Nigeria’s 62nd Independence Service

The President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), His Eminence, Most Rev. Dr. Daniel C. Okoh has called on all Nigerians to believe and constantly pray for the nation, as God is intentional about the all-round blessing and upliftment of Nigeria. This was part of his sermon delivered at the Inter-denominational Church Service to mark Nigeria’s 62nd Independence Anniversary, held yesterday at the National ecumenical Centre, Abuja.

Archbishop Okoh in his sermon titled: “The Righteous Shall Rule the Land”, urged Nigerians to understand that “all politicians are not the same”, thereby encouraging them to ensure they vote for quality leadership in the forthcoming elections.

He also emphasized that despite all the security, economic and social challenges being experienced by the country, there was so much to appreciate God for especially for the uninterrupted democracy since 1999.

(L-R) Most Rev. Dr. Daniel Okoh, CAN President, Mrs Daniel Okoh, Mrs Boss Mustapha, SGF Boss Mustapha, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Mrs Dolapo Osinbajo, President of the Courts of Appeal, Monica Dongban-Mensem, Deputy Whip House of Rep Nkiru and HOS Dr Folashade Yemi Esan at the 62nd Nigerian Independence Day Interdenominational Service at the National Christian Centre, Abuja.

The CAN President called on all eligible voters to jealously guard their permanent voters’ cards and to those who were yet to receive theirs, he advised that they do so in order to be fit to exercise their civic responsibility at the polls in the 2023 general elections. He further called on the government to give the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) all the necessary support  needed to conduct credible elections come 2023.

Also in attendance were the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Folashade Yemi-Esan, Service Chiefs, Representatives from all arms of government and the diplomatic community.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and CAN President, Archbishop Daniel Okoh

In his address, Prof Osinbajo said a prayer for the peace and progress of the nation taking his reference from the book of the Bible, Deuteronomy 33:25, “as your days, so shall your strength be”, expressing hope that Nigeria will surmount all the challenges bedeviling her to become a prosperous nation.

Relationship Tips: Maintaining a Healthy Christian Relationship

For Christians who want to live their lives so that it honors God, it’s only natural to seek a healthy Christian relationship. You’ll want to ensure that God is a significant part of your relationship with your partner.

If you’re at a crossroads on how to maintain a healthy Christian relationship with your partner, here are a few essential tips to follow:

1. Choosing a partner who also values their relationship with God

To have a healthy Christian relationship, it’s important that both you and your partner value your relationship with God. The choice of partner is crucial to having a healthy Christian relationship which is why it is important not to get swept up in physical attraction or emotions.

Instead, you should look for godly qualities such as kindness, patience, and humility.

2.  Date with the intention to marry your partner

Casual dating is popular currently, but it won’t serve you and your partner if you’re trying to have a healthy Christian relationship. It’s important that you date the person with whom you can envision a potential life-long partnership.

This is not to say that you should marry the first person you date, but your intention should be to critically evaluate whether the partner is a good fit for you.

3. Avoid physical intimacy before marriage

It’s difficult to resist the temptation of physical intimacy if you’re dating someone you’re attracted to. However, God’s instruction for His followers are to wait until marriage to be physically intimate.

You can start by setting safe, respectable, and honorable boundaries when dating as a Christian. For example, you can agree to only kiss on the cheek until you’re married and avoid activities that might lead to impure thoughts.

4. Follow this passage from the Bible for a healthy Christian relationship

One of the best passages describing love comes from the Bible in 1 Corinthians 13: 4-8, which says, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no records of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”

This beautiful passage perfectly sums up how to treat your partner in a healthy Christian relationship.

If you want to learn more about how Christians should navigate love and relationships, you can read the captivating book I Kissed Waiting Goodbye by Dr. Denver Cheddie and Indira Rampaul-Cheddie. Read the first chapter of the book for free here, and check out the other books as well.

Written by Denver Cheddie from www.bibleissues.org

CAN Congratulates Ositelu As WCC President For Africa

The President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) – His Eminence, Most Rev. Dr. Daniel C. Okoh has on behalf of the association, congratulated the Primate of The Church of the Lord (Aladura) Worldwide, The Most Rev. (Dr.) Rufus Okikiola Ositelu, on his emergence as the President of the World Council of Churches (WCC) for Africa.

The President described Rufus Ositelu as a trailblazer, visionary leader, great ecumenist and mighty man of valour, full of the Holy Spirit, and abundant in Grace. Stating that his experience and track-record all through the years in ecumenism is a confidence that the Church leader will definitely take the ecumenical body in Africa to the next level.

His statement reads:

The news of your emergence as the President of the World Council of Churches (WCC) for Africa, and indeed the first Nigerian and African to occupy that exalted position since 1948 of its establishment, didn’t come to us as a surprise. This is due to the fact that we have known Your Holiness, not just as a mighty man of God but as a trailblazer, visionary leader, great ecumenist and mighty man of valour, full of the Holy Spirit, and abundant in Grace.

We are very confident that WCC is about to witness the undisputable hands of God in yet another apostolic dimension through your emergence. Your imperishable records as the 4th Primate of the Church of the Lord (TCL) Worldwide and former Vice-President of the Christian Council of Nigeria (CCN) are enviable testaments of the exceptional Grace of God on your life.

The Almighty God, who is the fountain of all wisdom will continue to refresh your mind, increase your anointing and grant you all spiritual and material blessings to function effectively in this new capacity.  Let me assure you that as an Association, our thoughts and prayers are forever with you as you begin this new assignment. We are not in doubt that the Church of God in Nigeria and indeed Africa will be proud of you. 

Once again, I rejoice with Your Holiness, members of your immediate family and the Church of the Lord (Aladura) Worldwide on this historic milestone.

Please accept our heartfelt Congratulations Sir!

WCC 11th Assembly: Eight New Presidents Presented

The 11th Assembly of the World Council of Churches (WCC) holding in Karlsruhe, Germany, has presented Eight new Presidents, as announced by the moderator Dr. Agnes Abuom during the day’s plenary session in Karlsruhe.

The new WCC Presidents were drawn from Six regions and Two from Orthodox churches, in the Assembly vote on held on the 5th of September, 2022 with 574 delegates present.

As inscribed in the WCC Constitution, the role of the WCC presidents is to promote ecumenism and interpret the work of the WCC, especially in their respective regions. The presidents are ex-officio members of WCC central committee.

The Present Presidents are:

Africa

From Africa, Rev. Dr Rufus Okikiola Ositelu, of the Church of the Lord (Prayer Fellowship) Worldwide, was chosen as the regional president. Ositelo will be the first WCC president from an African Instituted Church.

Ositelu is the Archbishop and metropolitan of the Arch-Province of Nigeria, and the fourth primate of The Church of the Lord (Prayer Fellowship) Worldwide. He served on the WCC central committee between the WCC 8th Assembly in Harare and the WCC 9th Assembly in Porto Alegre.

Asia

Rev. Dr Henriette Hutabarat-Lebang, from Gereja Tora, a Reformed church in Indonesia, was elected Asia president. Hutabarat-Lebang is a church leader and ecumenist from Indonesia. She is a current member of the WCC central committee, and has served the ecumenical movement since her involvement in the Youth Working Group of the National Council of Churches in Indonesia beginning in 1976.

Caribbean and Latin America

From the Caribbean and Latin America, Rev. Philip Silvin Wright, Anglican bishop of the Diocese of Belize, was elected as a president.

Ordained a deacon and a priest at the historic Anglican Cathedral Church of St John the Baptist in Belize City, Wright worked primarily in the pastoral ministry in various districts in Belize.

Wright has served on several boards and committees, including the National Commission for Good Governance, the Board of Governors of the University of Belize, the National Committee for Families and Children, and the Community Rehabilitation Department.

Europe

For Europe, Rev. Dr Susan Durber of the United Reformed Church (United and Uniting) will serve as president. She is an ordained minister of the United Reformed Church in the UK.

Dr Durber has served local churches as a pastor in the united church. She served as principal of Westminster in Cambridge, part of the Cambridge Theological Federation, and as theological advisor for Christian Aid, an agency of the churches in the UK for international development.

She attended the World Conference on Faith and Order in Santiago da Compostela as a younger theologian and a few years later a consultation for younger theologians in Turku, Finland where she was inducted into the ecumenical movement and mentored by those with much experience.

North America

Rev. Dr Angelique Walker-Smith of the National Baptist Convention USA, Inc., will serve as president for North America. Walker-Smith is the national senior associate for Pan African and Orthodox Church Engagement at Bread for the World based in Washington D.C.

She has been Ecumenical Representative for National Baptist Convention USA, Inc. and is a current member of the WCC central committee, and is engaged in work of the National Council of Churches in the USA. She is also President of the Historic Black Church Family of Christian Churches Together also made up of many of the USA national churches. She also served as initiator of the Pan African Women of Faith Networks.

Pacific

The Pacific’s president will be Rev. François Phiaatae, of the Maòhi Protestant Church a Reformed church. Pihaatae is from Maohi Nui (French Polynesia) and is an ordained minister of the Etärëtia Porotetani Mäòhi (Mäòhi Protestant Church).

In addition to his parish responsibilities Pihaatae was called on to take on broader leadership responsibilities when he was elected chairman of a circuit of the church, a position he held for nearly ten years. As chairman he was also an active member of the Church Executive Committee and Synod where he initiated many programs to benefit churches of the region.

Pihaatae gained significant global leadership experience when he served as a member of the WCC Churches Commission for World Mission and Evangelism, 2000-2005.

Eastern Orthodox

For the Eastern Orthodox churches, H.E. Metropolitan Dr Vasilios of Constantia – Ammochostos, Church of Cyprus, will serve as president. Metropolitan Vasilios is a native of Ammochostos on the island of Cyprus.

After he finished his basic education, Vasilios joined the brotherhood of the Monastery of the Apostle Barnabas and was tonsured a monk with the name Vasilios. He lived at the monastery until the Turkish invasion of Cyprus.

While pursuing his education, Vasilios entered the Holy Orders when ordained a deacon at the Apostle Barnabas Monastery and a priest in Cyprus, raised to the dignity of archimandrite, and then was elected Bishop of Trimithounta by the Holy Synod of the Church of Cyprus.

Oriental Orthodox

H.H. Catholicos Aram I, Catholicos of the Armenian Apostolic Church of Cilicia, at the Catholicosate in Antelias, will serve as a president for the Oriental Orthodox churches president. He is a former moderator of the WCC central committee.

Aram has played an important role in initiation of Oriental Orthodox-Roman Catholic and Oriental Orthodox-Lutheran Theological Dialogues. His Holiness has served as a president of the Middle East Council of Churches since November 2007.