The Port Harcourt Archdiocesan Men’s Fellowship held its Conference at Methodist Church Nigeria, D/Line Cathedral, Port Harcourt from Thursday 25th to Sunday 28th October, 2018. The Archbishop of the Archdiocese, Most Rev. (Dr.) S. O. I. Agwu, in the opening session of the Conference, urged men to see themselves as agents of peace and holiness. The theme was derived from the 2018 general theme of the Methodist Church Nigeria “Strive for peace and holiness (Heb. 12:14)”.
Pastor Don Adams, said the theme showed how the birth of Jesus Christ was to bring peace to humanity (Luke 2:13-14, Eph 2:14). “The Gospel is about Jesus and the Kingdom of heaven, which Christian men are to proclaim.” So, men cannot proclaim the Gospel, if they do not bear peace. He stressed the importance of peace, which made Paul to consistently salute the Churches with “Grace and Peace be unto you.” Using Creation story, he showed how Adam created by God was full of Authority. “Adam was God’s vehicle, he gave names to the animals and that remained their names. But Adam fell and lost the authority.”
This shows that Adam was to multiply the image and likeness of God, (Gen. 1:27-28). Instead, Adam multiplied his own image and likeness, rather than God’s (Gen.5: 3). So, when Jesus (the second Adam) came, He brought back the original purpose of God by now multiplying the image and likeness of God (John 1:12-13). Hence, men should be imitators of Christ. As shown in 1Timothy 2:8, God wants men everywhere to lift up holy hands in prayers without disputing. “Without Holiness, no man shall see God” (Heb. 12:14). Striving for peace and holiness also brings divine settlement, unity and orderly society. On this note, the conference reiterates the need for men to continue to recognise their God-given responsibilities to the home, Church and society. As leaders, men have the responsibility of leading their homes to Christ, in order to reflect their home teachings on the Church and the society.
For an equitable society, the Conference emphasised that the primary responsibility of government is to provide security and good welfare for citizens. Government was, therefore, called upon to ensure a peaceful society and do everything possible to maintain peace and order. Government should exercise enough political will to protect lives and property in the country. The Conference demands the unconditional release of Leah, who has been in captivity of Boko Haram insurgents for a long time now. The Conference urged government to do everything possible and expedites her safe return to enable her re-unite with her family.
On the forthcoming 2019 General Election, the Conference called on the Electoral umpire, INEC, to put in place structures and reform our electoral system in order to gain the confidence of Nigerians. Government should take pro-active steps and demonstrate political will to allow INEC be truly independent and avoid overheating the polity in order to reduce political tension. The Conference condemned corruption in the society and charged Nigerians to rise against the menace. Government on her part should confront the menace with sincerity and transparency.
The Conference ended with thanksgiving service on Sunday 28th October, 2018. The Conference Men’s Fellowship President, Sir Adasi Ubulom, who preached the sermon, urged men and their family members to always strive to be in peace with God and all men. According to him, as agents of peace and holiness, we must be diligent in our duties, knowing too well that “God does not compensate but rewards.”
from The Guardian Nigeria Newspaper – Nigeria and World News http://guardian.ng/sunday-magazine/ibru-ecumenical-centre/men-urged-to-be-agents-of-peace-and-holiness/