CHURCH OF NIGERIA (ANGLICAN COMMUNION)
4TH ALL NIGERIA ANGLICAN CLERGY CONFERENCE HELD AT THE UNIVERSITY OF NIGERIA, NSUKKA, FROM 8TH TO 12TH SEPTEMBER, 2008
1.1 The 4TH All Nigeria Anglican Clergy Conference of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) was held at the University of Nigeria Nsukka, from Monday, 8th through Friday 12th September, 2008 with the Theme “THE MINISTRY AND THE ANGLICAN LITURGY”
1.2 The Diocese of Nsukka in the Province on the Niger cheerfully played host to the nearly 5,000 Clergymen including Bishops who participated.
2.0 OPENING CREMONY
2.1 The Opening Ceremony was held on Tuesday, 9th September, 2008 and was addressed by the Primate the Most Revd. Dr. Peter Jasper Akinola, CON, the Dean, the Most Revd. Maxwell Anikwenwa the Governor of Enugu State, H.E. Barrister Sullivan I. Chime, who was represented by the Deputy Governor, Mr. Sunday Onyebuchi and the Vice Chancellor of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, The Ven. (Prof.) Chinedu Nebo.
2.2 While the Primate and the Dean canvassed a critical review and appropriate use of the Liturgy to enable our congregations have personal experience and knowledge of Christ, the Governor welcomed all and called for prayers for Enugu State. He also urged all to jettison parochialism in religious and political affairs.
3.0 PAPERS AND SEMINARS
3.1 Papers were delivered by an eminent clergymen drawn from the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) on “Our Identity and Heritage”, “Biblical Basis of Anglican Liturgy”, “The Ministry of the Church”, “Human Sexuality”: Our position”; “Anglican Liturgy and Challenges of Pentecostalism/Charismatism”; “Liturgy Alive”; “Role of Prayer in Liturgy”; “Our Liturgy and Occasional Services”, “The place of the Holy Spirit in our Liturgy”, “The place of the 39 Articles of Religion in our Liturgy”, “The Minister’s Personal Life”, “The Clergy and His Family”, and “Overview of the Liturgy of the Church of Nigeria”.
3.2 Seminars were also held on HIV/AIDS, Investment in preparation for retirement, Information Technology; Missions; Church Planting; Church Management and Administration; The Church & Politics; Financial Empowerment for Churches; Ministry to the Youth; Ministry to the Children; Counseling; and The Story of Christ’s Glory.
3.3 AUTHORITY OF THE SCRIPTURE
(a) Conference affirms the supreme authority of the Scriptures which had been carefully enshrined in our 39 Articles of Religion for guidance and practice and warns that all revisions of our liturgy must be careful to express the same.
(b) Conference further urges all the operators of our liturgy to order their lives in line with the word of God so that our church services would be participatory, livelier and also acceptable to God; and those that would guide the people to light-transforming power of the gospel.
Having critically considered the state of the world-wide Anglican Communion and the Nigerian Church, Conference makes the following observations and resolutions:
Conference notes with dismay the unhealthy developments and disturbing abandonment of Biblical Christianity in the Global West particularly in the last decade and congratulates the Primates, Bishops and the Laity that gathered in Jerusalem in June, 2008 to fashion an enduring future for the Anglican Communion world-wide.
Conference whole-heartedly identifies itself with the GAFCON Statement with the Jerusalem declaration and calls on all Anglicans worldwide to toe the path of Biblical Christianity as championed by the GAFCON Primates’ Council.
4.2 YOUTH PARTICIPATION
While the Church should be flexible in devising programs that would attract the Youths to take their rightful place in the church, care should be taken to ensure that the basic and time-tested ingredients of our liturgy are not jettisoned to the long-term detriment of these youths and the church.
5.0 THE NATION
5.1 THE NIGER DELTA
Conference notes with pains the continued violence and restiveness in the Niger Delta and congratulates the Federal Government on creating the Ministry of Niger Delta as a way of realistically addressing the grievances of the indigenes and hopes that the Ministry will now focus on the optimal use of all resources allocated to rapidly develop the human resources and the challenging environment of the Niger Delta.
Conference calls on the people of the Niger Delta to corporate with the Federal Government and to provide a peaceful environment for the new moves of the government to yield positive results that will actualize the desired development.
5.2 FEAR OF GOD
Conference bemoans the fall out of he pervasive absence of the fear of God in our people irrespective of religious professions and calls on all Christians especially those in leadership position to so order their lives so that the chaotic state of corruption, crime and atrocities holding our Nation in bondage will be kept under control.
Conference notes the fallen quality of governance and focused leadership in our Nation which has kept us in the firm grip of underdevelopment and calls on the president, governors, the National and State Assemblies, Local Government officials, the managers of our economy and our community leaders to note that God holds them accountable for the positions they occupy.
5.4 EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM
The near collapse of our educational system calls for a marshal pan that will focus on carrying capacity, quality, relevance and appropriate knowledge transfer that will equip our people with the relevant skills and competencies for the market place of the 21st century.
5.5 THE YOUTH
Conference notes the vulnerability of the youth in our socio-political and economic mix and calls for a comprehensive effort to give the youth a hope, direction and future through good home and parental upbringing, training, employment and self- actualization etc.
5.6 THE ECONOMY
Conference notes with dismay, the shameful comatose state of our economy considering Nigerians’ human resources and natural endowment. Conference calls for sincere, profitable and prudent management of our resources for the greatest benefit and welfare of our people.
5.7 UNDERDEVELOPMENT AND CORRUPTION
Conference decries the underdevelopment, under productivity and widespread looting of our national treasury and commends the House of Representatives for the probes it had initiated. Conference calls on Executive arm of the government to ensure that those who loot our treasuries are made to face justice so that future generations will learn.
5.8 STRENGTHENING RELEVANT AGENCIES
Conference urges the federal Government to empower such agencies as EFCC, NAFDAC, ICPC that are charged with the responsibility of curbing fraud and other crimes that soil our progress and national image.
5.9 CHAOS IN THE POLITY
Conference notes the level of disorder and chaos prevalent in individual and collective life which is a sad commentary. Every effort must be made to return us to an ordered Society in which there is no “scored card and every one is made accountable for his action.
5.10 SOCIAL EQUITY
Conference notes the nationwide cries of injustice, and marginalization in development, power-sharing, citing of infrastructural development and federal government projects etc. and calls for equitable resources sharing and utilization taking due cognizance of our federal structure.
(a) Conference conveys immense gratitude to the University of
Nigeria, Nsukka, for hosting us creditably.
(b) Conference appreciates theo rganizes, the secretariat, speakers, the participants and their sponsoring dioceses as well as others who contributed to the huge success attained.
(c) Conference notes with delight the tremendous developments and projects initiated and/or completed by the incumbent Vice-Chancellor, the Venerable (Prof.) Chinedu Nebo and his team.
(d) Conference urges all Christians in positions of authority to demonstrate to the world that “when the righteous is in authority, the people rejoice”.
Ven. Emmanuel Amaechi
Rt. Rev. Ignatius C.O Kattey (JP)
(AACC PLANNING COMMITTEE)