Reflections from the Solomon Islands

Beth Glover
Beth Glover

I was asked to return again to the Solomon Islands last year specifically to lead workshops, presentations and programmes on a variety of issues including deepening spirituality, creative prayer, experiencing new liturgies, creative worship, affirming women in leadership roles in their culture and Thy Kingdom Come. I worked mainly with women for the first time.

Another was to identify and explore the possibility of Spiritual Directors/mentors/soul friends who could listen and enable. The system of support in many areas is priest based (so male only) and Catechist based. This is an ongoing work for me. Australian impetus seems to have been side-lined, but people were initially at least, very open.

I went with my trusty Churchwarden and great traveling companion Sue and together we were away for 3½ weeks including travelling.

I took single copies of work to make up 40 packs for ‘delegates’ coming to TNK from the Melanesian Sisters, Sisters of the Church, Mothers Union and other island representatives.

We photocopied, collated, and produced packs for everyone to take back to their own communities, shopped and catered for ourselves (based at Chester Rest House) but travelling also to the Brothers at Tabalia.

I have left many books in many libraries.

Workshops at TNK included making Anglican Prayers beads, studies on Fearless known and unknown, Biblical women (!) and looked at similarities in Melanesian culture, studied and practised different ways of praying, worshipped using new, very unfamiliar liturgies based on climate change, an Agape and Celtic liturgy.

Of deep interest to them was a timeline of our Christian roots from a Celtic perspective.

The hope is that these ‘delegates’ will take all the prayers, liturgies and creativity back to their communities that were in their packs and then feed back to me by e mail.

This is already starting to happen in some islands.

I met old friends on the streets and villages and had a wonderful time with visitors who came especially from Isobel with one of their children (Kayla Susan Beth) for us to meet!

We went to ACoM, met Dr Abraham and other clergy and spoke to them to about Thy Kingdom Come.

He was hoping to instigate it especially at the Cathedral were we also went.

We brought goods for the women and children in the Christian Care Home after going and seeing for ourselves what was needed. Our parish helped with that.

It was wonderful for me to find out from the USP that the literacy diploma for Melanesian culture, that I created and delivered in 1998 is still being used… modified and updated and delivered in the islands still. I still have it on my computer!

Thank you to you all if you funded, prayed or supported me in any way at all… I am so grateful.

Revd Beth Glover