Text of speech delivered by the Distinguished Guest of Honour, Senator Oluremi Tinubu, OON at the opening ceremony of the 34th annual Women’s Fellowship Conference of the Methodist Church Of Nigeria, Lagos Diocese at the Methodist Boys High School, Sinari Daranijo Street, Victoria Island, Lagos on Friday, August 31, 2012.
Calvary greetings to you all, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Let me begin by expressing my sincere appreciation to be here in your midst on this special day. I thank God for His enduring grace over us, in the home, at the workplace and most especially, in the church.
Today, as we give thanks to God for witnessing the 34th anniversary of the annual Women’s Fellowship Conference of the Methodist Church of Nigeria with the theme ‘BEHOLD! I AM! DOING! A NEW THING!’. We should also look back with gratitude to the efforts of women whose efforts and vision have sustained this body. Particularly, we should thank God for the life of Mama C.E. Williams who was inspired to begin the Lagos Diocese Women’s Fellowship eighty years ago. May God Almighty continue to uphold all of you who are carrying on now with the good work, started by our late matriarch of Methodist church.
As women in Nigeria, there are many intimidating challenges in almost all spheres of life but as Christian women, we can always go through our Holy Bible to find inspiration for strength. Strong women of the Bible like Jael (Judges 4), Hannah (1 Samuel 1), Abigail (1 Samuel 25) and Esther (Esther 1-8) are among those that easily come to mind. I am sure that you also know that the Bible does not tell us much about Lois and Eunice, but what little it says speaks volumes for their character. One verse, 2 Timothy 1:5 explains why Apostle Paul gives thanks to God for Timothy: “When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also.”
Timothy’s grandmother Lois and mother Eunice taught Timothy many things about the Bible as they seemed to be diligent students of God’s Word as well.
Even though our society easily assumes otherwise, God has given women a special place in the affairs of the home and the nation. The power of influence given to us from above can sow the seed of much good around coming generations and us. That is why one of the earliest American authors, Harriet Beecher Stowe declared, “Women are the real architects of society.”
I am happy to note that Lagos Diocese Women’s Fellowship applies itself to taking care of both spiritual and secular needs in our society. I believe that your interest in the less privileged through visitations, gifts and prayers, constitute the secret behind your fellowship’s continuing success. As someone with longstanding commitment to some of the things you do, such as Bible study, prayer meeting, women empowerment and positively affecting the lives of others; I am happy to identify with all the dreams and aspirations of the fellowship.
In aspiring towards personal success and the achievement of public good, women do not have to strive towards doing all the things that men do or claim equality with them on all fronts. Suzanne Brogger, said that “If a woman can only succeed by emulating men, I think it is a great loss and not a success. The aim is not only for a woman to succeed, but to keep her womanhood and let her womanhood influence society.”
At this juncture, I want to sincerely commend all the members of the women’s fellowship for your commitment and zeal towards making our world a better place to live in.
May God sanctify the works of your hands. As the Bible stated in Proverbs 10:21, “The labour of the righteous tendeth to life”. I pray that all your efforts continue to bear good fruits.
May God reward you richly in your personal lives as He promised all those whose trust are in Him. Once again I congratulate you on your 34th anniversary and I pray that your organisation will continue to witness new things as you grow from strength to strength.
Finally it is my honour and privileged to declare this conference open to the glory of God and the benefit of humanity.
Thank you for listening and God bless you all.