TRADITIONALLY, churches in the Pacific have seen their roles as conduits for the salvation of souls. This has generally led to competition for membership. The PCC Ecumenism Programme seeks to encourage churches to work together in practical ways to feed the hungry, minister to the afflicted and speak prophetically with a united voice to governments on issues such as human rights and climate change.
FIVE Anglican primates from the Pacific will meet to discuss climate change and reconciliation in Suva this week. The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, will be in attendance. We will update you on the visit and discussions.
GOOD governance is as important in the church as it is is government or civil society. A number of training events for church leaders and assistance with constitutional reviews have been provided by the PCC in Fiji, Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands. This training looks at good governance through a Christian lens using the values of humility, justice and love to create responsible leaders.
IN conjunction with the Institute of Mission and Research at the Pacific Theological College, church journalists in West Papua have been trained to look at reporting issues through new lenses. Training of GKI Communications Staff was done during their 2017 Synod at Raja Ampat. The team used traditional and social media to promote innovative angles on church meetings, leadership and issues affecting the people. Another training will take place in May 2018.
WORKING with the faith community, the PCC has helped revive the Fiji and PNG Council of Churches which had been dormant for some time. Much of this work was based on rebuilding broken relationships between churches. Both institutions have taken major roles in holding governments to account in the areas of self-determination (West Papua) and Gender-based violence.
BEGINNING March 2, five Anglican leaders from around the Pacific will meet in Suva, Fiji, with the Archbishop of Canterbury, Reverend Justin Welby.
The Pacific will be represented by Archbishops George Takeli (Anglican Church of Melanesia), Alan Migi (Anglican church of Papua New Guinea), Winston Halapua (Aglican Church in Polynesia), Philip Freier (Anglican Church in Australia) and Philip Richardson (Anglican Church in New Zealand). The meeting will involve private discussions, public lectures, worship and cultural activities.
MOST of the events will be held at the Holy Trinity Cathedral in Suva and the newly built Moana Anglican Services and Teaching Centre. But on March 3 the delegates will travel to Nukulau on Fiji's ocean-going canoe, the Uto Ni Yalo.
A MAJOR focus of the Oceania Anglican Fono will be outcomes from COP23 held last year in Bonn, Germany. The Anglican primates at the Fono will share their reflections on the outcomes. They will also hear from Anglican specialised ministries on a regional response to Disaster Risk Reduction.
ON Saturday (March 3) Archbishop Welby will deliver a public lecture on Six Steps in the Practice of Reconciliation at the Holy Trinity Cathedral from 4-6pm. Welby has worked extensively in Africa and the Middle-East in the area of peace building. On Sunday he will deliver the sermon at the cathedral at 9am before taking refreshments with the congregation.
THE Oceania Anglican Fono(meeting) has been designed to allow open, heart-felt discussions among regional Angican primates. Based on the Pacific talanoa concept (story telling and experience sharing) the Fono will see leaders listen deeply, pray together and then act as a group. Throughout discussions the focus will be on arriving at a consensus despite differences.
ORDAINED Archbishop of Canterbury in 2012, Reverend Justin Welby spent 11 years working in the oil industry before becoming a priest in 1992. He worked for the French petroleum giant, Elf Aquitaine and British oil company. As a priest Welby's ministry was extensively in the area of peacebuilding and reconciliation. His three personal priorities for ministry are: Renewal of prayer and religious life throughout the church; reconciliation within the church and supporting the church's role as a peacemaker; encouraging all Christians to share their faith and to see themselves as witnesses to Christ.