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Melanesian Messenger Online distributed by the
Church of the Province of Melanesia
15th Diocesan Synod delegates
Photo No. : P050508-1
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Bp. David Vunagi with chiefs of Tikopia
Photo No. : P050508-2
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Need for new approaches to the Mission of the Church -- Bp. David Vunagi
by Richard Toke
May 8, 2005

[Melanesian Messenger - Melanesia] The Bishop of the Diocese of Temotu, Rt. Rev’d David Vunagi has urged his Diocese to discover new and fresh approaches in its Mission and Ministry.

In his opening address to the 15th Diocesan Synod on Sunday 1st May at Luova Mission Place, Santa Cruz, Bp. Vunagi said there is a need for the Diocese to re-examine the principles that govern the Mission of the Church in this new millennium.

“The principles of tradition, loyalty and obedience have fallen apart and people have become more self-centred and egocentric in their attitude and perception of life. We must focus on Mission and on nurturing of personal faith and on human values”.

“The first two objectives of our strategic plans for the next four years are ‘to strengthen the Mission of the Church in the Diocese by practical Evangelism and by teaching, healing and baptizing as commanded by Jesus in the Great Commission (Mt.28: 19)’ and ‘to provide spiritual guidance to members of the Church and to nurture the development of personal faith’.”

Bp. Vunagi said a lot of people today sit on the fence because personal faith and respect for human values are weak. It is sad, however, to see this phenomenon filtering across the board from the politicians, public servants and right down to the ordinary people and especially that moral and ethical standings are quite loose.

“People have become very busy to accommodate the things of God. To them, God seem not to play any part in their lives. This is a big problem and we are trying to address it by emphasising the training of both clergy and laity. The training that we offer looks at particularly the areas of faith development, the power of prayer, knowledge of scripture, and the social conscience of our people,” he said.

“Our aim is to help people realise the significance of the Gospel in their lives. I believe training is the main approach that we must emphasise in order to achieve our plans and dreams for development and improvement. Training can also help us to remain focus in carrying out our baptismal ministries” said Bp. Vunagi who is the Church of the Province of Melanesia representative at the forth coming ACC meeting at Nottingham, U.K in June.