(By Alex Uzoigwe)

       Church ministers of all categories in Nigeria have been challenged to always uphold their canonical vows by being shepherds and not wolfs to their various flocks.
       They were specifically counselled to continually remain ideal shepherds to their members and not be devouring wolfs to the people entrusted to their care. 
      The Bishop on the Niger, the Rt Rev Dr Owen Nwokolo, held out the challenge today, Sunday, February 11, 2024 while collating and installing five archdeacons and seven canons in the All Saints' Cathedral, Onitsha, Anambra State.
      He had entreated the ministers that their ministry, leadership and service should be selfless and just, enjoining them to always strive to be guided and directed by what he called heavenly wisdom.
        The bishop had in the charge appealled to ministers to "Continually remain a shepherd and not a wolf to the flock of Christ", as well as "feeding them and not devouring them, seeking the lost, upholding the weak, restoring health to the sick and not forgetting mercy".
         Earlier in the sermon he said during the collation service, the Most Senior Priest in the diocese, Ven Dr Emma Upkeke, had advised both the lay and the ordained to strive for the right acquisition of substantial knowledge of God without which he said people might not only go astray, but might also perish.
      According to him, good knowledge of God can be acquired through a wide range of activities, among which he underscored as by engaging in vigorous intellectual and historical engagement, but explained that the best way was through the heart.
      "Through the heart, we experience true encounter with God, we have true , quality revelation, one-on-one with God, for

if one is well rooted, knowledge wise, one can dominate one’s environment and change it through exploits for better”.
Ven Dr Upkeke who was a retreatant to the new archdeacons and canons admonished them that it was imparative they learned how to refuse to be intimated as well as be everready to showcase their Identity wherever they found themselves.
“This is because, you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood; for you did not choose yourself” he told them.
The new archdeacons are; Rev Dr Chinedu Nnatianya, Rev Canon Ifeanyi Azubuike, Rev Canon Dr Azubuike Okudo, Rev Canon Godwin Ufèlè and Rev Canon Nicholas Okafor.
The new Canons are; Rev Dan Umeh -Okey, Rev James Iheanyi and Rev Eli Nwokoma.
The rest are Rev Uche Nwoye Rev Celestine Mgbachi, Rev Christian Obiora and Rev Chijioke Okpalakunne.

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