By Gid Ahanonu
The Anglican Bishop of Owerri Rt Rev. Cyril C. Okorocha Ph.D penultimate Saturday said that parish status is incomplete without evangelism.
He called on Christians to imbibe the culture of spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ as a requisite to inherit the kingdom of God.
Bishop Okrocha made these statements at St. Cyprian’s Anglican Church Amaocha Afara in Mbaitoli local government area of Imo State while inaugurating Afara Parish with headquarters at St Cyprians Church Afara in Eziama Obiato Archdeaconry.
The prelate who called for love and peace among Christians also urged them to shun idol worship stressing that “you can’t serve God and devil at the same time”.
He advised the parishioners not to be carried away by the big name of a parish but to live up to their Christian obligations which include evangelism and planting of new churches.
The ceremony also featured the naming of St Cyprians Chapel by the Bishop.
After narrating the history of the first African Pope, St Cyprian who nurtured St Augustine, he named the chapel at Umuezike Afara St Augustine’s Anglican Church Umuezike Afara to comform with the story of St. Cyprian of Cartage.
In his sermon, Rev. Casmir Opuruiche Ukonu traced the history of the advent of Christianity in Nigeria which was fiercely opposed but later succeeded and stated that the parish was instituted out of Gods’ design.
He urged the people to be courageous and not to be ashamed of the gospel which he said is the pillar of their strength.
Rev. Ukonu enjoined the parishioners not to allow the light to go off in their time, assuring them of God’s faithfulness at all times.
He assured the Diocesan that the Parish will plant more churches in the village in no distant time. “The church shall march on and the gates of hell shall not prevail”, he said.
High point of the occasion was the induction of the resident priest, Rev. Davidson Opurum and his wife as the parish priest/vicar of Afara interim Parish. The bishop also announced a waiver of the indebtedness of the church in the Diocese and this received a standing ovation from the congregation.
A delegation of All Saints Roman Catholic Church Afara, led by Mr. Tadeus Nwana who attended the occasion, acknowledged the good evangelical works of Bishop Okorocha in Afara, assuring him of their ecumenical co-operation with the Anglican Church in the area. They also made financial donations to the new parish.
The event featured fund raising in support of the parish and for the upkeep of the church.
In his vote of thanks the Administrator of Eziana Obiato Archdeaconry, Rev. Canon Charles Alajemba expressed appreciation to the Bishop on behalf of the Archdeaconry for the Episcopal visit.
By Gid Ahanonu