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, the 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 service 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 the 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
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart,” said Bishop Quity as he quote 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 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 the 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 according to plan, it will begin next year as a Government fully funded Scholarship open to any RTC Carpentry graduates with a two years programme that is equivalent to Certificate IV standard of Australia’.
At the end of the synod business, Bishop Quity thank the Paramount Chief of Isabel, retired Bishop 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 was put forward and 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.
MMUK Archivist Canon Brian Macdonald-Milne writes: “I am delighted to read that Lily Tetehu, one of the first sisters of the CSM is giving land for the use of the new CSM Household on Ysabel. She and I worked together when I was chief chaplain of the MBH companions and she was the chief secretary, a role now filled by one of the brothers as ‘co-ordinator of the companions’.
“Lily was a wonderful person to work with, and she had the needs of the MBH in her heart. This led to co-operation with Nester Tiboe, who had the vision of founding the CSM, which Lily discussed with me. We then discussed the idea at the next MBH regional conference at Tabalia, and got the backing of the MBH Father, MBH and companions.”