BY PRINCEWILL IREOBA
The Anglican Diocese of Warri organised a “Special Diocesan Seminar” for her Church Teachers and wives at the Ibru International Ecumenical Centre Agbarha-otor, Delta State on March 5 and 6, 2020. In an Opening Charge delivered through the Dean of the Warri Diocesan Bible School, The Ven. Dr. E.A.Otobrise, who organised the course (together with Bro. Akpovero Fortunatus Aruedoghene), the Bishop of Warri Diocese, The Rt Rev. Christian Ide, said that the programme was one the series of seminars, as resolved at the last Diocesan Synod, “to contextualize the concept of Practical Theology to reflect the realities of the challenges of the 21st Century Church in order to rapidly and adequately respond to contemporary ministerial challenges for the enhancement of Church growth, to equip the saints for practical ministry and to identify lay members with special endowment to support the ordained ministry”. According to the bishop, the seminar is scheduled to hold in sections, not only for the Church Teachers and wives, but also for the Clergy and their wives as well as other groups like the Women group leaders across the Diocese, Lay Readers, Evangelists, Knights, Business Men/ Women, all Youth Organizations and others. Highlighting that the seminars are designed to create awareness that will stimulate the ministerial capability of both the Clergy and lay and, as well, address most challenges and yearnings of the church members cutting cross all groups in the church irrespective of age, education, social and financial status, the bishop called on the participants to take the school very seriously by attending all the various sessions in which the set issues will be tackled as they are relied on as viable channels to adequately reach out to the rest of the members of the Diocese in their various categories.
The Seminar, themed, “Contextualizing the Concept of Practical Theology for the Enhancement of Ministry (1Cor. 12:4-6)” featured mainly group discussions and think tank on such topics as: “Christian Spiritual Formation – Individual and Church”, “Effective Follow-up Technique from the text: Matt. 28:19-20 and Acts 2:41-42”, “Christian Ethics and the Place of Confirmation”.
The Bishop’s wife, Mrs P.O.E. Ide (JP) was also available throughout the programme and facilitated a special session on “Complimenting Each Other’s Ministry: 1Pet. 5:2, John 21” which was combined with Family Clinic. She stressed that pastoring is a vocation and obligation to feed the sheep of the Lord eagerly and selflessly, shunning the materialistic tendencies characteristic of the modern day’s ministries. She also called on the Church Teachers to work and walk together with their wives and ensure that their families are not left out of their pastoral ministries.
The programme was the maiden Diocesan Retreat for the Church Teachers, who are the lay full time pastors in the Anglican Church and from where the ordained clergymen are groomed.