The 2011 Synod of the Anglican Diocese of Amichi has come and gone but the memories will certainly last for a long while to come.
The Synod which is the third Session of the First Synod of the young Diocese was hosted by Ebenezer Anglican Church, Unubi between Thursday 9th to Sunday 12th June,2001.
The annual event was staged with so much excitement. Starting from the official entourage which took off from the Bishopscourt in Amichi to the Synod ground proper, the atmosphere was simply bright and gay.
Delegates as early as 2pm on Thursday had gathered at the Bishopscourt to form the official entourage to the synod venue. The Bishop, Rt. Rev'd. E.O Ikeakor JP and Mama Amichi, Dame Nkem Ikeakor joined the gathering at 3pm. The delegates were in high spirit as they were addressed by the Bishop shortly before departure. In his brief address, the Bishop urged the delegates to feel free and enjoy every moment of the Synod. The Archdeacon of Ebenator Archdeaconry, Ven. Jonathan Umeasiegbu prayed for the safety of the delegates and the success of the synod before the entourage departed.
The entourage which was made up of the Bishop, Mama Amichi Diocese, the clergy, Diocesan officials, delegates, Diocesan Boys' and Girls' Brigade band, and men of the Nigerian Police drove in a long motorcade numbering over 30 passed the major streets acknowledging cheers from bystanders.
At the city gate of Unubi, the entourage was received by members of Ebenezer Church, Unubi and other representatives of Unubi community. The protocol team and the young wives band added colour and zest to the already charged carnival atmosphere. The train was led to the premises of Ebenezer Church, Unubi through the popular afor Unubi market square.
Once inside the Church compound, the Bishop, Rt. Rev'd, E.O Ikeakor inspected the guard of honours mounted by the men and officers of the Diocesan Boys' and Girls' Brigade. The teeming and obviously elated crowd cheered as the Bishop in the company of the Brigade Chaplain and some Archdeacons inspected the guards. The sight of little boys and girls being inspected by the Bishop drew applauds from the crowd.
Significantly, the 2011 synod is the first to be hosted on Unubi soil by any church denomination. As a result, the enthusiasm and expectations were palpable. Everybody wanted to be part of the history.
The excitement was carried into the brief service that followed. In his address, Ven. Chukwuma Akam who is the Archdeacon in charge of Unubi Archdeaconry welcomed the synod and charged the congregation to live up to their billing as the light of the world.. In line with the synod theme, Ven. Akam stated that any child of God who does not demonstrate the gospel through his lifestyle is a disappointment to God.
Another significant landmark of the 2011 synod was the dedication the multi million naira hall/workers residence which was completed and furnished by one of the members. The Bishop led the crowd in the dedication of the two storey edifice. The brief dedication ceremony was followed by the traditional declaration of the Episcopal blessing on the land and people of Unubi.
The synod train moved to the palace of H.R.H Igwe Francis Umennajiego where the Bishop and the delegates were received by the Igwe and his cabinet. In his speech, the Bishop congratulated Igwe Umennajiego on his ascendency to the throne after so many years of vacancy. Bishop Ikeakor thanked the people of Unubi for conducting themselves peacefully during the selection and coronation of the traditional ruler. He charged the Igwe to continue to discharge his duties with equity and fairness to all his constituents irrespective of their religious leaning.
He further appealed to the traditional ruler and his cabinet to ensure that the practice of traditional worship does not impinge on the freedom of worship and association of Christians in the community.
In his response,Igwe Umennajiego thanked the Bishop for all his exploits within the short period he has stayed as the Bishop of the Diocese of Amichi pledging the support of the entire community to the success of the synod. On the appeal made by the Bishop, Igwe declared that there is freedom of worship and association in Unubi. He suggested that Christians should be encouraged to right their wrongs when they are still alive. They should be courageous to declare their stand and server any unwanted relationship while they lived.
The synod train then moved to the Orakwe Umekesiobi family of Akwuchukwu village for the formal reception. Addressing the delegates on behalf of the family, Mr. Eliezar Umekesiobi said that the family accepted to host the synod in memory of their father, Late Chief Orakwe Umekesiobi who fought so hard as a warrant Chief to see that the Anglican Church came to Unubi. The family expressed their gratitude by presenting a cow gift to the bishop.
The Bishop on behalf of the Diocese and tha Synod thanked the family upholding the labours of their father. He prayed for the good health and prosperity of the family.
The Orakwue family treated the Synod to sumptuous meal and assorted gifts amidst songs of praise.