More than 150 synod participants, observers and guests gathered at Kia Parish, in the Diocese of Ysabel (DOY) for their 16th Diocesan synod. The tri-annual meeting was officially opened on Sunday 26th and ended on Thursday 30th July.
The 16th Diocesan synod brought together representatives of the Church, Government (both National and Provincial) and the House of chiefs in Isabel (Tripod system). The meeting was officially opened by the Guest speaker, the Honourable Member of Parliament of the Host constituency Hograno, Katova, Kia and Havulei, who is also the Minister of Foreign Affairs and External Trade, Honourable Jeremiah Manele.
Amongst other dignitaries were the Member of Parliament for Maringe Kokota Constituency and Minister for Environment Hon. Dr. Culwick Togamae, a team from the Anglican Church of Melanesia Provincial headquarters led by Chief Operating Officer Mr. Peter Pitia, the Premier of Isabel Provincial Government Hon. Leslie Kikolo and his team, Paramount Chief of Isabel Retired Bishop James Mason, and General Manager of Isabel Development Company, Mr. Welchman Rubaha.
The Diocesan Bishop of Ysabel, The Right Reverend Ellison Quity, in his inspiring sermon at the Opening Eucharistic at Saint Luke’s Church, reminded and challenged the synod delegates and all who attended the service on the theme – Bloom the Mission and Ministry of God where you are planted.
“Every single person in this room is called to be a living witness for Jesus in Isabel, Russell Islands, Western Province and Choiseul Provinces in Melanesia, in your workplace, in Solomon Islands and elsewhere,” said Bishop Ellison.
“We are to bloom wherever we are planted, sent or posted. Be reminded, that if we remain faithful and connected to God in our everyday life, the truth is that we can bloom in the toughest of circumstances,” Bishop Quity said in his sermon to a packed Saint Luke’s Church.
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart,” said the Bishop, quoting Col 3:23-24.
On that same note, Hon Manele in his Address as a guest speaker said, “Church is a divine institute of God that needs a healthy and viable church with opportunities of working together in partnership and deliverance. We need each other to elude the challenges we face and will face in the future”.
ACoM General Secretary Dr. Abraham Hauriasi in his key note address read to the synod delegates by the ACoM Chief Operating Officer Mr. Peter Pitia, urged synod delegates to agree on a pathway for greater collaboration in the leadership, resourcing and fulfilling the mission of God in the diocese that will produce a growing and living Church in the diocese of Ysabel.
“As each of us ponders on what ministry we can play in the mission of God in the Diocese, let us always be optimistic about the difference our ministry can make in building God’s Kingdom in the DoY. Let us not underestimate the impact of our contribution however small we feel it may be. We indeed need collaborative efforts to advance the mission of the Church,” Dr. Hauriasi said in his address.
Amongst the many motions discussed, carried and accepted by the 16th Diocesan synod were; to amalgamate Laity Training and Clergy Training at Mano Wadrokal School of Theology and Ministry (Tasia) with support from the Diocesan staff and administration; the establishment of a new Community High school in the Western Province to cater for the growing Anglican Community in the Western and Choiseul Provinces in particular; the extension of the Diocesan Bishop’s tenure in the office for another term.
The transition of Bishop Naramana Vocational Training Centre into an Institute of Technology on Carpentry was also highlighted at the synod. A report presented by the Principal of Bishop Naramana Vocational Training Centre, Fr. Christine Advent revealed that, “Works are progressing really well and once completed and everything went well according to plan, it will begin next year and there will be a Government fully funded Scholarship open to any RTC Carpentry graduates with a two year programme that is equivalent to Certificate IV standard of Australia”.
Awareness talks and teachings were also part of night’s activities during the week.
At the end of the synod business, Bishop Quity thank the Paramount Chief of Isabel, Retired Bishop the Rt Rev. James Mason who had rendered his commitment and time taking part in the 16th diocesan synod with the wealth of knowledge and experience he shared with synod members.
Bishop Quity also acknowledged the presence of the National Government and Provincial leaders, staff from the ACOM office in Honiara and other prominent members as well as the chiefs and people of Kia village, surrounding communities, Business houses and families and those who have supported and contributed to the for successfully hosting the 16th diocesan synod in one way or the other.
The Diocese of Ysabel comprises four regions namely, Lawe, Zamako, Tuvano and Gaoma regions and covers Isabel, Central Islands, Choiseul and Western Provinces.
Members of the ACOM Religious orders also attended the Diocesan Synod. A recommendation for a new CSM Household which was put forward and was approved by the synod. This proposed household had been requested by one of the pioneer sisters named Lily Tetehu who gave the site for the Church purposely for the mission and development of the CSM.