Reflections From Owo Diocese’s Synod
THE third session of the 11th Synod of the Anglican Diocese of Owo in Ondo State held from Wednesday, July 29 to Sunday, August 2, 2015. The Synod was held at Saint Patrick’s Anglican Church, Ijebu-Owo.
It was presided over by the Bishop of the Diocese, Rt. Rev. James Adedayo Oladunjoye. The guest preacher at the Synod was the Most Rev. Dr Emmanuel Chukwuma of the Diocese of Enugu, while Barrister and Mrs. Dipo Okpeseyi (SAN), in conjunction with their local Church, Saint Patrick’s and the Vicar in charge of the Church, Ven. Komolafe, hosted the Synod.
It should be noted that Synod is an annual event in which Bishops give a Charge to members of their flock to guide them all through the year before another Synod. The Anglican Diocese of Owo had its Synod theme as: ‘Stewardship and Christian Giving.’
And the text was taken from I Cor. 4v2: ‘‘Now a person who is put in charge as a manager must be faithful,’ I Cor. 4v2. While expounding on the Synod theme later, Bishop Oladunjoye drew attention to what Rev. Dr Dumitru Macaila said about stewardship: ‘Stewardship is a principle based on the Word of God.
It recognises God as the Owner of all things and man as responsible for his use of things keeping with God’s divine purpose. In the New Testament, the words ‘steward’ and ‘stewardship’ signify ‘house management.’
A steward was a trusted and responsible servant with great authority in handling the household or business affairs of another. St Paul says: ‘let a man so consider us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God,’ (I Cor. 4v1) while St Peter points out: ‘as each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.’
(I Peter 4v10). He further noted that: ‘we are entrusted with God’s resources, talents and gifts and these are graces received from God, which we need to plough back in His service.
As a direct consequence, it is expected that Christian men and women should learn the act of giving what exactly is entrusted for the benefit of God’s Church and humanity’.
He recalled what King Hezekiah did in the Old Testament, when he led by example by giving wholeheartedly to God and that also affected his people in their acts of giving to God.
When he saw how they responded, because he saw heaps they piled unto the Lord, he tried to inquire from the Priests and the Levites what they were all about.
Then Azariah the Chief Priest, who was one of the house of Zadok answered him, since they began to bring the contributions into the house of the Lord, we have eaten and had enough and have plenty left, for the Lord has blessed His people, so that we have this large amount left…and they faithfully brought in the contributions, the tithes and the dedicated things, (II Chronicles 31:9-12).
Bishop Oladunjoye said if Christians of today would be faithful with what God has blessed them with then the Church would never be in want. Also, they would extend their hands in taking care of the poor, the needy, orphans and widows.
And this tallies with the Biblical demand of James 1v27: ‘Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction and to keep herself unspotted from the world.’
He, therefore, called upon Christian men and women to eschew selfishness, hardness of heart and poor spirit in giving, as this, rather than bring blessings, would keep one away from the attendant blessings that will flow when we give to God willingly without compulsion but out of conviction.
And this is non-negotiable, if we must serve God aright. Therefore, in whatever capacity God has blessed us; let us remember, as good stewards, that it is incumbent upon us to plough such back to His service and for His glory. May the Holy Spirit guide us. Ven. Ernest Onuoha Rector, Ibru International Ecumenical Centre, Agbarha-Otor, Delta State. Www.Ibrucentre.Org
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