BISHOPS and priests of the Anglican Church of Melanesia Diocese of Central Melanesia gathered at Saint Barnabas Provincial Cathedral yesterday in a service to renew their ordination vows.
The renewal of ordination vows is held annually by the church on Maundy Thursday.
Archbishop of the Anglican Church of Melanesia Bishop the Most Reverend Leonard Dawea led the service and spoke of the challenges to the mission and the ministry of the church today and also used the opportunity to encourage members of the clergy based on the life of Jesus in his ministry.
Archbishop Dawea said as an urban diocese, the Diocese of Central Melanesia (DOCM) is the melting pot of all the national and domestic issues of our nation.
“We host the national correctional services, the National Referral Hospital, it was the centre of the ethnic tension, have been victim of several riots and looting and where almost all the outbreaks of various diseases including COVID-19 community transmission take place.
“It is natural that these will bear implication on our calling as priests.
“There are times we just want to give up. There are times when we cannot withstand temptations. And there are times when our ‘ordination vows hurt us, and yet we must it’ Psalm 15:5,” the Archbishop told members of the clergy.
Therefore, he encouraged the priests to take courage in the words of Isaiah 61:1-9 which outlined the mission platform.
“We are called to bring healing to the victims of domestic violence, the young victims of drug abuse, to pray with the sick, to visit those in Correctional Centres, to intercede for our nation, to restore the fallen, to search for the lost in the rumbles of our societies, to bring healing to those who mourn and to be present where Jesus calls us to be present.
“Our priesthood mission and ministry is more for them than for our own. Our mission and ministry must daily mirror them whom we are called to serve.
“This of course, includes our own families,” the Archbishop said.
He said all these may sound too comprehensive and off-putting, but “we can only take courage in the fact that we are called by none other than God himself whom we are priested in his name and is surely guiding us daily”.
“God longs to draw people to himself, and he seeks the lost, invites strangers, and longs to be in the midst of his people.
“He wants to do this through us, those whom he called set aside through our ordination and filled with the Holy Spirit of God,” Archbishop Dawea said.
Maundy Thursday or Holy Thursday is the day during Holy Week that commemorates the Washing of the Feet and Last Supper of Jesus Christ with the Apostles. It is the fifth day of the Holy Week.
Church programs for the Easter weekend services are published in the Solomon Star.