Diocese of CANA West Knights of St. Christopher Council Leaders
Sir Samuel Opara-Francis (President)
Holy Trinity Anglican Church
Sir Solomon Kanu, Esq. (Vice President & Legal Advisor)
111 West Monroe St., Suite 1210
Phoenix, AZ 85003
Knights Association, Canadian Chapter
Sir Emma Abugu (Chairman)
Ladies Auxiliary President
(Knights of St. Christopher)
Lady Dr. Obiageli Obijiofor
Pro Cathedral Church of Holy Trinity
Sir Sonny Brown
Cathedral of St. Francis Chapter
El Paso, TX
ADDRESS TO KNIGHTS AND DAMES OF ST CHRISTOPHER
DIOCESE OF CANA WEST, USA & CANADA
By Bishop Felix Orji, OSB
Text: Colossians 3:1-17
1 If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.
2 Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.
3 For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
4 When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
5 Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.
6 On account of these the wrath of God is coming.
7 In these you too once walked, when you were living in them.
8 But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander,
and obscene talk
from your mouth.
9 Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices
10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after
the image of its creator.
11 Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all.
12 Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience,
13 bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.
14 And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.
15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called
in one body. And be thankful.
16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in
your hearts to God.
17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
18 Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.
19 Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them.
20 Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.
21 Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.
22 Bondservants, obey in everything those who are your earthly masters, not by way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord.
23 Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men,
24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward.
You are serving the Lord Christ.
25 For the wrongdoer will be paid back for the wrong he has done,
and there is no partiality.
The Knights Association is a ministry of this Diocese of CANA West, not an independent entity. The Association reports and is accountable to me as diocesan bishop. After your investiture you became part of our Diocesan Council of Knights Association.
I invited you and invested you as knights of St. Christopher in the Diocese of Cana West, Church of Nigeria(Anglican Communion). The reason is simply this: I want you to join me and support me so we can exalt Christ as Savior and Lord in our diocese. I want you to join me in building the kingdom of God by spreading the message of the gospel of Christ and by living as faithful godly Christians in our diocese, our churches, and in the world. I want you to work with me as soldiers of Christ.
2 Timothy 2:1-7
B. Exhortation & Direction
In order to accomplish this Divine mandate and call, I need you to commit to:
1. Scripture as the primary authority for faith and practice in the Christian life and church.
2. Be converted to Christ and Live the Christian life : obedience & holiness.
It's appalling to see the behavior of some knights. Colossians 3:1-17
3. Be committed to the Spiritual Disciplines of prayer, studying the Bible,
simplicity, solitude, silence, fasting etc.
4. Engage in Christian Mission: participating, giving to the Diocesan
church planting initiative, Medical missions, etc.
5. Enable Christian ministry, worship, and unity in your local congregations.
6. Stand with and support the bishop and diocese of CANA WEST.
Be an advocate for the diocese in your parish and Archdeaconry.
7. Be a leader, a good example of godly values & character to the church & the world.
Be a uniter not a divider, a peace-maker, not a trouble-maker.
8. Knights are NOT automatic members of the vestry/PCC unless personally elected.
You can send a representative to Vestry as a non- voting member.
9. You are responsible to me and subject to my discipline, support, and prayers.
Please do not engage in character "assassination" of others within our communities.
10. Attend Diocesan Synods. Bring your uniforms. No caps on for men during
the service - only during the processional & recessional (and during your investiture rite).
11. The President of the Diocesan Council of Knights, the Regional chapter chairmen, and the parish leaders are appointed by me. The term of their service is up to me. For Regional and Parish leaders the initial term is 2 years. The Regional association can elect Secretary, Treasurer, Publicity Secretary. My reason for appointing leaders is to avoid and arrest our ethnic proclivity to interpersonal conflict which hinders our ministry and mission due to election mania and power mongering. Knighthood is NOT about position and power, it's about humble service. If being in a position of power is what you want you need to resign from the Knighthood.
12. Help me uphold commitment to Scripture, discipline, Anglican tradition and discipline in our churches. It is wrong to ask the Bishop to go contrary to Anglican tradition in my decisions. And it is unthinkable to publicly oppose the Bishop and to malign him. Episcopal ministry is very very complicated. I'm working with more information and complexity that you do not know and that I cannot in many cases disclose to you. To avoid any misunderstanding the Bishop reserves the authority to discipline or suspend knights who do not live up to their vows from the Order.
13. You must maintain confidential conversation or information that the Bishop may occasionally pass on to you in times of necessity.
14. Finally don't forget your purpose: This is about joining me in building the kingdom of Christ, and supporting me as your bishop and the diocese with your time, abilities, and your money. When you give remember you are giving to God's glory.
Great will be your reward in heaven.
Let me reiterate:
Knighthood is NOT a reward to those who have been doing ministry in your church. If that were the case half of your congregants will be knighted. It is a call to SERVE the Bishop of the Diocese which you are. Knights are knights of the Diocese and not knights of the parish to which you belong. Your allegiance is to your Bishop not the priest who nominated you.
Knights and Dames in this diocese are men and women
of integrity who are:
• Committed to Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord evidenced by their faith
and godly behavior.
• Committed to the Diocese and the local parish.
• Who have the financial ability to make initial and annual contributions to the Diocese and have the willingness and ability to support diocesan activities/programs without complaining.
This point is very crucial.
• Who keep their promises.
This is crucial: It would be very helpful for you to raise money for the diocese
every year so that we can do ministry effectively.
Let us start a revolution for Christ in our Diocese and in this country.
Join up with me as we honor Jesus and build up his kingdom.
2 Timothy 2:3-7
3 Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. 4 No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him. 5 An athlete is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules. 6 It is the hard-working farmer who ought to have the first share of the crops. 7 Think over what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything."
WELCOME ADDRESS TO THE INVESTITURE BY THE PRESIDENT OF KNIGHTS DIOCESE OF CONVOCATION OF ANGLICANS IN NORTH AMERICA (CANA WEST) AUGUST I5, 2015.
Sir. Samuel Oparah- Francis
On behalf of our Lord Bishop, Rt. Rev. Felix Orji and the body of Knights of St. Christopher and St. Mary Mother of Jesus and the Ladies of St. Christopher, CANA West, I welcome you all to this Knighthood investiture. CANA West is a Missionary Diocese inaugurated in 2013 with Bishop Dr. Felix Orji as the first Bishop.
KNIGHTHOOD IN CANA WEST
Early in 2013 the Bishop Rt. Rev. Felix Orji, promoting Discipleship and evangelism in CANA West Diocese, met with few people and decided to recognize and honor members of the laity who have distinguished themselves and wish to do so in service to the Church and Society. Such important and highly honored office of the laity in the Church of God Anglican Communion is that of the Knighthood. Knights support their Bishop and under his authority.
The Bishop formed a small committee who further recommended that in order to determine the level of commitment and acceptability, the person who is to be knighted must be:
1. Born Again Christian
2. Committed and participating Anglican in good standing and of
proven moral integrity.
3. They must be full active members of their home Anglican churches
4. Married to one wife 1 Corinthians 9:5
5. Blameless in Conduct 1 Timothy 5:7; 6:14
6. Given to Hospitality Titus 1:8; Romans 12:13
7. Not member of secret society
8. Not given to too much wine 1 Timothy 3:3; Titus 1:7
9. A communicant
10. A generous financial contributor to the Diocese.
On August 8th the first batch of 45 Knights and their Ladies of St. Christopher was investitured in Cathedral of St. Francis Anglican Church, El Paso, TX. Before investiture, they attended a 3 day retreat where they went through articulated orientation for them to understand what Knighthood is all about.
WHAT IS KNIGHTHOOD
Knighthood is an honor bestowed on men and women distinguished for personal character and notable accomplishments for the good of humanity. In the Church recipients are persons who have conducted themselves in an exemplary manner in the past, and have equally been available for services to the Church and to Church authorities.
Knighthood is a mission of sacrifice and should not simply be regarded as a reward for a job well done, but rather as a new call for greater responsibility in the Church. Knighthood is not a status symbol, it’s not a secret cult and certainly not a social club where people gather to seek or have fun. IT IS A CALL TO SERVE GOD AND MAN
WHO IS A KNIGHT
A Knight is simply not one who is honored with the title "Sir” as a reward for his or her past services and thus marking his/ her retirement from services. A Knight is rather someone who has distinguished himself/ herself in service to the Church and Society that the Church decides to bring him/ her to the center rank. The above definition of a Knight does not make provision for a ceremonial Knight or one being a Knight only by name.
The true essence of knighthood is not so much of what you think, it is what others see in you through your ways life and conduct, the good impact you make in people’s lives, your family, community and your diocese/church.
WHAT MAKES A KNIGHT
What actually makes a knight is not the dressing. Remember the old saying; “The hood does not make a monk” it is the SPIRITUAL IIMPACT the individual knight makes in his immediate and remote environment that actually makes him/her a Knight.
In the olden days as well as the present, priests and kings are anointed to set them apart to work for which they are called. In the same way, knight is not just clad in the military outfit/sword, he/she is anointed set apart, empowered spiritually not to fight as combatant soldiers but as soldiers of the cross. A Knight is to wage war against anything evil.
The anointing possessed by the knight enables him/her to fight not with bare hands or empty heart, but to be spiritually combat-ready with the following weapons, Truth, Righteousness, Faith, God's word (sword of the spirit) and prayer. Ephesians. 6: 13-18
This means that the knight must not entangle him/herself with the MUNDANE things of this life to the detriment of the higher calling, but must be determined at all times, to exemplify a true soldier of Christ. “Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your father in heaven. Matthew 5: 16
By being invested, the knight no longer belongs to an order that is carnally minded, but an order that is heavenly oriented and Christ-directed 2 Timothy 2:3-4.
The anointing bestowed on the knight enables him to strive to be like Christ, to be a good defender of "the faith that was once for all entrusted to Saints" Jude 1:3 e.g. whenever you remember yourself as a Knight, you should not think pride rather, think of yourself as a foot soldier of Christ who has a duty to perform as a lay member of the Anglican Church.
"A Knight has to pursue good in various ways, through personal sacrifice, sincerity and excellence displayed in profession in the service of the nation, church and God."
In closing, I urge all the Knights both old and new to shun pride, sexual immorality, arrogance and insubordination. You must see yourselves as soldiers of Christ and a burden bearer.
A Christian knight must PRAY. Christian knight must be instruments in the hand of God and give prayer support for Missions and Evangelism. Remember Jesus said; Apart from me you can do nothing.
I congratulate and wish all the worthy recipients of the order of Knighthood of Saint Christopher, Saint Mary and the Ladies auxiliary many more years of fruitful
service to God and humanity.
Sir Sam Oparah
President, Council of Knights.
CANA West Diocese