A PASTORAL LETTER FROM THE THIRD SESSION OF THE FIRST SYNOD OF THE DIOCESE OF AMICHI HOLDING AT EBENEZER ANGLICAN CHURCH, UNUBI FROM THURSDAY 9TH – SUNDAY 12TH JUNE, 2011.
My dear people of God,
Calvary greetings to you all in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
This auspicious occasion of the Third Session of the First Synod has given us the opportunity to reflect on the goings on within the first three years of our existence as a Diocese; so we can chart a way forward. Significantly, the conclusion of the First Synod means that the Diocese of Amichi has come of age. The past three years has been used for experimentation and testing of grounds in various phases of the Diocese's life and operations but today, we have come of age.
Having reviewed the state of things in our various Churches, Communities and the Society at large in view of the theme of the Synod this year: “You are the Light of the World” Matt. 5:14, it is very pertinent to call the attention of all the church congregations within the Anglican Diocese of Amichi to the fact that:
(1) All believers have been called to shine as light in a world full of
(2) Only those who have identified with Jesus as their Lord and Saviour will
have this ability to shine. It is only those who receive the life of Christ that
can shine his light.
(3) The Christian and by extension the Church, cannot influence or change the
world except by a life of practical demonstration of the Gospel.
(4) Compromise, fear and ignorance are some of the factors that becloud the
light of the Christian.
Therefore, I urge you by the mercies of God to prepare yourselves to shine as light wherever you find yourself. The foundation for a good society is the family. Our Churches will be good and effective if we are able to build godly families. The demonstration of Christian character must begin from the family front. Husbands and fathers must brace up to their God-given responsibilities in their various homes. Husbands, love your wives, treat them as weaker vessels and helpers and not slaves. They should take the lead in the demonstration of sound
moral character. Husbands and fathers should pattern their lives in such a way
that they can become role models for their families.
Wives should cherish their husbands and submit to them. Christian mothers are not co commanders with their husbands rather, they are helpers. Wives who do not support the efforts of their husbands have denied the faith and cannot shine as light. Children on their own part owe their parents a duty to obey, honour and care for them especially at old age. Remember, the first commandment with promise is “Children, obey your parents…”
Christians and particularly Anglicans are hereby urged to rise to the occasion and shine their light in their various fields of endeavour. Students, Craftsmen, Civil servants, Businessmen /women, Politicians should stand up to the challenge and prove to the world that though we are in the world, we are not of the world.
I also urge all our Church congregations to go back to the original strategy of the CMS in the preaching of the Gospel: the Bible and trowel. This simply refers to the combination of the preaching of the gospel with social works. The early missionaries preached the gospel, built schools where they groomed those they handed over to, treated the sick in the various mission hospitals they established and developed our agriculture. We must go back to those ancient
practices. Those who do not have schools should establish one. Those already in existence should be upgraded to meet up with modern trends and challenges.
It will not be burdensome to me to remind you of already existing policies guiding conduct and life within this Diocese. The practice of having the traditional marriage after Church wedding is an embarrassment to the Church and must not be allowed to continue.
Dear people of God, marriage is a sacred institution established by God. Therefore, we uphold the principles of marriage and its rites as set out in the Holy Scriptures and the traditions of the Church. The practice of wedding pregnant ladies is un-Anglican, unchristian, ungodly and infact it is an abominable act- and it is unacceptable to us in the Diocese of Amichi. Those who support, promote and indulge in this wickedness are hereby called upon to repent. Remember, marriage is honourable in all and the bed is undefiled but adulterers, God will judge.
Furthermore, I must take this opportunity to re-emphasize the fact that “ozo” title taking will not be accommodated alongside Knighthood. The Diocese has continued to explain that while it does not intend to force any member to drop the “Ozo” title for those who have taken it already, it cannot go together with Knighthood. It is either one takes “ozo” title and leaves Knighthood or vice versa. Those who want to worship God must do so in spirit and in truth.
May I remind our members in Diaspora that the branches are not independent or mini parishes. They were established with the aim of mobilizing those who live outside their home Church locations to share fellowship and support the Churches at home. Therefore, the branches are accountable to the Parish Vicar and the P.C.C. at home. Money raised in the various branches should be remitted to the home Church or spent with their approval.
My beloved people of God, our emphasis in all these is to build a Diocese where God and the word of God- the Bible take preeminence and precedence over and above every other practice and tradition. We must be conscious of making heaven at last. I challenge you to renew your loyalty to the word of God.
May the God of peace equip you with everything good for doing His will, and may He work in us what is pleasing to him through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever, Amen.
Your Bishop and friend,
RT. REV'D. E. O. IKEAKOR (J.P).