ACoM Commissions MV Southern Cross

Published: April 19, 2024

April 1, 2024, marked a momentous occasion filled with joy and profound spiritual significance as Anglican communities in and around Taroniara in the Diocese of Central Solomons (DOCS) gathered to witness the commissioning and handing over of the tenth Southern Cross by the Melanesian Mission Trust Board (MMTB) of New Zealand to the Anglican Church of Melanesia (ACoM).

Despite the continuous downpour, the ceremony proceeded with a beautiful welcome staged by Taroniara and surrounding community members for the vessel, her crew, members of MMTB, Archbishop Leonard Dawea, and other invited guests who arrived from Honiara by the vessel.

The event featured a Holy Eucharist service, presided over by Bishop Benedict Loe from the Diocese of Guadalcanal, with Bishop Steven Koete of the Diocese of Central Solomons (DOCS) delivering a touching sermon to more than 500 attendees.

Bishop Koete highlighted the vessel’s crucial role in strengthening the mission and ministry of the church across the scattered islands of Melanesia, including the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, and parts of New Caledonia. He emphasized that the Southern Cross would serve not just as a means of physical transport but as a vessel of hope, spreading the Good News of the Lord Jesus Christ and addressing both spiritual and physical needs of the Melanesian people.

Archbishop Leonard Dawea facilitated the commissioning of the vessel, a heartfelt ritual that included blessing the new Southern Cross with holy water by the clergy, symbolizing its readiness to embark on its sacred mission.

After the service, representatives from MMTB, Paul Duffy, and Square Lee officially handed over the vessel to Archbishop Leonard on behalf of ACoM during a speech presentation that followed the religious ceremonies.

Archbishop Leonard expressed his profound gratitude to the MMTB for its unwavering support and commitment to the mission of the church in Melanesia. He hailed the Southern Cross as a “beacon of hope,” renowned for its critical role in spreading the Good News about Christ, connecting the islands within ACoM, and addressing the diverse needs of the Melanesian community.

The handover ceremony was not just a transfer of a physical asset but a reaffirmation of the deep, enduring partnership between the MMTB and ACoM. It emphasized the shared commitment to nurturing the spiritual and physical well-being of the Melanesian people and spreading the message of hope and salvation far and wide.

ACoM Communications