Bishop Amgbare decries diminishing integrity among clergy
The Diocesan Bishop of Northern Izon, Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), Rt. Rev’d Funkuro G. Amgbare has expressed concern at the decreasing rate of integrity among the ministers of the church. He attributed the development to the nefarious and mischievous activities of many pastors, parading themselves as men of God. Lamenting that many people had lost confidence in present pastors, Amgbare, who said the ugly situation was in fulfilment of the end time prediction of the Lord Jesus Christ that the love of many will grow cold in the latter days.
He spoke at the Holy Communion service that started a five-day Retreat of the Clergy and Wives of the Diocese of Northern Izon at the Ibru Ecumenical Retreat Centre, Agbarha-Otor, with the theme, Stewardship and Integrity. He urged participants to maintain faithfulness and integrity in their stewardship, as he reminded them that stewardship and integrity started from God Himself, Who also requires such from His ministers.
In his words: “Pastors are accountable to God and should be above reproach in their services, which are both to God and human beings. Ministers who do not accept instructions and whose parishioners cannot count on them have lost their integrity.”
The Retreat Leader, Bishop of Kebbi, Most Rev’d Edmund Akanya, who preached on the Holy Communion services and also gave series of talks, said the issues of stewardship and integrity are foundational matters that relate to what people do. He urged the pastors and wives to heed Paul’s admonition to Timothy in 1Tim. 3:14f, to know how they ought to behave or conduct themselves in the church. The cleric who likened the church as custodian of truth, where people are supposed to find truth, urged pastors to follow Jesus by seeking to be like Him, not copying men or the trends. He charged them to shun characters such as hypocrisy, flamboyance and arrogance.
Other resource persons at the Retreat were Rector of the Ibru Centre, Ven. Dr. Princewill Ireoba, who delivered a talk on: “Hierarchical Order in the Anglican Communion: A Blessing or Disaster” and Ven. Dr. J.M.A. Torunana who led in a daily Bible Study.
The programme was put together by a Committee headed by The Venerable Markson John, the Synod Secretary of the Diocese and afforded the clergy and wives of the Diocese the opportunity of not only spiritual rejuvenation, but also social interaction. The Retreat, which started on Monday, September 9, 2019, ended on Friday, September 13 with a Holy Communion Service.