whatsoever, but look up to Christ who is the author and finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:1 – 2).
The economic and socio-political problems of our time call for responsible leadership on the part of our political leaders. While we note with joy the improvement in our economic situation as recently announced by the Government, we are well aware that unemployment and inflation are still high. But we appeal to you all never to lose hope, but to serve with diligence wherever the Lord has placed you, while we continue to pray for more improvement in our economic situation. Hence, we call that you do not cease to pray while you go on with your daily business in confidence knowing that our God will not abandon His children.
We are aware of the attempt of some people who are trying to use the name Anglican in the formation of their churches. This is most unfortunate when we realise that it is intended to confuse our members; and also, bearing in mind that those who are doing this are people who are under discipline from our church for their immoral conduct. We are working with our legal officers to tackle these groups. In the meantime, we urge you not to be confused. There is only one Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) duly registered in Nigeria. Any one that tries to use the name Anglican deceptively is mischievous. Therefore, I ask you to be vigilant and not be confused. Please, continue to serve God faithfully; and be loyal to the leadership within the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) in the Diocese where the Lord has placed you.
We are delighted to report that our mission in North America is growing and we are working on a plan to have it register as a non-profit charitable organisation in North America as ‘Church of Nigeria North American Mission’ (CONNAM). Please, continue to pray for this mission and all those who are working there, that, through them, the work of God, may continue to grow.
Here, at the home front, we have at this meeting launched an initiative called Anglican Compassion And Development Initiative (ACADI) to lead in our fight against drug abuse and addiction. Drug abuse has reached an alarming stage in our society and the havoc this is doing to our numerous youths is unimaginable. Please, join us to fight the scourge. Any drug that has not been prescribed for our use by certified health workers is not to be taken; and we should not indulge in using drugs for any selfish aim to attain what we may not be able to attain naturally.
Regrettably, COVID-19 pandemic has not totally disappeared from the world yet. It is disturbing that the Delta variant of it is manifesting even in our country. Our government is now making an effort to ensure that the people who live in Nigeria are vaccinated against this terrible virus. While appealing to all to continue to keep the protocols, it is now important to encourage all our members to ensure that they are vaccinated, as a better way of ensuring protection against this disease.
Finally, we urge you to continue to serve God faithfully knowing that your labour in the Lord is not in vain. The bane of the Church of our time is a loud profession of the faith that is devoid of the integrity and character. Much noise with not much fruit. God wants us to shine as light and be the salt of our decaying society and the only way to do so is by abiding in Christ, obeying His Word, and serving God in worship and witnessing to His love. The fruit He desires of us is the fruit of repentance, Christ-like character, the gifts of the Holy Spirit, the fruit and harvest of soul winning and mission. Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ said, “Remain in Me, and I will remain in you. For the branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be unless you remain in Me.… When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to My Father” (John 15: 4, 8).
To the only Wise and Eternal God, be glory, dominion and excellence, now and forever. Amen.
Your brother and fellow-branch in the True Vine,
The Most Reverend Henry Chukwudum Ndukuba, MA, BD, MA (Ed),
Archbishop, Metropolitan and Primate of All Nigeria.PASTORAL-LETTER-FROM-THE-STANDING-COMMITTEE-OF-THE-CON