ARCHBISHOP JOEL OFUNA’S SPEECH AT THE HOLY SYNOD CONVENTION ON 4TH APRIL 2021 AT MANYATTA HEADQUATERS.
Distinguished leaders, fellow church members, ladies and gentlemen. I greet and welcome you all in this year’s Synod convention. We are once again privileged to converge here so as to reflect and deliberate on the challenges we have faced in the past not forgetting the gains we have made so as to chart forward our course as a people.
Fellow church members, I have noted with satisfaction that in the recent past, since April 2019 synod convention when we initiated the development agenda pertaining the construction and upgrade of our church buildings several successful harambees have been held while others are scheduled to be held in the next few months towards this initiative. Just to mention but a few the successful church harambees to upgrade Masala church, Wangaya church held in August 2019, Usingo church held in March 2021, recently for Sori Diruma church and yesterday for Jerusalem Church in Rachuonyo Diocese among others. This is a clear indication of our realization that our places of worship need upgrade to the current standards. We as RHG church fraternity have a role to play in bringing our development dream to fruition. The church’s leadership both clerical and administrative must lead in this process. To do this we must adopt a long term view of what we hope RHG church will become in future.
Ladies and gentlemen, an organization is only as strong as its institutions. Personalities come and go but institutions endure and outlast us all. It is a fact that the COVID 19 pandemic has in various ways affected our plans, programs and operations. It is therefore my intention to ensure that we fully adhere to our already institutionalized operations and administrative principles and values for the smooth running of our church. It is on this note that I hereby urge all the church catechists to provide contacts of all their church members to the head quarter through the church clerk as we are rolling out an efficient and effective communication mechanism especially at a time such as this.
In 2019 I had promised our youth fraternity that come the year 2020 we were to convene a National Youth Conference but as we all know and understand it was not possible due to the government’s directives. I’m pleased to announce that the NYC is hereby scheduled to be convened in July 2021 (from Thursday July 22nd afternoon to Saturday July 23rd morning). I urge the youth to make proper arrangements so as to attend this conference.
Brethren, our most valuable asset is our membership and adherence to our church’s core values. But for this resource to contribute effectively to our development agenda our ability to sacrifice and volunteer is paramount. Let me once more take this opportunity to thank the AJOF support Group Members wherever they are, a group of volunteers in our church who have proved that through sacrifice and volunteering as a team to help the needy and the unfortunate among us great things can be achieved. I am urging us that we join this noble group. It is on this note that as this convention had requested last year that a Sabbath day be set aside for AJOF funds drive, I urge the Synod to make a resolution pertaining this today.
Last but not least fellow church members I urge all of us to adhere to the rules set by the ministry of health intended to mitigate the spread of COVID 19 pandemic wherever we are even in our places of worship.
Thank you and may God bless you all.
Joel O. Ogwire
ARCHBISHOP JOEL OFUNA’S SPEECH TO THE HOLY SYNOD ON 21ST.APRIL .2019 AT MANYATTA HEADQUATERS.
Fellow church members,clergies, Synod representatives, departmental officials, all protocolsobserved, I salute you all in the name of God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Glorybe to the almighty God for his grace of granting us this day another opportunity that is fundamental in our church’s calendar.
This forum’s main function is enacting the church’s legislation, initiating the developmentagenda, deliberating on the gains made as well as the challenges faced and come up with resolutions to manage them.
Dear church members, it’s without doubt that tremendous steps have been made in our church by various departments and the church organs in safeguarding our aspirations as a spiritual institution.
The education department has so far performed well within their mandate as stipulated for them. Though one key initiative of translating our book of common prayer and the hymn book into English and Kiswahili languages is long overdue. This is part and parcel of solving the language barrier, a fundamental impediment to our growth as a church. I appeal to the department to ensure by all means that this is done as soon as possible.
Innovation being the key factor in every endeavour, marketing department has so far not performed as expected due to lack of proper planning to improve sales and access to books by our members. Prompt feedback to education department is quite necessary; theyshould ensure they correct this undoing because it affects the entire church’s development agenda in one way or the other.
For the challenges faced by the hospitality department, an ad hoc committee that shall be solely responsible for our yearly celebrations programme in January is now in place to ensure efficiency and effectiveness of the whole occasion.
Dear church members, it’s my pleasure to congratulate ICT department which has played a fundamental role in transformation of ourchurch in ensuring that we are technologically relevant in our operations, understanding and addressing the generational change in our dynamic world. More so this year, a fundamental stride has been made in this regard. The pay bill number and the church’s coding system for efficient financial transactions and fast tracking, not forgetting theRuweHoly Ghost Church of East Africa’s website for all information one needs to hear about us and our twitter handle. Indeed it’s a great achievement to say the least.
It is a fact that AJOF has become a pillar project within the church, we are stretched in providing a helping hand to the needy among us and more so in supporting education by offering yearly bursaries. Those appealing for assistance are ever increasing in number. I kindly appeal to all of us from the clergy to the laity, all of us wherever we are let’s ensure we contribute towards lamb chir ( Martyrs’ preparation prayers fund) as well as our annual fundraising every January during the yearly celebrations to support this noble initiative. On the same note I appeal to all well-wishers to join us support of this noble initiative.
In reference to the finance and development department, it’s good that they came up with a master plan of how to do fundraising for construction of our churches in all our regions. I appeal to all of us to support the implementation of this whenever we are called upon. Contribution towards the purchase of a vehicle to facilitate the office of the Arch Bishop has been below expectation. Challenge goes to the clergy ,the administration offices, the pastorate and church levels to see to it that it’s something worth supporting.
To the youth, I hereby this year lift the suspension on football during our yearly celebrations which started in 2017, due to indiscipline. Discipline therefore remains the main condition on which the game shall be played. The church’s elders (wazee’s team) shall be the finalists on this day.
The clergy owe the challenge as to why the pastorates perform poorly in accomplishing on policies toward development somewhat may be as a result of negative attitude, poor managerial skills or failure to involve the church members.
The outstanding pastorates keeping up conflicts due to leadership thirst has tremendously infiltrated in various areas but its my sincere plea to Bishops, Pastors,Lay leaders, women leaders, church ministers to be patient all the time in addressing issues pertaining to spiritual development.The appointing authorities at all levels should be honoured for smooth and blessed rise to a higher level.
We are inviting every member who has meaningful, educative and spiritual items to present the articles to our website administrators. The digital generation in our Facebook page ‘RUWE HOLY GHOST CHURCH OF EAST AFRICA’ (in capital letters) should think of posting informative posts in English since it’s now attached to our website.
Thank you and may God bless you all.
Fellow church members, church dignitaries, all protocols observed.
First and foremost, I take this opportunity to thank the almighty God for his grace and granting you life in abundance making it possible for each individual to see this day; a day which is fundamental in the calendar of our beloved church. A day when we came together to deliberate on the gains made and challenges faced by our church.
As our tradition demands, I salute our church founders, the likes of Alfayo Odongo Mango, Isaya Goro wuod Ogola and the rest who in unison conquered the world with the assistance of the Holy Spirit.
Dear church members, it’s no doubt that we are under an obligation as a spiritual institution to protect, promote and fulfil the spiritual aspirations of all the church members. We have made tremendous steps in safeguarding such aspirations. Through various church organs we have witnessed growth evidenced by the increasing number of believers.
I call upon various spiritual leaders in our churches to continue steering such growth as is the ultimate goal. Always bear in mind that you are the shepherds, the security and growth of the flock entirely depends on you. This is what we are called upon to do.
Dear friends , we’ve made gains with regards to our church development albeit at a slower rate. This has been through the commitment and dedication of all the stake holders in the church. I implore us to continue working in unison towards the development of our esteemed church bearing in mind that it is the cornerstone of any institution aspiring to make progress of whatever nature.
To the youth, i wish to remind you that various projects initiated by your leaders are intended to bring long term benefits to you. It should never escape your mind that you are the leaders of tomorrow. This being the case i urge you to accord the present leaders the deserving respect.
This is what you will receive in return. I beseech you to grow socially, morally and spiritually upright and with the highest standards of discipline. In reference to this year’s co-curricular activities, football in particular has been suspended for the time being due to indiscipline.
Discipline starts with an individual respecting him/herself before it moves to the next person. As the saying goes, charity begins at home.
Few years ago, we gave birth to AJOF project. This was an initiative aimed at assisting our youths pursue their education without having to worry where the finances will come from.
The project commenced on a low scale in terms of coverage. However we are optimistic that it will gain momentum and become a big thing within the church. Little by little fills the measure should be our driving factor. Members have overwhelmingly shown interest in this project, clearly there is a will; no doubt the way is paved.
And to the beneficiaries of AJOF, I wish to remind you of the higher calling of making the church proud of initiating such a process. Be our good ambassadors to wherever institutions you will be. Always remember the part played by the church in ensuring your success.
In recognition of our beloved government’s quench for peace, we join hands in applauding the present peace deal by the two national leaders. Our payer is that all the issues that are pending will be fast tracked and brought to logical conclusion and subsequently an everlasting peace.
Dear brethren, where two or more exist challenges are bound to arise, we have in the recent past faced problems which I believe are within the domain of the church. Our structures’ sanitation need to be improved. I also realized that most of our pastorates’ headquarters don’t have title deeds and concerned leaders should take necessary action. We have a faction which doesn’t believe in the spiritual activities we are engaged in. Our attempts to steer growth in the church is occasionally met with unfounded and unhealthy criticisms. These challengers make us grow stronger and stronger in the faith.
We keep praying for our opponents so that one day they may see the light and confess positively towards the development of the word of God.
My sincere gratitude goes to all Ruwe Holy Ghost church members for their devotion and commitment to the development of the church. In conclusion I thank all the departments and the management office for the improvement of the church structures within our headquarters compound not forgetting the incorporation of ICT in our operations.
I can’t go without mentioning Sori and Migori dioceses and Seme Magawa pastorate in Munyu diocese for their wonderful welcome and send off during my pastoral programme. You have contributed whole heartedly to the church progress. I thank you all.
Let us keep our church holy, behave morally upright and promote our church wherever you go. Without much ado I wish to end my speech by encouraging you to be a sun that will shine in someone’s heart.
JOEL OFUNA OGWIRE
ARCH BISHOP JOEL OFUNA’S OPENING SPEECH AT THE 2016 SYNOD MEETING ON 16/04/2016 AT MANYATTA CHURCH HEADQUARTER KISUMU.
Good morning fellow brothers and sisters who have been able to join us today in this year’s Synod meeting. What an amazing day and what an amazing opportunity for us to come together and share in fellowship,deli
beration & praise. i welcome you one and all with open arms, a smile & love just as we welcome every morning with a smile. May we look upon this special occasion today & welcome every other new day as yet another special gift from our lord & creator. May we see today as yet another wonderful opportunity to draw even closer to his grace & his light. Psalm 119, 105 says “Your word is a lump to my feet and light for my path”, may God’s virtue surround us all in his light, his words light our paths and guide us as he illuminate our way.
friends, its my pleasure to appreciate all of you due to your tireless commitments to steer up our church’s agenda. it is now 82 years since our church came to limelight after the Msanda Martyrs in January 1934, I believe a good number of us never existed but due to the work well done with our predecessors, we are here today to mark this important day. according to my own analysis we are now in the third generation. First Generation>The martyrs & people of their time, second generation> Converts during the lifetime of the first generation & third Generation being the converts of today, after the death of the first generation.
Once again the church today takes up the dialogue begun with the convocation of the extraordinary Synod on pertinent issues & certainly even long before that, to evaluate and reflect together on their performance on the basis of the responses & report from various departments and regions.
Brothers & sisters, a Synod is a journey undertaken together in the spirit of collegiality & Solidarity on which participants bravely adopt pastoral zeal, doctrinal wisdom, frankness, & always keeping before our eyes the good of the church.
it is an ecclesial expression i.e the church that journeys together to understand the reality with the eyes of faith and the heart of God. it is a living spring from which the church drinks to satisfy the thirst of & illuminate the deposit of life.
Brothers & sisters, the Synod is neither convention nor a parlor, a parliament nor senate where people make deals and reach consensus, here the spirit speaks by means of the tongue of every person, who lets himself be guided by God.
Friends there is a sacramental aspect to our meeting together to discuss the will of God for the direction of our church, we had to prepare for this Synod like we prepare for holy communion with prayer putting aside all passions & lusts, all judgements and resentments, all criticisms of others and anger in our hearts, otherwise how can participate in the holy mysteries, how dare we approach one another greetings or peace, how can we listen to God?
The task before us, is to hear the voice of God, striving to comprehend his will & to do it. Great challenges before hand revolves around development-a good number of our churches are permanently built but the percentage is below average. Friends, semi-permanent church structures are irrelevant today, let us therefore join hands together to change the faces of our churches.
I’ve observed with great concern the management of our churches, pastorates & dioceses, radical changes need to be done in order to streamline the entire system to conform to national church structure. Understanding that the lifelong equipping of leaders is essential for churches & ministries to flourish, the education department should identify, recruit & train leaders to be servants of the Kingdom of God.
Hearing the cries of the oppressed, forsaken,& disadvantaged, we seek to act justly, lovingly & mercifully as we walk humbly with our God. The launching of AJO foundation during our January celebrations marked the beginning of the concern and a few widows and orphans have so far benefited, this positively contribute towards the foundation.
Brothers and Sisters, I need to admit that at times we experience conflict mostly based on leadership lusts, but through prayer,advice & consultations, we are on the move. I noted with enthusiasm the January celebrations, the annual increase in number rises concern about the size of the church, accommodation places and feeding program. It is the duty of the synod to critically analyze and propose substantial remedy towards the same.
Brothers and Sisters as I conclude, i believe that as a community of believers, we seek to introduce people to the Lord and nurture their faith through all ages and stages of life. Our vision should be to see people saved, healed,set free, discipled, equipped, empowered and serving.
Our mission should be:
1.To bring all people to the kingdom of the living God.
2.We gather to praise God, listen to him and respond.
3 We nurture each other in faith and obedience to holy trinity.
4.We love and care for one another
5.We commit ourselves to save and to tell others about the church’s foundation.
6.We pursue God’s justice and peace in every area of life.
s and Sisters we should all have a dream of a place were the hurting,the oppressed, the frustrated and the confused can find love, acceptance, help, hope, forgiveness, guidance and encouragement.
Thank you and may God bless you all.
ARCH BISHOP JOEL OFUNA.
ARCH-BISHOP JOEL OFUNA’S SPEECH AT THE HOLY SYNOD MEETING ON 3/APRIL/2015 AT MANYATTA CHURCH H/QS.
Hallo church members, clergies,pastor
This 4rum has a noble job of enacting legislation that manages the entire church n there4 each member has 2 detach him/herself from politicking, sectionalism, clanism n favoritism, which has eminently hindered our advancement 2 greater heights. It is there4 my appeal 2 Synod members 2 at times make painful decisions in enacting legislation that can spearhead the devlpmnt agenda of our lovely church.
Our church subscription cannot help us move with speed n there4 it’s our mandate 2 review sm of them in order 2 help the chrch move 2 higher levels.
This yr’s flag raising celebrations at Nyamila in the home of late King Elijah Oloo was well attended. I further appeal 2 the members 2 increase the attendance nxt yr, hwever, reception was not up 2 date n all the offices concerned should keep watch n address this problem once n 4 all.
Our clergies play a major role towards spiritual growth, they need our support most. It is my prayer that they charismatically
I highly commend the church ministers n deacons 4 their tireless efforts 2 uplift the church. It is due 2 this fact that has steered us 2 increase the number of our church ministers.Educa
Members, it’s hertening 2 have a disciplinary cmmttee in a church set up where pple r perceived 2b holy. Why do we dvlp animosity n mistrust amongst ourselves? As a united African independent church whose administration is entirely on us, let’s all arise n rebuke conflict mainly aroused with quest 4 money n leadership, some of which r baseless n have no reward in the Kingdom of God. As brothers n sisters of the most high God, success is what we all need. the cmttee has not been maximally utilized due 2 unnecessary mistrust amongst us.
Youths r the dynamic church members, keep up n uphold discipline n respect in your endeavors. I however regretted the standstill that marred this yr’s youth activities which seemed 2b as a result of improper n untimely communication 2 participants. It’s my pleasure that all was resolved n our youth activities ended without a hitch. Kindly plan n communicate in advance 4 smooth running of our activities.
We r administrativel
May God Bless You
THE OFFICIAL OPENING SPEECH BY ARCH BISHOP JOEL OFUNA OGWIRE WHILE OPENING SPECIAL GENERAL MEETING AT MANYATTA-CHURCH
Dear brethrens, church dignitaries, all protocol observed . It is with great pleasure to meet u at this juncture. First n foremost, may I take this opportunity 2 salute the almighty Father 4 granting us the gift of life in abundance 2 be here 2day; a day which is very special 2 us as followers of our beloved church RHG church of EA. We r here in full capacity 2 deliberate on matters pertaining our church.
Colleagues, I owe a lot of praise 2 our martyrs who surrendered their dear lives 4 our sake; Alfayo Odongo Mango n the other 8. I cant 4get 2 mention Goro wuod Ogola ‘Tinga’ n others who had solidarity empowering them 2 conquer the world with the guidance of Holy spirit.
These great men n women chosen by God volunteered n endured torture 2 see us reach this far with this particular denomination.
I cannot 4get 2 commend the efforts of my predecessors, the late Barnaba Waluoho, Musa Ochieng, Mathayo Ndolo who worked round the clock towards the spiritual, economical n social development of the church.
Following the episcopal visit made in both August n this month of the year, I observed strength n weaknesses among our churches.
CHURCH BUILDING STATUS.
Within the pastorates in Dioceses toured, I realized that a few of the churches were permanent n operational but not complete. These include: Bware in Migori Diocese,Ndigwa,
I noted with a lot of concern that there r no title deeds 4 our churches except Manyatta church in Ksm Diocese.This has made sm of our members waste physical n financial manpower in putting up the churches n later demolish themon the land owners demand. Clergies of various pastorates should endevour 2 solve this problem immediately.
With regret, I found out that sanitation is very poor in most places toured. Bathrooms, prayer houses n church compound r pathetic except in Nyamage in Migori which has permanent washrooms. The rest r temporary while others r non existent.4 those who had prayer houses’ they were too small 2 accommodate visitors. Some compounds were too small, had no fence hence no security.
Some churches r not easily accessible.This
Reception was good n outstanding in terms of numbers, courtesy, n send off in most churches visited, I praise u all.
The youths r playing a major role in the holistic development of the churches, fundraisings, choir trainings r substandard n there4 trainers r advised 2 enhance training so as 2 get quality songs during our yearly celebrations in january 2015.
I urgue earnestly 2 go down your knees always while having in mind our colleagues whose health r worrying. they include our dear Bishop Nashon Migai of Nbi Diocese, Bishop Josiah Okuku of Munyu Diocese, Pastor Alex Odhiambo of Wang’ Tiang’ Pastorate among others. It is my prayer that they heal soonest.
DEPARTED HONORABLE MEMBERS:
Let us have a moment of silence while we picture the lives well lived by these colleagues who have gone 2 glory, the late Bishop Omuga of Owalo, Laktar Rose Okoth of Ksm, Soso Jennifer Osire of Owalo Diocese n Laktar Peres Odemba of Bondo Diocese who succumbed 2 death during my first tour.
THE DIOCESES TOURED;
Sori, Kamasi,Munyu, Migori, Nyakach n Kisumu. The remaining Dioceses yet 2b toured include;- Owalo, Tanzania, Bondo, Nairobi n Mombasa Pastorate.
DEPARTMENTS IN PLACE:
I wish to thank various departments 4 the efforts shown in their areas of jurisdiction. United u will stand but divided u will fall apart. The departments are:
3). Education> U’ve done exempllary good job; these include training n induction of the clergy, church elders,minister
I feel it would do us good if we would have our children camping during the holidays 2b given spiritual nourishment n teachings of our church’s doctrines. Since there r so many vulnerable children in our churches, if we could put in place endowment fund/trust fund 2 help these children grow all round. Education n development departments should coordinate 2 make us achieve this goal.
Dear brothers n sisters y should we conflict among churches? leadership wrangles seem 2 take lead in this. This calls 4 guidance n counseling/ disaster n conflict management team. I feel that those who defy this body will not be left scot free i.e suspension or fine as stipulated in our constitution of RHG church of EA. The youths,thanks n more grease 2 your brains. Your work has been heart felt not only by our office but also in the fraternity of RHG, u’ve enhanced discipline of the highest standards making the youths body move up morally n spiritually at all levels. Not 2 4get your efforts, u’ve coordinated sports activities so well so that most churches ensure they participate. The awards of certificates n trophies in liaison with our office should be enhanced 2 motivate our participants. Long live the youth body.
This is the key 2 all activities undertaken. u’ve done it despite the ups n downs encountered during our meetings. This department if furnished with adequate utensils n other cooking equipment,I believe they’ll move 2 greater levels of maintaining the welfare of our people.
I thank the group 4 the provision of spiritual nourishment 2 members but there is need 2 put more focus on development agenda. They’ve tried 2 contribute some money in case of the demise of a colleague. I urge the clergy 2b cautious when handling their members 2 avoid brushing of shoulders. I pray that all of u will get NHIF cards 2 help us during illnesses or death.
This body has been established 2 sell church publications 2 reach every church member. The publications include baptismal cards, annual offering cards among others. N/B- It has been noted with alot of concerns that many people do not attend the annual celebrations n flag raising, some have never gone since the time immemorial. Let us try 2 visit these historical sites in the world of ‘ROHO’.
Dear followers, this church holds a great name in this region n EA as a whole. Various personalities have benefited alot from her, desires have been met ambitions fulfilled, the mentally challenged have been healed, those who mourned have been com4ted,the sad can now smile just 2 mention but a few. This has lead 2 people or other new followers coming in large numbers. I bestow our beloved country respect 4 respecting the church. May we join hands with all peace loving Kenyans in condeming those who indulge in lawlessness n acts which has claimed several lives n support the gvt in solidarity in fighting the vices. Let us embrace prayers as a tool 2 help us fight TERRORISM in Kenya.
As u all know, life is not always straight, there r ups n downs which we encounter as we match 2 the promised land. These challenges make us grow stronger in faith day by day. Let us make a step in life each day in our endeavors.
Let us keep our church holy at all times.
I beg 2 end my speech at this juncture. May the ever living God give u strength 2 continue upholding his name. OSENDO.