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Bishops renew Fresh Encounter With God

By Princewill Ireoba
09 January 2022   |   4:03 am
The Ibru Ecumenical Centre, Agbarha-Otor, Delta State, played host to the yearly retreat of the Bishops of the Church of Nigeria for the year 2022 from January 3 to 7.

The Bishops at the 2022 Retreat

The Ibru Ecumenical Centre, Agbarha-Otor, Delta State, played host to the yearly retreat of the Bishops of the Church of Nigeria for the year 2022 from January 3 to 7. The retreat, which was presided over by the Primate of the Church, The Most Rev. Henry Ndukuba, is the programme with which the bishops start the year with special prayers and reflection for renewed vision and direction for leading the church of God in the year. The theme of the retreat was “It is the Lord: Fresh Encounter with the Living God,” taken from John 21:1-15.

Different speakers in the programme, which among other things featured daily church services, Bible studies, talks, presentations, business meeting and Trinity Foundation Board meeting, charged the Bishops to have a fresh encounter with God.

Preaching in the first matins, the Archbishop of the Niger Province and Bishop of Awka Diocese, The Most Rev. (Dr) Alexander Ibezim, urged the Bishops to be open and prepared to meet and work with the Lord in their normal life activities. Noting that it was while the seven disciples were engaged in their hobby of fishing that they failed to have breakthrough until the Lord appeared and gave them a direction, which led to their having a big catch that tore their net.

The Archbishop also noted that the Lord prepared a breakfast for them, adding that no matter the Bishops familiarity with the work or their status that they need Jesus to succeed.

He said: “My dear brothers, we need to have an encounter with God. God wants us to forget our position and look up to him. Jesus knows all things, including how to catch fish, prevent net tearing and prepare breakfast.”

In another matins, the Bishop of Kabba, The Rt Rev. Stephen Akobe, stressed the need for spiritual, personal and intimate relationship with the Lord, noting that by appearing to different people after his resurrection, including his disciples, Jesus expressed that he is needed. Though He died, He is alive and they cannot do without Him.

Akobe urged the cleric to embrace the Jesus’ cross for intimate relationship with Him and not hold on to their qualifications, merits and other distractions.

“People of God, there are many distractions. As we serve in the episcopate, there are distractions,” he said.

He admonished them to crucify “self” and permeate God’s special presence and carry his glory into their ministries.

In the Holy Communion Service held on the Epiphany Day, the Bishop of Ekiti-Oke, The Rt Rev. Isaac Olubowale reminded the cleric that they were chosen by God to go and bear fruits. He diagnosed the problem of Nigeria as lack of core common value (CCV), stressing that Nigeria’s amalgamation, independence and constitution are not based on core common value.

Olubowale noted that church has the core common value in the Scripture and charge the Bishops to make adequate use of it.

Other speakers included, The Rt Rev. (Dr.) Emmanuel Oko-Jaja (Bible Study Leader), The Rt Rev (Dr.) Stephen Fagbemi, The Rt Rev. V.O. Muoghereh, The Rt Rev. Aloysius Agbo, The Rt Rev. (Prof.) Dapo Asaju, Mrs Angela Ndukuba, Most Rev (Dr.) Benneth Okoro, Rt Rev. Sunday Adewole, Rt Rev. Timothy Yahaya, Rt Rev. Godfery Ekpenisi, Rt Rev Chidi Oparaojiaku, among others.