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Collaboration among all members of the Body of Christ – the Church, has been described as the most valuable tool to make the Church of Christ on earth more vibrant and proactive in her missionary mandate in the present day world. This was the consensus of the about 350 participants at the Fourth National Mission Congress of the Church in Nigeria (NAMICON IV), held at the Bishop Kelly Pastoral Centre, Benin City, Edo State.

According to the communique issued at the end of the one-week programme, which featured the celebration of the Mass, Mission Exhibition and paper presentations on several relevant aspects of the theme of the Congress: Baptized and Sent: The Church of Christ in Nigeria on Mission; the participants noted that the discussions at the congress had helped them to identify the different ways of proposing the Gospel to the present day world; and in response to the theme; there is need for renewal, more dedication and commitment on the part of all faithful to be effective agents of evangelization, irrespective of their different vocations.

In the communique, which contained the resolutions and recommendations of the participants, family catechesis, inculturation and curbing the excesses of globalization and modern civilization were among the factors identified as essential tools for enhancing the missionary mandate of Christ in the country, in the context of the theme of the congress. The communique was signed by: Most Rev. Matthew Hassan Kukah, CBCN Episcopal Chairman for Mission and Dialogue and National Chairman, National Missionary Council of Nigeria (NMCN); organizers of the Congress; Rev. Fr. Joseph Nomwhange; CSN Director of Mission and Dialogue and Rev. Fr. George Ajana, National Director of Pontifical Mission Societies of Nigeria and National Secretary of NMCN.

On the issue of the Church being missionary by nature, the participants contended that: “The Church appropriates the mission of Christ and strives to complete the task of the mission of Jesus by imparting God’s love; as radiated through evangelization and other forms of missionary efforts.” They therefore recommended that: “The overwhelming effects of globalization, new age movement and secularization should be curtailed through a vigorous family catechesis and on-going formation. Noting that the physical degradation of the environment portends danger to human life, they called on all people to have reverence for God’s creation.”

According to the participants, Inculturation and African values of unity and peaceful coexistence are veritable tools for effective evangelization. While advocating for their use to enhance the mandate of the Church on mission, they urged that “the inculcation of these should be pursued through a gradual process and within the context of the doctrine and teachings of the Church.”


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