Christian Mothers

WOMEN have occupied a vantage position in the spiritual growth and development of the Cathedral through various programmes lined up for women and youths regularly. These programmes span the parishes under the Cathedral and also the Diocese of Lagos West. In their responsibilities to the environment women also engage in periodic visitation to orphanages, homes for the destitute and the less-privileged with gifts as a mark of love for them. These programmes have over the years helped in supporting, encouraging, empowering and impacting the spiritual lives of the women, families and youths of the church in no small measure. As a result, there has been an impressive growth in attendance of women at the programmes. Below are highlights of the women’s activities as at now:

The Role of Christian Mothers

By Mrs E.O.M. Ajibodu and Mrs F.O. Owolabi

Christian Mothers; AVMCC, GRA, Ikeja

youths of the church in no small measure. As a result, there has been an impressive growth in attendance of women at the programmes. Below are highlights of the women’s activities as at now:

 

Bible Study and Exposition: This comes up on the first Monday of every month in the Lady’s Chapel at 5:00 pm. The study is either anchored by a priest’s wife or a member with prepared notes or handout distributed for future reference.

 

Prayer and Fasting Day:The last Monday of every month is set aside for women to offer prayers on various issues concerning the home, the church and the nation. This is anchored by the women chaplain at 5:00 pm (also in the Lady’s Chapel) to strengthen the prayer lives and needs of women. It is always a refreshing time in the presence of the Lord.

Visitation to the elderly, distant and ailing members: This is done every second Monday of the month or at other times in urgent cases.

 

Deanery Prayer Meeting: Women from other parishes under the Cathedral meet every second Thursday of the month for a joint session of prayers led by the Dean’s wife.

 

Diocesan Women’s Activities: The women in the Cathedral are always up and doing in the various Diocesan Women’s Programmes for the year such as: Rededication Service for Mothers’ Union/Women’s Guild, Wave of prayer, Mid-year vigil, girls guide/ladies guild/Boy’s Brigade  Conference, Mothers’ Union and Women’s

Guild Conference, Fund Raising, Enrolment and Quarterly Meetings, Prayer Conference and Retreat, Monthly fasting and prayers and Christmas Party. We do not also lag behind in the timely payment of dues, donations and contributions earmarked for the Diocesan women’s projects.

participate in the programmes. We meet on the last Saturday of the month by 11 am. In most cases, it is only the children of the priests who live in the Cathedral that come out for the meetings.

 

When you visit orphanages and the under-privileged, do you have means of getting feedbacks? How have the feedbacks helped you in fine-tuning such programmes?

 

Oh, they are usually happy; they always request that we should come more frequently. We are unable to visit them as often as we would like because we don’t have enough fund to do that. The other time we went to a rehabilitation home in Ikorodu, we went with a lot of Dunlop slippers and clothes. It was when we got there that we discovered that what we went with were insufficient because the number was quite large. So, we still need to do a lot to help the under-privileged.

 

Do you get enough support from the Cathedral for your programmes?

 

Yes, we do. Whenever we have programmes and write to inform the Cathedral, they always respond promptly.

Who is the chaplain?

 

The Rev. Adebayo Adenekan is our chaplain.

 

By God’s grace, you have moved up as the Bishop’s wife. What would be your

advice to the women of the Cathedral now? What do you think should be done to overcome the challenges that you have identified?

The Women Ministry at the Cathedral is peculiar. This is in the sense that the turnout at meetings is usually low. The reason is not far-fetched: most of them do not live around here. We have tried many methods to improve attendance and participation at the programmes. We have produced hand bills; we once produced programmes for the year and shared out to all the women, yet, there has not been much change.

We ask to know more about the women ministry from Mrs. Lydia Odedeji, President of the Diocesan Mothers’ Union and Women’s’ League.

 

What’s the turn-out like on the average and what are the regular meetings?

 

We meet twice a month- the first and the fourth Monday. The first, we have our Bible Study and the last, our Prayer Meeting. The churches under the Cathedral also meet. Usually, before the Mothering Sunday, we visit the motherless babies’ homes, the physically challenged and the under-privileged with food items, with tracts and fellowship with them. Just before our anniversary, we organise a one-week programme wherein women feature in all programmes. We also organise workshops, at least once a year, where we learn a number of skills such as tieing and dieing, baking, and so on. But the turn-out is usually very low.  On the average, when we hold our meetings we

are not more than 50 people. This is not quite encouraging given the size of the church. So, we want to encourage all our women in the Cathedral to participate actively in all the meetings and activities and it is the same set of people who attend the programmes. It is their activities; they should own them and drive the process. At the meetings, we discuss contemporary issues; issues that will help us in our homes, in handling our finances. We have the elderly who guide us from their wealth of experience. We invite participation; it is therefore interesting.

 

How do you harmonise the Cathedral programmes with the Diocesan programmes?

 

In many cases, Cathedral programmes are hosted and supported by the Women Ministry at the Cathedral; so, invariably, we have less time for our own programmes and plans. This, however, should not be an excuse, we continue to call on our women to come out and participate in all programmes by the Cathedral Women.

 

What about the Girls’ Guild?

 

This is another area where we have not been able to record much success. We have tried so many methods; they did not work. In fact, in some of the archdeaconries, they have more vibrant Girls’ organisations. We shall continue to appeal to our daddies and mummies to release their children to us.