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Bishop tasks newly ordained deacons

Anglican Bishop of  Egbu, Rt. Rev. Geoffrey Okorafor, has charged the newly ordained deacons to be faithful pastors to all whom they are called to serve. They are also to ensure that they fashioned their lives and those of their households in keeping with Christian tenets.
Bishop Okorafor  gave the charge while conducting the the diaconate ordination of five deacons at the Cathedral Church of All Saints, Egbu in Owerri North LGA,Imo State.
The Bishop while laying hands on the Deacons, further urged them to also be diligent in the reading and study of the Holy  Scriptures, and in seeking the knowledge of such things that would make them stronger and able ministers of Jesus Christ.
In his sermon entitled “Which gospel are you preaching”, Rev. Canon Obioma Chikeka observed that the position of deacons in the church came up as a result of ethnic issues which arose in the early Church. He pointed out that the Hebrew widows were given preferential treatment against the Gentile widows which gave rise to serious murmuring within the Church.
Rev. Chikeka disclosed that the early apostles in their God given wisdom decided that the Church should elect seven honest men, whom the Church ordained deacons with the mandate to see to the needs of all widows with equity. Citing Apostle Paul’s letter to Timothy in 1 Tim. 3:12-13 he listed the qualities of a deacon and congratulated the ordinands for having met the requirements.
The Cleric noted that people still murmur in the Church today, adding that inequality, preferential treatment and ethnic issues which nearly caused the early church to lose focus still persist.
Referring to the Second Lesson (Matt.25: 14-30 ), Canon Chikeka noted that a good number of Christians still behave like the servant who buried his talent, for the fear of his master, as aresult could not put into use his talent and therefore did not achieve anything.
He regretted that some Church leaders waste their time and resources trying to lure people from other denominations to their denominations and argued that the Europeans who brought Christianity to Africa came with the aim of converting heathens to Christianity. He enjoined Christians to shun selfish interests so that the Church will not lose focus. “Depart from the gospel of deceit; the devil has been on it. His motive is to produce another gospel to deceive people and keep them blind. The devil has inspired pastors and General Overseers with eloquence to teach and propagate their teachings”, he said.
The Old Testament Lesson (Hosea 11: 1-9) was taken by Dame Rose Enyiegbulam, while the New Testament Lesson (Matt. 25: 14-30) was read by Rev. Gideon Njoku. Others who officiated in the programme included Rev. Canon Alaezechukwu Osuji, who read the epistle (Eph. 1:1-16), Rev. Canon Erickson Maduagwu who handled the litany and the Archdeacon of Egbu, Ven. Chidi Iyke Amadi, who presented the Ordinards for oath taking, declaration and ordination proper. The five newly ordained deacons were Samuel Diala, Chimaobi Ugorji, Chidiebere Chukwuma, David Anusiem and Clifford Eleazu.
Highpoints of the occasion were  the restoration of Rev. Obioma Chikeka as a Canon of the Cathedral by the Bishop, the presentation of license to the new Deacons and the administration of the Holy Communion.
Present at the occasion were the pioneer Bishop of the Diocese, the Rt. Rev. Prof. Emmanuel Uchechukwu Iheagwam and the Chancellor of the Diocese and immediate past  Chief Judge of Imo State, Hon. Justice Benjamin Njemanze and his   wife, Dr. Joy, the Registrar, Bar Ifeanyi Eke, Chief Magistrate  Maureen Onyewuotu and  Bar C.T. Okeke, legal Secretaries.

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