No holy spirit, no ministry
The Women’s Work Coordinators and Deaconesses of Methodist Church Nigeria met at Methodist Cathedral, D/Line, Port Harcourt from July 11 to 15, 2018 for their yearly Confab / 12th Biennial Deaconesses Retreat. It was a rewarding moment for these female Ministers led by Deaconess Nseobong Umanah, the Conference Women’s Work Coordinator. The theme of the retreat was ‘Strive for Peace and Holiness’ and the text was taken from Hebrew 12:4.
The Prelate of Methodist Church Nigeria, His Eminence, Dr. Samuel ‘Emeka Kanu Uche, JP in his address to these ‘Daughters of Zion’ reminded them that the place of the Holy Spirit in the life of a Minister cannot be over emphasised. According to the Prelate, “No Holy Spirit No Ministry.” He went further to show that men and women of old who worked wonders did so by the power of the Holy Spirit. In his analogy, he pointed out how the founder of Methodism, John Wesley and his group were able to affect Europe, America and other parts of the world through the power of the Holy Spirit. The Prelate encouraged all Ministers of the gospel to seek for the empowerment and fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon their lives so that their Ministries could be worthwhile.
In his sermon during the Eucharistic Service at the beginning of the Retreat, the Archbishop of Port Harcourt, Most Rev. (Dr) S. I. O. Agwu emphasised the importance of living by the Spirit. He showed that the Spirit is the real man inside us through which we communicate with God. The text was drawn from Galatians 5:16-18, which says, “But I say, walk by the spirit, and do not gratify the desire of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the spirit, and the desires of the spirit are against the flesh; for these are opposed to each other, to prevent you from doing what you would.
But if you are led by the Spirit you are not under the law.” He showed that we could only live by the Spirit when the Spirit of God is in us. We shall therefore bear the following fruits:
• Love, which is “agape,” the sacrificial love, love that gives, love that does not count offense committed against him or her.
• We will be joyful even in difficult times.
• We will have such peace inside that no situation can destroy.
• We will have patience in the face of difficulties.
• We will show kindness to one another.
• We will be trustworthy.
• We will be submissive to the will of God.
• We will have the ability to master ourselves (self-control).
The afore-mentioned are some of the qualities of a good Minister. Therefore, “No Holy Spirit No Ministry.”The Bishop of D/Line, The Rt. Rev. Dr. Etim Ekong, JP during the welcome service called on the Deaconesses to live according to the dictate of the Holy Spirit without which they cannot succeed in their Ministry. They were reminded of their duties as Deaconesses in the Church. As people set apart for common use to the divine purpose, they should know that the holiness of Yahweh is to find reflection in the holiness of his people. ‘You shall be holy for I Yahweh your God am holy’ (Lev. 19:2).Deaconess Nseobong Umanah in her remark urged all Christians to set themselves apart for God’s use, noting that Christ’s redemption is for everyone.