The Diocese of Lagos has hosted the 2021 September edition of the Church of Nigeria’s Standing Committee at the Archbishop Adebola & Mrs Oluranti Ademowo Christian Resource Centre (Faith Plaza), Bariga, Lagos.
The Standing Committee, which was preceded by the reception of the Primate of All Nigeria, The Most Rev. Henry Ndukuba on Sunday, 19th September and a subsequent guided tour to the multi mega Centenary City project of the Diocese situated on a 1,500-plot parcel of land behind the PAN Atlantic University, Ibeju, Lekki-Epe Expressway, Lagos; visit to the Chairman of Guardian Ltd, Lady Maiden Alex-Ibru and Courtesy Call on the Governor of Lagos State on Monday, ended on Friday, 24th September, 2021.
Addressing the holy gathering on the theme: “Abiding in Christ – God’s Panacea in An Unstable World (John 15:1-8)”, the Primate of All Nigeria and President of the Standing Committee, The Most Rev. Henry Ndukuba noted that the 21 st Century has simultaneously witnessed the wonders of the scientific and technological advancements and the chaos of eroding moral and spiritual standards set by God, hence the necessity of abiding in Christ, which he describes as a “total and continuous surrender of our hearts, desires and wills or aspiration to the judgement and scrutiny of God, His Word and the leading of the Holy Spirit.”
The Primate said there are some benefits of abiding in Christ, as well as consequences of not abiding. While the benefits include: fruitfulness, access to God’s presence, assurance of answer to prayer, empowerment for mission and accomplishing God’s purpose and eternal salvation; the consequences include: being cut off from source of life, God’s disapproval and anger and eternal damnation.
Also, the Bishop of Asaba Diocese, The Rt Rev. Justus Mogekwu, who led the Bible Study sessions on the theme, urged the people to know what God wants them to be and live to accomplish same. He condemned aligning or following the procedure or ways of other people, stressing that Christ is the true vine, implying that any other is fake. It is only in Christ that they should abide.
The Primate of the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) and the Chairman of the GAFCON Primates’ Council, The Most Rev. Foley Beach, who preached in the Eucharistic service of the programme and also delivered a Goodwill Message, identified “great omission” of the Great Commission as the bane of the Church today. He said the mandate of every follower of Jesus is the Great Commission, but churches are rather too busy with church buildings and other activities. Beach, who was present with some of his bishops and clergy from USA, condoled with the Church of Nigeria for the murder of one of her priests in Imo State. He also appreciated the Primate of Church of Nigeria for the invitation and all support to ACNA.
Welcoming the ecclesiastical assembly, the Bishop of Lagos, The Rt Rev Dr Humphrey Olumakaiye highlighted the progress recorded in the diocese within the three years of his translation to the Diocese, which included planting of over 24 churches, with all of them having their places of worship, Lagoon Radio & Tv, Specialist Hospital for the Elderly, schools with fees slashed for all and Anglicans in particular paying 50%, One-Million-Naira-for First-Class-Graduates Programme, Empowerment of over 70 youths with a minimum of ₦500,000 each, assistance to many dioceses and speedy development of the Centenary City project.
The highlight of the Standing Committee was presentation of Awards to some outstanding Anglicans (some of whom, incidentally, were also children of Anglican clergymen) who distinguished themselves in the governance of their states, not only by impressively responding to the challenges that have bedevilled the nation, like COVID-19 pandemic, insecurity and infrastructural/industrial developments, but also visibly standing out for justice against all odds, thereby making the church proud.
The Primate said “they have become Beacons of the Shining light, courageous leaders and standing for what may not be generally acceptable or politically correct but what in the long run will have served the good of the citizens.” The recipients are:
1. Mr. Babajide Olusola Sanwo-olu – Governor of Lagos State
2. Barr. Chief Nyesom Wike, CON – Governor of Rivers State
3. Arakurin, Oluwarotimi Odunayo Akeredolu, SAN – Governor of Ondo State.
4. Prince Dr Dapo Abiodum – Governor of Ogun State and
5. Hon. Prof. Emmanuel Akinola Abayomi – Commissioner for Health, Lagos State
Awards of Excellent/Meritorious Services were also given to the GAFCON Chairman, The Most Rev. Foley Beach, the former Coordinator of Senior Clergy Advanced Management Course, The Rt Rev. Dr Samuel Sowale and his Assistant, The Rt Rev. David K. Bello.
The next Standing Committee has been scheduled to be hosted by the Diocese of Evo, Port
Harcourt, Rivers State in February, 2022.
By Princewill Ireoba