By Nick Chibunna
The Anglican Diocese of Ikeduru rounded off its 2017 activities with its annual stakeholders forum.
The event was preceded by the advent ordination and commissioning of her new lay readers.
The forum is an annual get-together of all sons and daughters of the Diocese which takes place on the 29th of December every year since its inauguration on the 14th July 2009.
Addressing the gathering, the Bishop of the Diocese, Rt. Rev. Emmanuel Chigozie Maduwike, JP thanked all who contributed in various ways to uplift the young Diocese.
He was full of praise for Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu for undertaking to complete the Cathedral building.
He also thanked many others, and prayed God to continue to bless them.
He used the occasion to reel out some of the landmark achievements of the Diocese in the past eight years which include the building of a multimillion naira event centre at Atta, payment of over N3m as medical bills and other assistance to indigent members of the society, rehabilitation of schools and Diocesan Health Care Centres, the on-going hostel projects at Umuagwo and many others.
The prelate called for more financial and materials assistance to enable the Diocese do more.
Earlier, during the opening devotion, Ven. Sydney Akuwudike had described the gathering as a happy reunion of sons and daughters of the Diocese within and in the diaspora.
Admonishing from Neh. 2:11-20, Ven. Akuwudike said that as Nehemiah mobilized the people of God to rebuild the fallen wall of Jerusalem, so would God help the parishioners in the Diocese to rise and build.
Others who addressed the gathering included the chairman of the Forum, Prof. Cliff Anunuso who enjoined all to continue to support the young Diocese in order to actualize the vision of the founding fathers.
The coordinating chaplain of the Forum, Ven. Josiah I. Emeribe also presented an address.
Also, at the advent ordination which took place on Saturday, the 23rd December, 2017 at the Holy Trinity Anglican Church Iho, in the Ikeduru Council Area of Imo State, the Bishop of the Diocese, the Rt. Rev. Emmanuel Chigozie Maduwike, JP, had advised the newly ordained to abstain from all sinful lusts that might constitute impediments to their calling.
The prelate said that a priest of God is an apt teacher given to proclaim by word and deed the gospel of Jesus Christ, and at the same time cares for His flock by blessing them and strengthening the weak and the needy.
To the newly ordained deacon, Bishop Maduwike enjoined him to spend quality time in prayer and in the study of the word of God. He advised him to always seek the will of God in the execution of duties assigned to him by his priest.
To the newly commissioned lay readers, Rt. Rev. Maduwike advised them not to see their new position as bazaar or scramble for material benefits from the altar but to assist whoever that is charge of a Church Station and carry out any duty that might be assigned to them.
Bishop Maduwike said that all who had been called for the service of God must shun greed, love of money, immoralities, mundane thing and others in order not to incur the wrath of God.
Earlier, in a homily entitled, “call to serve” (1 Peter 2:9), the preacher, Ven. J.I.O. Emeribe had admonished the newly ordained and the commissioned lay readers to see their calling as divine.
He said that God who had called them into His Ministry would equip them to carry out the onerous task of enlarging His Kingdom on earth.
Ven. Emeribe reminded them that the work of God is full of challenges, but quick to add that God would see them through.
He gave instances of men and women of old who served God diligently and fulfilled their respective ministries, adding that the same God would enlarge their coast.
The event was well attended with the former minister of Aviation, Dr. Mrs. Kema Chikwe, and Sir Emma Ezeji, Diocesan Commissary in the United States who read one of the lessons.
Two deacons were ordained priests. They included Rev. Uzochukwu Nnanebu and Rev. Dr. Tabiri Chukwunta. The ordained deacon is Rev. Nelson Edoziem. Thirty four persons were commissioned lay readers.
By Nick Chibunna