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Archbishop David

“This disaster is not a punishment from God, BUT the disaster helps us not to forget God”. These are the words from the Primate of the Anglican Church in the Province of Melanesia, the Most Reverend David Vunagi in an interview with ACOM Communications early this week.

During his visit to the evacuation centers on Sunday 6 April, Archbishop David urged the flood victims not to see the disaster as a punishment from God.

“May be this is a time when we learn that we must know God and be God centered and God focused in our lives”, Archbishop David said in an interview.

“My prayers are with you all in this time of sorrow and difficulties”, Archbishop David said.

Archbishop David called on all the nine dioceses within the Province of Melanesia to come onboard and support the Government and other stakeholders who are in the field addressing the need of those who suffer from the disaster.

According to a report by Anglican Church of Melanesia (ACOM) Disaster Committee, it would appear most of the Honiara victims will be Anglican members. This is because Tuvaruhu and Koa Valley parishes are amongst the most affected areas in the flash floods that hit Honiara and parts of Guadalcanal on the 3rd day of April 2014, a member from the ACOM Disaster Committee said.

Apart from the National Disaster Management Office (NDMO), NGOs, International agencies, Church groups and individuals, the Diocese of Central Melanesia (DOCM ) has already taken a leading role in responding to the needs of these victims.

Government, NGOs, Churches and other organizations are all working together in responding to the needs of those who were badly affected by the deadly floods.

Kurt Schmidli

ACOM Learning institutions; ownership - self-reliance - sustainable.

SMART people understand the importance of sustainability and the connection with ownership and self-reliance. Leaders and economists around the world, particularly from developing countries encourage their people to adopt the concept of self-reliance. The leaders of the Anglican Church of Melanesia are no exception. They understand that self-reliance will lead to a healthy nation and consequently healthy and happy people.

·         Confidence in your own abilities and judgment

·         Not needing help or resources from other people.

·         To manage one's own affairs; not to be dependent.

·         Self-reliance is the ability to depend on yourself to get things done and to meet your own needs. An example of self-reliance is growing your own food.

·         To make our own decisions

Self-reliance is our chance to take the reins of our life and lead from the front. To give us the chance to discover more about our life and ourselves than if we are led through life by circumstance or others. Being self-reliant gives us great freedom. And this experience opens our eyes to new possibilities, to new prospects, to new options. To rely on yourself gives great satisfaction. If dealt with honestly and with intelligence it can open up a new era in our lives. But no matter what the problem is, you can never force people to help themselves. That's one of the advantages of self-reliance. The addict has to want to get well. The person who is lacking training and resources must be willing to sacrifice and work hard to obtain that training or resources.

Unless there is great need, you are never really motivated to do much, and that's the danger when circumstances suddenly change or disaster strikes. When governments or aid agencies start giving handouts, you learn to depend on others rather than yourself, and eventually you lose both your motivation and your self-respect.  Those who are independent and self-reliant typically survive and function better in society than those who are dependent on others for happiness and sustainability. Taking control of basic tasks and life skills will not only help you stay in control of your own life, but will ultimately contribute to making you a happier person.

Examples:

Independent

Dependent

It gives us the power to make decisions in our own interest.

We have to do things that are in the interest of the people who gave us the aid and most of the time these things are not in our best interest.

We develop our own organizational capability.

We depend on other people and their organization.

We are taking responsibility for our own well-being.

We give someone else the responsibility for our well-being.

We can change things in our best interest.

We cannot change things in our best interest.

We take advantage of all our resources and creativity.

We waste our resources and do not develop our creativity.

We work hard in our own interest.

We become lazy and don’t develop good work habits.

We gain confidence in our ability and we have dignity.

We become beggars, we feel inferior, and we lose our dignity.

We will develop enough to solve our problems and someday even help others solve the same problems.

We will never be able to help ourselves and therefore we could not help anyone else.

We set an honorable example for our youth that our youth and we can be proud of.

It is the worst example for our youth.

It leads us to the emancipation of women and of all of the people.

It is a continuation of the oppression of women and of the people.

We need take ownership in the way we want to live. For example, treat education as an asset or a resource. It gives us choices and opportunities, so we should appreciate it as such and make the necessary sacrifices to get educated or at least give our children the opportunity to do so. Every day a child misses school is a day it misses out on education, so we need to address absenteeism. Take ownership of your communities. Community development increases opportunities for participation and enables the transfer of skills between people, leading to self-reliance. This development ensures local ownership of its infrastructure, its churches, schools or projects and utilizes local resources to solve local problems. Government and Church of Melanesia resources are limited. They are unable to fully fund all their education providers’ projects and activities so priorities need to be set to address issues of training, funding and maintaining in a most cost effective way.

It is anticipated that eventually the government will train and provide teaching staff and the church along with the local parishes will fund the operations of all the schools the Church manages.

The church expects that communities get more involved with their schools and provide assistance for maintaining the school’s infrastructure. This can be addressed in various ways, depending on the school’s location, availability of land, community relations and the land ownership situation:

·         Do fundraising to pay for some of the maintenance expenses. However as most of the schools are located in remote rural areas where communities have very limited access to finance, the rewards of fundraising may be quite small. Community members and students may engage in craft work or produce goods that may be unique and of high value and which can be sold to outsiders, to markets in the bigger centres or to cruise ship visitors.

·         Start a school pet project, like a little poultry business; a small hen house for about 20 hens. The students can get involved in the daily feeding routine and the eggs can then be sold locally.  

·         Schools should allocate plots of land to grow vegetables and fruit for the school’s own use or for sale to the teachers and the community.

·         Grow kava, a product that appreciates in value over time.

·         Grow trees around the school’s periphery, like Namamau or perhaps Natangura. These trees will contribute as building materials over time to the maintenance of school buildings or future community projects.

·         Grow trees for the long term (15+ years). Depending on climatic and soil conditions, plant sandalwood, whitewood or mahogany. These trees will greatly benefit the schools and communities in years to come. It is important however that the ownership of the land for these long term projects is recognised and isolated from land disputes and claims. 

·         Schools in conjunction with the communities should consider introducing a planting day, perhaps once a month, where members of the community and pupils work the gardens and plant crops and trees. At the same time, the working group could take care of the school infrastructure and carry out repair work and maintain the buildings and furniture to a good standard.  

If we want to create vibrant communities, particularly for young adults, it is critical that these people feel ownership over what they are building. Without having a sense of ownership over their own work, young leaders will not be empowered to take control of their own success and it will become impossible for us to cultivate new leaders. It is not enough to just give young adults a seat at the table – we need to give them the tools, support and, most importantly, the confidence to build and engage in a Christian way that makes sense and has meaning to them. This is the only way to help ensure strong leaders for our communities who can build an independent future for the young people of Vanuatu.

Archbishop's Charge to the 14th General Synod of the Anglican Church of Melanesia.

Archbishop's (The Most Reverend David Vunagi) charge to the 14th General Synod of the Anglican Church of Melanesia (ACoM).

The Theme is:'Empowerment and greater personal service in Mission and Ministry.'

The synod was held at the Melanesian Haus at the St. Barnabas Cathedral from the 8th to the 14th November 2014.

Click here and go into the 'Synod Resolution file' for a copy in PDF. 

 

ARCHBISHOP DAVID'S CHRISTMAS MESSAGE

TODAY IS CHRISTMAS DAY and we celebrate the mystery of incarnation – the embodiment of God the Son in human flesh as Jesus Christ. But the wonder of wonders is that God has not only shared our human flesh through Jesus Christ but is with us (Emmanuel).

God who is the source and the expression of the entire creation became human through the little child that was “wrapped in clothes and lying in a manger” (Lk. 2: 12). Through the little child God’s humble entry into this world was manifested.

God’s entry was unnoticed but it brought the message of redemption and salvation for the human race. Our task during this Christmas Season therefore is to prayerfully reflect on peace, love, unity and healing – the very centre of the message of Christmas.

The incarnation is God’s own initiative. Because of that we cannot sell the message of Christmas. The secular society has commercialised Christmas. But as Christians we know the message of Christmas is free for the human race.

We thank God for what 2014 has been to us. For God’s providence through the resources of the land and sea and for things we have received and shared including joys and sorrows. For achievements we thank God. For failures, we pray for guidance.

 We thank God for the Tenth Parliament. It was encouraging to hear some members contributing constructively in the last Parliament Meeting. We pray that they know that they are legislators and not procurement officers for solar lighting, housing materials, canoes, engines, chainsaws etc.

And we pray for the people to respect the parliamentarians, including their living quarters and to give them time and space.

For our nation we pray for political stability, economic recovery and proper maintenance of law and order. May God help us to refrain from corruption and other improper acts of justice.

In John’s gospel Jesus is referred to as the ‘Word.’ “The Word became a human being and, full of grace and truth, lived among us. We saw his glory, the glory which he received as the Father’s only Son.”(Jn. 1: 14)

i.                    The Word Grace means God came into this world to live and died for us. It is God’s act that we do not deserve but it reflects God’s love for humanity.

ii.                 Truth – The embodiment of the truth is Jesus. For he said, “I am the truth” (Jn.14:6). To see the truth we look at Jesus.

Jesus did not come only to talk about God. He came to show people what God was like. Jesus is the communicator of the truth. He told his disciples, “if you obey my teaching, you are really my disciples, you will know the truth.” (Jn. 8: 31).  Jesus meant those who continue to be with him would know the truth.

 He said to Pilate, “You say that I am a King. I was born and came into this world for one purpose, to speak about the truth. Whoever belongs to the truth listens to me.” (Jn. 18: 37). He is saying his mission was to witness to the truth.

 Jesus also said, “The truth will set you free.” (Jn. 8: 32). The truth of Jesus can free us from fear, frustration, weakness and defeat - the greatest liberator in this world.

 We need to show truth in our lives. Jesus said, “... those who do what is true must come to the light in order that the light may show that what they did was in obedience to God.” (Jn. 3: 21). The truth must be known by the mind, accepted by the heart and demonstrated in our lives.

iii.              Glory – Jesus Christ was the manifestation of glory. When Jesus performed the first miracle of turning water into wine in Cana of Galilee John said, “... he performed his glory and his disciples believed in him.” (Jn. 2: 11).

The glory that Jesus manifests is the glory of God. Jesus’ glory was not from people. As he said, “I am not looking for human praise.” (Jn. 5: 41). In Jesus we see the glory and love of God.

The author of Hebrews says “in the past God spoke to our ancestors many times and in many different ways through the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us through his Son. He is the one through whom God created the universe, the one whom God has chosen to possess all things at the end. He reflects the brightness of God’s glory and is the exact likeness of God’s own being, sustaining the universe with his powerful word.”(Heb. 1: 1-3)

 Hebrews says the prophets only talked about one aspect of God. But now God is speaking to us through Jesus and he is telling us about the complete truth of God.

Let us look at the following prophets:

i.                    Prophet Amos was preaching about social justice. He was concerned about the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer. The issues that we are grappling with today are the issues that Amos was concerned about eight centuries before Christ. The poor and the ordinary people were innocent victims of injustice and oppression and religious practices and observances were insincere and hypocritical.

ii.                  Isaiah preached about the holiness of God. In clear words Isaiah called on the people and their leaders to live a righteous life based on justice and holiness. To disobey God would mean doom and destruction.

iii.                Hosea had experienced a disastrous marriage to an unfaithful woman Gomer. However, in the end God’s constant love for his people prevails.  Hosea’s message about God is forgiveness and love.

However, in the coming of Christ the different aspects of God are harmonised and manifested as one complete truth.

Christmas therefore is about the virtues of justice, righteousness, holiness, obedience, forgiveness, hope and love.

  May it be your task and my task to show in our lives these important virtues during this Festive Season of Christmasand always. Amen

ARCHBISHOP DAVID'S CHRISTMAS MESSAGE

TODAY IS CHRISTMAS DAY and we celebrate the mystery of incarnation – the embodiment of God the Son in human flesh as Jesus Christ. But the wonder of wonders is that God has not only shared our human flesh through Jesus Christ but is with us (Emmanuel).

God who is the source and the expression of the entire creation became human through the little child that was “wrapped in clothes and lying in a manger” (Lk. 2: 12). Through the little child God’s humble entry into this world was manifested.

God’s entry was unnoticed but it brought the message of redemption and salvation for the human race. Our task during this Christmas Season therefore is to prayerfully reflect on peace, love, unity and healing – the very centre of the message of Christmas.

The incarnation is God’s own initiative. Because of that we cannot sell the message of Christmas. The secular society has commercialised Christmas. But as Christians we know the message of Christmas is free for the human race.

We thank God for what 2014 has been to us. For God’s providence through the resources of the land and sea and for things we have received and shared including joys and sorrows. For achievements we thank God. For failures, we pray for guidance.

 We thank God for the Tenth Parliament. It was encouraging to hear some members contributing constructively in the last Parliament Meeting. We pray that they know that they are legislators and not procurement officers for solar lighting, housing materials, canoes, engines, chainsaws etc.

And we pray for the people to respect the parliamentarians, including their living quarters and to give them time and space.

For our nation we pray for political stability, economic recovery and proper maintenance of law and order. May God help us to refrain from corruption and other improper acts of justice.

In John’s gospel Jesus is referred to as the ‘Word.’ “The Word became a human being and, full of grace and truth, lived among us. We saw his glory, the glory which he received as the Father’s only Son.”(Jn. 1: 14)

i.                    The Word Grace means God came into this world to live and died for us. It is God’s act that we do not deserve but it reflects God’s love for humanity.

ii.                 Truth – The embodiment of the truth is Jesus. For he said, “I am the truth” (Jn.14:6). To see the truth we look at Jesus.

Jesus did not come only to talk about God. He came to show people what God was like. Jesus is the communicator of the truth. He told his disciples, “if you obey my teaching, you are really my disciples, you will know the truth.” (Jn. 8: 31).  Jesus meant those who continue to be with him would know the truth.

 He said to Pilate, “You say that I am a King. I was born and came into this world for one purpose, to speak about the truth. Whoever belongs to the truth listens to me.” (Jn. 18: 37). He is saying his mission was to witness to the truth.

 Jesus also said, “The truth will set you free.” (Jn. 8: 32). The truth of Jesus can free us from fear, frustration, weakness and defeat - the greatest liberator in this world.

 We need to show truth in our lives. Jesus said, “... those who do what is true must come to the light in order that the light may show that what they did was in obedience to God.” (Jn. 3: 21). The truth must be known by the mind, accepted by the heart and demonstrated in our lives.

iii.              Glory – Jesus Christ was the manifestation of glory. When Jesus performed the first miracle of turning water into wine in Cana of Galilee John said, “... he performed his glory and his disciples believed in him.” (Jn. 2: 11).

The glory that Jesus manifests is the glory of God. Jesus’ glory was not from people. As he said, “I am not looking for human praise.” (Jn. 5: 41). In Jesus we see the glory and love of God.

The author of Hebrews says “in the past God spoke to our ancestors many times and in many different ways through the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us through his Son. He is the one through whom God created the universe, the one whom God has chosen to possess all things at the end. He reflects the brightness of God’s glory and is the exact likeness of God’s own being, sustaining the universe with his powerful word.”(Heb. 1: 1-3)

 Hebrews says the prophets only talked about one aspect of God. But now God is speaking to us through Jesus and he is telling us about the complete truth of God.

Let us look at the following prophets:

i.                    Prophet Amos was preaching about social justice. He was concerned about the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer. The issues that we are grappling with today are the issues that Amos was concerned about eight centuries before Christ. The poor and the ordinary people were innocent victims of injustice and oppression and religious practices and observances were insincere and hypocritical.

ii.                  Isaiah preached about the holiness of God. In clear words Isaiah called on the people and their leaders to live a righteous life based on justice and holiness. To disobey God would mean doom and destruction.

iii.                Hosea had experienced a disastrous marriage to an unfaithful woman Gomer. However, in the end God’s constant love for his people prevails.  Hosea’s message about God is forgiveness and love.

However, in the coming of Christ the different aspects of God are harmonised and manifested as one complete truth.

Christmas therefore is about the virtues of justice, righteousness, holiness, obedience, forgiveness, hope and love.

  May it be your task and my task to show in our lives these important virtues during this Festive Season of Christmasand always. Amen

WHAT IS EASTER?

What is the meaning of Easter?

Easter is the day when we celebrate Jesus Christ rising from the dead. Jesus is the Son of God and gave His life to die for our sins. On the third day after He died -- the day we now celebrate as Easter Sunday -- His friends went to His grave, and found that He had risen from the dead. They saw an angel who told them, "Don't be afraid! I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He isn't here! He has been raised from the dead, just as He said it would happen."

Jesus rose from the dead on Easter Sunday; now He offers to you the gift of eternal life and forgiveness of sins. This is the true story of Easter, and how it can change your life. Here are 4 principles that tell how you can receive the gift of God for your life.

God Loves You!

The Bible says, "God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life"

The problem is that all of us have done, said or thought things that are wrong. This is called sin, and our sins have separated us from God.

The Bible says "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." God is perfect and holy, and our sins separate us from God forever. The Bible says "The wages of sin is death."

The good news is that, about 2,000 years ago

God sent His only Son Jesus Christ to die for our sins.

Jesus is the Son of God. He lived a sinless life and then died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins. "God demonstrates His own love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us."

Jesus rose from the dead and now He lives in heaven with God His Father. He offers us the gift of eternal life -- of living forever with Him in heaven if we accept Him as our Lord and Savior.

Jesus said "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except by Me."

God reaches out in love to you and wants you to be His child. "As many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe on His name." You can choose to ask Jesus Christ to forgive your sins and come in to your life as your Lord and Savior.

If you want to accept Christ as your Savior and turn from your sins, you can ask Him to be your Savior and Lord by praying a prayer like this:

"Lord Jesus, I believe you are the Son of God. Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins. Please forgive my sins and give me the gift of eternal life. I ask you in to my life and heart to be my Lord and Savior. I want to serve you always."

source: http://www.godlife.com/easter/?vid=2&adwid=1071368140&adwl2=a5sTCKjKPhDMj-_-Aw&gclid=CMnura7V28sCFQFsfgodj4IAuA

Archbishop Takeli's Sermon at his enthronment

SERMON PREACHED BY AB G. TAKELI AT HIS ENTHRONMENT   17/04/16

Texts: Is. 6:1-13;  Eph. 2: 11- 22; Jn. 10: 7-21.

We devote this time to study the word of God to us from the Holy Scriptures in the name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

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