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Rt.Rev. (Dr.) Humphrey Olumakaiye, Diocesan Bishop, Diocese of Lagos, Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) (2nd Left); Chairman, Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, Lagos, Rt. Rev. S. T. V. Adegbite, and other clerics during the opening service of the 3rd session of the 34th Synod of the Diocese of Lagos, Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), with the theme, “The value of life, faith and ministry: Charting a new course”, held yesterday, at the Cathedral Church of Christ, Marina, Lagos
By Odinaka Uruakpa
Nigerians and leaders were on Sunday urged to shun materialism, and inculcate the right values needed to serve the people, and make things right in the country.
The Diocesan Bishop and Missioner of Diocese of Lagos, Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), Rt. Rev. Humphrey Olumakaiye, gave the charge at the opening service for the third session of the 34th Synod of the Diocese of Lagos, themed “The value of life, faith and ministry: Charting a new course”, held yesterday, at the Cathedral Church of Christ, Marina, Lagos.
The Bishop disclosed that the theme was chosen for lay people, as well as the clergy to realise the need to re-chart and refocus their life in regards to their relationship with God and fellow humans.
Said he: “We decided to pick the theme purposefully, to re-chart a new course in the lives of lay people, and even the clergy, so that we refocus our lives, especially in our relationship with our God and humanity. At the essence of that, there is need for us to move on and press on, and to cherish things that are of God more than material things.
“We discover that developed countries cherish immaterial values than the material values. But we that are just developing, we cherish material values than the immaterial ones. So we are now asking that for this nation to be great, for us to reach the promised land, we must jettison, and emphasise less on material values, and focus on immaterial values, which are honesty, dignity of labour, true obedience to God’s words, truthfulness, love and so on, then, the country will be great.
“We should shun this crave for greed. And that is what we are just trying to say at the Synod, so that we can refocus and press on towards the mark, just like Paul was telling the Christians at Philippia, that they should press on towards the mark of the higher calling, and I pray we get there in Jesus name”.
Said Olumakaiye while relating the theme to the nation, and the leaders: “Our leaders cherish material values more than the immaterial values. You see them craving for big cars, you see them craving for houses, you see them craving for money, greed; they are insatiable. It’s craziness when you see how people are embezzling money, for what purpose? What are they going to use the money for? So, we are saying that we should press on towards the mark of our calling because, one day we are leaving this world. We are all on a borrowed seat. We will jettison all these things. After leaving this world, where are we going to? So, this is a clarion call, even for our leaders, to try as much as possible, to jettison material things, and embrace immaterial things, which are honesty, dignity of labour, true obedience to God, sincere life of faithfulness, among others, and we will see that the country will be great again, and we pray that it will be great”.
Said he on the attitude of leaders, who seem not to cherish life, with the way people are being killed all over the country: “We have discovered that life has no value to people again, and it’s quite very unfortunate, we don’t cherish life again, and there is need for us to know that we are all created in the image of God. So, life should be cherished. And by that we discover that if you do that, then, all this wanton killings, kidnapping and banditry will be things of the past, if we know that we are all created in the image of God, all will be well for us as a nation, in Jesus name”.
In his sermon, Archbishop of Bendel and Bishop of Ughelli Diocese, Most Rev. Cyril Odutemu, also charged leaders in the country, to jettison the spirit of selfishness, develop value of life and reach out to the poor in every facet of life.