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.