The half a day’s workshop spread over three days was facilitated by Rev. Francois Pihaatae and Dr. Julia Edwards of the Pacific Conference of Churches (PCC) at the Parliament conference room.
The theme of the Training and Workshop is “Our Stewardship Responsibility”.
The objective of the training is to help leaders with an understanding on biblical narrative’s view on stewardship and its centrality in and linkages to political governance and leadership, the care of the environment and the struggle for political independence.
This training and workshop came about from a consultation held by the Solomon Islands Christian Association (SICA) member churches and other churches about ‘Rethinking the Household of God in the Solomon Islands’ from 2nd June to 4th June 2014. The Churches are: Anglican Church of Melanesia, the United Church of Solomon Islands, the Catholic Archdiocese of Honiara, the Seventh Day Adventist Church, South Seas Evangelical Church in Solomon Islands and the Nazarene Church.
One of the resolutions made during that consultation was to begin a process of rethinking Solomon Islands’ development since its political independence 37 years ago towards a national consultation for Solomon Islands Leaders (Churches, Chiefs and politicians). Part of this process is the training workshop on ‘Our Stewardship Responsibility’. This workshop stemmed from – the discussions around identity and the need for the Solomon Islanders to be self determining in deciding their own forms of governance and development in view of the serious level of corruption, environmental damages due to logging and mining, and unemployment and in response to a political, economic and social malaise that is premised on dependency, and the view that there has never being a real attempt to build a united people of divert cultures, languages and customs to take a collective responsibility over their destiny.
During that consultation, various issues of importance to the church and the people of Solomon Islands were discussed. They were: The system of governance that allowed chronic corruption to take root in the leadership of Solomon Islands; The issue of self determination relating to identity as a people and their freedom to decide their own development path; the moral responsibility relating to the political self determination of the people of West Papua. Some of the key affirmations were – the holistic understanding of stewardship as encompassing the care of people and their relationship with each other, the production and wealth they create, the care for the environment and the prudent use of the resources of the people’s disposal; that corruption in leadership has a crippling effect on the development of the Solomon Islands and her people; and the call to rethink the development of Solomon Islands according to biblical insights and moral imperatives.
The current training for parliamentarians is being jointly facilitated by the Pacific Conference of Churches and the Anglican Church of Melanesia on behalf of SICA and SIFGA member churches.