The Ibru Ecumenical Centre is generally known as a Retreat Centre. But as explicitly stated in the Constitution of the Trinity Foundation (ARTICLE 4 –AIMS AND OBJECTIVES OF THE FOUNDATION), the Centre is not only for retreats, but also for ecclesiastical studies and conferences. Thus, apart from retreats, the Ibru Centre also provides the Churches in Nigeria with “a continuing education centre to meet the needs of the clergy and lay people for continuing education and spiritual growth”. The Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) harnesses this provision in organising annual (sometimes biannual) special training, an Advanced Management Course, for her senior clergy at the Centre.
The just concluded session of the Course, which held from Monday, January 14 to Friday, January 25, 2019 when the participants departed, is the 13th since it started in 2011. It drew senior Anglican clergymen from across the nation. The 2-week intensive course, with the theme: “Anglican Pastoral Ministry in the 21st Century”, was organised by a Faculty of 4 resourceful bishops: Rt Rev’d Dr Samuel O. Sowale (The Bishop of Ilesa -Chairman/Co-ordinator), Rt Rev’d David K. Bello MA, FSS, MSS (Bishop of Otukpo – Assistant Co-ordinator), Rt Rev’d Dr Samuel K. Eze (Bishop of Ukwa) and Rt Rev’d Dr. Blessing C. Enyindah (Bishop of Ikwerre – Secretary), with Ven. Dr Nnamdi Ik Okpuno (Desk Officer for Training at the Primate’s Office, Abuja) who were all fully resident for the programme. There were also other visiting Resource persons made up of bishops, clergy and laity.
The Course was declared Open by the Primate of all Nigeria, Most Rev’d Nicholas D. Okoh, represented by the Archbishop of Bendel Province, the Most Revd Dr Friday Imaekhai, and featured daily Holy Communion and other services officiated by the participants (also as part of the training), Bible Studies, lectures, tutorials, etc., all geared towards equipping the ministers for effective ministry, the Anglican way. The lectures focused mainly on management covering different areas of management (with Anglican bias) such as Church administration and management, Conflict and Dispute resolutions and management, Financial management, Time management, Office Organisation and management, Human Resources Management, Health management, Goal Setting, Computer Literacy/ICT, etc.
The Anglican parishes of Ughelli Diocese, as well as St Peter’s Chapel, Ibru Centre had the privilege of benefitting in the ministry of the senior clergymen as they were sent to minister in the churches on Sunday, 20th January. Bishops Sowale and Bello and some clergymen worshipped at St Peter’s Chapel Ibru Centre and blessed the Children and entire congregation of the Chapel.
The programme ended in the evening of Thursday, January 24 with a special Closing Service, which featured a final Charge by the Co-ordinator and presentations of Certificates of Participation, signed by the Primate and the Course Co-ordinator, to the participants. The participants also made some presentations to the Centre. The Preacher in the service, Rt Rev’d Dr Blessing Enyindah urged the passing out clergymen to ensure that they put all they learnt into practice.
The Ibru Centre is available to Churches of different denominations, including inter and non- denominational churches and ministries, for retreats, workshops, trainings and courses, of which the Centre can also assist in organisation and facilitation.
Ven. Dr Princewill Onyinyechukwu Ireoba is the Rector, Ibru International Ecumenical Centre,Agbarha-Otor, Delta State.