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Melanesian Messenger Online distributed by the
Church of the Province of Melanesia
October 19, 2008

[Melanesian Messenger - Melanesia] Propagation of the Gospel can be efficient only if the ordained, the lay ministers and the whole baptized members are serious about their roles and responsibilities in the church.

Speaking at the official opening of the sixth Diocesan Synod of the Diocese of Banks and Torres at Ureparapara island the Rt. Rev’d Nathan Tome said clergy, catechists and other lay ministries need to strengthen their mission and focus more on winning hearts for God.

“Being a living Church our peoples faith lie very much on the efficiency of the work of our priests.”

He said winning people to Gods kingdom is easy when priests understand their peoples physical and spiritual needs, self-discipline to priorities, truthfulness and holiness, and living what they peach through good Christ-like actions every day.

“Work of the catechists, the religious orders and many other lay ministries likewise are extremely important for the efficient spreading of the Good News.”

The Bishop said if these ministries can do their work well, there is no reason why people cannot be faithful and committed church members.

He encouraged lay ministers at the synod to be faithful and committed to their promises to serve God and his church. In this way, Bishop Tome said they can help people to demonstrate their gifts and talents in healing, teaching and preaching now and into the future for the development of Gods church.

He said lay members of the church need to let go the old thinking that the life and work of the church is the power and work of the hierarchy as reflected through their poor commitments to church programmes.

He continued to encourage them to live up to the faith they professed during their baptism and confirmation as full members of the church of God.

A number of resolutions paving a new direction for the church within the Diocese and the church as a whole for the next three years have been endorsed by the synod. This includes strengthening the Dioceses financial base, human resource training, education institutional establishment and strengthening the gospel propagation.

More than 50 clergy, lay members, retired clergy and observers gathered for the weeklong meeting held from 12 to 19 October 2008.