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Melanesian Messenger Online distributed by the
Church of the Province of Melanesia
October 6, 2008

[Melanesian Messenger - Melanesia] The Diocese of Vanuatu this week held two important ecclesiastical gatherings at Nambangahake village on west Ambae; the Diocesan Synod and the Diocesan Youth Convention.

The two programmes run in parallel for a week, opened on Sunday with close to three hundred delegates in attendance as Synod and Convention members along with observers and special overseas guests.

The programme started with a Holy Eucharist service in the morning followed by an official welcome of all delegates in the afternoon.

“Empowering Ourselves for Caring and Sharing Gods Love in Mission Service” was chosen as the theme for the synod while the youth convention adopted the theme “Empowering Youth for Participation and Effective Ministry”.

The two themes according to the Diocesan Bishop the Rt. Rev’d James Ligo, is a beacon that would help the meetings in making constructive decisions and purposeful planning aimed at enhancing the growth and development desires of the church in Vanuatu through its different ministries.

Speaking at the opening of the programme he said members of the synod and the youth convention must now set the foundation for the next three years of mission and ministry of the Diocese of Vanuatu.

He said the decisions they make must reflect the interest of the Church and its people, therefore it must be of high standards.

The meeting he said is also to foster and promote unity, peace and harmony among church members.

Difficulties and hardships experienced by the Diocese at all levels in terms of human resource, finance, logistics and geography should be a challenge for the synod and the convention to explore into new ways of reasoning and visioning he said.

Youth, the Bishop said is a focus of youth work in the world today because of their vulnerability and susceptibility to inevitable social changes affecting their communities.

Impacts of these changes are seen in Vanuatu today therefore young people, he said must work harder to shine out the light to those who have yet to see it.

One member of the ‘Church Army International’ was present throughout the synod with four other personnel’s from an international organization known as SOMA who helped in facilitating the convention programmes.

Social and religious activities including singing, dancing, drama and skits during the nights and sports organized by the young people were the highlights of the gathering.

Church members of other sister denominations have also participated in the programmes.
The 18th Diocesan synod and the 2nd Diocesan Youth Convention concludes on Friday this week.

Synod is the Dioceses highest meeting of clergy and lay members held every three years to discuss and plan important issues governing the life and work of the church in the Diocese.
The last synod and youth convention in 2005 were held at Atanonboaboa village on north Pentecost