Church of Nigeria bishops’ wives retreat begins April 5

Ernest Onuoha

Ernest Onuoha

History will be made at the Ibru Centre, as the wives of Bishops of Church of Nigeria, (Anglican Communion) gather at the Centre for their retreat from April 5 to 9, 2016. This gathering is epochal, as it is the first since the Centre’s inception. To God’s glory, the Bishops’ wives will be led by the Primate’s wife, Mrs. Nkasiobi Okoh (Mama Nigeria), who is the President of Mother’s Union and Guild. She would be assisted by the Archbishop’s wives. We thank God that this retreat is coming, when we are still in the celebration mood for the Easter. And at such, we recall the role women played on that first day of the week. The Bible had noted among others that “on the first day of the week the women (Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Salome) had gone early in the morning with spices to anoint Him… (Mark 16:1) In every respect, therefore, we need to appreciate Mrs. Nkasiobi Okoh for her vision, doggedness and insistence for this retreat now at the centre. Also worthy of commendation are all our Archbishops and bishops’ wives, who also shared the same vision. It is hoped that the time of this retreat will be a refreshing period in the Lord’s presence.

The theme of the retreat is: Walk before Me and be blameless (Gen. 17:1). According to Mrs. Okoh, this theme was prayerfully chosen to encourage all the Bishops wives to do their work in different Dioceses of the Communion with devotion, commitment and faithfulness to God. Indeed, our God is El shaddai and so those having things to do with Him must be faithful people of integrity. To further expound this theme, the Bishop of the Diocese of Amichi, Rt. Ephraim Ikeakor was chosen to do justice to it. Other topics and their speakers include: War against cancer: Addressing our Nutrition/ the use of herbs (Gen. 1:29) by Mrs. Mercy Ureki, Building our Churches, resources, lives and children by Rt. Rev. Aloysius Agbo and Fan into flame the gift of God in you (2 Tim 1:6)- The Situation of Nigeria (a) Ethnic/Sectional & Religious/ Political hostility (b) Economic Stress: Staying blameless and firm to the end using Daniel and Esther’s Examples by Rt. Rev. Timothy Yahaya.

Rev. Canon Chris Obuh shall handle the Bible study, while the clergy at the Centre led by the Rector, Ven. Ernest Onuoha, shall take the Holy Communion service on Wednesday, April 6, 2016. There will be praises and worship, special ministration and prayers particularly to lift our churches, homes and the nation before the Throne of Grace. Indeed, people are passing through difficult times in their lives: the biting economic recession, poverty, unemployment, herdsmen attacks and the endless Boko Haram insurgencies among others.

Really, the choice of Ibru Centre for the retreat by all our Anglican Bishop’s wives in Nigeria is timely. For Ibru Centre is a place of spiritual of rejuvenation and offers users a serene environment to concentrate and get closer to their God. It is hoped that this retreat will be an avenue for renewal and refreshing before God’s presence. It is expected also that our Bishops’ wives should resolve like their husbands to make the programme an annual ritual. Yes, there is nothing that can outweigh the refreshing time we have in God’s presence, more so, when it is done at the Centre. It is hoped that before the Bishops’ wives rise from the retreat, there will be a firm resolution to that effect and to God’s glory.

Therefore, we at the centre wish the Bishops’ wives safe arrival. We also call upon God to give them all the attendant blessings they deserve. And we say, welcome and do have a successful and refreshing retreat.

Ven. Ernest Onuoha
Rector, Ibru International Ecumenical Centre,
Agbarha-Otor, Delta State.

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