By Nick Chibunna
The first session of the fourth Synod of the Anglican Diocese of Ikeduru was rounded off last Sunday at St. Peter’s Anglican Church, Umuoziri Inyishi, in the Ikeduru Council Area of Imo State with a call on the people of God to stand firm in the midst of the present crises and conflicts.
The four-day event with the central theme: “IMMANUEL AND PERILOUS TIMES”,( a plain look at 1 Peter 5:8), attracted dignitaries from all walks of life, which included top government functionaries, politicians, religions leaders, traditional rulers, legal luminaries, captains of industries, and over 3,000 accredited delegates.
In his presidential address and charge, the Bishop of the Diocese, the Rt. Revd. Emmanuel Chigozie Maduwike, JP, reminded the August gathering that the day was evil and far spent.
Expounding on the theme of the synod, Bishop Maduwike implored the people of God not to lose faith, but to always wait on God in whatever situations they might find themselves.
In a detailed analysis of the word, “IMMANUEL”, which is interpreted as, “God with us”, the prelate said that God cannot abandon His people, adding that His presence is always there to guide and protect them.
He said that “IMMANUEL”, is the fulfillment of prophecy in Isaiah 7:14, which is God’s promise to deliver and save His people from their sins (Matt. 1:23).
According to him, God’s love has its yes in Christ Jesus who took the form of human nature in order to save the whole world, adding that God was in Christ reconciling the entire world unto Himself.
Bishop Maduwike who also described the word “PERILOUS”, as dangerous and hazardous enjoined all to avail themselves of this rare gift of God by making Christ their sure cornerstone.
On “IMMANUEL AND PERILOUS TIMES”, the outspoken prelate lamented that today; happiness has given way to sorrow, occasioned by frustrations and despondency, adding that every facet of human endeavour is affected.
According to him, from offices to various homes, there have been war crises of hunger, insecurity, lack of basic amenities, unemployment, canality and compromise even among today’s professing Christians, warning that these were signs of the end time.
On the state of the nation, Bishop Maduwike lamented that Nigeria has been bedeviled with all manner of problems, especially in the last three years, adding that every system has collapsed.
As the nation gropes around in the dark, he said, anxiety, insecurity, acrid impunity, economic dislocation and executive lawlessness hold sway.
He blamed the ruling class for all the national woes and warned that except something is done and quickly too, the nation might be heading to the rocks.
Bishop Maduwike condemned the present high cost of primary elections among some political parties, mass defections and inordinate ambition among political gladiators and prayed that IMMANUEL would see the nation through as the 2019 general elections draw nearer.
The four-day event which kicked off on Thursday the 11th October through Sunday the 14th featured a wide range of activities which included, courtesy calls on traditional rulers in the area, installation and induction of new chancellor and legal officers, reports from Archdeaconries and various arms of the church, Bible studies and prayer sessions, re-affirmation of clergy oaths and the cutting of the synod cake.
Dignitaries who attended the event include, Chief E.C. Iwuanyanwu, Dr. E. Iwueze, Hon. Justice Evelyn Anyadike, Hon. Justice Uzo Anyanwu, Chancellor of Ikeduru Diocese, Mummy Jane Nwankiti and a host of others.
Guest preacher to this year’s synod is Rt. Rev. Dr, James Hiles, Bishop of St. Paul’s Parish Brockton Massachustts, USA.
He preached extensively on the theme of the synod.
Guests and delegates who spoke to Christian Voice after the event expressed their joy and satisfaction and prayed to Immanuel to always be with the Diocese.
Both the host Archdeacon, Ven. J.B.C. Njoku and chairman of the Local Organising Committee, Sir Ephraim Nwanguma said that their joy knew no bounds.
St. Peter’s choir rendered special anthem while members of the Boys Brigade played the fanfare.