EYN Commissions Technology Centre
By Ralph Madugu
The Church of the Brethren also known as Ekkilisiyar ‘yan Uwa a Nijeriya (EYN) has commissioned its newly built Technology Centre in Jos comprising two large classrooms, an office and conveniences and state-of –the-art facilities.
At the dedication/commissioning ceremony held at the premises of the annex headquarters of the Church in Jos, EYN President, Rev. Joel Stephen Billi, said that the establishment of the technology centre was in keeping with what he termed the “Brethren Heritage”.
He said “‘Yan ‘Uwa or Brethren are described as a people of conviction, compassion, conversation and a people of God,” adding that as a people of conviction, the Bible is “our rule and practice with Jesus Christ at the centre. A people of covenant refer to our relationship with God and with one another. We are a people of compassion who seek to stand with others, giving and responding to the needs around us. As a people of conversation, we explore Scriptures to shape our faith and practice.”
In an exhortation, EYN General Secretary, Rev. Dr. Daniel Y.C, whose message centred on the importance of interconnectivity, declared that the idea of networking was rooted in the trinity as, according to him, networking and interconnectivity aided by technology had abolished borders and boundaries thereby reducing the world into a global village.
Reading from Ephesians 4:1-16, the cleric stated that the mind of God has no tribal limits hence it does not change, noting that nothing created by God survives in isolation and that the highest level of relationship is experienced through interdependence.
Said: “We must endure to keep the unity of the spirit. All Churches need to be united. The Church of Jesus has been divided because each one of us has a personal agenda but when we stay interconnected we can speak with one voice.”
Earlier in his welcome remarks, EYN Vice President, Rev. Anthony Damsai, disclosed that human nature could be a barrier to perceiving the world as a global village in a spiritual realm, adding that man may not know how God does it except if He desires to disclose some of His spiritual operations to us, stressing that there are many connections God puts in place to prove to man that the world is a global village.
“For instance; the air in the space and the water in the oceans do not have geographical boundaries. More evidently, technology has shrunk the world into a global village.”
He added that unlike in the ancient past when communication was very slow, costly and difficult thereby making information restricted and scarce, today with massive innovations and development in technology things have changed.
Giving a background of the educational partnership between EYN and Bethany Theological Seminary, Dr. Carter Jeff, President of BTS America, disclosed that it was born out of a common vision to create pathways for students in Nigeria to study in the United States either physically or virtually via technology.
According to him, such engagement allows the students to learn from each other’s stories and experiences.
“In many ways our educational partnership affirms Paul’s words to the Ephesians, “There is one body and one spirit, just as you were called to the one hope of your calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all,” he said.
He maintained that by learning together and engaging in ministry founded upon the study of scripture, the Church gains a larger vision of the world God loves.
The event had in attendance the Governor of Plateau State, represented by the Special Adviser to the Governor on Media, Hon. Dan Manjang, Speaker, Plateau State House of Assembly, Hon. Peter Azi, Caretaker Committee Chairman, Jos North LGC, Hon. Philip Ajang Izang. Others were the ECWA President, Rev. Dr. Jeremiah Gado, TEKAN General Secretary, Rev. Moses Ebuga and Former COCIN President, Rev. Prof. Pandang Yamsat, among others.
The event featured special parade by the EYN Fellowship of the Boys Brigade Nigeria and a dance performance by the EYN LCB Nitseng while goodwill messages came from the Plateau State Government, Plateau State House of Assembly, Jos North LGC, ECWA leadership, Anglican Diocese of Jos as well as the TEKAN leadership.
The idea for establishing the centre was conceived in 2016 when representatives of Bethany Theological Seminary in America approached the EYN leadership and expressed their interest to form an educational partnership which was aimed assisting the Church in setting up a BTS centre in EYN to train manpower with the aim of contributing in the training of manpower for the Church in Nigeria.
It is also aimed at reducing the cost and other challenges of studying in America as students in Nigeria can receive lectures alongside their counterparts at Bethany Theological Seminary, USA.