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Melanesian Messenger Online distributed by the
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DOT calls for Fresh Vision in Mission
 
MELANESIAN MESSENGER 080505-2
May 5, 2008

[Melanesian Messenger - Melanesia] 
The Diocese of Temotu in the Church of the Province of Melanesia from 13 to 18 April held its 16th Diocesan Synod at Luova Mission Station at Lata Temotu province.

More than 70 clergy and lay members of the synod in three regions of the diocese; Nende, Pele and Vattu attended the highest meeting of the diocese that looked at issues governing the work of the Church in the diocese.

The theme of this year's synod was "Call for Fresh Vision of Mission and personal service".

In his charge to the Synod delegates, Diocesan Bishop the Rt. Rev David Vunagi said the theme calls on all clergy and lay members to re-examine their involvement in the mission of the church.

"We must be eager participants in offering fresh approach to make the mission of the church to continue to be relevant in the twenty-first century."

As a religious organization he said the mission of the Church continuous to be their priority.

"But we must aspire for a mission that is community based, collaborative in approach, involve its members and pastorally oriented. In view of that, the Church has an important mission to play not only in Temotu but also to the nation."

He said the Church has great responsibilities to impart holiness, righteousness, moral and ethical values into the political economic and social structures in the society.

"One important role of the Church is to watch the social conscience of the people and where necessary to speak out boldly against corruption, political discrepancies and social crimes."

The Bishop said the Church that is silent on issues that marginalize and suppress people is a Church that has failed in its mission.

Secretary to the Melanesian Board of Mission of the Church the Rev Canon Sam Sahu was invited to conduct the retreat, preach at the opening service and give the Keynote address at the synods formal opening.

In his addresses Canon Sahu strongly emphasized the need for the church in Temotu to have leaders who are committed in the Church, committed in Christ and committed in the Mission for Christ.

"We need leaders who lead with vision, lead with faith and lead with commitment to build a caring and loving church," he said.

He challenged the clergy and lay leaders to remain faithful to the mission of God for His church, to grow stronger to worship in Church, to teach and to embrace worship and liturgy that allows for the old and the new practices.

"In our work to create a better future for the Church and its vision in Temotu everything depends on good leadership and organization," he said.

Among areas the Synod has agreed and endorsed are:
- Extension of the current Bishops term to a full term of five years to September 2015 after his retirement in 2010.
- The revised Diocesan Canon.
- The various Church of Melanesia Bills for the 2008 General Synod in November.
- Establishment and canonizing of new ministries of the diocese
- Retain operations of Solomon Airlines as ground agent.
- Nukapu to host the next Diocesan Synod in 2011 to coincide with the 150th anniversary of the death of Bishop Patteson on the island.

Bishop Vunagi thanked the synod delegates for their inputs and contribution to the important triennial meeting of the diocese.

Both the opening and closing ceremonies of the Synod was attended by premier of the Temotu Provincial government and members of the provincial assembly, ecumenical partners and community leaders of Temotu.

The week-long synod starts on 13 and ends on 18th April 2008.