‘Ekélété Méo: Follow Me…’

The Valedictory Sermon at Bethel

It was an expression of mixed feelings Bethel Anglican Church, Amadi-Ama. The silence was thick as the congregation contemplated the message from the pulpit. It was his last Sunday sermon as Ven. Enoch Atuboyedia, Vicar of Bethel Anglican Church.

Venerable Atuboyedia in his sermon charged the congregation to follow in the footsteps of the Lord Jesus Christ.

But it was also a message of thanksgiving and admonition as he prepared to up the ladder of priesthood to assume office as Bishop of Diocese of Okrika.

Taking his text from Matthew’s Gospel 8:22 wherein Jesus said “Follow me; and let the dead bury the dead,” the Bishop-Elect (then) taught on the concept of the Greek word ‘Ekeletemeo’ which means “to follow in the exact footsteps of somebody.”

He admonished the congregation to walk in the ways of the Lord, keeping his statutes and not be distracted by the challenges and cares of the world.

His short sermon captured key elements of loyalty and discipleship as he commended them for their love and co-operation to him, and his entire family, stating that their support enabled him to serve and achieve remarkable things in his less than two years sojourn as Vicar .

Speaking at the send-off and presentation of gifts by different arms of the Church, the Vicar urged them to build peace and maintain peace with all men wherever they found themselves, to enable them achieve greater things for God.

Also speaking, chairman of the Send-off/Thanksgiving/Service, Sir Dr. Omieibi Altraide noted the impact of Venerable Atuboyedia in the physical and spiritual development of the Church and in the lives of worshippers; and thanked him for his inspirational leadership.

Altraide listed the achievements recorded in the Vicar’s short stay, noting that although the congregation would have wished to have him stay longer in the parish as Vicar, they were happy that he was leaving Bethel Church to a higher calling as Bishop of Diocese of Okrika. 

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Consecrated for the Work, Receive Power

…Primate Charges Bishops

Holy ambience filled The Cathedral Church of the Advent, Abuja, as Rt. Rev. Enoch Atuboyedia took his time to be consecrated as Bishop of Diocese of Okrika by the Primate and Metropolitan of Church of Nigeria, Anglican Church, Most Rev. Henry Ndukuba.

In preparing the servant of God to begin his Episcopacy the Primate supported by other Bishops uttered the immutable words of benediction and presenting to them different tools of ordination.

Charging the Diocesan with the power of God, he said: “Receive the Holy Spirit, for the office and work of a Bishop, in the Church of God, now committed to you; by the imposition of our hands, in the name of God the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit, Amen.”

Sanctifying them, he said; “May you be consecrated and hallowed for the work of the Pontifical Order, by this anointing with the Holy chrism of Sanctification in the name of God the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.”

Empowering the Bishop with the Bible, he said; “Receive this Bible, here are the words of Eternal life; think upon the things contained therein, be diligent in them, take them for your own guide and declare them to the world; for so doing you will save both yourself and them that hear you.”

And presenting the Staff of Bishopric Authority, he said, “Take this staff; be a shepherd and not a wolf to the flock of Christ; feed them and do not devour them; seek the lost sheep; uphold the weak; restore health to the sick; lift the downtrodden; ensure discipline, but forget not mercy; be so merciful and do not be too remiss. May the Spirit of the Chief Shepherd guide you, Amen.

With the anointing and consecration power upon him, Bishop Atuboyedia is set to exercise Episcopal authority sitting on the seat of the Diocesan of St. Peter’s Cathedral as he is enthroned to oversee the Diocese of Okrika from today, Monday, September, 28th, 2020. 

The Ven. Enoch Atuboyedia was among four Bishops-Elect consecrated at the service  by His Grace, The Most Revd. Henry C. Ndukuba, Archbishop, Metropolitan and Primate of all Nigeria, Anglican Communionon. 

  The other Bishops-Elect were the Very Revd. Peter Oludipe Bishop, Diocese of Ijebu, The Ven. Adegoke Agara, Bishop, Diocese of Idoani and The Ven. Gabriel Elabor Bishop, Diocese of Esan.

 The Ven. Atuboyedia was presented by The Rt. Revd. Emmanuel Morris, Bishop, Diocese of Maiduguri and the Rt. Revd. Foluso Babatunji, Bishop, Diocese of Osun.

In his sermon, Bishop of Otukpo Diocese, The Rt. Revd. David K. Bello, admonished the new bishops to be available to both their pastors and parishioners.

Rt. Revd. Bello who was also the Retreatant advised them to shun the tendency of unnecessary preferments and charged the new Bishops to be ready for greater challenges but remain diligent and steadfast to overcome them.

The consecration of the four new Bishops brings the total number of Bishops in the Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion to 174.

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