ENCOURAGE youths to engage in some meaningful activities in the communities says the Archbishop of the Anglican Church of Melanesia (ACOM) Most Reverend David Vunagi.
The Archbishop highlighted this in his address during the opening of the ACOM Youth Convention at the Saint Nicholas College Hall on Monday.
“We should always remember with gratitude that one of the church’s strength is its young people that make up around 70% of the church’s population.
“An important mission and task for the church is therefore, at all costs to ‘empower youths for participation and effective ministry’,” Rev Vunagi said.
In his speech, the Reverend also underscored the ACOM youth policy which was launched in 2009 following a Provincial Youth Consultation in 2007.
“The main goal of the policy and its vision is to provide ‘a brighter and hopeful future for young people in leading a life that fully acknowledges God in word and in action; and where equal participation and fellowship amongst young people and the wider community is enhanced within the life and ministry of the church’,” he said.
He added that despite of the good objectives of the policy, there is virtually lack of support for youths in various ways and in different levels.
He said that there is poor coordination with the ministry between the provincial and diocesan levels and in the communities, there is lack of proper facilities for youth activities, low priority is given to position of youth workers, and inadequate finances and resources are given for the youth ministry.
The Archbishop in his speech also emphasised education and training as some of the measures that the church could take to solve youth issues.
“The measures that need to be taken must therefore relate to education and training.
“Short courses for youths must be delivered in parishes and communities, courses on practical skills for village youths must be made available, leadership courses for youth and community leaders must be made available, and literacy programmes for illiterate youths must be made available.
“All of the above should be part of the mission programmes of the church to encourage youths to engage in some meaningful activities in the communities,” the Archbishop added.
In his final remarks, the Most Reverend said that if the church and the society at large are serious about addressing youth issues that affect young people, they must be honest with themselves and give out full commitment to the ministry of the youths.
By RONALD TOITO’ONA