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PASTORAL LETTER FROM THE 2013 SYNOD

A PASTORAL LETTER FROM HIS LORDSHIP THE RT. REV'D. EPHRAIM IKEAKOR AFTER THE SECOND SESSION OF THE SECOND SYNOD OF THE DIOCESE OF AMICHI HELD AT ST. PETER'S CHURCH, AMICHI FROM WEDNESDAY 5TH –SUNDAY 9th JUNE, 2013

To all the saints in the Anglican Diocese of Amichi

Grace and peace be multiplied unto you in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ who loved us and gave Himself a ransom for us. Amen

I write you on this auspicious occasion of the successful conclusion of the second session of the second synod of our great Diocese. It is by His mercy that we have survived all the hurdles and challenges both as a church and as individuals. From the close of our last session until now, God has shown us His faithfulness and we rejoice that we have witnessed yet another synod. To Him alone be praise and glory forever in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Following extensive discussions, sermons and Bible studies on the theme of our synod this year: True Worship and True Worshipers of God, I wish to remind all our members both at home and in Diaspora that there is no alternative to true worship as that is the only worship that is acceptable to God. We are genuinely worried that the increasing numbers of churches, ministries and Christians have not translated to a better society. This is because of the lip-service approach and in some cases outright corruption of worship. It is very unfortunate and worrisome that despite the number of years many of our members have spent in the church, they still resort to patronizing native doctors.

I wish to by this epistle restate that any worship that does not have the almighty God as its only object is false worship and should be discouraged and fought against. Only a spiritual man can offer a spiritual worship to God. Therefore Christians must give the Holy Spirit a chance in their lives. Any man without the Holy Spirit cannot worship God in spirit and in truth.

The devil is after the heart because he knows that once he takes hold of the heart, we cannot worship God acceptably. God does not accept worship from a defiled heart. Christians are admonished to shun pictures, films and all forms of broadcasts that have the capability to pollute the heart.

I charge all the clergymen and other church workers to spend time to study the word of God and preach it in the power of the Holy Spirit. This is the cardinal way of raising true worshipers. Until the churches begin to see changes in the lives of its members, the society cannot change. I charge all our members to bring their faith to bear in all areas of their vocation.

The increasing rate of divorce in the society is a source of worry to us. More worrisome is the fact that this ugly development is gradually taking the center stage in the Church. This should not even be mentioned among the saints.

To combat this ugly development, we charge parents among us to be holistic in their approach to child upbringing. Godly parenting and sound exemplary life should be emphasized. Parents should not wait until their children are grown up to teach them principles of good marriage.

The church must pay attention to the teaching ministry as that is the only way of raising true worshipers. We charge all our church workers to apply strict marriage course outline and are encouraged to adhere to it in order to ensure that intending couples are properly groomed.

Dear people of God, when the righteous keep quiet in the face of wrong, evil thrives. The church and the entire Christendom have kept quiet for so long. The time to act is now. Our members should end this political apathy. The level of political indolence among our members is unacceptable. Therefore, all our members should ensure they have their voter's card and vote conscientiously when the time comes. We also encourage our members to get into active politics and be sure to represent the church as true worshipers.

Since the family is the nucleus of every society, parents hold the key to raising a godly generation. I therefore urge parents in all our churches to lay the foundation of their family on biblical principles so as to bring to an end all social vices such as youth restiveness, armed robbery, kidnapping and many others.

The wild fire of Islam is spreading and that very fast. The rate at which Islamism is spreading in the South East and South South regions is very alarming. Unfortunately, many members of the body of Christ are not aware of this and some of us ignorantly promote this by engaging them as gatemen and household aides. We hereby discourage our members from such engagements. The church should rise to the current mission challenges by taking seriously the practice of missions and evangelism. This is the time for us to stand and propagate our faith without wavering.  

All our congregations should be responsive to the social needs of their members. Welfare packages should be instituted in all our churches. The gospel we preach should be holistic. The church should not only be concerned about the salvation of the soul, they should be responsive to the yearnings of the sick, hungry and all hurting people around us.

I wish to remind our members that tomorrow begins now. The hope of a better tomorrow lies in our young people. This is one area the church should pay attention to and must be ready to invest in. May I remind our churches that the state of emergency declared on youth ministry three years ago is still in force and no effort should be spared in pursuing it to a logical conclusion.

All our members in diaspora are by this epistle reminded that east or west, home is the best. The continued investment of funds and energy without considerations to the home church is unacceptable and should be discouraged. We charge our members in diaspora that they should partner with the church at home to foster development. Let me restate here that the branches are not independent parishes. They are under the home Church Committee under the chairmanship of the vicar.

 Dear people of God, I urge you to be instant both in preserving and propagating the faith once delivered to the saints. As we witness the unfolding of the last day's events, I urge all of you to be true worshipers indeed and promote the true worship of God wherever you are.

Until we meet again at the third session of the second synod, may God keep and preserve you in the name of Jesus Christ.  

 

Your friend and Bishop,

 

The Rt. Rev'd. Ephraim Ikeakor.