Diocesan clergy, wives rejuvenate at retreat
The Anglican Diocese of Niger Delta of the Church of Nigeria and wives held a seven-day intensive spiritual edification exercise at the Ibru International Ecumenical Centre, Agbarha-Otor, Delta State from October 7 to 14, 2019. The weeklong retreat was attended by the Lord Bishop of the Diocese of Niger Delta and wife, Rt. Rev and Mrs. Ralph C. Ebirien, the Clergy and their wives, as well as invited guest speakers.
Themed, “Equipping the Saints,” the discourse was taken from Ephesians 4:12 and featured seminars, workshops, and talks, which were the preparative tools to re-engineering the spiritual wellbeing of the clergy. The participants were reminded that proper teaching of the gospel, both in the church and at home was the panacea to society’s challenges today.
Bishop Ebirien identified such challenges as social vices, church growth decline and moral decadence as consequences of lack of sound and consistent teachings in the church. He, however, urged the church to pursue the ministry of teaching and endeavour to bring it back, just like the return of the ark, to solve both present and future societal moral decline, and church repressive growth.
One of the highlights of the programme was the speech delivered by Rt. Rev Blessing Enyinda, who said the job of priesthood of the church is not a profession; neither is it necessarily a means of livelihood. He said proper understanding of this was the first step of equipping oneself for the job. He explained that the abysmal drifting away from the original true purpose of divine call by present-day pastors was responsible for the decline in the church’s spiritual and all-inclusive growth.
Other topical issues handled by Mr. Kiki Briggs include Secrets of Church Growth; The Clergy Home by Mrs. Victoria R. C. Ebirien; and A workshop on The Clergy and Church Vestments, facilitated by Ven. Rufus T. Etire. The uniqueness of this year’s retreat was the practical discussion on “Clergy Relationship.”
The House identified greed, oppression, rumour peddling, jealousy, loss or lack of trust among the Clergy and loss or lack of vision and direction from God, among others, as causes of friction among the Clergy.