Fraternal Greetings to 2021 Methodist Church Nigeria, National Convention, Ministers’ Retreat @Methodist Cathedral, Enugu.

Worthy is the Lamb! I give God the glory for the opportunity to be part of this Holy Gathering – Enugu 2021. I thank our father, the Prelate, Methodist Church Nigeria, His Eminence Dr SCK Uche, and the Convention Organising Team for this opportunity extended to me. I bring you greetings from the Nigerian Methodist Chaplaincy, United Kingdom. We also join the global Methodism to celebrate the transition of the second World Director, Methodist World Evangelism, Rev Eddie Fox who passed away on Wednesday 28th July, 2021. He was used mightily with Rev Cecil Williamson’s Team from the United State of America for our Department of Evangelism especially in 1993. Fox lives on as he speaks to us at Enugu 2021 that “We must take seriously the Great Commission, the spreading of the Gospel, and we must take seriously the Wesleyan claim, ‘the world is my parish.”

To God Almighty be the praise Who daily calls us to a personal and corporate renewal, and commitment as we set ourselves apart for His mission. Just as Paul’s visits and greetings to different churches always addresses a particular problem, my fraternal greeting to Enugu 2021 is to reflect and seek answer to the question in Psalm 15, “Lord, who may abide in Your sanctuary? The sanctuary in the context of our Convention Enugu 2021 points to our Spiritual sanctuary, marital sanctuary, political sanctuary and economic sanctuary in Nigeria. Sanctuary suggests a place that provide safety, protection from danger or a difficult situations. The sanctuaries that are suppose to be a holy or sacred place, a place or institutions that are suppose to provide safety and protection from danger are now leading many Nigerians to their early mortuary through greed, corruption, banditry and kidnapping. The strength of Nigeria spiritual sanctuary (Church) will determine the state of our marital, political and economic sanctuaries. As a church, when we pray for a change in Nigeria, let us ask the question, “Lord, who may abide in Your sanctuary? The problem with us in Nigeria is that our religiousity speak volumes and partnership to the level of decay and dishonesty that we see in our local, state, and national sanctuaries.

Where we abide and what we dwell on determines the efficacy of our prayers, actions, and ministry. You either abide in God’s Holy Sanctuary or the earthly ‘mo(ney)tuary.’ No one can be neutral. Enugu 2021 calls us to take a position where to abide and what to dwell on. You cannot be dwelling in ‘mo(ney)tuary’ with the power that be and still be praying for effective change in Nigeria or church. Where you abide determines what you dwell on. When you take residence abiding on earthly ‘mo(ney)tuary,’ you will be dwelling and living more on earthly things, lust for power and pleasure.

Psalm 15 answers the question; “What sort of person experiences a deep relationship with God and strong sense of His presence?” Psalm 15 answers the question what sort of church or Christian experiences a deep relationship and strong sense of His presence that could effect our needed changes in Nigeria. Psalm 15 suggests that we lose a sense of His presence or may even cause God to withdraw His presence from our lives – through ungodly behaviour, dishonesty and deceit, slander or selfishness. Enugu 2021 calls us to examine our actions daily, confess and turn from our sins, strive to live for God’s approval as a Holy movement in Nigeria and the world as our parish (2Tim 2:15). Enugu 2021 as a call to Watch and Pray is a warning to Nigerians, that to lose touch with God is to lose everything.

Psalm 15 reminds us that God puts the highest priority on personal and corporate integrity, that is, character, honesty, honour and faithfulness as it relates to keeping our promises and commitments to God and to others. Psalm 15 furnishes us with a list of missional elements for us to abide in God’s sanctuary so as to be a renewal sanctuary and movement in Nigeria. Psalm 15 demonstrates why predetermined values and ethics, not expediency must drive our prayer, ministry and leadership. Enugu 2021 calls us to pray the picture of those who abide in God’s sanctuary into missional reality. Enugu 2021 calls us to seek and possess integrity, to do what is righteous, honest and trustworthy (v 2). Enugu 2021 as a call to abide in God’s tabernacle summons us not to gossip and not to listen to gossip so as not to do harm to others and our nation (v. 3). Enugu 2021 invites us to speak out against wrong and honour others who walk in truth thereby keeping our oath and words even when its costs us (v. 4). Enugu 2021 reminds us that it is spiritually, politically and economically greedy to gain at the expense of other or taking bribe against anyone (v. 5). I believe God is calling us as the first international church in Nigeria to lead an awareness in Nigeria on CHARACTER RENEWAL. Enugu 2021 offers us a good opportunity for this new beginning.