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Melanesian Messenger Online distributed by the
Church of the Province of Melanesia
Guest of Honour, Mr Dickson Ha'amori, presents Karl Martin Manira with his Diploma.
Photo No. : P071117-4
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BPTC Students Urged to Minister to Alleviate Suffering in their Society
November 17, 2007

[Melanesian Messenger - Melanesia] Graduating students of Bishop Patteson Theological College Kohimarama in Solomon Islands have been urged to use their practical knowledge and skills to deal with the physical needs of those they are to serve as well as attending to their spiritual needs.

Mr Dickson Ha'amori, Director of Solomon Islands College of Higher Education, made this call during the 37th graduation ceremony for Diploma of Theology students of Kohimarama.

He urged the graduands not to go out into their parishes and show how intellectually smart they were with their qualification, but rather to demonstrate what their intellectual smartness can do and show how that smartness benefits a suffering world.

"Do not talk about heaven and its bliss when your society is dying because of the physical weaknesses brought about by years of carelessness and sinning."

Mr Ha'amori said they should preach their sermons as the Lord and Master did by practically doing something about their parishioners' physical needs.

"Think of ways to lessen the hunger for spiritual and physical food, help facilitate ways to overcome poverty, battle against things that threaten our physical environment and lead to human degradation."

The College Director challenged the students not to be locked in unfruitful theological debates when their ministry was also about alleviating physical and mental suffering in their society.

"Be a preacher of the Word, not just an orator," he said.

Mr Ha'amori officiated as the guest of honour at the graduation ceremony on 16th November 2007 when 21 students graduated with the Diploma in Theology.