History, As Anglican Church of Redemption Holds 1st Women Conference As Parish

History, As Anglican Church of Redemption Holds 1st Women Conference As Parish

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By Izunna Okafor, Awka

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Barely three weeks after the Archbishop, Ecclesiastical Province of the Niger and Bishop of Anglican Diocese of Awka, Most Rev'd. Alexander Ibezim upgraded the status of the Temp. Site Branch of Chapel of Redemption, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, from a chapel to a parish, and also christined it Anglican Church of Redemption; the women of the parish have successfully held their first women conference in their new status as parish women.

Themed "The Name of the Lord Is a Strong Tower, the Righteous Run Into It and Are Safe", the historic event, which held over the weekend, started with a Holy Communion service and Bible Study, and also drew the participation of the parish women and young wives, who for the first time in history, attended the conference in their uniforms.

In her Presidential Address, the wife of the Vicar, Nneora Stella Alokwu, who extolled God for his divine presence, blessings, protection and promotion; also appreciated the leaders of the church both at parish, archdeaconry and diocesan levels, for their purposeful leadership and shepherding of the Lord's flocks; even as she prayed God to continue to guide, bless their ministries and make His grace sufficient for them.

She recalled the experiences of the COVID-19 pandemic and hailed God for keeping His people in the hallow of His hands and for not allowing the deadly plaque to consume them.

She highlighted the various activities that took place in the parish and in the diocese over the year, including the change of status (from chapel to parish), Women's Guild rededication service, mothering sunday, formation of Young Wives Fellowship, enrollment/admission into Mother's Guild and Girls Guild, collation of archdeacons, ordinations of preists, installation of canons, 2021 synod, and 2021 Awka Diocesan Womens Conference (ADWOC), among others, which she testified, were all successful, to the glory of Lord.

While congratulating women who were favoured with one or two testimonies over the year, including those blessed with fruit of womb, those who defended their PhD and Masters Degree programmes, those who were promoted in their different vocations, those who are now grandmas and others who went for Ọmụgwọ̀; the Vicar's wife also testified that they did not record any death of their member; and also sympathized with all who lost their dear ones, praying that the Comforter will give them the comfort of the Holy Spirit. 

She said, "We are also sorrowful over the insecurity situation in the country, an unprecedented wave of different but overlapping security crises, from kidnapping to extremist insurgencies. May the Lord in his infinite mercy deliver Nigeria and hear the cries of His children to give us a peaceful Nigeria."

Dissecting the theme of the Conference "The Name of the Lord Is a Strong Tower...", she explained that Lord's name is a strong tower because the infinite heights and depths of His person, presence, and power are apprehended in that name. She further opined that the name of the Lord is equivalent to the Lord Himself and speaks of the revealed essence of God or the revelation of Himself in the history of salvation.

She highlighted some attributes of God as strong tower and urged the women to stop seeking help from where there is none, nor depend on any man as their source of solution.

Her word: "Our only help comes from God. It is only the name of the Lord that can save. Unique mothers, I urge you by the mercies of God to run into this strong tower by acknowledging your frailty and believing in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior; that is when you will now say that the name of God is surely my strong tower."

In an interview with newsmen, one of the participants at the event, Dame Irene John-Ifejika, who was also one of the conference ambassadors, described the Vicar's wife as a Spirit-filled leader, as was evidenced in the overwhelming success of the conference, which she noted, had been fixed before the upgrading of the status of the church from chapel to parish was announced.

Congratulating the parish women for the colourful and successful 2021 conference, she also charged them to put all their trust in God.

She said: "They should always trust God and focus on God, irrespective of whatever challenge they are passing through, because if they do so, their problems will be solved. So, look unto God; and it shall be well with you."

Earlier in his brief remark, the Vicar, Anglican Church of Redemption, Awka, Ven. Dr. Obiorah Alokwu appreciated the women for massively participating in the well-organized conference, and also encouraged them to remain committed to the things of God, and to put all their trust in God, in line with the conference theme.

The event featured series of prayers; group reports; reading, appreciation, acceptance and launching of the presidential address; cutting of the conference cake; Health Talk (on the topic "Safe Care"); Bible quiz, thanksgiving, musical performances, among highpoints and side attractions that climaxed and made the conference a memorable one indeed.