By Gid Ahanonu
The Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Isi-Mbano, Rt. Rev. Godson Ukanwa, PhD (JP) has identified lack of trust in a church leader as one of the causes of crisis in the church.
Preaching the sermon at the Holy Communion service to mark the induction and institution of Ven. Paschal Okwara at St. Andrew’s Church as the new Archdeacon for Umuduru Archdeaconry in the diocese, the Bishop stressed the need for integrity on the part of the clergy.
He urged priests not to compromise their good name with material things as it is worthless for someone to gain the whole world and lose his soul.
He listed the challenges before the clergy to include irregular attendance to service by some members, people’s inability to redeem pledges, involvement of parishioners in too many political and religious activities of different denominations at the same time as well as low appreciation of the selfless service of local pastors, including wrong assessment of the finances of the church.
Bishop Ukanwa advised priests facing such challenges to be prayerful and be open to the congregation.
He also said that they should admonish members who patronize so-called miracle churches while also counselling erring members with words of encouragement.
He emphasized that the primary function of a pastor is to keep peace in his area, beginning from the families, as peaceful coexistence affects the church positively.
He recalled that Ven. Okwara performed well at Amauzari because he was humane and urged him to do the same in his new positing.
The Bishop described Okwara as a great teacher whose services manifested in hosting the best Synod in the diocese, church planting and raising the standard of the mission secondary school, among others.
The occasion also featured the induction of the wardens in the Archdeaconry by the Bishop who counseled them to keep to church rules, pray for and cooperate with the priest.
The Archdeacon of Amauzari, Ven. Chijioke Soribe, assisted the Bishop in performing the ceremony, while the Vicar of Mbeke, Rev. Can. A.T.C. Ezeala read the first lesson.
The Epistle was taken by the Vicar of St. John’s Umuduru Rev. Chigozie Asamole (Jnr) as Rev. Jonah Ejindu, handled the gospel.