Led by United Methodist Bishop John Wesley Yohanna, resident bishop of the Nigeria Episcopal Area, the 17th session of the Central Annual Conference was held in Mingeh Charge in the Yamina Ecclesiastical District. The conference had the theme "And know that I am God" from Psalms 46:10.
The Rev. Emmanuel C. Auta was the guest preacher.
''Knowing God varies in one way or another and one may not know God in a chaotic situation,'' Auta said. “The one who makes noise will not know God'.”
The annual conference was opened with a clergy session and a lay session. These were followed by delegate registration. The total number of delegates was 265 from 12 Ecclesiastical Districts.
During this session, delegates also identified major challenges related to disloyalty to Church authority. It was observed that some laity and clergy are disloyal to church authority to the point of disconnecting themselves from church leadership, which has led to continuing crises. The conference is intensifying its efforts to end these problems through prayer and the search for a just solution.
The conference was divided into legislative committees during which several resolutions were passed.
All delegates said “no” to accepting the practice of homosexuality. Delegates resolved and adopted that if the language of incompatibility is removed from the United Methodist Book of Discipline at the 2024 General Conference, they will seek to join any new emerging Methodist denomination that adheres to the biblical doctrine or standard that marriage is between a man and a woman and not between a man and a man or a woman and a woman.
The conference decided that Banyam Theological Seminary (BTS) should print Sunday school materials for charges, districts, zones and places of worship.
The delegates also decided that a special Sunday be held on December 31, 2022, to raise funds for pastors who have not been paid for months.
The conference agreed to support the resident bishop of the Episcopal Region of Nigeria in the implementation of the just resolution of Grand Bassam Cote d'Ivoire to reconnect members who have defected. In this regard, it was decided that, in the interest of justice, the bishop should appoint all the pastors, including those who rebelled.
It was decided that the conference meeting held in Bambur, which drew a small crowd, was illegal and should be disregarded.
During this 17th session, the conference also approved the following resolutions:
- Unanimously that any disloyal member of the church be removed from office and replaced by new members on an interim basis
- That all members should continue to pay their contribution to the church
- That all misspelled names of delegates and names omitted from the journal would be made available by their district superintendents and pastors and submitted to the conference secretary for correction
Nine deacons were ordained to the office of elder and five local pastors to the office of deacon, while two local pastors were appointed by the bishop.
Submitted by the Rev. Alexander Felix, secretary of the Central Nigeria Annual Conference
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