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WE ARE LISTENING... Youth participants from Banks and Toress, Malaita, Ysabel and Temotu listening to the youth presentations on the first day of the week-long Consultation in Honiara.
The first day's presentations highlighted the key issues affecting youths, their relationships with these issues and the ways they affected young people.
Photo No. : P070807-1
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Bishop James Ligo giving the keynote address
Photo No. : P070807-2
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COM Youth Need Support
August 7, 2007

[Melanesian Messenger - Melanesia] Church of Melanesia leaders in Solomon Islands and Vanuatu attending a Provincial Youth Consultation in Honiara this week have been told to empower its youth in order to reach out to the world with God's love.

The Diocesan Bishop of Vanuatu, the Rt Revd James Ligo, made this remark when he opened the consultation on Monday.

The consultation, guided by the theme "Empowering Youth for Participation and Effective Ministry", is aimed creating an opportunity for leaders of the church ministry and institutions to discuss youth issues and finding ways to involve youth fully in church activities.

Bishiop Ligo said that to be empowered for participation and effective ministry, the youth sector of our population needs to acknowledge the very fact that God is sending each and every one of us on a mission to continue and complete the work he has started.

"We should take a moment to consider being mindful as youths of the church that we do not begin with the church but with what springs from the love of youth ministry," the bishop said.

He said having clear motives and understanding of the youth and their issues could play a vital role in enhancing such ministry.

"It is also necessary to consider youth mission work to be God's care for the totality of human life as this may help us to understand the importance of this ministry and being responsive to the need to care for the poor, needy and oppressed. Youths are very much the driving force of the church, and by making full use of their resources we are capable of fulfilling that mission and ministry that God has bestowed upon us."

He encouraged the participants to look beyond themselves and make youth mission world-centred and not church-centred.

Diocesan Bishops, Mission Secretaries, Provincial and Regional youth leaders as well as youth representatives from the eight dioceses of the Church in Solomon Islands and Vanuatu participated in the consultation. A document to guide the dioceses in implementing the findings of the consultation is expected to be drawn up at the end of the programme.