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September 30, 2016
Ordinary Time

O God, you declare your almighty power by showing mercy and pity. Therefore, grant us the fullness of your grace, that we, striving to obtain your promises, may become partakers of your heavenly treasure through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Thank you for your prayers during my lengthy travels. I have now returned to the U.S. and am grateful to be home with my family. It is good to be back.

As many of you know, I attended a meeting of the Standing Committee of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) and the House of Bishops. By the grace of God, I also had the opportunity to visit with my Dad and my siblings. It was a blessing to spend some time with them. During much of my stay, I was hosted by Diocesan Knights, Sir Chidi Mbanefo who usually takes care of me in Nigeria, and in the homes of Sir Ralph Obijiofor in Nanka, and Sir Dr. Alex Ekwueme in Oko in Anambra State. Dr. Ekwueme is the former Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. He sends his kind greetings to our Diocese and will visit in when he is able to do so. Although I missed my family and all of your here in the U.S., it was a very fruitful trip.

Attending the Standing Committee meetings with me was Venerable Dr. Chris Ozodi, who kindly acted as my Chaplain and humbly drove Bishop Julian Dobbs and me to places we needed to get to during the meeting. Also attending were Ven. Celestine Ironna, Ven. Felix Anyasor, and Ven. Dr. Ugochukwu Okoroafor. I thank each of them including Rev. Canon Uche Ubadinobi (my Diocesan Liaison in Nigeria) for their commitment and assistance.

The Metropolitan and Primate of the Church of Nigeria, the Most Rev. Dr. Nicholas D. Okoh, dismissed the delegates a few hours earlier than planned due to social unrest in the eastern region during our final week. God in his mercy spared from harm those of us who couldn't get out of the region immediately. To him be the glory!

During the meetings, our deliberations were intense, and productive. I have attached to this letter two post-Standing Committee documents from the Primate's office, sent to all Bishops and intended for our Dioceses. Some of the mentioned issues are not applicable to us here in North America, but these communiques will help you better understand (and know how to pray for) your brothers and sisters in Nigeria.

As I think about our Diocese, my heart is filled with joy and gratitude to God for all of you who continue to serve this diocese efficiently and faithfully every day in the background especially my Canon to the Ordinary, Venerable Dr. Myles Calvin, the Regional Archdeacons, the Rectors, Sir Bill Burton (Media Officer/CANA Executive Council Member), Mama CANA West(Lilian Orji), Ms. JoAnn Casper(Diocesan Financial Secretary), Canon Eric Zolner(Diocesan Chaplain/Tutor for Ordinands), Canon Scott Seely(Church Planting), Rev. Dr. Dan Rice(Diocesan Webmaster), Sir Charles Napier(Treasurer), Mr. Chris Milner (Chancellor), Sir Solomon Kanu (Vice Chancellor), Lady Dr. Obiageli Obijiofor, Lady Dr. Ogey Dike, Dr. Felicia Chidolue, Sir Victor Nkwocha, Sir Ron Munden(Synod Coordinator), Sir David Branch, Sir Sam Oparah-Francis, Sir Nkemdi Ohalete, Sir Sonny Brown, Sir Randall Crossland, Sir Albert Ukaigwe, Sir Foster Duru, Rev. Canon Uche Ubadinobi (Diocesan Liaison in Nigeria), our Knights who live in Nigeria- Sir Chidi Mbanefo, Sir Chike Nwosu, Sir Emma Abugu, AND all clergy and lay people of this Diocese who quietly and without fanfare serve this Diocese selflessly without demanding for public acknowledgement. May the Lord whom you serve bless you richly.

Finally, I want to take this opportunity to thank the following Knights of the Diocese who recently pledged to give financially to the Diocese of CANA West. This is in addition to the annual giving to the Diocese expected of all Knights of the Diocese. I note this because during the Standing Committee meeting in Nigeria two weeks ago I read in the Church of Nigeria Knights Newsletter that some Knights have been suspended for refusing to pay their annual dues. According the report they will be reinstated after they fulfill their vows! So I'm deeply grateful to these Knights and Ladies for this gracious gesture beyond expectation. They are:
1. Sir Okey and lady Dike
2. Sir Ralph and lady Obijiofor
3. Sir and lady Ben Ofoegbu
4. Sir and lady chiedozie Nkwocha
5. Sir Nnodu and lady Ojukwu
6. Sir Albert and lady Ukaigwe
7. Sir Paul and lady Chukwujekwu
8. Sir and lady Aladume
9. Sir Justin and lady Benedect
10. Sir and lady Chris Ike
11. Sir Dan and lady Mogbo
12. Sir Felix and lady Obidi
13. Sir and lady Onunka
14. Sir Nkemdi and lady Ohalete
15. Sir Solomon and Dame Kanu
16. Sir Sam and Dame Opara-Francis
17. Sir Chidi and Lady Mbanefo
18. Sir Chike and Lady Nwosu
*Bishop Felix Orji, Ordinary of the Diocese.
*Bishop Owen Nwokolo, Bishop of the Diocese on the Niger, Nigeria
*The Rev Canon Sam Igwe, Rector of Holy Trinity, Franklin, TN.

For those who wonder what role Knights of St. Christopher play or ought to play in the Church of Nigeria and in our diocese. Here it is in a nutshell: the role of Knights of St. Christopher is to support the Bishop and the Diocese by being godly examples, by praying for and encouraging the Bishop, by using their skills/abilities for the progress of the diocese, and by giving financially to the ministry and mission of the Diocese. Knights are solely accountable to the Bishop of the Diocese under God.

May the Lord bless you our Diocese and may He remember each of you in your time of need in Jesus' name. Amen.

Note the documents attached:
Communique Awka PDF

Pastoral Letter Awka PDF

 

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