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Melanesian Messenger Online distributed by the
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Bishop Sahu carried by men from Sikaiana on his arrival on the island
Photo: ACOM/Rolland Gito
Photo No. : P090407-1
Click for enlarged photo

Two of the 37 children from Pelau receiving a Sacrament of Confirmation. Pelau on Ontong Java atoll is the most remote parish of the diocese.
Photo: ACOM/Rolland Gito
Photo No. : P090407-2
Click for enlarged photo

Children and Mothers Union members of Ngongosila parish in the Eastern Region at the welcome of the Bishops party. Eastern Region is the newest region in the diocese inaugarated last year.
Photo: ACOM/Rolland Gito
Photo No. : P090407-3
Click for enlarged photo

DOM Bishop ends inaugural tour today
April 7, 2009

[Melanesian Messenger - Melanesia] Bishop of the Diocese of Malaita the Rt Revd Sam Sahu completed a 3 weeks inaugural tour of his Diocese today with a thanksgiving service at Fiu Diocesan Cathedral.

The Rt Rev Sahu who heads the Diocese as the fifth Bishop following his consecration four months ago, paid a visit to 18 parishes in all six regions of the Diocese since March 17, 2009. He was accompanied by a team of Diocesan workers including his wife Rose Sahu, Diocesan Programme Officer Fr. George Manasseh Fagono, Youth Coordinator John Kiyonoi, Sales Officer Lawrence, Br. Allen Rahe of the Melanesian Brotherhood and Br. Samson of the Society of Saint Francis.

The team was also accompanied by the Regional Priests and their Regional Programme Officers during and within each regions covered.

For the Bishop and his wife, it was more than just an inaugural visit; it was a time to see and meet new friends, a time of reunion, a time to preach, teach, pray together and to get to know more about the people they are to serve and work with as they begin their ministry in the largest Diocese in the Anglican Church of Melanesia in Solomon Islands in terms of population.

As the Bishop himself put it, the highlight of his visit was worship and praying together through the Holy Eucharistic services not only with his Anglican flock but also members of other sister churches in some parishes that joined and shared in the fellowship together with him and his party.

The Bishop also used the opportunity to share his heart with the people especially to encourage them in building up and strengthening their faith in order that they stand firm as committed and mature disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ.

“I want to encourage you - men, women and young people, children - to love Jesus Christ and keep on loving him with your whole being. Keep on serving our Lord Jesus Christ with your whole heart. For Jesus alone is the way, the Truth and the life (John 14:6). Jesus Christ alone can give us true peace and security. During this difficult time we must all be committed in our discipleship; we must be committed in following Jesus Christ as our King, our Chief, our Lord and Saviour. In Mark 8:34 Jesus said, “If anyone wants to come with me, he must forget self, carry his cross, and follow me”," he said as he shared in special teaching sessions he called 'Bishops Talk'.

“Secondly, I encourage you to love the Church and keep on loving our Church; the Anglican Church of Melanesia in the Diocese of Malaita. A true love for Christ will lead to a true love for his Church. And we must know our Church: know its strengths and its weaknesses. Our Anglican Church is Catholic and Reformed (Evangelical). It is also charismatic. That means we are a people of the Sacraments (Catholic emphasis), the Word (Evangelical emphasis) and the Spirit (Charismatic emphasis).

“This is true in our church doctrine but less true in our experience. As your new Bishop, I want to see an Anglican Church in this Diocese which has room for everybody - room for men and women, young and old, weak and strong, saints and sinners, traditionalists and renewalists. We must teach our people to love and embrace that kind of Anglican Church in our Diocese today. I expect Our Diocesan Programme Officer and Regional Programme Officers, our Senior Priests and Parish Priests to teach this to our catechists and our people in the Diocese. And I expect people, our Anglican people in the parishes, to develop an attitude of a true disciple, always hungry and learn more about God and his Church,” the Bishop said.

“The worship of the Church today must remain liturgical, but it should also be flexible and allow for new changes. We should give room for new patterns of worship mainly to meet the spiritual needs of our young people. The way forward for our Church liturgy and worship is to maintain the best of the old and the best of the new.”

The Bishop thanked the people of the Diocese for making his inaugural visit worthwhile and the one he will remember for a long time to come.

He encouraged them to keep on praying for each one and the Diocese and its mission so that it can better serve its people in this time and age when there are lot of challenges both spiritually and physically.

The Bishops party used the Church flagship Southern Cross on the first leg of the tour covering the regions of Arekwa, Small Malaita, Eastern, Northern and Keava Regions including the outer islands of Sikaiana and Ontong Java. A vehicle was used on the second leg of the tour from North Malaita to Auki in which six parishes were covered.