The Primate of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), the Most Rev’d Henry C. Ndukuba has implored on Christians to always be disposed and ready to render themselves and their resources for the welfare of others, saying that “ministering to the needs of God’s people, especially the indigents and those in trouble has been part and parcel of the ministry of the church.”
The Primate, who was speaking at the Church of Nigeria’s National Secretariat (St Matthias House) Waziri Crescent, Apo, Gudu District Abuja, while inaugurating an 18-man national Committee for Relief for the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), noted that Jesus not only ministered to the spiritual needs of the people, but also cared for their health and material needs, including feeding them at different occasions.
Archbishop Ndukuba stated that the earliest Church, consequent on the coming of the Holy Spirit, had their hearts opened, such that they so freely gave, that it was recorded that there was not any one among them that lacked. He traced the history of the church, highlighting that caring ministry has been essential part of the Great Commission and that, in challenging times, the church was able to survive and outlive her persecutors because of her cooperation and willingness to work together and bear one another’s burden. Further pointing out that by her Vision Statement, the Church of Nigeria shall not only be spiritually dynamic, but also be a caring church, the Primate charged the new Committee with coordinating the Church’s work of charity to enable the Church of Nigeria respond to the needs of her people. The Committee is to coordinate and mobilise the national church, not only unto prayer, but also unto the work of charity and showing love to one another. They are to work with the dioceses to be able to reach the vulnerable people.
Exhorting the members of the committee, just before their inauguration, the Primate drew their attention to the picture of the ultimate Judgement of Lord as a separation of goats and sheep according to the people’s response to the needs of their brethren, as recorded in Matthew 25:34-45, and urged them to serve God in one another with their lives and substance, their money and food and time, so that when the Lord comes in judgement, they shall receive blessing. He described the inauguration as necessary as it put the Church in the right pedestal of holistic Christianity. “Let it be a way to open the door so that commitment to the Lord will be sincere and our commitment to the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ will be so total, not only among the clergy and the bishops, but also among the laity”, he declared.
The Church of Nigeria Relief Committee, which was inaugurated on Monday, 20th April, 2020, was constituted from all the provinces of the Church of Nigeria, with Dr Peter S. Nmadu as the Chairman. The other members are: Ven. Ifeanyi Umeh (Niger Province), Ven. Kehinde Akinmade (Kwara), Bar. Gbadebo Soetan (Lagos), Mrs Patricia Bagudu (Abuja), Bar. Betty Umegbulem, Ven Dr Samuel Osungbeju (Ibadan), Ven. Ramdi R. Wonole (Kaduna), Dr Obinna Nwachukwu (Abuja), Rev. Bar. Collins S. Egwuagu (Aba), Ven. Joseph Bamidele (Lokoja), Ven. Lucky Owhonda (Niger Delta), Ven. Dr Chinonyerem Stanley O. Ukachukwu (Owerri), Ven. Isaiah Ogue (Bendel), Ven. J. C. Agbo (Enugu), Ven. Mark Mukan (Jos), Bar. Dr Kayode Ajulo (Ondo) and Dr Okey Okeke.
Church officials present at the Inauguration included the Primate’s wife and national President, Mothers Union and Women’s Guild, Mrs Angela Eberechukwu Ndukuba, the Bishop of Kubwa, the Rt Rev. Dr Duke Akamisoko, the Bishop of Gwagwalada, the Rt Rev. Moses Tabwaye, the General Secretary of the Church of Nigeria, Ven. Dr Paul G. Dajur, the Registrar of the Diocese of Abuja, Bar. Mrs Kehinde Ajoni and the Sub-Dean of the Cathedral Church of the Advent, Abuja, Ven. Ben Idume.