Bishops and priests of the Anglican Church of Melanesia Diocese of Central Melanesia gathered at the Provincial Cathedral of St. Barnabas yesterday for a service to renew their ordination vows.
The renewal of ordination vows is organized each year by the church on Maundy Thursday.
The Archbishop of the Anglican Church of Melanesia, Reverend Leonard Dawea, led the service and spoke about the challenges of the mission and ministry of the church today and also took the opportunity to encourage the clergy based on the life of Jesus in his ministry.
Bishop Dawea said that as an urban diocese, the Diocese of Central Melanesia (DOCM) is the crucible of all national and internal issues of our nation.
“We host the national correctional services, the national reference hospital, it has been the center of ethnic tension, has been the victim of several riots and looting and where almost all the epidemics of various diseases take place, including community transmission of COVID-19.
“It is natural that these have implications for our vocation as priests.
“There are times when we just want to give up. There are times when we cannot resist temptations. And there are times when our “ordination vows hurt us, and yet we must do it Psalm 15:5,” the archbishop told clergy.
Therefore, he encouraged priests to take courage in the words of Isaiah 61:1-9 which described the mission platform.
“We are called to bring healing to victims of domestic violence, to young victims of drug addiction, to pray with the sick, to visit those in correctional centers, to intercede for our nation, to restore the dead, to seek out the lost in the rumblings of our societies, to bring healing to those who mourn and to be present where Jesus calls us to be present.
“Our mission and our priesthood ministry are more for them than for ours. Our mission and ministry must daily reflect those we are called to serve.
“This of course includes our own families,” the Archbishop said.
He said it all might sound too full and off-putting, but “we can only take heart in the fact that we are called by none other than God himself, that we are sacrificed in his name and who surely guides us daily”.
“God longs to draw people to Himself, and He seeks the lost, invites strangers, and longs to be among His people.
“He wants to do this through us, those whom he has called set aside by our ordination and filled with the Holy Spirit of God,” Bishop Dawea said.
Maundy Thursday or Maundy Thursday is the day of Holy Week that commemorates the washing of the feet and the Last Supper of Jesus Christ with the apostles. It is the fifth day of Holy Week.
Church schedules for Easter weekend services are published in the Solomon Star.