From Obinna Odogwu, Ekwulobia
Awka, the capital of Anambra State came alive recently as six priests were promoted to the rank of canons while one canon was promoted to the rank of archdeacon by the Bishop of Anglican Diocese of Awka, Rt. Rev. Dr Alex Ibezim.
The new canons are Rev. (Prof) Anayo Dominic Nkamnebe, Rev Ekwune Samuel Okechukwu, Rev. Joshua Udemba Eze, Rev. Emmanuel Amobi Onyemauche, Rev. (Dr) James Ilarious Aruma, and Rev. Uchenna Timothy Umeifekwem while the archdeacon is Ven. Emendu Nnamdi Benneth.
On the D-day of the collation and installation, the Cathedral Church of St. Faith, Awka, venue of the ceremony was filled to the brim as thousands of Anglican faithful in the diocese and beyond besieged it to witness the august occasion even as they praised God for strengthening the course of evangelism on earth.
Administering the canonical oaths of obedience and allegiance on the priests, the Diocesan Bishop, Rt. Rev. Ibezim, told the clerics to gauge their joy as their new promotions simply translated for greater work for them.
He said that there was enormous work in the Lord’s vineyard with few labourers, charging them to roll up their sleeves to fish more men for Christ.
Bishop Ibezim while reminding the newly installed archdeacon and collated canons that their new positions called for dedication, handwork, faith in God and sound spiritual and moral life, he admonished them to ensure that they lead the shepherds of God entrusted unto their care aright, as the church is looking up to them as their role models.
He appealed to them to also maintain a healthy family, praying God to always abide by them for them to excel in their new assignments.
In his sermon, the emeritus Bishop of Niger West Diocese, Rt. Rev. Prof. Anthony Nkwoka, raised the alarm over the disunity among Christians.
He lamented that emerging denominations in Christendom have fragmented the love and unity which Christ instituted before His ascension to heaven, charging the priests to put their best in bridging the gap.
“Our doctrinal differences have robbed us of unity and it is our collective duty to restore this unity and love,” he said.
Bishop Nkwoka lamented that the proliferation of churches and other worship centres in all the nooks and crannies of the country has not translated to a better society where love and peace reign supreme.
Also speaking, the Provost, Nwafor Orizu College of Education, Nsugbe, Dr (Mrs) Ego Uzoezie, charged them to ensure that the gospel of the Lord gets to every corner of the society, urging them to be prayerful at all times.
She also pleaded with the congregants to assist the priests in their new roles to succeed.
In their separate speeches, Venerable Nnamdi Emendu, Canon Emmanuel Onyemauche and Canon Uchenna Umeifekwem assured that they would discharge their duties judiciously and with the fear of God, vowing that they would not leave any stone unturned in this direction.