Tag: Archbishop

MBH Head Brother Jairus Honiseu

New Leaders For The Melanesian Brotherhood

THE MELANESIAN BROTHERHOOD (MBH) elected Br. Jairus Honiseu as their new Head Brother and Br. Augustine Paikeni as Assistant Head brother last month. Br. Jairus is from Lenga village in Ulawa Island, Makira Ulawa Province. He was admitted into the Brotherhood in 2016 and was posted to Chester Rest House as brother in charge. Seven months before being elected Head Brother he became the elder Brother at Tabalia, the headquarters of the Brotherhood, west Guadalcanal.

Br. Augustine from Isabel was admitted into the Brotherhood in 2016 and held several posts at Tabalia, Chester Rest House and recently in Australia before being elected.

The brothers also elected Br. Alister Knights as the Regional Head Brother for Solomon Islands Region; Br. Enis David as Regional Head Brother for Southern Region, that includes Vanuatu, and Br. Joe Narui as the Regional Head Brother for Northern Region (Papua New Guinea). Br. Alister Knights from Isabel was admitted to the Brotherhood in 2017 and was posted to Welshman Section Headquarters in the Diocese of Ysabel. Br. Enis from Vanuatu was admitted to the Brotherhood in 2014 and had served at the Regional Headquarters for Southern region at Tumsisiro in Vanuatu. Br. Joe from Papua New Guinea was admitted to the Brotherhood in 2008 and had served at the Section Headquarters of the Brotherhood in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea.

The Most Reverend Leonard Dawea, father of the Brotherhood, declared the results straight after the election.

Br. Enis David and Br. Joe Narui will be blessed by their section fathers in their respective regions by their regional fathers.

The Archbishop of the Anglican Church in Papua New Guinea, the Most Reverend Allan Migi, also came to witness the ceremony and the great conference of the Brotherhood.

Keep our Brothers, especially the new leaders, in our prayers as they prepare to take on the responsibilities in their respective areas.

Archbishop Leonard Dawea and the New MBH Leaders
Archbishop Leonard Dawea and the New MBH Leaders

The Melanesian Brotherhood

 

MBH 14th Great Conference

The Melanesia Brotherhood 14th Great Conference

THE MELANESIAN BROTHERHOOD (MBH) hold their ‘14TH GREAT CONFERENCE’ this week.

The two week programme began with a welcome ceremony on Saturday 12th October. This was followed by an opening Eucharist Service on Sunday, which was led by the Archbishop of the Anglican Church of Melanesia and Father of the Brotherhood, the Most Reverend Leonard Dawea.

The Great Conference first week begins on Monday 14th and will have all the Brothers, Novices and MBH Companions coming together for retreat, workshops and Bible reflections. This will be followed by the election of new leaders for the community taking place on Saturday 19th.

Monday 21st and Tuesday 22nd will the Brothers Conference followed by the Companions Conference on Wednesday 23rd and Thursday 24th.

Sunday 27th is MBH feast day; Saint Simon and Saint Jude and all Companions, supporters, family members and friends in and around Tabalia (MBH Headquarters, West Guadalcanal) are welcome to join the brothers in this feast day.

Apart from other activities that would be staged throughout the two week programme are Bible reflections, praise and worship, dramas, Evangelism and Intentional Discipleship talks, Health and awareness talks to name a few.

The Melanesian Brotherhood has regional headquarters in Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands. They also have working households in the Philippines and Australia and Companions across Melanesia, the UK and Canada.

The Theme for this year’s great conference is: ‘Empowering the Values of the Melanesian Brotherhood and Companions’.

Let us keep our Brothers and Companions in prayer for this great event.

CANDIDATES FOR THE ELECTION OF MELANESIAN BROTHERHOOD LEADERS

19TH OCTOBER 2019, TABALIA HEAD QUARTERS, SOLOMON ISLANDS.

PAPUA NEW GUINEA REGION

  1. BR. MARTIN OGOBA
  2. BR. DAVID IGARA
  3. BR. RODNEY GEARUA
  4. BR. JOE NARUI

SOUTHERN REGION, VANUATU

  1. BR. ENIS DAVID
  2. BR.FELIX RAYMOND
  3. BR. FRANKLYN SALE
  4. BR. ABRAHAM HURI

SOLOMON ISLANDS REGION

  1. BR. GEORGE BUGORO
  2. BR. AUGUSTIN PAIKENI
  3. BR. JAIRUS HOUNISEU
  4. BR. ALISTER KNIGHTS

The election date will be on 19th October 2019 at St. Marks Chaple, Tabalia 10.00am to be conducted by the New Archbishop of the Anglican Church of Melanesia, Leonard Dawea.

Thanks

Alphonse Garimae

Article & Photos – Melanesian Brotherhood

Archbishop Leonard Dawea and ACoM Bishops

Sermon for Archbishop’s Enthronement and Installation

Archbishop Leonard Dawea
Exodus 12: 37-42; 1 Cor. 12: 12-30; Matthew 8: 23-27

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Theme: A spiritually United Church.

May I extend a very warm welcome to all of you again; those of you are present at this service and those of you are praying with us via television or radio broadcast. I welcome you all as members of the Church or in the words of St. Paul, we are the Church; the living Saints.

When one revisits the history of the Church from her beginning, the Church journeyed around the world, even to Melanesia in people or missionaries. But the Church also carries people on their spiritual journey in anticipation of the Kingdom of God. It is the role of all Christian Churches, to carry and safe guide people on their journey and relationship with Christ. But it is also a spiritual avenue where Christians meet, create relationships and even socialise for the sake of Christ.

What begins to surface here is that the Church is a body. It is a living organ, so like any living organ, the Church encounters challenges in her growth and development. The people of Israel as we heard in the Old Testament after their slavery and experiences of oppression, started out on a journey with God, but it was not a smooth ride. They complained, they became thirsty and hungry, they were bitten by poisonous snakes.

But they also experienced the power of God; he rained down manna from heaven, gave then water from the rock and divided the red sea for them to go through. In the end they archived nationhood; they became a nation of their own in the Promised Land.

In the Epistle reading we heard Paul describing Christ to the people of Corinth as one body with many parts. He helped them to value and respect each part as invaluable for the wellbeing of the one body. They are to correlate and not to dispute each other’s functions. He goes on to say that each one of them is part of the same body. He also described the different ministries we have in the Church in the same way.

Practically there may be rooms for disagreement with each other, but the call is to respect, value and appreciate each individual Christian and every ministry there are in the Church. Because there is no division in the body, the different parts should have the same concern for one another, v. 25. That gives us assurance that all of us are to be participants in the life of the Church, even the least ones. The different parts of the body reflects a picture of united individuals and ministries in the Church.

Archbishop Leonard DaweaThe gospel reading is a story of a united church. It is on a journey. Matthew reshapes the story to instruct the Church after the resurrection. In this story the Church carries the people as represented by the boat. And literally Jesus was in the boat; he got into the boat first before his disciples. We shall use this faith story to weave a message for our Church today?

The Church is Christ’s Church; before we became members of the Church, he himself was already in the Church, he owns the Church. We were not told in the passage who owns the boat; Jesus did not seek permission from anyone. It was wrong from the society’s point of view. But seeing the boat as representing the Church, Jesus had no need to seek permission because he owns the Church.

Like the disciples, most people don’t know why they became members of the Church and where they were heading. St. Mark’s gospel tells us that they were going to other side of the lake. He went on to say that the disciples took Jesus with them, Mark. 4: 31. This is an interesting picture of the Church; Jesus was in his Church, but the disciples took him with them. The Church belongs to Jesus, but only we can take him and his gospel forward.

As soon as the disciples got into the boat with Jesus, the journey began. Both Matthew and Mark used the word ‘suddenly’ to describe the prompt arrival of a fierce storm against the boat. It came against the boat so hard that it was in danger of sinking. It continues through the unity, commitment and hard work of the disciples.

The journey of the Christian Church suddenly shattered her early beginning. The Church travelled everywhere in inhuman circumstances of torture, persecution, martyrdom, even to our own Church of Melanesia. But we are assured that Jesus controls it and can never, ever sink.

The biblical tradition holds the sea as symbol of disorder and chaos. It was very rough on this particular scenario. All around the boat, the sea must have been white like a lake of snow. And together with the wind, the sea feared the disciples. Because the water that spilled into the boat can kill. If it is not bailed out, it will sink it and the disciples will be exposed to the ravages of the sea and the wild sea creatures.

But it is the very sea that the boat travels on. The sea is here portrayed as the society. The society persecuted and humiliated the Church as soon as she was started by Christ. And this has been the road the Church travelled around the world. The society forces different situations and issues on the Church which sometimes seems as it will sink her. Though the society rocks the Church; it is the same society that carries the Church. It is the Church’s situated context. But like the boat in the lake, the Church will never ever sink. Whatever people might think, feel or say about the Churches we belong, it is important that we remain in the Church for that’s where Jesus is; it is our spiritual sanctuary.

We are encouraged here to remain in the Church or be part of a Church no matter whatever we might say or think about our Churches. In the midst of the storms of society, the Church can carry us forward. It might be rocking, it might in danger of sinking, it might be full of unrighteousness, but it’s safe because Jesus is always present in it.

Let us look at how the Bible portrays the disciples in this passage; it presents them in plural or inclusive form. There was no use of personal pronoun in reference to any particular disciple except for Jesus. They were all in total danger, but there was never any shout of frustration; they most probably rowed, bailed out, control the sail and worked hard together in their time of crises. Peter, the leader of the disciples was never mentioned as giving orders; he most probably led the disciples through this crises with practical leadership. But certainly there was indication of ongoing talks between them; they were united through their ongoing dialogue in the middle of the storm; they continue to find a way forward out of the pressing situation.

Their unity in this time of crises helped them to realise something important; something that would change their whole life. They realised that Jesus was with them; they made the decision together to wake him and they woke him up. Peter did not go alone to wake Jesus; they all went. It is a picture of a truly united Church. Through our working together, we can realise every day that Jesus is with us in the Church, he is in control, even though sometimes he is asleep through our ignorance.

The disciples woke Jesus up saying,Lord, save us – we are about to die’. We said that the disciples did not know the reason for their travelling. But in the midst of their crises, one thing came out very clear through their words to Jesus. They crave for life. They need Jesus to give them life; the Church is where we seek life in Jesus Christ. The disciples prayed, asking Jesus to save and give them life. They realised that their source of life was in the boat, Jesus Christ himself.

The prayer ought to be our prayer in our Church. It is a confessional statement of craving for life eternal with God. The Church can be lukewarm, it can be buried in its human nature, it can be neglected, it can be tossed about by the changes and chances of this world, but it has within it life giving spirit which offers life eternal. We need not only work together for the physical welfare of our Church, but like the disciples, we must also pray together to Jesus to save us from our daily encounters with life, deliver us from our spiritual weakness and give us life eternal.

This works with faith and I like Jesus’ response to the disciples in Matthew because it is an assurance that we have faith, even though it is little. Little faith presupposes some faith, but faith that has grown weak, paralysed to act and lukewarm to make any real impact in our society. But at least there is faith, little as it may be, it has great opportunity to grow and impact hugely in our society and Church.

The disciples in this scenario learned faith. They witnessed their Lord giving orders to the wind and the waves. The disciples were seen together as one when Christ measured their faith and together they learned to practice their faith. Jesus sleeps through most situations facing our Church because we think we know it all. Peter and the other disciples were called from the lake; and understood it very well. It was like their play station, but in this encounter, their knowledge of the lake seems inadequate and fake. However, they were correct to wake Jesus, he may knew nothing about the characters of the lake, but he knows the created order. In our everyday struggles with the issues of our Church and society which we think we understand better, we ought to make Jesus part of us for he knows far more than us.

We need to see the real nature of Christ and his saving power. In their realisation and amazement the disciples said, ‘who is this man, even the wind and waves obey him?’ It is Jesus the Son of God who has complete control over his Church. It is his Church, he knows it better than all of us, but leads the Church forward through us.

We need to pray together, ‘save us Lord, we are perishing’. Some areas of our Church are perishing lukewarm-ness, disunity, hatred, poor Church attendance, lawlessness etc…., but we need to remain united, to talk, plan, decide and think together. Our Lord is here with us; our saviour is right here, and our help is right here.

This is the model Church for our Province where Jesus is always behind the wheel and all her members are all co-participants. In most instances, Jesus is a sleep in our Church because we deceive ourselves by thinking that we are alright, but it is clear from this story that we need Jesus.

The state of the boat in calm waters is the state we crave for the Church in Melanesia, because Jesus is present with us and participates in our struggles for life. Let us all be united with each other in our Church, with other Churches, with our national governments and united with God through Jesus Christ our Lord. God bless the Church of Melanesia; God bless all Christian Churches in New Caledonia, Vanuatu and Solomon Islands.

The Lord be with you. Amen.

News story and pictures from ACoM Communications

Archbishop Leonard Dawea Enthronement Address

Archbishop Leonard Dawea’s Enthronement Address

St. Barnabas Provincial Cathedral
Honiara, Solomon Islands
1
5th September 2019

O God our help in ages past and our hope for years to come!

Address
Your Excellency, the Governor General of Solomon Islands, the Rt Rev. David Vunagi and Madam Mary Vunagi, the Hon. Speaker of Parliament, Mr. Patteson Oti and Madam Oti, the Prime Minister, Hon. Manasseh Sogavare and Madam Sogavare, the Hon. Justice Sir Albert Palmer and Madam Palmer, Leader of Parliamentary Opposition, Hon. Matthew Wale and Mrs. Wale, Members of Parliament who are here this morning and your good wives. And in their absence, I would like to mention the President and the Prime Minister and the national leaders of the Republic of Vanuatu and New Caledonia.

The Senior Bishop, the Rt Rev. Nathan Tome, all diocesan bishops of ACoM, the Most Rev. Allen Migi, Archbishop of ACPNG, the Most Rev. Efereima Cama Archbishop of Polynesia, the Rt Rev. Mark Rylands, and Rev’d. Amanda Rylands and representatives of MMUK, the Rt Rev. Dr. Keith Joseph, Bishop of Northern Queensland representing the Anglican Church of Australia, the Rt Rev. Jeremy Greaves, Assistant Bishop of Brisbane, the Rt Rev. Ross Bay, Bishop of Auckland and representatives of the MMTB Trustee, the Rt Rev. William Pwaisiho, Barbara Molyneux and Ruth Gesworth, representatives of the Diocese of Chester, Retired Archbishops and Bishops who are here this morning, Church leaders of Sister Churches in Solomon Islands and Vanuatu. The Vicar General of DOCM, the Rt Rev. Alfred Hou, Dean of St. Barnabas Provincial Cathedral, the Very Rev. Philip Rongotha and members of the Cathedral Chapter, Vicar Generals of other Dioceses and all Clergies, Canon Gabriel Suri, Vice Chancellor of ACoM, Members of the National, Overseas and Private Sector dignitaries, the Provincial Premiers of our Provinces who are here this morning, Ariki Tafua and all Paramount Chiefs, chiefs and traditional leaders of our islands and communities

The General Secretary of ACoM Dr. Abraham Hauriasi and your Provincial staff, Assistant General Secretary Vanuatu, Mr. Joses Togase, All Diocesan Secretaries of our Dioceses, Members of the Provincial Electoral Board, Heads of Church Institutions and departments, Heads of Religious Orders and all their members, President of the Mothers Union and all MU members, Leaders of Church Lay ministries, young people, children, ladies and gentlemen. I greet you all with the love and peace of Jesus Christ our Lord.

Introductions
By way of introduction, first of all I wish to humbly appeal to all of you to pray for me that God may grant me wisdom and strength to lead his Church.

Following that, I wish to thank the Senior Bishop, the Rt Rev. Nathan Tome for his leadership over the Church for the last seven months of leadership interregnum. Thank you Senior Bishop, your leadership is truly of high quality, integrity and dignity; through your sound wisdom you stirred the Church steadily throughout this period. I also thank the Diocesan Bishops and Assistant Bishop for supporting our Senior Bishop to care for our beloved Church.

Next, I wish to thank so many of you who sent messages of congratulations and best wishes and support of prayers to me and family on the occasion of my election. I greatly appreciate such support of prayers; hence, ‘I will be because of what you will be to me’.

Following some elections, I wish offer congratulations on behalf of ACoM to the following leaders who were elected this year;

  • Congratulations Your Excellency the Governor General, the Rt Rev. David Vunagi and Madam Mary Vunagi for your election as the Head State of Solomon Islands.
  • Congratulations Hon. Manasseh Sogavare for your successful election as Prime Minister of Solomon Islands.
  • Congratulations Hon. Speaker of National Parliament, Mr. Patteson Oti for your successful election as the Speaker to the National Parliament.
  • Congratulations the fifty members of the Solomon Islands Parliament for your successful election earlier this year.
  • Congratulations to all our Provincial Premiers of the Provinces who held their election this year and the members of your respective Provincial Assemblies.

May I offer and assure you of the prayers and support of the Anglican Church of Melanesia. ACoM, as a stakeholder to our national and provincial governments will always appreciate continual corporate efforts with you in your national and provincial developments.

May I also assure our Mission Partners in United Kingdom and New Zealand, Oceania Sister Churches, Christian Churches in Vanuatu and Solomon Islands, Non-Government Organizations, Provincial Governments and Traditional Leaders that ACoM will continue to work together with you. I assure you of our prayers and support.

Gratitude and appreciation
Before going further, I wish to offer sincere gratitude to our previous Bishops, Clergies and laities for their huge contributions to the growth and development of our Church from being a missionary diocese to what is now, an autonomous Provincial Church. On this occasion, I particularly want to accord due respect and gratitude to our retired Archbishops; Late Archbishop John Wallace Chisholm, Late Archbishop Norman Palmer, Late Archbishop Amos Waiaru, Late Archbishop Ellison Pogo, Archbishop David Vunagi and Archbishop George Takeli; all of whom were champion leaders, by whose great contributions, wisdom and foresight, ACoM consistently grows and develops to this day. For those who served ACoM and have died, may they rest in peace and rise in heavenly glory.

It is indeed overwhelming to see for myself so many of you who have come to witness this occasion. I understand that a lot of Christians are also following this occasion on television and radio broadcast. I am so assured to see the great support you represent, so let me say this you all; because of your trust and confidence in me, I will do my very best to be your servant shepherd.

My Vision
My vision for the Anglican Church of Melanesia is “A spiritually united Church for equal and holistic growth”. Spiritually united speaks of the desired status for ACoM and equal and holistic growth is the character of growth we anticipate to see in ACoM. In saying this, I am fully aware of the autonomous status each diocese in our Province possess. Hence, spiritual unity is not new, it is strongly interwoven in our tradition; in our daily worship, our biblical connection to the one holy Catholic and Apostolic Church and our faith in one baptism for the remission of sins. These traditional foundational elements must spur our spiritual unity, our mission, our administration and our financial self-support.

As a spiritually united Church we are called to remain faithful as the holy agent of salvation for the God’s people. It must be able to continually hold together across three political nations of New Caledonia, Vanuatu and Solomon Islands. She must also improve and strengthen her ecumenical relationship, both nationally, regionally and internationally. She must initiate dialogue and be receptive to our National governments and Non-government Organizations within our boundaries. The presence of our national leaders, Church leaders and our mission partners abroad is a manifestation of our unity; as different parts of the same Body of Christ.

This Church ought to see her adherents become active and participate equally in her life and mission. Through such united participation our Church can identify proactive mission approaches in the context of the rapid up rise of modernity, secularism, individualism and imperative ideologies facing our Church and society. In the face of all these, she must outwork through the lives of her members the physical testament of her spiritual essence.

In support of this vision, we must encourage the Religious Orders within ACoM to provide conducive venues for quiet times of mediation and retreats. But this Church must work towards establishing her own sanctuary or spiritual hub for the same course. A strong Church is one that is ever spiritually united and alive.

Today, I do not wish to raise your hopes for miracles, but with great humility wish to call upon ACoM Christians to arise, hold hands together and listen to each other as we seek ways forward for our Church. We must progressively build our Church on the foundation laid by our founding Fathers and those before us. There will be no miracle by any individual, but corporately, there will be further growth and development.

In the first few years of this leadership, we will continue to work on our ongoing development plans. If by God’s grace we archive them within their allocated period, we will then propose further plans through our administration and governing councils. Our Vision Statement will certainly guide our periodic strategic plans, but during the era of the incoming leadership, the overarching vision of ‘equal and holistic growth’ must guide our destiny.

Let me at this point raise some thoughts on the basic ministry of our Church;

Mission & Ministry
In terms of mission, ACoM, apart from the traditional mission approaches, always take some major mission programs in relation to Bishop George A. Selwyn mission philosophy of ‘true religion, sound learning and useful industry’. In the past, ACoM carried out her mission in threefold areas of Gospel propagation, social services and training. While we remain active in gospel proclamation, we subsided in social gospel and training.

On gospel proclamation, ACoM is currently in a decade of evangelism and renewal. It is a Provincial commitment, which our mission department must effectively lead us to roll out its programs using our established structures. Apart from the traditional methods of spreading the gospel, we need to be creative and innovative to identify other appropriate methods for mission at our respective levels. On the top level for example, ACoM must explore the possibility of utilising our media and communication department to alleviate and prompt the evangelism programs.

More importantly, our Religious Orders must be involved more fully in the evangelism and renewal programs. They must lead us through the decade because evangelism is their lifestyle, hoping that by the end of the decade we should have been rehearsed to do evangelism as our lifestyle.

Regarding our mission through social services, it is encouraging to see ACoM involving in various ‘cross cut issues’. The need is to strengthen and improve our Mission Board to become a strong and active department in our Church to alleviate the different cross cut issues we face. One of the strong mission area of the Church in the past was health services, but it drastically dropped to a very small percentage. Though, we might not see it as a cross cut issue, our national health level remains an issue, so it is an area that ACoM working together with our national governments can undertake feasibility studies on to see if it is possible to re-engage in health services.

Education and training is another area of mission which was very strong and active, but it also subsided along the way. However, upon realisation, we are now beginning to work towards a fully blown education and training ministry. We must do this at all prescribed levels of education and training by our national governments. As part of our mission work, we need to encourage dioceses to engage in education and training, both formal and non-formal. We must also raise the level of our existing schools and training centres.

In terms of theological education, there is great opportunity for ACoM to start planning towards introducing graduate programs in theological studies at Bishop Patteson Theological College. There is great confidence in our Church because we have our owned highly qualified human resources. In line with this, we are confident in the gradual, but steady progress John Coleridge Patteson University is making in terms of academic programs. JCPU project is a huge education and training development, but we remain optimistic about its ongoing progress with the support of our stakeholders in education, including our national governments.

Administration
In the area of administration, currently we have a strong administration in place at the provincial level under qualified personnel. There may be areas that needed improvement, but that can only be done by close scrutiny in relation to the changing experiences of our Church. But any notable change to our administration and financial structures and systems have to be done through our canon via relevant governing bodies. Again we must be guided by the vision for equal and holistic growth.

Self-reliance Investment
The call for dioceses and institutions to venture deep into self-reliance has been highlighted in our Church over the decades. The call intertwines with the call to be good stewards of our initiatives and their proceeds. Dioceses and institutions have indeed tried their best to take initiatives, but good stewardship has always been a setback.

Because of this, while I do not intend to discourage initiatives undertaken by dioceses and institutions, I wish to propose a new model to approach our self-reliance investment. It is my vision to work towards a ‘centralised self-reliance’ strategy. It means that our self-reliance activities and investments must be coordinated at the Provincial levels in Solomon Islands and Vanuatu. We must identify appropriate and viable activities in our national capitals and other thriving development and economic centres in alignment with our countries’ national developments.

I believe the model correlates with that of Bp. Selwyn and Bp. Patteson when they invested for ACoM in Auckland. We will work with our national governments to formalise our Business Department to operate independently as a business entity to spearhead this concept. The wide spread of our Provincial Church over three political nations presents greater opportunities for such investments. It is high time that we ought to be trained to fish, then waiting on the shoreline to be given fish.

Diocese of Central Melanesia
I wish to assure my new Diocese of Central Melanesia that despites the heavy commitment with the affairs of the Province, I will ensure that I provide due pastoral visitation to our parishes and the satellite Churches. The Diocese of Central Melanesia is a growing diocese following the growth of our national capital of Honiara. A major task ahead of us is to ensure that these satellite Churches continue to grow and develop into parishes. I am not promising you any new and great visions because I know there are ongoing plans in place; my role will be to work with you to implement the plans. DOCM is the mother diocese of the Province of Melanesia, it is therefore, fitting that she must continue to develop ahead in her mission, administration and finance and become a role model for other dioceses.

Conclusion
In conclusion, may I once again appeal to all members of the Anglican Church of Melanesia, the Governments of Solomon Islands and Vanuatu, Mission Partners, Oceania Church Partners, Provincial Governments, NGOs, Chiefs and all faith confessing Christians of all denominations for your prayers and support.

ACoM is a living organism as St. Paul says in 1 Corinthian 12: 12 – end; hence a united participation at all levels and activity centres can definitely result in an equal and holistic growth. The mechanism for our united participation and working relationship is the promise of loyalty and support we offer each in this service. On my part, I will do all I can to work with you. Furthermore, I call on you to enjoy your participation in the life, mission, administration and socio economic development of our Church.

Lastly but the least, may the martyrs and saints of Melanesia and the triune and everlasting God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit bless and lead the Anglican Church of Melanesia.

Your Excellency the Governor General of Solomon Islands, the Most Rev. David Vunagi and Madam Mary Vunagi, the Honourable Speaker of Parliament, Mr. Patteson Oti, the Prime Minister, Honourable Manasseh Sogavare, all invited dignitaries, Mission partners, ACoM Church partners, and all of you who have come to honour and grace this occasion, I salute and thank you very much indeed.

Long live the Anglican Church of Melanesia; To God be the glory, great things He will do. Amen.


You can watch the full enthronement service here;

News story and pictures from ACoM Communications

Archbishop Elect Leonard Dawea

Enthronement of new Archbishop of Melanesia

As Bishop Leonard prepares for his enthronement on 15th September, friends from the UK introduce us to the new Archbishop of Melanesia.

I first met Leonard Dawea at Tabalia, the Headquarters of the Melanesian Brotherhood, where he had come to train as a novice from Temotu Diocese, and I was Chaplain and Tutor of the Brotherhood. It was not long before I began to recognise his giftedness. Here was a novice who was diligent, thoughtful and reliable and whatever responsibility he was given you knew it would be faithfully carried out. I also began to discover a young man of deep faith; he was quite quiet but always mature and wise in his thinking. He loved his studies as a novice and was one of the best.

After becoming a Brother, he was wisely appointed secretary of the Brotherhood, a difficult role but one Brother Leonard carried out with tremendous patience, discipline and faithfulness. He has a rare ability to be both kind, but also firm. We all knew this was a Brother we could trust.

Chester Rest House was really beginning to get underway and becoming a major source of income for the Brotherhood. Brother Leonard helped establish efficient methods of operation. He was one of the first Brothers to become computer literate. He has a tremendous heart for the Brotherhood. In the Ethnic Tension in Solomon Islands, I know personally how courageous and brave Brother Leonard was. I have a letter from one Englishman who has told me how, during the tension, Leonard saved his life and helped him escape from Honiara. It does not surprise me. Brother Leonard was one of the most loyal and trustworthy Brothers I have ever met and that is saying a lot.

Leonard of course was sent by the Brotherhood to the UK ministering with Brother George Elo in Tavistock and then studying at Chester College for his Bachelor of Theology. Again, he showed his characteristic dedication and faithfulness. He is also always very welcoming and hospitable and kind, and I remember many of the great times we have had together supported so generously by Barbara Molyneux and the Companions both in Exeter and Chester and joining an incredibly exciting Melanesian Brotherhood and Sisterhood Mission in 2005. When he returned to Solomons, Leonard became Chaplain of the Brotherhood and later Diocesan Secretary of Temotu Diocese. I, with others, was overjoyed when he was elected Bishop of Temotu. It is a role he has once again carried out with wise judgment, dedication and wisdom. When I knew that the Church of Melanesia was looking for a new Archbishop I prayed it might be him, for he has the humility, faithfulness and dedication so much needed in high office. When I heard he had been elected I believe this was indeed the working of the Holy Spirit. Here is a man whose whole life has shown us the true way of service. I would like to ask all of you to hold him in your prayers. I believe that the Lord will indeed continue to do great things through this man, husband, father brother and friend. I count myself so fortunate to have seen him progress from novice to Archbishop, never losing his kind bold humility or the sense that here is a man of love and faithfulness and true friendship. May he and many others through his ministry be richly blessed.

Almighty God you have called many to leave their homes behind to serve you
We thank God that you have called Leonard Dawea to be your servant
Bless and uphold him in his ministry as Archbishop of the Church of Melanesia
Guide and direct him through all difficult times
Continue all the good work you have begun in him that he may lead your Church with wisdom and compassion
Fill him Lord, with bold humility that he and his beloved family may continue to grow in your true way of service
And may his ministry and leadership bring many more people to know and love our Lord Jesus Christ
This we pray in His Holy Name
Amen

Revd Richard Carter

The Diocese of Chester has had an active link with the Anglican Church of Melanesia for over 30 years, a link which has brought benefits to us all.

In 2001 and 2002 the Diocese of Chester, the University of Chester and the Chester Companions of the Melanesian Brotherhood worked together to bring two Brothers to study for BA Honours degrees in Theology and Religious Studies at the University of Chester. In the Autumn of 2002, Brother Leonard Dawea and Brother Jonathan SioTiaro joined the First Year Undergraduates. They worked at their studies and made friends and survived the weather. Bishop Willie and his dear wife, the late Kate, and the Family gave wonderful support, as did their former Chaplain, Revd Richard Carter. Bishop Peter Forster kept a fatherly eye on them, and the Chester Companions appreciated their presence and contributions at meetings.

These two Brothers shared much about life in the Solomon Islands and the values and vital work of the Brotherhood and were in the middle of their studies when the sad news of the seven martyred Brothers came through. Before coming to the UK, they had played active roles in trying to bring about peace during the internal strife in the Solomon Islands.

In November 2005 Graduation Day in Chester Cathedral dawned and this was a wonderful day of thanksgiving and joy for the two Brothers and their lecturers, fellow students and friends – a celebration meal followed.

Brother Leonard, who could only use his Solomon Island driving licence for one year in the UK made time to take his driving test and passed first time; an achievement as there are many more rules of the road in the UK! He has touched many lives in Chester, and all are very happy to hear he will be the Archbishop of the Anglican Church of Melanesia and send best wishes and prayers for him, his wife Dorah and their two children.

Barbara Molyneux

On 11 October 2001 I was driven into Plymouth by our parish secretary to meet two Melanesian Brothers at the station. Archbishop Ellison Pogo had asked the Bishop of Exeter if there was a parish in this diocese where a Brother, who had just completed a degree in theology and time at Mirfield with the Community of the Resurrection, could gain some experience of an English parish. Bishop Michael asked if I could do this and enable the Brother to see the work we did and share in it. As members of the Melanesian Brotherhood work and minister in pairs another brother would also be coming, and the Curate’s House in Tavistock would become a House of the Melanesian Brotherhood for a while.

The Brother in question was Fr George Elo and he was joined by Brother Leonard Dawea. George had been in the UK some years, but Leonard had never been. We greeted them on the station platform and set off for Tavistock. During the journey Leonard remarked on how smooth the roads were – not like those of the Solomon Islands. We stopped at the supermarket on the outskirts of Tavistock to ensure the brothers had enough food etc. The people of the parishes had been very generous and provided much food and other things the brothers would need. Not least, was the family for whom I had conducted a funeral in the previous weeks, who wanted to pass on a lot of furniture and were very happy for me to use it to furnish the house for the brothers. The garden at the house was important to them as it is an essential part of the life of the Brothers in the Solomon Islands.

One of the first comments Leonard made in the supermarket was, ‘in the Solomon Islands we do not eat unless we sweat’. He could not believe the vast quantity and variety of food that lined every aisle.
Over the next few weeks Fr George and Brother Leonard settled into life in the parish joining me and others for the Offices of Morning and Evening Prayer and Eucharist every day. Leonard found English a little hard at first but soon gained confidence in public prayers and conversations with people. Both brothers were welcomed by all in Tavistock and Gulworthy and over eight months many friendships were formed.
Brother Leonard assisted at many of the services and gradually found the confidence to preach at the Sunday Sung Eucharist. He and Fr George accompanied me many times to schools and they were always a hit with the children as they were with the members of the Church Youth Group which met on Sundays after Evensong. One of the joys of their life was on Fridays after we had said Evening Prayer when they would go to one of the Fish and Chip shops in the town to buy their supper. They loved fish and chips.

One of their other passions was football and on Boxing Day 2001 my son-in-law took them to watch Plymouth Argyle play as he was a great supporter of the team. Their delight was obvious when they returned to the vicarage for a meal with us and they both had Plymouth Argyle scarves.

One thing which made life easier for the brothers was the gift of a small, fairly old car, from someone in the congregation. Leonard had driven in the Solomon Islands and soon got used to doing so in Devon. It made a difference to their lives as walking from the curate’s house a few times each day was often exhausting as it entailed going up a steep hill.

During the time Brother Leonard was with us, although initially rather shy, he blossomed a great deal and his warm smile and gentle manner endeared him to everyone. His quiet prayerfulness and spirituality was an unselfconscious example to all, both in the congregations and in the town. It was a great wrench to say goodbye at a party in the Parish Centre after a service of thanksgiving and farewell in church. Their time with us had been a mission in itself.

Both Fr George and Brother Leonard left a deep impression on many people and we were able to start a group of the Companions of the Melanesian Brotherhood. We were all desperately sad to hear of the death of Fr George Elo a few years ago but we were very glad to know Brother Leonard, as we had known him, was to be the Bishop of Temotu. He came to visit us while in UK for the new Bishops’ Course in 2017. Now everyone is delighted and full of congratulations that he has been elected Archbishop of Melanesia.

John Rawlings (Vicar of Tavistock and Gulworthy 1992-2006)
South West Section Leader of the Companions of the Melanesian Brotherhood

Archbishop Elect Leonard Dawea

Anglican Church of Melanesia elects new Archbishop

The Anglican Church of Melanesia (ACoM) has a new Archbishop. He is the Rt Revd Leonard Dawea, who is currently the Bishop of the Diocese of Temotu (DOT) in Solomon Islands.

Bishop Dawea 47, was elected to the highest Episcopal position within the Anglican Church by the ACoM Provincial Electoral Board this afternoon, the 25th of June at Tabalia; headquarters of the Melanesian Brotherhood, west of Honiara. The Provincial Electoral Board that elected the Rt Revd Dawea has been in retreat since Sunday 23rd June.

He is the sixth Archbishop in succession since the Anglican Church of Melanesia was inaugurated in January 1975 as an independent ecclesiastical province from New Zealand. He succeeds the Most Revd George Angus Takeli who retired on the 24th March this year.

The Rt Revd Leonard Dawea holds a Bachelor of Theology with Honours (BTh/Hons.), in the field of Theology and Ethics from the University College Chester (now Chester University). Prior to being elected as the next Archbishop of the church, he served the ACoM as a full member of the Melanesian Brotherhood from 1995 to 2007. He was ordained into the Priesthood in 2007. After his ordination he served within the Melanesian Brotherhood as tutor and chaplain. In 2013 he was appointed the Mission Secretary of DOT from 2013 to 2014 and later as Diocesan Secretary from 2015 to 2016.

Archbishop elect, the Rt Revd Dawea is from the Reef Islands in Temotu and is married to Dorah Dawea from Guadalcanal and they have two children.

His enthronement and installation to become an Archbishop is scheduled for 15th September at Saint Barnabas Provincial Cathedral this year.

The previous Archbishops serving the church were, – The Most Reverend Norman Palmer 1975 – 1987, The Most Rev. Amos Waiaru 1988 – 1993, The Most Rev. Sir Ellison Pogo 1994 – 2008, The Most Rev. David Vunagi 2009 – 2015 and the Most Rev. George Takeli 2016 – 2019.

The Anglican Province of Melanesia covers three independent nations of Solomon Islands, the Republic of Vanuatu and the French Trust Territory of New Caledonia. Its Provincial Headquarters is in Honiara with a sub – Provincial Administration Office at Luganville on Santo in Vanuatu. It has seven dioceses in Solomon Islands and two in Vanuatu.

The Senior Bishop of the Church, the Rt Revd Nathan Tome is calling on all members of the church to pray for Bishop Leonard and family as he prepares to take on this highest position within the Church of Melanesia.

Released on the Authority of: The Senior Bishop of ACoM – The Rt Revd Nathan Tome and the ACoM Provincial Electoral Board
News story and pictures from ACoM Communications

Archbishop Retires

Archbishop Retires

Archbishop RetiresThe sixth Archbishop of the Anglican Church Melanesia and the Bishop of the Diocese of Central Melanesia (DoCM), the Most Reverend George Angus Takeli, was officially farewelled last month in a moving Liturgical service at Saint Barnabas Provincial Cathedral. Towards the end of the service, the Archbishop placed on the Altar the two symbols representing his pastoral oversight; the Primatial Cross of the Archbishop of Melanesia and the Pastoral Staff of the Bishop of Central Melanesia. These will be handed to the new Archbishop when he is installed later on this year.

A large congregation including the Bishops from the nine Dioceses, representative from the Melanesian Mission Trust Board in New Zealand, supporters from Melanesian Mission in UK and other government dignitaries came to witness the service.

In his Sermon, Archbishop George said the Liturgical Service marks the beginning of a time of prayer and reflection for the Church to uphold members of the Provincial Electoral Board, to seek the mind of God to reveal the next person to lead the Church.

“As we choose our next Archbishop, it is important for us to see the mission field and the future of our Church with fresh eyes or with the eyes of God,” he added.

“God did not allow me to continue on with the plans I have for the Church; however, he has already anointed someone amongst his Church to continue this work into the future.” he said.

In his farewell address, the retired Archbishop thanked the chairman and team from the Melanesian Mission Trust Board in New Zealand, members of the Trust and supporters of the Melanesian Mission in the United Kingdom, oversea partners, Diplomatic Offices in Vanuatu and Solomon Islands through relevant Ministries, Solomon Islands Christian Association (SICA) and Solomon Islands Full Gospel Association (SIFGA,) for friendship and support during his term as Archbishop.

Archbishop Retires
In his three-year period, Archbishop George launched the Decade of Renewal and Evangelism, provided training for the Council of Bishops and their wives, clergy and lay administrators, in the areas of leadership and administration, mission work and pastoral care; raising the Clergy remuneration, and the building of a new office complex for ACoM Provincial Head Quarters; to name a few.

Garry Swift of MMTB New Zealand, Dr. Abraham Hauriasi, ACoM General Secretary and the Senior Bishop of the church, the Right Rev Nathan Tome, acknowledged the leadership of the retired Archbishop over the past three years. “You end your term of leadership with many and big achievements though within a short period of time.” Bishop Tome said.

The next Archbishop will be elected in June and installed in September.

News story and pictures from ACoM Communications

Women On The Frontline Training

Women On The Frontline For Reconciliation And Restoration – Retreat And Training Report

The theme of the retreat & training was “Women on the Frontline for Reconciliation and Restoration”.

The aim was to empower women leaders in ACoM, especially Bishops’ and Clergy wives and women lay leaders to be equipped to become peacemakers, and to have courage to make steps to be at the frontline to become ambassadors of peace.

Mrs Caroline Welby the wife of the Archbishop of Canterbury and three staff from the Lambeth Palace, Mrs Sarah Snyder, Mrs Jane Namurye and Mrs Keren Lewis convened the retreat and training.

When Archbishop Justin Welby became the Archbishop of Canterbury, Mrs Welby had a vision to visit all Bishops’ wives within the Anglican Communion to encourage them in their role as they share the same calling and challenges.

The Anglican Church of Melanesia was the third province the team had visited to conduct the retreat and training.

The retreat was conducted for Bishops’ wives for two and half days and the second part of the programme was the training which included clergy wives and women leaders in ACoM. A total of twenty-eight women attended the training.

In his opening address, the Most Reverend George Takeli, Archbishop of the Province of Melanesia said this is the era of renewal and restoration in our society, and women must be in the frontline to lead. He views the training of women as a priority and is taking steps to make it happen. This includes:

  • Increasing the enrolment of girls in ACoM Schools
  • Increasing the number of women in the 2020 General Synod and Executive Council
  • Awarding of scholarships for women in theological training

The Importance of Retreat and Training:

The programme was unique, in that all participants were able to freely share and talk about their experiences and challenges. The method used at both the retreat and training was unique and of a high level with each session based on scripture, in which participants either used imaginary creative art or role-played characters from the chosen texts. These activities allowed participants to make connections to real life situations.

Participants who felt touched by what was being delivered and shared, were given opportunities to pray and share individually with Mrs Welby and her team. An opportunity was also given for anyone to have time with Sr. Veronica, the Sister Provincial and the only ordained woman in Melanesia. Seeing women queuing at the Sisters’ chapel to have their turn, speaks a lot on the Ordination of Women. Women share freely with women. Peace of Christ in our hearts was experienced by most of the women that attended this programme.

The programme was very effective like no other, because of the simplicity of Mrs Welby and her team and the process in the delivery method. Above all, the encouragement given in prayer life for the journeys we make in life.

What Next?

“How are we going to make steps forward in the implementation of what we have acquired?”, was the question at the last day.

Participants were divided into three groups to discuss what will happen next after this training. They resolved to take steps to be ambassadors of peace in their families, communities and country:

  • Bishops’ wives to meet once every year
  • Awareness to be carried out in each diocese
  • Diocese of Central Melanesia to be a pilot diocese to carry out training
  • Revise the position of Women’s Desk at the ACoM Headquarters by a six-member committee
  • A follow up visit by Mrs Welby and Team in the future

Acknowledgements:

  • First of all, we thank God for his grace given to women to be at the Frontline for Reconciliation and Restoration
  • We give thanks to God for calling Archbishop Justin Welby and Mrs Welby to shepherd the Anglican Communion
  • The love and passion that has brought Mrs Welby and her team to share with us and the humility and simplicity to be able to adjust to the life style so different from theirs. Also, for their commitment to prayer and encouragement to pray as a tool really stood out
  • For Archbishop George and Mrs June Takeli making this possible through their invitation to Mrs Welby to visit Melanesia
  • For the General Secretary and ACoM Administration for the support rendered
  • The Committee through the Provincial Mothers’ Union Office, who facilitated the visit in consultation with Archbishop George and Mrs Takeli
  • Sr. Veronica for celebrating for us daily and the love and care the sisters at Tete-Nikoli-Vuti (TNK), we couldn’t have chosen a better place. Just the right place for the Retreat and Training

News story and pictures from ACoM Communications

Archbishop George Takeli

Archbishop of the Anglican Church of Melanesia retires

In accordance with ACOM’s Constitutional Canons the General Secretary Dr Abraham Hauriasi advises that the current Archbishop George Takeli will be stepping down from office in March this year.

On 25th March 2019 Archbishop George Takeli will reach the compulsory retirement age of 60. He will have served as Archbishop for nearly three years and leaves the Church in good heart. Prior to his appointment as the primate of the Anglican Church of Melanesia, he served as Bishop of Temotu for six years and has been an ordained priest for twenty three years, following a career in the Solomon Islands marine division.

Archbishop Takeli’s term of office has seen a number of changes and initiatives. Shortly after his installation he oversaw the first Bishops’ training in the Diocese of Vanuatu and New Caledonia, highlighting the very close working relationship with the dioceses in that part of the Province. He also forged close relationships with important mission partners including the Melanesian Mission Trust Board and the Church in New Zealand, Melanesian Mission UK, and other key partners both regionally and internationally.

In November 2017 he presided over the 14th General Synod in Port Vila, Vanuatu and encouraged open discussions on a number of important issues including changes to the ACOM Canons aimed at modernising the Church in line with changing social conditions, the ordination of women and the establishment of a number of task forces.

In May 2018, at St Barnabas Cathedral, he re-launched the decade of Evangelism and Renewal Programme, which will be implemented in all Dioceses within ACOM from early next year.

Archbishop Takeli said: “I have worked to implement the vision God placed in my heart for this Church to build ACOM and help the church grow and mature in all aspects of spiritual, socio-political, economic and cultural well-being.”

The process of selecting a new Archbishop will commence following the Archbishop’s retirement and will be take place in accordance with Church Law.

News story and pictures from ACoM Communications

Mrs Welby 01

Women on the Frontline Training – Mrs Welby and Team in Honiara

Mrs Caroline Welby and her small team from Lambeth Palace in the United Kingdom, England were in Honiara last week.

The purpose of their one-week visit was to conduct training called “Women on the Front Line” for ACoM Bishops’ wives and other women in the Anglican Church of Melanesia (ACOM) as well as joining with them in prayer, sharing and to encourage each other.

Mrs Welby was accompanied by Jane Namureye, Keren Lewis and Canon Rev. Sarah Snyder.

The Archbishop of ACOM the Most Reverend George Takeli, his wife and the President and members of the ACOM Provincial Mothers Union met the team at Henderson International Airport before they left for TNK, where the one-week program was held.Mrs Welby 02

Tete Ni Kolivuti or TNK for short, is the Headquarters of the Sisters of the Church and is located on the eastern side of Honiara, around Tenaru School and Foxwood.

“We have been waiting for this day, and here it is,” Rev Sr. Veronica, Sister Provincial of the Community of the Sisters of the Church said at a welcome ceremony held at TNK.

“We are happy to be your host and we are looking forward to providing you the best hospitality we can offer you this week,” she said to the visiting team including the Bishops’ wives.

As part of the programme Mrs. Welby led a retreat for Bishops’ wives for three days. The group was then joined by other women from the church to share reflections and discussions on the topics centred around conflict, violence, counselling, meditation and reconciliation.

Archbishop Takeli also delivered an address during the week, for participants to discuss and reflect on.

News story and pictures from ACoM Communications