THIS press release commentary is made to clarify to the readers of this paper and especially the clergies and people in the Anglican Church in the Diocese of Temotu on the matter queried by Elliot Dawea as “Archbishop Takeli’s unfulfilled promises” presented in the Island Sun paper no.2346 on Wednesday 21st July 2016.
Archbishop Takeli said that he feels deeply reluctant to discuss such important matters as training of clergies for mission work in the church through the media.
This is because dealing with such issues through the media does sometimes create misunderstanding which may lead to loss of trust in those responsible, condemnation of others,and causing enmity and division among clergies and in the overall mission work of the church.
Archbishop Takeli also said that if Mr Dawea had done the right thing to raise the matter with relevant authorities within the Anglican Church of Melanesia head office in Honiara rather than taking a freelance approach to enquiring on the matter through the media, he would have been properly informed on the concerned matter.
Archbishop Takeli said he is deeply saddened by the freelance manner in which Mr Dawea had presented the matter in the paper which seemed to imply that Archbishop Takeli immediately upon taking office as Archbishop had now forgotten about his former Diocesan church and her people resulting in him not fulfilling his promise to send a clergy on further training from next year 2017.
Archbishop Takeli said that he wanted to assure the clergies and members of the Anglican Church in the Diocese of Temotu that all these are not true.
He said that he still holds the Anglican Church in the Diocese of Temotu and her people in his heart and that his vision to develop mission work in the Diocese of Temotu, especially provide opportunities for further training for both clergies and laity in the Diocese of Temotu is still a priority agenda in his work, but this must be considered within the overall strategic human resource development plan for the Anglican Church of Melanesia for the next 10 years beginning from next year 2017.
Archbishop Takeli said that during the recent sitting of the scholarship Board of the Anglican Church of Melanesia held on date 27/06/2016, clergy candidates for further training from the Diocese of Temotu were included in the priority list for consideration for further training for next year 2017.
However, none of them was considered for the following reasons.
First, there was an urgent submission from the church’s theological college Kohimarama for the need to train two candidates in the biblical studies department from next year 2017 to fill in teaching posts to strengthen the Degree program offered at the college.
Second, the selection policy which sets the age limit for selection of candidates for further training in the Masters and Doctoral Degree programs of studies at the age 45 years.
At the recent Anglican Church of Melanesia scholarship Board sitting to approve training for next year 2017, applications for three clergy candidates from the Diocese of Temotu were received, discussed and considered as follows: the first one was elected as the new Bishop for Temotu in early month of June, so his application was not considered.
The second one, his age was well over the cut-off age of 45 years, so his application was not considered.
The third one, his area of study was in “theology”, and considering the urgent submission from Kohimarama to train two candidates in the area of biblical studies for the college from next year 2017, his application was not considered as well.
Archbishop Takeli said that as Chairman of the ACOM scholarship Board, the discussions on the selection of candidates for further training in the Masters and Doctoral Degree programs made during the last Board sitting was focused on addressing the urgent need of the church to train two Master’s Degree in biblical studies for Kohimarama.
And so, the two candidates approved for further training for Master Degree studies for the church for next year 2017 were chosen from candidates who apply for the Masters’ program in biblical studies.
The Board at its recent sitting also approved that consideration for normal open category applications for further studies in other disciplines within theological studies will open again in year 2018.
That will be when the Diocese of Temotu registering as “priority” in the training plan of our ACOM church will be given consideration.
The Diocese of Temotu is given “priority” in this training program because this Diocese had not sent any clergy candidates for Masters’ program in the last six years since 2010.
Although Archbishop Takeli while still Diocesan Bishop of Temotu had recommended clergy candidates for further training in the last six years none had gone through to be given approval.
According to Archbishop Takeli “the Anglican church in the Diocese of Temotu and her people will never be removed from my heart.
“My vision to develop the human resources of this church by sending candidates for further training in the Masters and Doctoral Degree programs to equipping this Diocesan church for effective mission work will remain my priority task.
“But as Archbishop, I will work with the new Diocesan Bishop to facilitate this training need for the Diocese within the overall strategic human resource development plan for our church as set out in our training program for the next ten years”.
We hope that this press commentary would help to bring understanding into any queries that may have arisen in the minds of readers and especially members of the Anglican Church in the Diocese of Temotu after reading the news item presented in Mr Dawea’s article in the above Islands Sun issue.
Our unceasing prayers for God’s blessings upon you all good readers of this press release.
By MICHAEL ANITA
Anglican Church of Melanesia