Category: News

Solomon Islands, Honiara, Main Street

First Community Transmissions of COVID in Solomons

Solomon Islands, Honiara, Main Street

It is with great sadness and concern that we start the year by sharing with you the news that Solomon Islands now has COVID spreading within the islands. In just two days of the first case being identified, the 56-bed ward designated for COVID cases in Honiara is nearly full of patients, and further contact tracing is being undertaken across the islands. With only 8% of the population having received two doses of the vaccine and many people traveling after their Christmas breaks, there is a great concern for the spread of the virus. Honiara is in lockdown until Saturday and the new school year will now not begin next week.

MMUK will post the latest news stories on its Facebook and Twitter pages.


Please pray for Solomon Islands as they face this ordeal.

Lord, we bring to You our concerns for the people of Solomon Islands,
as they face their first wave of COVID infections.

We pray for the medical staff with limited facilities,
as they treat the infected and continue to look after all in their care.

We pray for those who are fearful of the coming days
and those who are afraid of having the vaccine.

And ask that truthful messages are shared across the islands to keep people healthy, safe and calm.

We remember the children missing out on the beginning of their school year
and for businesses that have to shut during the lockdown.

Lord, bring Your healing to the people of Solomons, so that they may weather this pandemic.

Amen

Right Revd Ben Seka

Bishop Ben Seka Retires as Bishop of Central Solomons

In December, the Right Revd Ben Seka, Bishop of the Diocese of Central Solomons officially laid down the diocesan Pastoral staff, that was originally handed to him when he was consecrated Bishop of the diocese on 20th February 2011. Bishop Ben was the second Bishop of the diocese succeeding the late Bishop Charles Koete.

The Archbishop of Melanesia, the Most Revd Leonard Dawea in his acknowledgment speech after the ceremony, thanked Bishop Seka for his enormous contributions to the ACoM as a Priest and Bishop.

Bishop Ben participated in various provincial decision-making bodies of the Church including the General Synod, Executive Council, Council of Bishops (CoB), Diocesan and Provincial electoral boards. Given his heavy involvement in these important decision-making bodies, it is not hard to see the extent of Bishop Ben’s influence in the life of the ACoM over the last 11 years,” the Archbishop said.

Right Revd Ben Seka

During the laying down of the Pastoral staff, the Retired Bishop said; “In compliance with the requirements of the Laws of the Anglican Church of Melanesia, I do hereby relinquish the authority vested upon me as the Diocesan Bishop of Central Solomons, by laying the Pastoral staff of this diocese on the Altar of this Diocesan Cathedral.”

To my diocesan staff who have been with me in the past and those who have just came into the diocese, we have shared, worshipped and celebrated together in the past 11 years. I thank you for your unceasing love and support in one way or the other. It’s time for me to move so that another Bishop will come and continue the work that God has chosen him to carry on.”

The Archbishop calls on the whole church to pray for Bishop Ben and his family as they take on a well-deserved retirement.

Bishop Seka will be succeeded by Revd Stephen Koete (Bishop-Elect) who will be consecrated bishop on 27 February 2022. The Archbishop will be the supervising bishop of the diocese during this period of transition.

ACoM Communications

Archbishop Greeting 2021

2021 Reflections and Aspirations for the Year Ahead

Reflecting on an eventful 2021 and looking forward to 2022, ACoM released a number of addresses over the Christmas period. Here are a few of them.

New Year’s Day reflection by Reverend Dr. Atkin Zaku

“How faithful have we been through 2021 with the responsibilities entrusted upon us on personal, family, community, nation, region and global bases?” – this was the question asked by Reverend Dr Atkin Zaku in his New Year’s Day sermon at the St Barnabas Provincial Cathedral.

Speaking to the hundreds who congregated at the cathedral to welcome in 2022 in church, Reverend Dr Zaku asked the people celebrating the New Year, to reflect on the doings of 2021 and their aspirations for 2022.

Reverend Dr Atkin Zaku  preached: “Whatever responsibilities we were entrusted with in 2021, these were all given responsibilities entrusted to us by none other than the Name Jesus. So have we done them with the authentic power and authority under the Name Jesus?

“The sin of corruption does not involve national issues alone, that involves what we normally termed as millions or thousands or hundreds of dollars or ill-decisions of high levels. The sin of corruption involves as little as 10cents within our own families. The little decisions we make in the affairs within our communities that interferes and denies improvement and progress of community life socially, religiously and economically.”

Reverend Dr Zaku also asked “With these responsibilities, have we held them with total love, mercy and grace? If we have done so, we would be a family and community of social, political and economic abusive-free. We would be a family and community of hatred-free. We would be a family and community of discrimination-free. We would be a family and community of acceptance and toleration of each other,” he said.

Reflecting on the past year we should be able to see our failures and weaknesses and make new resolutions for 2022. But we cannot do these if we forget the Name Jesus. Today we are called to a New Year resolution, to seriously consider and reflect on the Name Jesus with all our hearts, with all our souls and with all our bodies. There is no half-truth in the Name Jesus. There is no half-power in the Name Jesus. There is no half-life in the Name Jesus and there is no half-love in the Name of Jesus. Total life, love, power and truth is found and can only be found and experienced in the Name Jesus,” he said.

This comes to us with God’s blessings – a promise in return for our pronouncement of his Name. Only then as God commanded Moses to bless the people, as read in the book of Numbers 6:22-27, can also be applicable to us.

That blessing says: ‘May the Lord bless you and take care of you. May the Lord be kind and be gracious to you. May the Lord look on you with favour and give his peace’, Reverend Dr Zaku concluded.

ACoM Communications

Coffee Mornings Cocoa Nights

Coffee Mornings – Cocoa Nights – February 2022

Coffee Mornings Cocoa Nights

Thursday 3rd February at 10am – 11am (and 7pm – 8pm) GMT

On  Thursday 3rd February at 10am – 11am and repeated again at 7pm – 8pm GMT, I will be hosting an online event to share the latest news from the region. The event will run for about 45 minutes to 1 hour with a short briefing from me, a time to ask questions, and finish in prayer for our friends in Melanesia.

If you would like to attend and or know others who would like to join us, please let me know and I will send a link. Do also let me know if you have any particular questions / topics you would like me to cover.

Many thanks for your continuing support and I hope to see you online soon.

Katie Drew, MMUK

Revd Steven Koete

New Bishop for Central Solomons

Revd Steven Koete
Bishop elect for DoCS, Revd. Steven Koete

The Diocese of Central Solomons Electoral Board has elected the Reverend Charles Stevenson Koete as the third Bishop for the Diocese of Central Solomons (DoCS) in the Central Islands Province.

He was elected on Wednesday 24th November 2021 at Tetete Ni Kolivuti (TNK) the headquarters of the Community of the Sisters of the Church at Tenaru area, east of Honiara.

Revd Charles, 43, will succeed the Right Reverend Ben Seka, who will officially retire on the 1st of December 2021.

Currently, Revd Charles is serving as the Principal of Bungana Ministerial Training Centre, a Catechist school in the Diocese of Central Solomons, a post he has held since 2017. Prior to that, he was the Deputy Principal, Dean of Studies and Lecturer in Biblical Studies at Trinity School of Theology and Ministry at Airahu in the Diocese of Malaita from 2013 to 2016.

Revd Charles was ordained as a Priest on the 14th August 2005 at St. Peter’s Church, Polomuhu Village, Big Gela, and holds a Bachelor of Theology from Bishop Patteson Theological College (BPTC) in 2012 and a Diploma of Theology with Distinction, also from BPTC in 2004.

Originally from Polomuhu village, the Bishop Elect is married to Mrs. Eileen Mary Rona Koete from Dende Village, small Gela and they have four children.

The consecration will be held at the diocesan Cathedral, Christ the King Cathedral, Tulagi in February next year 2022. The Archbishop calls on all members of the Anglican Church of Melanesia to uphold Rev. Steven and his family in prayer as they prepare to take on this important responsibility in the church.

ACoM Communications

Archbishop Leonard Dawea

Advent Sunday Sermon – “We Have Failed Again”

Archbishop Leonard Dawea

This was the message the Anglican Church of Melanesia’s Archbishop Leonard Dawea preached on Sunday as the church commemorated the first Sunday of Advent.

Members of the ACoM Council of Bishops were assigned to different parishes in Honiara with one message – to condemn all evil activities that happened on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday last week and to call for repentance and respect for all people.

Archbishop of the Church of Melanesia, Leonard Dawea, told the congregation at Saint Barnabas Cathedral that he could not believe how humanity in a so-called happy isles or Christian country has gone to such an extent.

“How Christians were able to put behind them the love of God and choose to walk in darkness.

“God who creates us all, regardless of (who) we are, hates to see his creation destroying each other.

“His heart bleeds for those who have been left homeless, who in the blinking of an eye lost everything they had,” Archbishop Dawea said.

He went on to say, what happened since Wednesday last week tested our true nature as Christians and Disciples of Christ.

“…unfortunately, we have failed yet again as a Christian nation, a happy isles.

“A lot of people, good Christian people found themselves caught in these unchristian actions and behaviours,” he said. “Christianity is not spoken, it is a lived reality; not theoretical, it is practicality,” he said.

World Mission - Sand Heart

Therefore, he urged Christians not to be misled by the pleasures and excitements of this world. It is so sad that a lot of Christians became too occupied with greed and hatred and cannot resist the temptation to looting those who are already victims.

“We have not been good neighbours, we have all acted as the priest and Levite who walk by the man on the road. We have not been the Good Samaritan,” Archbishop Dawea said.

He said the unfortunate events last week indicated that to some Christians, God is a temporary entity for good days.

Archbishop Leonard then challenged the church to ditch all ungodly behaviours, not just of the rioting and looting but in all areas of life.

“The Advent of Christ should open our horizons to see and value people as they are regardless of colour, language, race, ethnicity, social standing, gender and religiosity.

“It is most clear that we are all God’s handmade, underneath the physical differences lies the red blood of commonality.

“It is what speaks to each other of our common value, not only as Christians, but as people, human beings,” Archbishop Dawea said.

He said now is the time to be neighbours to the victims of fire, rioting and looting.

“We can pray, but our prayers need to be accompanied by genuine actions,” concluded the Archbishop.

Prayer for our Nation Solomon Islands
O eternal God, bless Solomon Islands, guide our rulers, guard our people and give us peace.
Grant to all our leaders a desire to serve and lead our country in ways of justice and peace.
Help us to love and serve one another and unite us in your Son Jesus Christ our Lord,
Who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen

ACoM Communications

Cross

Unrest In Honiara

STATEMENT FROM THE OFFICE OF THE ARCHBISHOP OF THE ANGLICAN CHURCH OF MELANESIA, THE MOST REV. LEONARD DAWEA.

Cross

The Archbishop of the Anglican Church of Melanesia (ACoM), the Most Revd Leonard Dawea, is calling on all members of the ACoM in Honiara and throughout the country to refrain from participating in illegal activities including the wanton destruction of property and looting of businesses.

The Archbishop is very concerned about the destruction of both private and public properties as witnessed last week and pleads with ACoM members, in particular our youths, to respect one another and remain at home in this very volatile situation.

He also calls on all Church and Community leaders in and around Honiara to advise your youths against these activities.

Involving in violence can only hurt ourselves as we are now experiencing with the sudden lock down of Honiara which has now resulted in many struggling to survive.

The Archbishop acknowledges that people may be frustrated by what is happening in our country regarding our political leadership, but there are more peaceful means of resolving these than resorting to violence.

At the same time the Archbishop is calling on the political leadership of this country to listen to our people’s concerns and to appropriately address them.

ACoM Communications

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John Freeman And H.E. Moses K Mosé

Solomon Islands Honorary Consul In London

Until recently, Solomon Islands had a High Commission in London, with a resident High Commissioner, so there was no need for a consul. However, financial constraints led to the High Commission being closed, and Solomon Islands being represented here by H.E. Moses K Mosé, the Ambassador to the European Union, based in Brussels.

John Freeman And H.E. Moses K Mosé
John Freeman and His Excellency Moses K Mosé

I was invited to let my name go forward for appointment as Solomon Islands honorary consul here, and in due course this was approved by the Minister for Foreign Affairs, and recognized by the Foreign Office here. I worked in Solomon Islands for several years in the 1980s as a magistrate, judge and public prosecutor, and have kept up connexions with the country and its people ever since. My appointment is for London, as that is how the Foreign Office wanted it; but I shall be very glad to do whatever I can for Solomon Islands citizens wherever they happen to be in this country.

I have a formal list of duties, which I am not going to set out in full here; but this is a short summary of what look like being the main ones:

  1. Looking after the interests of Solomon Islands citizens studying, living and working here;
  2. Promoting trading, cultural, scientific and tourism links;
  3. Helping and supporting Solomon Islands official visitors to this country;
  4. Representing Solomon Islands at meetings or events here when asked to do so by the High Commissioner.

With the High Commissioner, I was present at the recent 150th anniversary commemoration of the martyrdom of Bishop John Coleridge Patteson, held at Exeter Cathedral. The Archbishop of Canterbury preached the sermon, and it was a very moving occasion: all the more so for me, as many years ago I had visited the very remote island of Nukapu, where Patteson was killed. Bishop Willie Pwaisiho OBE also spoke, and there was a video presentation by his daughter Kate, about the effects of climate change in the Solomon Islands, dramatically shown in pictures of the disappearance of her home island of Walande under the waves, as the years have passed.

This leads on to what might be called the burning question of the day, under consideration right now at the COP-26 conference. I have been asked by Katie Drew, of the Melanesian Mission UK, to help arrange an on-line meeting between their trustees and the Solomon Islands delegation to the conference, which I think is a good example of how I could help to promote scientific links between Solomon Islands and the United Kingdom. I shall be very happy to provide similar introductions for any other interested organizations, whenever the occasion arises.

However, I regard my main job as looking after individual Solomon Islands citizens in this country. I don’t expect many have had, or will have any problems with this country’s authorities, but I do have some experience of both immigration and criminal law here, which might help.

This is very much an introduction to me and my work, which has hardly started yet: I hope to meet many more of you over the next year, and have more to report at the end of it.

John Freeman

Archbishop Leonard Dawea and Assistant Bishop elect, Revd Othnielson Gamutu

Election Of New Assistant Bishop For The Diocese Of Central Melanesia

The Diocese of Central Melanesia has elected Revd Othnielson Gamutu to become the first Assistant Bishop of the Diocese of Central Melanesia (DOCM). Rev Gamutu was elected by members of the Diocesan synod of DOCM at a special Synod sitting held at Transfiguration Church, Vura Parish on Wednesday 3rd November 2021.

Revd Gamutu, who is 52 years old, is the currently the Private Secretary to the Archbishop of Melanesia. Revd Othnielson Gamutu comes from Samasodu village in the Diocese of Ysabel and is married to Mrs. Jenny Philistus Gamutu also from Ysabel and they have four children.

Revd Gamutu was ordained as a diaconate at Saint Barnabas Provincial Cathedral on 21st January 2007 and later to the Priesthood on 27th December the same year at Saint Peter’s Church, Samasodu, in the Diocese of Ysabel. He holds a Master’s in Biblical Studies from the Pacific Theological College, Suva Fiji, and a Bachelor’s degree in Biblical Studies from Bishop Patteson Theological College BPTC, Kohimarama.

The role of the Assistant Bishop involves assisting the diocesan bishop of DoCM who is also the Archbishop of the Anglican Church of Melanesia, in the episcopal oversight of the Diocese of Central Melanesia.

The consecration will be held at Saint Barnabas Provincial Cathedral in February 2022. The Archbishop calls on all members of the Anglican Church of Melanesia to uphold Revd Othnielson Gamutu and his family in prayer as they prepare to take on this important responsibility in the church.

ACoM Communications

Zoom - ACoM Conference Room

Community of the Sisters of Melanesia – November 2021 Update

Zoom - ACoM Conference Room

On Saturday 6th November Associates and supporters from across the UK joined Sisters from the Community of the Sisters of Melanesia for morning prayer, which was evening prayer for the Sister in Solomons.

The Community also gave an update on the chapel rebuild at their Headquarters and other news from the Community. Building work is progressing well, but the Sisters still require another £40,000 to complete the project, due to the need for reinforced steel for the structure.

Please pray for this important project, and if you can, contact the charity to make a donation, to ensure that the Community has a completed chapel for their important ministry.

A Prayer for the Community of the Sisters of Melanesia;

Almighty God,
we pray for your blessing on this community
and the rebuilding of their chapel at their headquarters.
Fill them with your spirit, wisdom, love and power,
so that your will be done.
May they serve you without fear, shame or doubt,
through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.

CSM Church Project Progress update – 8 November 2021
Report from CSM – Flory

HOW TO DONATE

There are a number of ways you can give to the UK Associates’ CSM Chapel Appeal.

Online: Visit mmuk.net/donate.

Bank Transfer: Go to mmuk.net/donate, phone 01404 851656 or email mission@mmuk.net for bank details.

By Cheque: Payable to The Melanesian Mission. Post cheques to: The Melanesian Mission, 21 The Burlands, Feniton, Honiton, EX14 3UN. Please use the reference ‘CSM Chapel’. To Gift Aid your donation please email mission@mmuk.net for a Gift Aid form.

Community of the Sisters of Melanesia