Prelate and President of Synod of the Christ Army Church, Nigeria (CACN), His Eminence, Most Rev’D Abel Serebe Vurasi, has charged the clergy to tackle the prevailing moral and spiritual challenges in Nigeria. He said like the days of Jeremiah, Nigeria was passing through its most difficult times that called for God’s intervention.
The Prelate who gave the charge during his sermon at the Consecration and Enthronement of Venerable. Paul Uche Opara as the new Bishop of Lagos West Diocese at St. Bartholomew’s Pro-cathedral, Christ Army Church, Canaan, Abam Road, Okrika on Sunday, July 2, 2023, emphasized the crucial role religious leaders play in guiding their followers towards a righteous path.
In the message which he titled “Call to leadership” and took his text from Jeremiah 1:4-5, the Prelate highlighted the increasing moral decadence and spiritual apathy that has resulted in increased cases of corruption, cultism, kidnapping, armed robbery, political crisis, bad attitude and other vices across the country.
He urged the clergy to confront these challenges head-on and provide strong moral leadership to their respective Dioceses. Vurasi emphasized the importance of upholding traditional values and fostering an environment conducive to spiritual growth.
The Prelate also stressed the need for men of God to address contemporary issues that impact their congregations, such as the rise of materialism, erosion of family values, and the influence of social media on spiritual well-being.
Prelate Vurasi also called on men of God to lead by example, embodying the principles they preach while emphasizing the importance of personal integrity and spiritual authenticity in gaining the trust and respect of their followers. He urged the Bishops to embrace humility and servant leadership, ensuring that they remain accessible and compassionate towards the needs of their congregations.
The Prelate’s address was greeted with resounding applause and a sense of renewed commitment among the attending men of God and the rest of the congregation.
He described Bishop Opara as a worthy man of God, adding that God knows what to use to make any man what He wants him to be.
“God does not just make man, He made man according to what he wants to use that man for. He made each of us what He wants us to be. Before Jeremiah was born, God already determined that he will be a prophet to the nations.
“Similarly, our brother, our son and husband that we consecrated and enthroned today, God has already planned that it will be today. Whatever God has planned for us will come to pass. No power can stop it. If it was possible, the occasion today would not have been possible”, he said and urged Bishop Opara to be bold and courageous, adding that he has been given the bible and not a cutlass. He should preach the word and not fear faces.
The Prelate and President of Synod also charged the church to support and pray for the new Bishop, and avoid gossiping him, wife or family.
In his speech, Bishop Paul Uche Opara expressed gratitude to the church, and for the guidance provided by Prelate Vurasi and affirmed his determination to address the moral and spiritual challenges facing the country.
He said: “Words cannot adequately express the depth of my gratitude for the profound honour you bestowed upon me through my consecration and enthronement as a Bishop. Your dogged faith, guidance, and steadfast support have shaped me into the servant of God that I am today.
“As I kneel before the altar, my heart overflows with reverence and humility, knowing that it is through your wisdom and discernment that I have been entrusted with this sacred responsibility”.
Dignitaries that graced the colourful and well attended consecration and enthronement of Bishop P.U. Opara Jnr, Amb. P were Most Rev’D D. O. Abbey, Arch Bishop Ecclesiastical Province of Rivers 1., Most Rev (Engr) I. U. Akpojotor, JP, Edo/Delta/Bayelsa Diocesan Bishop/Arch-Bishop Lagos Province; Arch-Bishop-elect, Province 2, Bishop M.B. Needom; Bishop of Bori Diocese, Rt. Rev. Mac-Job Mkparo; Rt. Rev S. Okpot., Rt. Rev’D T.G.T. Henry; Rt. Rev Fiwori; Rt. Rev A. Aghuma; and Rt. Rev’d Anyanasikike.
The President, CACN Professionals, Venerable I.G.A. Owubokiri; Secretary, CACN Professionals, Ven. Dr. Nengi Brown; Venerable Akwabala., Rev. Canon Endurance Duke., Secretary, Prelate Transition Committee., Rev. Can G. Samuel and Rev. Can Ikechi Ogbonna, were also in attendance.
Others were the Chairman of the Prelate Transition Committee/Synod Media Communicator, Rev’D Priest Jerry Needam, JP, Barr. I.G. Igani, Synod Acting Secretary., Dr. Sunday James, Synod Legal Adviser., Elder Joy Koko., Elder Dr. N. Iboroma., Elder A. Eebee and a host of others.